101 with Basti Grub

There is a fine line between genius and insanity that Basti Grub has been balancing on for over 10 years. From a very early age onward it became clear that Basti´s fascination with music would take centre stage in his life. The roots: reggae music, a Roland MC 303, turntables and life-changing trips to Omen and Robert Jonson which would lay the foundation to Grub´s concept of club-orientated sound.

His music found its way to the labels such as Desolat, Moan, Mobilee and many others. We invited this German-based artist to chat with us prior to his upcoming release on Hot Creations


What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?

As a DJ you already have to deal with a lot of strange requests but as a live act, it is even more bizarre to receive one because a lot of times I really only have access to my own music and that is in fact what I get booked for. Let me see if I remember correctly. I guess it was some radio EDM song a guy wanted me to play during an underground after party. 

Can you describe your studio setup for us? 

I work with both analogue and digital devices but I'm heading more towards the analogue sound. If I had to name my favourites I´d say it´s the Dave Smith Tempest and the OB-6. Over the course of my music career, I´ve tried many plugins, synthesizers and instruments but the OB-6 really stands out. Its six voices make it incredibly versatile to work with and I love its in-your-face sonic signature. Sometimes I think about setting it up on my nightstand in case I have a musical epiphany in my dreams. I'm not sure if my family would approve though. The only disadvantage is its size. The OB-6 is too big to take it on tour, so I guess I have to invest in the desktop version eventually…

Could you tell us the story about your first gig? 

My first paid gig was as far away from home as it could have gotten - Japan. I went on tour but before I even got to Japan I had to overcome the obstacle of getting a flight. I had a stopover in Paris and mixed up departure times. By the time I made it to the Frankfurt airport my plane had already landed in Paris. I nearly cried and since then I'm a pain in everyone's ass who dares to travel with me.  

Name three artists that currently inspire you?

I'm inspired by more then three artists, however, if I had to choose I would name: Björk, Matthew Herbert and Ricardo Villalobos.

Björk inspires me as an overall artist because she ingeniously executes her art on so many levels not only acoustically but also visually. She has this amazing outlet of creativity that is far from predictable. If I had to describe her music in one word I´d say it is otherworldly. Studio time with Björk is definitely something on my bucket list. 

I admire Matthew Herbert´s approach to music making. He is very versatile and you never know what to expect next. There is always an element of surprise. 

What inspires me most about Ricardo Villalobos is how minimal his sound is and yet he manages to create a great arc of suspense.  

Recall the worst experience of ‘killing the vibe’ in the club.

My worst experience of „killing the vibe“ so far was during a festival in Italy where my soundcard crashed really badly. The worst part was that the festival was on two floors and my mess-up emptied both of them. (I wanted to curl up and die)

What do you do before and after your set? 

I'm looking for the bathroom. Before because there is always some nervousness about how my set will be received by the crowd and afterwards because I drank to much water. Not a fancy answer I know but an honest one. 

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? 

Without a doubt - gas water plumber. After I graduated from High School I started an apprenticeship as a gas water plumber that I hated from day one. I knew right away that I would not do this a day longer than necessary. Once I had the diploma I framed and gave it to my parents so they had proof that at least once in my life I had a "real and honest job". I then told them that I'm off to do what I actually want to do for a living - music. I saved every penny I made as a plumber to support my start into music.

What are your favourite labels at the moment?

There a quite a few labels I follow but my current highlight is APRAPTA MUSIC because it´s a real underground label that brings forth some dope artists and tracks. I recommend to put it on your „labels to watch“ list. 

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play?

David Hasselhoff - everybody sunshine. 

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received?

I tend to react rather impulsive and not to my advantage so the best advice I received is to consult one's pillow before making a move.

By Saša, edited on 05 March 2019