Mike Fabulous has been an innovator of the NZ music scene for many years, being part of groups such The Black Seeds, The Scribes Of Ra, Recloose, Deva Mahal and The Five Pleasures, Samuel Flynn Scott and The Bunnies On Ponies, Age Pryor, Fly My Pretties and The Tone Moons.  Mike talks to NiceUp about his latest project, his debut 7″ vinyl release.

Can you give us a bit of background info about yourself and what you’ve been up to musically?

I’ve been a musician now for around 15 years! I play a variety of different instruments to varying degrees, do the odd bit off DJing and love being in the studio producing and engineering. I’ve been involved in heaps of bands in the Wellington music scene over the past 10 years, and I’ve just shifted to Dunedin for a change of pace. It’s nice!

What are your major musical and creative influences?

Musically I’m very influenced by black music of all different kinds, and production wise I’m very attracted to the sounds of yester-year – 50’s, 60’s, 70’s (and today? I sound like an ad for classic hits). Creatively I’m influenced by the act of creation itself – I view it as a life-long commitment, there’s so much it can teach you about life itself. 

What inspired you to make the tune?  What made you want to release on vinyl?

I started collecting records when I was a teenager and I just love the format for all the usual reasons. It’s been a long held dream of mine to make them myself, and really that’s all I want to do. The A-side is an old tune of mine, from memory the original inspiration was hearing ‘Oboe’ by Jackie Mittoo for the first time. I wrote it on Toby Laing’s Wurlitzer at the old Cable Street studio’s. He just called me from Portugal! The B-side I wrote in Dunedin, trying to find that elusive meeting point where reggae and disco collide in a pleasant fashion..

So where can we get it from?

It’s a real small run of 150, available at Conch and Beat Merchants in Auckland, Slowboat and Real Groovy in Wellington, Galaxy in Christchurch, and Play It Again in Queenstown, Wanaka and there’s one copy in Invercargill!

And what other projects do you have coming up?

Aside from all the usual summer touring, I’m really feeling a lot of Latin music at the moment, and I’d like to make a record with Julian Dyne and his Auckland cronies, and all the usual Wellington suspects. If only I could fly them all down to my studio! I’m going to apply to Creative NZ and try and make it happen.

I’m generally interested in trying to mutate things as much as possible. I’ve made so much straight reggae in the past, but I kind of feel like that’s just doing my homework. I’m interested in trying to boil different things down and see what might be left at the bottom of the pot – so I guess this 7″ is kind of like a Reggae/Disco reduction.

Venus Hi Fi