Chee will be playing a set a Grietfest 2017 later this month. Following several years of lateral experimentation in sound design, this South African producer’s unique hybrid sound erupted into the international domain in 2016 with the release of his Shrodinger EP on the Dutch label Underslung and several self-releases.
His sonic innovation quickly caught the attention of prime heads in electronica, with tracks featured on leading Youtube portals such as Inspector Dubplate and with Noisia featuring Chee and side project IT HZ tracks on their radio show. With growing hype around his fresh approach and uncompromising bass experimentation with a heavy dancefloor edge, labels started to take a deeper interest.
Doorways opened across labels from a variety of genres, with drum & bass focused TYPE 91, CLOSE 2 DEATH and ALGORITHM releasing his fierce take on the sound, whilst rapidly rising bass labels UPSCALE and RENRAKU delivered his raw trap and future-beat / halfstep influenced material in its full devastating glory. His assured arc of fresh ideas took a firm step in 2017, with the release of his first full-length album FEAR MONGER on SATURATE RECORDS with 12 tracks of pure Chee sound that unfurled a mutant leviathan of bass and demonstrated utterly the potential of one of the most promising names in low-end heavy electronica.
Taking influences liberally from his surroundings and combining them into a complex pastiche of audio that has its origins in visual inspirations of visceral art and various theories incubated in the dynamic folds of the internet, as well as in the music that he wraps himself in from the likes of Noisia, Moody Good, Amon Tobin, Skrillex, Ivy Lab and Tsuruda – creators who are pushing at the very fringes of sonic possibility.
Chee’s sound has the potential to develop into a genre in its own right – evading being pigeon-holed and classified due to his unrelenting urge to experiment and explore fresh and ill sounds. With an array of high profile releases lined up for 2017, and international touring commencing – the scene is set for this young and gifted artist to flourish.
I spoke to Chee about his upcoming set at Grietfest 2017 and a few other things. This is what he had to say:
Where does the name “Chee” come from?
A combination of my nickname ‘Lee’ and my mom’s surname ‘Chez’.
If someone asks you “What kind of electro do you play?”, what do you tell them?
The direct current kind.
What are your thoughts on the current state of SA Electronic Music Scene?
It’s moving in waves. I can’t cover most of it because I’m usually focused on the underground but I’m loving the new sound thats coming out lately from guys like Subterranean Wavelength and Heads Will Roll. They’re bringing something new.
What can people expect from your set at Grietfest 2017?
A lot of new unreleased, exclusive material I might not play anywhere else. Grietfest is a very special event & my favourite electronic festival along with CTEMF so I’m planning to make it as unique as possible. Absolutely no genre restrictions, I’m playing everything!
I’d like to thank Chee for this interview and I wish him all of the best with his future musical endeavors.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Interviews category on Running Wolf’s Rant.