Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mighty Asterix, 92 interview

The return of the mighty
Stamp magazine,1992 [no author listed]

Catching up with the Mighty Asterix (who has just released his debut single) is not an easy task, currently based both here and in Australia and with no phone.

Like the cartoon, Asterix is small in stature but big in heart and vocally he is hard to beat. His involvement with music dates back to the late seventies, Parliament “before anybody had heard of them”, Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder “are some of the people that taught me to sing,” as he soldiered up and down the country with his family, one army camp to the next. “Guess what my dad does for a living.”

Around the end of that decade he discovered reggae and eventually Jah Rastafari and has never looked back.

Eventually moving to Auckland, and joining the Twelve Tribes of Israel. As a member he trained with the house band and other performers (Jules Issa, Tuffi Culture to name a few) four or five times a week.

Since going freelance he has been a regular performer throughout Auckland’s ever changing live scene, from Unity to the Rockers.

Due to the irregularity of live work in Auckland, Asterix has made the move to Sydney and is currently a regular [performer] in the Rave scene. “There are usually about four to six raves a month, with an average attendance of about 3000 people, but you have to watch yourself in Sydney, there are so many sharks in the scene. Things are starting to work out okay now, I have a regular live crew I’m working with and my record company is opening an office there, so things should be a little easier this time round.”

In town for the month of January to record an album and shoot a video for the single, Asterix is gone as this hits the streets, back to Sydney for another six weeks of live work. “The stuff we do in Auckland is completely different to the Sydney scene, over there it’s either white techno or roots music, you rarely see the two mixed up. We’re sort of somewhere in between.”

During this visit, he worked on a reggae single for Japanese release, which saw him toasting/singing in Japanese. “My job is to get the message out and it is a stepping stone process. NZ and Australia this year, and next year it will be time to take the next step”.

From Deepgrooves website, on the album Asterix started on for the label... "Early in 1992, a few months after the release of the first Deepgrooves compilation, we had the opportunity to actually get some artists into the studio when the LAB Studios was not being used. We promptly slotted in Jules Issa, The Mighty Asterix and The Riot Riddum Sound System.

This is where we discovered that Auckland had very few "producers / programmers" of the quality of Mr. Mark Tierney. Singers, Rappers, Deejays, vocalists and musicians yes, production people, well not really. Well certainly not the kind of producers we could afford. In fact it would take a good couple of years before we began to see what was really the first generation of local Apple Mac programmers come through.

Fresh out of SAE was a young engineer Mr. Chris Sinclair and a young programmer Mr. Andrew Morton, both keen as mustard to get some experience which was great because The Mighty Asterix was keen to record. Over quite a few months we compiled an albums worth of material, some early original tracks from Mr. Morton, some all ready recorded Deepgrooves tracks used in a digital dubplate style and some tracks recorded with the 12 Tribes band. "

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