Growing the #MagicFugu connection across the states, Agent 137 catches up with Eric Riggsbee, the co-founder of Faultline - a Oakland based breakbeat monthly. Having met last year 4th of July weekend at Faultline, we quickly settled in and discussed Eric's career, the state of beats and the creative charge happening in downtown Oakland.
So tell me about Faultline-
Well as you know, Faultline is a monthly Breakbeat party in Oakland, CA hosted by resident DJs- myself, DJ 138, and Justin Johnson, along with local guest DJs. Faultline has a new venue this Saturday for the grand opening-there is more foot traffic in this location and it is contained to all in one room and it us every 4th Saturday at The Rock Steady.
I have been talking to a lot of producers, DJS and promoters about the state of breaks and their take on the genre. Faultine is a primarily breakbeat show. What is your opinion on the genre and maybe help bridge the gap?
Breaks are a couple of years behind of some of the other genres but there are a lot more events now. Most of the DJs are breaks djs and we are getting all the local celebrities out of Burning Man camps. Space Cowboys, Dusty Rhino, Camp Charlie etc and they seem to be on the same page. Bass music has been remarketed for the youth though, in the past breaks had very little sub genres because there really were not enough people producing the different sounds to break it out into sub genres. Now it’s evolving around us. While it is coming back I think we all can agree that it is coming in baby steps, It's because we all want to do well and also do it right. With all of that going on, seeing more events and seeing the word breaks more often (at least the word is being thrown around more and more), we are driven to do it... the timing is right.
Burning Man stems from the Bay Area and I remember when I attended last year, the presence of breaks was very strong. Tell me how you see the Burner lifestyle is affecting music and art in Oakland.
I live in a neighborhood with a lot of warehouses that a lot of the art for Burning Man is being built. Sometimes I take it for granted thinking it’s going on everywhere. I find myself Djing more and more with the burner crowd. We are very close to the Burning Man experience here which pushes creativity in so many ways- everyone around is doing art, music, SOMETHING. There are a lot of incredibly talented people around Oakland and San Francisco using self-expression in some way shape or form. It's an exciting time.
What about the self-expression of Eric Riggsbee? Tell us a little about your musical background -
I played piano since 6 years of age until 9 and then drums from 10 until now. I was in bands from 12-22 and started djing at 18 in 1998. Basically my progression in music with drums helped me learn to DJ, it helps with rhythm. Breaking down the beat is a big part of being a drummer and it helps with DJing Breaks.
You have started on production as well - how did you start with production?
I took a community college EM class in 1998-1999 for Logic and used Reason for a while but now I'm using Ableton by trial and error and also by doing a lot of shadowing of other producers.
Any advice to aspiring producers?
Produce what you want to produce and don't worry how the track is going to sell or hit the top 10. Tracks that lay down a groove that move people are more important to me. Look what is really important to you and let that guide what you create.
What is next for you as an artist and Faultline?
- Justin Johnson runs Barely Legal Records and there are a lot of big things happening on his label. Adrenalinez will have a full length album out later this year. Other releases coming will be remixes of Adenalinez 'Wet Me" by The Gulf Gate Project and Run Riot, remixes of Justin's track "Body Movin" by Geon and Adrenalinez, a Sychosis remix of EvilBeat "On My Beat", and then a massive EP from Justin called "The Discos of Tron" that will also include remixes from Wes Smith, discObeta, Fire-Beat, and more TBA.
- In July Faultine will be doing a breaks and drum&bass throwback to Electic Hectic called Foundation with the drum&bass crew Dystopia. If it goes well we will continue that on the second Friday of the month in Oakland.
- NEXT is Wiggle in San Diego this weekend with Wes Smith, Omega Squad and Ghost Md.