Australian producer Katalyst is a veteran of the Hip-Hop scene. Having produced three albums to this date as well as working with a large number of different artists, Katalyst is a man who is well assured and comfortable within his niche of soul infused hip-hop. Yet, he always seems to be searching for new sounds to produce. Having released three excellent mixtapes for free this year Katalyst demonstrated how is he still a force to be reckoned with. His solo work remains cutting edge, exciting and very much relevant.

In addition to his solo material Katalyst has worked with 7Stu7 and Fuzzface (Geoff Barrow from Portishead) in creating the Quakers project. An excellent album featuring thirty five separate MCs and a whole raft of fantastic production. This in mind The 405 managed to catch up to Katalyst and ask him all about his solo work and his role within the Quakers project. (click here to read our interview with Geoff Barrow)

You've had a very busy year, releasing three mixtapes. Are you proud of your output this year?

It seems like a lot of work all got finished around the same time. Work from a few different projects that were started at different times. Which is nice in a way. I think I will have another release from another new project out later this year as well.

Do you feel these releases differ greatly in sound from your previous work?

Well there just mix tapes and most my previous work has been album based. I have done a compilation in the past so more in that vein I guess.

What were your key inspirations behind the trio of mixtapes?

I did this mixtape series just for fun really. Also to promote an album I put out last year. A compilation I released called Dusted about 6 years ago was popular and people have always asked me to do another. So I thought this was a good way to share a bit of music with anyone who wanted to check it as well.

Why did you decide to embrace free mixtape format?

Seems like a good way to release a few mixtapes really. No one has tapes anymore and this is almost the closest thing to it. Plus you can share the music with lots of people easily, if people like it they can blog it and link to it etc.

Do you see the production of the mixtapes as experiments and a space to try out ideas or as genuine releases in their own right?

Their always interesting things to shape and play around with. But at the end of the day its just a format that seems to suit the way people are consuming music like podcast. I was just doing the 3 part mixtape sample series thing as an excuse to dust off a few records and share some of that great music. A mixtape is a mixtape in any format I guess.

Is 'Deep Impressions' in the same style as the mixtapes?

No. Its a 13 track producer album featuring a bunch of guest vocalists, singers and MC's along with a few instrumental tunes. More on a soul tip than Quakers.

Did you find working on the Quakers project very different experience from working solo?

I had a very different focus for this record, so in that sense it was a different experience. I have worked with lots of guests on records in that past so that bit wasn't all that different. But trying to get so many people to contribute and mix all 41 tracks was an experience in itself. I had Geoff and Stu in the UK who recorded some of the MCs there. They could also reference what I was doing as I sent it to them and give feedback etc. So I guess it was quite a unique experience in a way now I think about it.

I understand that you've known Geoff Barrow for some time but this is your first time working with him on this type of project together. Was it as you expected?

As you say I've know Geoff for some time and in that time we have worked together in various capacities, but never like this. But Ive worked with Geoff enough know what to expect, so their were no real surprises there. He brings out the best in people is a good way to sum it up.

Did you, personally, take a similar approach to your production with Quakers as you did with your previous work?

Not really. Quakers gave me a reason to write the sort of hip hop I'd wanted to write for a while but just didn't have a reason to so I was able to come at it from a different angel so to speak.

Quakers have a very distinctive sound, was it your intention to create something very new and different?

Our intention was to make an exciting hip hop album. Exciting to us anyway. It was also to make sure every track deserved to be on there. Hopefully we achieved to some extent. If it has a distinctive sound and feels like something new and different to people then that's good to.

Who were your key influences in creating the album?

The list would be long if you got into the nitty gritty, but producers like The Bomb Squad, RZA, Premier etc. are early influences on us in terms of making hip hop. There are so many diverse influence in my music nowadays, let alone Geoff's and Stu's so the best way to know who has influenced us on this Quakers album is really to listen to the music.

Do you hope to create more material with Quakers members in the future?

The Quake has only begun it seems. Once the dust settles from this one, there's bout to be more...



The self-titled Quakers album is out now (head here to buy it).