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Catching up with Melbourne beat makers MelloWolf and Oxcyde in between tours

27 Apr 2017 spotlight words by Terence Ill
Catching up with Melbourne beat makers MelloWolf and Oxcyde in between tours

LAB Co.’s Oxcyde and MelloWolf share a few stories and pictures from their 7-stop US tour, before hitting the road again to bring LAB Co.'s Beat Science & Rhymeology Tour to Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Canberra and finally back to Melbourne.

Tell me about how you ended up in the US of A?

Oxcyde: Well, since Adam Clay, co-founder of LAB Co., lives in Phoenix, AZ, he already had some contacts over there. So he acted as our booking agent and approached other promoters around the states and it turned into a 7-show tour.


A post shared by OXCYDE (@mroxcyde) on Apr 12, 2017 at 6:25pm PDT


A post shared by OXCYDE (@mroxcyde) on Apr 7, 2017 at 6:48pm PDT


A post shared by Ryan (MelloWolf) (@mellowolfbeats) on Apr 7, 2017 at 5:17pm PDT

How was the general response from your American crowds?

Oxcyde: It always varies from venue to venue. For example, for a huge city like New York, we played in Brooklyn, and the gig was fun as hell. But it was a chilled vibe in a hipster-like bar. In Tucson, AZ, it was a really small city but we had a couple of hundred people going nuts at that show.

MelloWolf: All in all we had a pretty great response from all the shows we played, and also heard a lot of amazing beat makers.

On your travels, did you find that particular styles linked to particular cities?

MelloWolf: Yeah I would say so. Melbourne is very much a Boom Bap/lofi hiphop city, which is great! But we found in the states it was a lot more electronic/bass-heavy music. But in saying that, when we played shows in Brooklyn and LA they were very similar to the styles of music we find in Melbourne.

What was your favourite show on the tour?

MelloWolf: For me, my favourite would have to be the Brooklyn show. There was some serious talent. Like ewonee who I have been listening to for a fair while now and Killer bee who was the guy who ran the night and has some great music. Also, shout out to Tomppabeats for hooking us up with that gig.

The beat scene has been taking off and has brought boom bap/lofi to new heights. How do you see this genre evolving? What is your prophecy?

Oxcyde: All these sub-genres I just can’t keep up with. I wouldn’t be surprised if lofi has it’s own sub-genres. It’s an exciting time because there’s some really interesting producers out there getting real crafty with their samplers and sounds.

The ol' producer questions: Sample first or drums first? And then what?

Oxcyde: I always start with a sample. I can’t start shit without a sample or some keys or something. When I dig for samples there’s gotta be a small sound that pops out and I know that I’ll be able to loop nicely. Or sometimes I just like to challenge myself and try something I’d normally not use. I’ll then run it through a sampler I’m in the mood for (one of my SP’s), then resample again in to my MPC. Find a nice break off a record or go through my MPC library of drums and get a nice rhythm going. 16-level a baseline then start layering other sounds on top like hats and shakers. You can make a beat in 5 minutes, but to make a beat nice and full can take a long time.

MelloWolf: My process is very similar to Oxcyde’s always looking for that sample which can be found from anywhere. I use Ableton but am always running my sp’s through it as external effect, and after that will then re samples back into one of my sp’s either the 303 or 404. Now I am starting to use the 202 a lot more either just on drums or using it on the master channel which gives you a super nice dirty sound.

What happened in Vegas?

Oxcyde: What happens in Vegas stays... oh nevermind, I got sick as hell from a bug and almost died! [laughs] Other than that, my liver hates me.


A post shared by OXCYDE (@mroxcyde) on Mar 30, 2017 at 3:59pm PDT


MelloWolf, you went quiet for a little while during the tour. What happened? Did you go on a spiritual walk? Illness? A fight?

MelloWolf: [laughs] Oh man, it was nothing cool, no fight. I didn’t go on any spiritual walk, I just ended up getting really sick the last week we were there. Our second last show it Tucson I almost didn’t make it, because I was curled up in the back of Adam Clay’s car being violently sick. I stumbled my way back into the venue, ten minutes before I had to play. I played my set, walked straight back to the car and slept on the back seat of the car until Adam and Oxcyde came back around 1.30am. Then we drove back to Phoenix which is about a 2.5 hr drive having to stop on the side of the road for me to be sick. Good times! Then I ended up with the flu or some shit like that. Like I said, nothing cool.

Any highlights you would like to share?

Oxcyde: One of the highlights for me was when we were driving through the desert in Arizona at 2am and MelloWolf had to stop for a puke on the side of the road. These are the times I want to remember. But playing 7 shows in 5 different cities - a lot of funny stuff happened, trust!


A post shared by Ryan (MelloWolf) (@mellowolfbeats) on Mar 29, 2017 at 11:24pm PDT


A post shared by OXCYDE (@mroxcyde) on Apr 5, 2017 at 6:48pm PDT


A post shared by Ryan (MelloWolf) (@mellowolfbeats) on Apr 11, 2017 at 10:34am PDT

You were struggling to find a decent coffee there for a bit. Did you ever find one?

Oxcyde: Yeah, eventually. When we did find it, it was like finding gold.

MelloWolf: I think we found good coffee when we got back to Australia.

You just got back, but you're about to hit the road again, this time with more of the LAB Co. roster. You'll be playing Canberra, Sydney, Blue Mountains and then Melbourne at the end. Can you tell me a bit about this?

MelloWolf: Yes! We are going on an official LAB Co. East Coast tour, which most of us will be attending - Walla C, Jimmy Flipshyt, Bryzone and Clay Adams are the only ones who can't make it. You will be able to find Given Names, Mister Litty, Context, Entro, Sadiva, Card Houses, Joe Syzlak, Oxcyde and my self all on this tour. Four days, three shows, driving from Melbourne through Canberra to Sydney, Blue Mountains, then Back home. It's going to be one hell of a good time. You can find all the dates on Facebook.


The LAB Co. crew will be playing their home-coming show at Grumpy's to officially close out their tour on May 4th, also featuring Motley + the locals you know.