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Ital Bless at Phanganist - Heavyweight Junglist Soundsytem Music

2 Jun

Ital Bless joined us last Friday for Bass Night and absolutely knocked the socks off everyone with his Jungle set! He's back on Friday 2nd along with Vinyl Warriors to play a few sets before he leaves for a while, we find out his interesting story...

Hi Iain, so tell us your Koh Phangan story...
I first came here based on a good friend of mines rave reviews about his experience in Haad Yuan at Eden and Guys Bar. I ended up extending my stay before returning to Thailand a few months later, much longer term and have been spending 5 to 6 months of the year on this island in the past 3 years!

I absolutely love being based in the tropics and as a raw vegan in Thailand and especially this island is one of the most optimal places for me to be living and thriving!

When did you start to DJ?
I got my first set of Technics 1210's and Allen & Heath Xone:42 mixer when I was around 17 years old, I'm 26 now. I was a massive Dubstep head when it first came about and have spent a ridiculous amount over the years on vinyl.

I started out with Dubstep when it was more Dub/Reggae influenced as that was the fresh sound when I first started clubbing. From there I spent a lot of time digging and researching a wide spectrum of different sounds, in particular I was interested in the foundational sounds and original sound system music and learning my history about where all the music and styles I enjoyed originally came from.

I've got a ridiculously huge collection of music from all styles and genres that I've gathered over the years, I particularly love the 90's sound - golden era Jungle is my favourite! All in digi format including vinyl rips from my personal collection in high quality format whilst still doing my best to stay on top of the fresh new bass music that's being released to this present day.

I've now sold my decks and mixer and bought a controller as it made a lot more sense due to the amount of travelling I am doing.

Were you part of the Jungle/DnB scene back in the UK?
No I wasn't. I was born in North West London and moved to New Zealand when I was around 12 - 13 years of age with my family. There's a massive DnB/Jungle scene in NZ so from when I was around 16 or 17 on a fake ID I was reaching nights such as Dubstep Alliance at Rising Sun which really got me into soundsystem culture!

Since then I've been reaching DnB/Dubstep nights every weekend sometimes up to 3 nights a week. Fubar/Zen in Auckland had the best DnB/Jungle/Dubstep nights when I was first hitting club nights. I was at every rave going hard supporting the local scene and played at various clubs including  Wax'd Wednesday's at Fubar in Auckland and have supported heavyweight artists such as DJ Slipmatt, Mark Pritchard and Kryptic Minds just to name a few plus played countless Full Moon parties at Sunrise Resort to thousands of punters and played several sets at Fubar here on Koh Phangan and of course Phanganist Hostel and various other pool parties on the island.

Why this music in particular over something like ‘House’?
I just love the sound. I live for the music, it's been my life for as long as I can remember. I've always been a massive head. I have a huge oldskool 90's Jungle/Hardcore collection (digital but in high quality format WAV/FLAC/320 plus my own personal vinyl rips).

I’ve got a serious collection/selection and have been working on building it for many years now. This is what I love doing. I love hunting out the gems and digging for the gold. I just love timeless music, a lot of the oldskool 90's stuff still sounds fresh today. I like to mix the old with the new but there's something about that 90's Jungle sound that just does it for me.......pure vibes!

How was your last set here at Phanganist?
I really fucking enjoyed it to be honest. I played almost exclusively jungle and was pumping out loads of oldskool gold with some quality new stuff for good measure. The place was rammo everyone looked to be having a great time skanking out.

You’ll play this week as part of Vinyl Warriors Crew, what will you do this time?
Well I'll be rolling out a Jungle set to start with from 7 - 8pm, a mix of oldskool and fresh Jungle riddims.  

Then I'm on again from 10 - 11pm (I've got a massive selection of Jungle so will be throwing down some big tunes from 90's through to present day).

Then from 12 til close myself Tip and Tez will be going back to back playing vinyl. I've sold all my vinyl now but ripped them all in high quality format had tons of super rare UKG / Speed / UK Grime / Jungle / Hip Hop so will be playing Tip’s vinyl and I've seen his collection and it's fucking huge so really looking forward to it!

Why do you think it's good to have DnB and more Bass inspired music here on the island?
Because I love the sound and it needs to be represented here properly. There's definitely a lot of likeminded heads who feel the same way as last friday’s party at Phanganist showed. It was rammo, everyone having a fantastic time...DnB, Jungle & 'Bass Music' is fresh, it’s great to rave to, it makes you want to dance naturally.

The music scene on this island needs to be more diverse. There's too many Tech House / Techno nights in my opinion, it’s not really my thing I'm more into my Jungle, Reggae, Dub, UK Garage and forward thinking Bass music. Each to there own taste is subjective....

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I'm on Koh Phangan til the 7th of June then I am heading back to New Zealand to stack the dollars and definitely looking to play more gigs on a regular basis. I'll be returning to KP at the end of the year.

And leave us with your ‘music philosophy’....
I love heavyweight soundsystem music. I love to feel it on a big heavyweight system it makes me wanna skank.
I just love everything about Jungle, it just ticks all the boxes for me. Ruff & Tuff quality timeless music, full of energy, I love to seek out the gold and hard to find and overlooked tunes from 90's through to present day


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