Mr. Nasty & GuruGuru (aka Bass Agents) are synonymous with being the pioneers of hardstyle in KL and they’re still very much active in the industry, moving on to bigger things. Having been invited to play at in-Qontrol, which is the biggest hardstyle festival in Amsterdam and now aiming for Defqon next year, you can probably imagine why fans here, and around the world, are proud to wear their brand’s hoodie. Last H-Artistry in Kuala Lumpur though, the agents switched up their usual hardstyle for more of a hard electro-electro house set instead. JUICE had the opportunity to catch up with the agents to find out what they’re all about.
How did the Bass Agents form?
Bass Agents was formed back in 2000 when we were studying in Melbourne. We started DJing around the same time and had the same passion for hard dance music so we thought; instead of going against each other, why don’t we form an alliance? After graduating from uni, we brought back what we learnt and introduced it to KL and the rest is history.
How would you describe your sound as a producer and DJ?
Our early influence was house from the Backroom days, then we discovered hard trance, hard house and then hardstyle. We have always been attracted to high energy beats and driving bass-lines, hence when we play as Mr.Nasty & GuruGuru, our selections of electro house tracks are always euphoric and pumping at the same time. You can expect this from us this upcoming H-Artistry as we are looking forward to showcase this unique style.
How did you fall in love with hardstyle and were you always a fan of it?
Hard dance has always been our love and we were lucky to be there when hard house was at its peak. We were also fascinated with the melodies from hard trance. And around 2004, we started playing hardstyle, which became somewhat faster and more melodic than their early predecessors. The level of energy a hardstyle kick and bass emit in a club or festival is intense, overlay this with a euphoric melody on the break down, and you’ll get goosebumps.
What kind of feeling or emotion are you trying achieve with your music?
When we perform, we always love to see our crowd jumping, cheering and letting it out all night. That’s why we always keep the flow of energy high throughout our set as we feed the energy from the party people. The most rewarding is seeing the crowd at the end of the night leaving and smiling knowing it was an unforgettable night. We like to see them party like it’s still ’99!
As a kid, what kind of music did you listen to and did the both of you always dream of becoming DJs? If not, what were your other ambitions?
Mr.Nasty I’ve always been a fan of rock, hardcore and a little hip hop. Bands like Deftones, Rage Againts the Machine, Downset, System of The Down, etcetera, were the bomb. I was even in a band in high school. Music has always been a part of me and as I got older, I listen to everything and anything that tickles my senses. Being a rockstar was definitely my dream, a DJ today is pretty much the same right? (laughs)
GuruGuru When I was a kid, I listened to dad’s records. During that time, he had stuff like ‘Rock around the Clock’ (Bill Haley), ‘Twist Again’ (Chubby Checker) and I would jump on the coffee table and go nuts to ‘em (laughs). As I got older, I started listening to the radio and around my teens I got introduced to harder edgier sounds like ‘Sugar’ (System of a Down). Then came the 4×4 beats which we coin EDM today that totally blew my mind. The first time I heard BT’s ‘Flaming June’ and Wink’s ‘Highest State of Consciousness’, I felt something crazy & fuzzy inside me. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before and from then on I just kept digging for tracks that would make me feel like that. I never thought of being a DJ, it just happened along the way coz I’ve always wanted to be a “businessman”.
As a duo, you must have your differences when it comes to music. How do you guys channel these differences into something productive?
Surprisingly we both have the same taste when it comes to music, which we reckon is one of the main elements that enable us to work together for so long. Of course there are some slight differences when it comes to producing music, but we take this as an opportunity and advantage for improving and also improvising the song itself. The biggest advantage of being in a tag team is being able to tell each other off about our mistakes and learning from it. In a nutshell, constructive criticism is our key to productivity.
Hard-style in Malaysia used to be huge during the raving ‘Melbourne shuffle’ days and now people are complaining that it has become saturated or it’s just starting to come into its own. How would you compare the scene now and then?
When it was at its peak, everyone was in it for the music and the ‘Melbourne Shuffle’. It’s like a family, a big family and a lot of students came back from Melbourne bringing this culture back with them. Now at the present, we only get the hardcore and passionate fans of hardstyle. This genre of music has gone back underground in KL but they say it’s coming back and going mainstream. We shall see.
Collaborations seem to elevate a lot DJs and producers at the moment. Do you guys collaborate a lot with Malaysian artists? How about artists from abroad?
It is and somehow or rather it does. Everyone is sharing and collaborating which is awesome, this will definitely set to grow our standard locally. We been collaborating with other local producers but so far it has been experimental when it comes to finding our own sound. We also have a very young and talented producer under our arms ; DJen, who wrote the ‘Heart for Hard 2011 Dubstyle Anthem’ and has collaborated with us on some tracks for our Chronictraxx label. Keep a watch out on his productions. Outside of Malaysia, we recently did a remix for Melbourne’s ‘PHD Anthem’ which was released on PHD Digital Recordings.
What would you say is the biggest achievement of your music career so far?
We were honoured to be invited to play at one of the biggest hardstyle festival in Amsterdam, In-Qontrol by Q-Dance. We are currently setting our eye on Defqon next year. That aside, we are proud to build fans around the world wearing our brand logo hoodie; they would post videos and pictures with our music to us which is always entertaining.
How do you like your Hennessy served?
M Hennessy Apple! Match made in heaven.
G Hennessy Ginger for sommadat spice!
Finally, what can we expect from Bass Agents in the near future?
More music! We are looking at further infusing Bass Agents, Mr.Nasty & GuruGuru sounds and eventually we will be in full circle.
Hennessy Artistry happened on 8 September. You can check out more of Bass Agents at their website, www.bassagents.com.