Discovered by LTJ Bukem, Altitude has become one of the most consistent Drum and Bass producers in the region, and this month has releases on two important DnB compilations. Alongside that, Altitude – Aka Ali Taher – is making a rare appearance behind the decks for Bassworx, opening for Utah Jazz on April 24…
Congratulations on a big month – you’re included in 2 new releases, and opening for Utah Jazz. Which are you most excited about? As nice as the DJ gig is, my passion and aspirations lie mostly in production so I am always most fulfilled by the process of having music released.
The Fokuz Source of Life album comes out on seven 12 inch vinyls, that’s a pretty cool thing in this day and age… It is. Although they say vinyl is on the come back, labels still find it incredibly challenging to release music on this format and I suppose it means some brave label bosses are putting their necks on the line for the sake of music and artists they believe in - something I’m personally very grateful for. As well as the Fokuz album, I am included on the Ingredients Records “Substance” album which is also on 3 x 12” and out on the 27th of this month. I suppose you could say I’ve had a good wax this month!
You’re first single got picked up by LTJ Bukem – not a bad start! It was a great start and something quite unexpected that really helped give me an extra push to work a bit harder. Ironically the first track signed to Good Looking Records that got it all started for me never ended up coming out but he picked up a couple of other tracks after that that made it onto the “Bukem in Session” CD and then the most recent white label vinyl series before the label went into its second hiatus.
A lot of DnB seems to have got poppier or deeper in recent time, what’s your take on it? And do trends affect your output? Sometimes you have to look a bit harder to find what you want because of what is currently trending, but I like to think there is a healthy representation across all the different stylistic approaches to the genre at the moment. I’d like to say trends don’t influence me but I’m sure they must do. As a general rule though, I try to avoid listening to Drum & Bass when I am in a production cycle to try to make sure I remain focused on my own ideas.
There was a discussion on FB recently amongst a lot of Djs that in order to make it in music, you need to leave Dubai. Have you ever thought that, you’ve had some big releases? There seems to be some success stories out of Dubai across other electronic genres. You can probably be based anywhere and become a prominent artist these days. Gigs and DJ appearances around the world are probably only limited by how much time you are willing to commit to it and how much flexibility you have to travel. I haven’t thought about moving for music because I cant foresee a circumstance where I could commit 100% of my time to it
You don’t DJ that often, any reason why not? And does that make events like the Bassworx gig that more special? I never DJ at home for fun so it’s a case of being generally less interested in DJing than production for me. Locally, I get about one or two requests a year at most so that’s when I tend to do them.