By Jacob Katel
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By Nate "Igor" Smith
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He has produced songs for and become friends with Afrika Bambaataa. He lives around the corner from Snoop Dogg. But Überzone's Tim Wiles is not a hip-hop star by any stretch of the imagination. You won't find him rocking the latest platinum chain. He has no entourage, unless you count his fiancée and their dog. And Wiles does not rap, though his technical precision as a producer and philosophy of releasing quality over quantity would make Dr. Dre proud.
Wiles whom everyone calls Q, as in James Bond's gadget guru is his own world-class wrecking crew, making memorable electro and breakbeat tunes that endure in the fickle world of dance music, where songs have the shelf-life of a turkey sandwich slathered in mayonnaise. After parting ways with his last record label, Astralwerks, he has toured for the past five-plus years with his live show, playing underground parties throughout several countries without the support of a label (by choice). And in that time he has rewired the way he makes music.
"So much has happened in the last five years regarding digital audio workstations and computer technology that made it possible to speed up the process, so I dumped a lot of the hardware and kind of went more to the software world," he explains. "I have only about six or eight keyboards now, every piece of software you could imagine, and a big computer. So it's a different kind of procedure, but with that came unlimited effects, unlimited instrumentation, unlimited voices, unlimited everything.... We're at the stage where it's so incredible that if you want to do something that's got electro-jazz elements or Afro-rhythms with Tibetan monk chants, anything you want to do is possible."
Überzone also performs live on Saturday, March 24, at Ultra Music Festival, Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. Visit www.ultramusicfestival.com.
Überzone's Miami appearances will provide an opportunity to hear new songs from Ideology, which will be his first album in six years when it is released in the spring on his own independent label, Equation.
Six years is a long wait for clubbers, but Q wouldn't have it any other way.
"I've always held to the philosophy that if I could go out and buy the music that I'm writing in the studio, I wouldn't bother writing it," he says. "That's part of the reason I write it and put it out I feel like it's something that might not already be out there. I love the process, but I wouldn't put it out if I could go out and buy it.
"When you know all the formulas and all the tricks and all the things you could do to go out and sell a million records and have the lifestyle you want and to not do it, it seems like insanity," says the plain white nonrapper. "It's not an easy way to live, but it's the way I choose to live."