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Aquasky - Touch The Sky

Author: Rezo
Friday, 12 October 2007
Breaks legends Aquasky visit little ol’ sydney this week so 3D’s Rezo went back in time with Brent Newitt to visit their roots.

The Aquasky trio are Kieron Bailey, Dave Wallace and Brent Newitt. Wallace and Bailey used to make a lot of early hardcore and rave music around 1992. By the time Wallace and Newitt crossed paths in 1993 – with the golden era of rap upon us – the latter was experimenting with a lot of instrumental hip hop.

“Later, that music would become trip hop by vibe, for me anyway, and then by 1994 there was drum n bass,” Newitt says. “Guys like Krust and LTJ were doing great things and I was loving it. It got to a point where I would hook up with Dave and we would listen to each other’s beats and when we decided to hook up over a weekend and knock up the Sky EP… by that time we were shown a lot of interest and decided to pursue it.”

But what about breaks-

“Well, one thing about breaks is that it isn’t a fashionable genre, I don’t think,” he says. “It’s still lurking in the background and is yet to have its big break, pardon the pun. I also quite enjoy the fact that we’re essentially left to ourselves to evaluate and re-evaluate where we’ve been and where we are going. You’ve got all these other styles like electro house becoming popular and some of those fresh vibes have translated into breaks. It’s similar to what Zinc was doing a few years ago and it’s always nice to draw on some of those influences – but we are quite lucky that we don’t have people telling us what to do, because we wouldn’t be listening to them anyway!”

That is essentially what Aquasky is about. Their very raison d'être is to push the boundaries beyond what people are telling them and what they expect from themselves.

“We’ve been lucky enough to get it right quite a lot of the time but we still stand behind what we did and you have to be like that to be an artist; if you’re creating stuff for someone else you’re basically an employee,” he says. “We’re about putting it to the audience to decide; they are the ones that give you the petrol to keep you going.”

Production wise, the trio have embraced the digital age and now spend every spare moment tweaking and twiddling. Originally, they were into analogue equipment and that necessitated a more collaborative approach.

“Now – well for the last two years at least – we’ve been finding it much easier to do bits and pieces in the studio,” he says. “We’ve strived to make our label, Passenger, a label to be reckoned with and one which others hold in high regard. That for us is a huge priority – we strive to treat our artists the way we were treated.

“We were lucky enough to work through that strong period where there was money to be made – a time when labels like Moving Shadow were moving as many units as the majors. I like my artists to be treated in the same way and I want us to remain one step ahead of the rest. Unfortunately on this occasion, I can’t bring that love with me. I’ve left it up to the others because I have to stay here and keep that finger on the pulse.”

WHO: Aquasky
WHAT: Play Break-Inn at Chinese Laundry
WHEN: Friday 19 October