Bass-Sekolah-LIGHTHOUSE-LIAS

In 2008 I was sent by the now-defunct BPM magazine to Berlin and Vienna to document the emerging Future Bass movement percolating from the dank basements of those Teutonic capitals. While Modeselektor proved to be the most successful of all the acts from that scene, many were making amazing music — including Jahcoozi, The Tape, Chris Deluca vs Phon.o, RQM and Stereotyp. Among those was a man named Christian “Cee” Schwanz, who at the time was recording under the Al-Haca moniker. We first met at a dock on the Danube, took a boat to Bratislava to watch a musical festival, and ended up staying up all night drinking copious Zlatý Bažant and cheap Slovakian vodka out of a plastic water bottle until the next day. We befriended an 19-year old kid named Balázs who showed us the city, and we showed him the night of his life (his words, not ours). Somehow we stumbled onto the return boat just in time, our heads floating somewhere near Pluto. Since then Cee moved to Malaysia, got married, and opened up a music studio nestled in the Berembun forest where he makes beats under the Bass Sekolah alias with his partner/vocalist Darren Ashley (and records visiting artists such as as Daedelus, Africa Hitech, Perera Elsewhere and Modeselektor, who we interviewed HERE). Bass Sekolah are about to drop their first official single “Lighthouse” on Mouthwatering Records this Friday (November 28), so Cee dropped a line to let us know what he’s been up to these past few years. Stream the sophisticated loveliness of “Lighthouse”, and enjoy our To Whom It May Concern interview in its entirety below…

Allow me to introduce myself, I’m…
CEE of the Malaysian duo Bass Sekolah

You can find me…
Making music with the crickets and the birds and my partner in crime Darren Ashley, usually posted up at the Dusun, a little rainforest resort one hour outside of Kuala Lumpur.

You might’ve heard of me because…
I been making music under different flags for more than 15 years.

But why you really should know me is…
Because I make great pasta. My mustard & beer BBQ marinate is also killer

My next order of business is…
Being affiliated with the Red Bull Music Academy. I just came back from RBMA Tokyo as an observing guest, sucking up all that creative juice and that memory will stay up in my mind forevaaaa… I feel inspired in so many ways.

If it wasn’t for the fall of the Berlin wall I wouldn’t be where I am today.

The first piece of music I heard that I remember waking up my ears was…
The birds. No that’s a lie. My wake up alarm started bugging me at 7:30 AM, but I managed to ignore it until 8:30 AM

The last piece of music I heard that woke up my ears is…
Dorian Concept’s new album Joined Ends.

I hate to admit it, but I almost gave music up when…
I left Europe a bit more than 5 years ago. I had a good run with Al-Haca, but things started to fade out and I wasn’t sure if I could continue. Now I don’t rely on music financially and I am a much happier person. It’s all just love again.

Stream Bass Sekolah’s “Lighthouse” track below, and hit the Jump to continue reading our To Whom It May Concern Q&A with the Malaysia-based producer…

“I just came back from Red Bull Music Academy Tokyo, sucking up all that creative juice — I feel inspired in so many ways…”

But it all came together when…
I met Darren Ashley. I always enjoyed collaborating with other musicians. Not just for a song or two, but collaborating on a big project. Bass Sekolah is the evolution of Al-Haca and all my creative work in the past and I see big things for this unique Eurasian collaboration.

If I was taking a train from Paris to Madrid, the one person I’d want to share the cabin with would be…
My big brother Steffen. I need to spend more time with him, but now we are simply too far away from each other. I should spend more time with my whole German family and the old friends over there, but traveling with the big brother would certainly be one great ride full of good chats, nice reads and lots of drinking.

If you want to put a smile on my face, you probably want to…
Take me to the waterfall nearby. Just one hour into the jungle. We could have a picnic there and jump into the cold water.

If you want to wipe that smile away, then you should…
Take me to a shopping mall.

The last time I saw the sun come up I was…
In Tokyo right after watching Fat Freddy’s Drop play their sold-out Japan debut show. A night of pure bliss and 6 AM ramen.

The person I admire most is…
My late grandma. She was always so kind to me and I was a big fan of her story telling. I also was a big fan of her cooking and I do have quite a few of her recipes. Come test me.

The last time I lied was because…
I had to come up with a story about my latest lie, but couldn’t think of any. Why would I lie?

If you hit shuffle on my iPod you might be shocked to find…
Quite a bit of bad dance music. I copied lots of random music from lots of random people, because I had to leave all my vinyl in Europe and at some my old digital music archive got lost. Two hard disks stopped working and I had to stock up the archive. I don’t know how to keep this archive updated with only quality.

If you hit shuffle on my iPod I’d be embarrassed if it landed on…
Please never ever hit shuffle on my (imaginary) iPod

When I get my next really big check, I’m gonna go score…
A set of turntables. After that I shall rent a container and ship my vinyl collection over to Asia.

But it’ll never replace…
The Push controller I own for Ableton. Well I might replace it with a newer version of a Push : )

My one magic power is…
Coming across as being patient (even though I don’t think I am that patient)

I’d like to give a quick shout-out to…
My beautiful wife Haanim who just started a new festival related travel business (Festival Guide Asia). My music partner Darren Ashley, who is a huge inspiration to me and folks in the Asian scene, who help shape the creative landscape of the region (Syndicate from Singapore, Shelter in Shanghai, Dada Bar in Beijing, Arkham in Shanghai, The Beats Collective and DJ Jase in Saigon, the B-Side Family in Manila, BTC crew and Gothtrad in Japan, my man Nick from Hydra Tokyo, Ashram crew in Jakarta and Juice Magazine in Malaysia) There are many more, but the list is getting to long. I also have to go now, because the rain is coming and I need to close the blinds or my whole house will be under water. Monsoon time…..

And lastly, If I was Lost In a Supermarket, you’d find me…
In the cheese counter.

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