negative pH first hooked up in the Fall of 2000; back in the day when Mike and Josh each had their own music on MP3.com. Mike was stationed at Helemano Reservation laying hip-hop and experimental tracks with the likes of e-mac and Josh was deeply involved with the community theatre program as a student at the University of Hawaii, composing for stage productions. Once they began to collaborate, it wasn't long before each of their individual talents started to surface (Josh's diverse musical heritage and Mike's brilliant drum sequencing) and merged to create the negative pH sound you can hear today.
Their first collaborative effort produced the song "Liminal Space" and was quickly followed by "Rising Sine". When Mike received the MIDI file of "Destination Skyline" from the boys of the Swedish group Aura (the source of Trance) their efforts stepped up to create a remix that rivaled the original.
Continually experimenting with sounds and genres, the boys of negative pH soon discovered their talent lay in Drum'n'Bass and new age. Their sound is undergoing a new process -- an evolutionary process -- and perhaps a revolutionary one as well. They hope to share this sound with you as they constantly strive to reinvent the sound of the underground electronic scene.
isotope (josh fanene) - hard & software synths, drum sequencing, spoken word
mike B (micheal bailey) - hard & software synths, drum sequencing
negative pH - liminal space (2004)
entire album available for download/streaming at
Headed for commercial success
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NEGATIVE PH Liminal Space (Self-released) With their first collaborative effort, Negative pH is...NEGATIVE PH
With their first collaborative effort, Negative pH is already headed for commercial success. Armed with drum-and-bass techno rhythms and the raw intensity of a Casio keyboard on Redbull, Mike B and Isotope (Josh Fanene) bring back the days when clubs filled with people dancing to techno and rave. "Propaganda" evokes visions of Lords of Acid dancing in your head. But, unlike LOA, they change it up very fast. "Thalassa" starts ocean waves that evoke the Chariots of Fire theme, while "Eroica" exudes a Forest For the Trees/electronica/rainforest/tribal sound, and "Narkotique" reveals a Robert Miles influence. More, "Pressure" starts off very KLF and Utah Saints, but then enter techno rap. This album teases and tantalizes, and makes you want more. -- Allie Shaw
RadioAid interview with Drum and Bass revolutionaries: Negative Ph
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Negative pH is one of the most creative duo's that I've come across in my experiences with the onlin...Negative pH is one of the most creative duo's that I've come across in my experiences with the online music scene. I know both of these guys for several years now, and personally, I feel that they have just scratched the surface in their unique production. They combine a sense of drum and bass along with ambient pads, hard rhythmic breaks, mind bending textures and shifts that make a person wonder where this style of music has been hiding among the other 1,523,638 styles of different electronic music. Hmmm, creating a style that's not neccesarily a style, that's quite an acheivement... and I feel that these two can do more than just pull that concept off, they can combine their talents to slap the word "genre" right out of the musical dictionary alltogether.
ARTIST INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
1. How long have you guys been creating music?
Josh: Since 2001, I think
Mike: According to one of Liminal Space's (our first track working together as Negative pH) individual track recordings... the created date says December 6th 2001. So somewhere around there.
2. How'd it first come about with you two working together?
Josh: Mike emailed me and this other guy I was working with. Said he liked my music (the other guy didn't do too much, really). So we met out at the barracks he lived in Helemano Hawaii. Stuff went rather slow at first, and we didn't really click until the third wheel got dropped.
Mike: Yeah, initially we did a lot of work together with Josh's old label. Generally radio commercials, small recording gigs, stuff like that. Then about 6 months after that I called him up and said "Hey man, uh, I noticed that when you and I make a track, its like a million times better than anything that we do solo so… want to work on some stuff?" and that's how we got started.
3. Army brat's eh? Who got into more trouble during their stay w/ Uncle Sam?
Josh: most definitely me. I got my start in electronic music from going to raves, clubs like the Buzz at the Capitol Ballroom in D.C., and hedonistic after-hours get togethers on the east coast
Mike: Yeah, I generally was able to talk myself out of any trouble that I got myself into, but from the stories he tells, Josh definitely did the craziest shit in the military out of the two of us.
4. Who works on what? Do you guys have specific parts of songs that you work on (i.e. Mike works on hats and pads, Josh works on kick drums and leads, etc.)?
Josh: I usually come up with the melodies, pads, rhythms. I think I turned mike on to the ethnic sounding drum stuff like Capoeira skins, and Japanese Taiko, Polynesian wooden drum patterns, that sort of thing.
Mike: I've always been a beat oriented guy, working a lot with breaks and crazy IDM type stuff, and generally my melodies were very simple riff type things... That's one reason why I think Josh and I work so well together because he writes this beautiful, complicated string/pad sequences and I usually put in the beats, effects, transitions and most of the underlying rhythm stuff and the end product usually is a very well rounded track.
5. So, you guys both lived in paradise, what's the best and worst part of living in Hawaii?
Mike: The best part is the fact that it doesn't get hot, and it doesn't get cold. It's just right all year around. Also the girls, Hawaii has some of the hottest chicks on the planet, and I was lucky enough to snatch up one of them for myself (my fiancé, Maile) the worst things, if you like driving, forget it. Number one, half the streets in the downtown area are one way so if you miss your turn plan on driving for a while before being able to turn around, plus just traffic congestion in general sucks. Also, no road trips. You can drive for four hours and end up right back where you left off. Overall it isn't bad and I can bitch too much about the living expenses only because I was in the military the whole time but Josh can vouch for that end for sure.
Josh: Fuck, it's expensive. Hawaii's cost of living is high and the wages are low. Land, food, and fuel are much higher than most places in the mainland. It's hard to find a good job even with a degree unless that degree is in social work, education, medicine/nursing, and I.T. The main good thing about Hawaii depends on what you like to do. If all you want out of life is to live with 3 generations of your family until you're forty, work in the service industry (hotels, restaurants, retail) and make at most $10.00 hourly, and then go out to blow your weeks paycheck on lap dances and "massage" parlors--Hawaii's great! But since that's not my thing, and the arts scene out here is really anorexic (people still listen to booty!).
6. You both don't live in Hawaii any more do you?
Mike: Yeah, I'm in Vegas right now. Trying to get my life back on track here.
Josh: I'll be moving to San Francisco on October 28th.
7. How does that work? Making music so far away from each other?
Josh: Lately, we haven't been doing much. But what we HAVE done, we did via Broadband. Broadband is a must!! I write some midi stuff, dump it to wav, and upload it to him via MSN or AIM. He gets it along with an Acid file or Acid-ZIP file and does his thing. The same process also works in reverse.
Mike: Yeah, lately it has been slow. A couple months ago my computer bombed and when I reinstalled everything Acid wouldn't work. I later found out that in order to fix the problem I would have to completely reformat my machine, unfortunately I'm currently finishing up some video projects for some local bands and as soon as that's done and over with Ill reformat and hopefully by that time Josh will be moved in and settled down in San Fran so we can basically pick up where we left off.
8. What happened to your projects you each had prior to Negative pH?
Josh: I still work on my side projects. I just changed names two or three times. Isotope now, used to be Isotope pH, since I siphoned off some of my solo stuff into -pH, and before that it was (really cheesy) pH@tty @cid Productions. Mike hooked up with me when I called myself pH@tty @cid...
Mike: I used to do a lot of stuff waaaaaay back in the day under aliases: dj fony, disfony, and just fony. Now I don't do any solo work as I am never happy with my melodic compositions. So if I'm not working with Josh I focus more on other multimedia stuff such as web design, graphics, video and all that. I'm more of a producer/remixer type of guy as opposed to making complete compositions, but who knows, maybe eventually Ill get back into it but as for now anything that I come up with goes straight into the "Negative pH future song" fund.
9. Have you ever played live? Do you ever plan to in the future?
Josh: Fuck yeah. And fuck yeah. Keep trying to persuade mike to start planning out a live set for us. We came ***this**** close to doing a live gig, but then Mike had to move, so that fell through. The future promises to hold some kick ass live performances.
Mike: Yeah yeah, all my fault, we WILL be performing live somewhere on the west coast hopefully within the next year. I'm determined to make it happen. We are basically done with the new album and now we need to finalize it and promote the shit out of it.
10. What's in your set up? Computers/keyboards/efx?
Josh: Damn, I only recently started working on an 800MHz desktop. Used to have a 400. These days I compose using mostly Reason 2.5. What a powerful application, let me tell you. I may export loops and one shot files into Acid where I have a little more control over the EFX (Waves Platinum and some miscellaneous freeware plug-ins) and higher quality sounding mixdowns. Reason offers some really amazing capabilities for automated mixing, though, so sometimes I work only in Reason. I have a JP-8080 rack that I used for lead/bass lines as in "Reanimation" and "Pressure" and "Eroica". Some of our best pads came from my JP and Mike's MS2k.
Mike: I'm working with a 1.73 MHz AMD which is why we usually work over at my place on tracks and all that. My music setup is a Korg N364, MS2000R, and a Behringer mixer. Used to have a lot more but to be honest, we get all the sounds and crazy crap that we need from the ms2k and jp-8080. Usually we layer the two together to get some really thick gritty lead leads, and generally the ms2k is used fro bass and the jp-8080 for its awesome pads.
11. How's the women situation?
Josh: Hitched and staying hitched. Engaged and happy.
Mike B: Picked me up a Local Hawaiian Girl while I was in Hawaii and dragged her out here to Vegas, and I plan on keeping her.
12. Do you guys use the internet to spread your music, how so?
Josh: Yeah, we post our stuff on Ampcast. http://www.ampcast.com/negativeph
Mike B: Don't forget http://www.negativeph.com So far though it has basically been word of mouth, but the fact that our track "Reanimation" made it to number one and has been in the top 5 of the Ampcast.com for a number of months has also really helped as far as promotion, too bad Ampcast has shut down its chart system though.
13. What would you like to accomplish the most with this project of Negative pH?
Mike B: Well, I honestly don't care if we get signed or whatever, I just think it would be cool to be able to walk into a local joint and people would know who we are and all that. I also would like to just play a bunch of shows, and just keep on making music you know? I always wanted to do the "band" thing but never really learned how to play a guitar or bass or drums or anything, but at least this way, when we do start performing, it will be something that a lot of people haven't seen or heard, which I think is the best part of the deal.
Josh: As for me, I really want to vent some of my personal world-views through Negative pH. We kind of got that going on with "Propaganda" and "Hypnosis" (unreleased)…but I have social-political leanings and for me art is a great way to communicate and raise consciousness about things like racism & genocide, workplace equity, feminist issues & gender equity, and child welfare for starters. On a less altruistic note, naturally, I aspire for Negative pH to carve a huge fucking niche in the music scene, creating a path for Mike and me to connect with others to explore world musical traditions, and gorge ourselves on the sounds of the world. I'll be the first to admit that I am a very competitive person who loves a good fight. I truly desire for us to end up on the top and know that with discipline and commitment to our goals we both have it in us to make it happen. Look out here we come!
14. Pizza's being ordered, what's on it?
Josh: LOLOOLOLOLOL. Thin crust, extra sauce, extra cheese, onions, olives, mushrooms, linguine, anchovies, sausage, pepperoni, and PINEAPPLE, or Tomato, Pesto, Sliced Garlic (not diced), sun dried tomatoes, extra cheese.
Mike B: Pineapple, that's it.
15. Mike, are you good at gambling? Josh can you hula dance?
Josh: I suck at Hula. Don't know my ass from a gourd drum. I grew up in Seattle and Tacoma, y'know! All I know is grunge, guitar, and goeducks.
Mike B: I have honestly never gambled and if I did I don't think that I would be any good at it. I grew up in Vegas and the last thing I want is to end up like those homeless people downtown or like those husbands with gambling problems on lifetime television (I swear my fiancé forced me to watch it, it sucked).
16. Where can we find you guys online? Favorite sites? Why do you enjoy those sites?
Mike B: You can always find me here http://www.dasmusik.net or http://www.dasmusik.com but our main music site is http://www.negativeph.com
Josh: http://www.ampcast.com/negativeph , for starters
http://www.ampcast.com/isotope , that's me only, of course
http://www.mp3.com (yeah, yeah, like who doesn't charge for services anymore?) that's where I started out getting into electronic music http://www.electronicscene.com/ph
Find more information about Negative Ph at the above listed websites or their homepage at http://www.NegativePh.com
Several must listens from Negative pH include:
- Negative pH feat. Emac - "Pressure"
Review by: David Midkiff
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‘Fully automatic drums’ and ‘a galaxy of gorgeous bass’ is only a metaphorical glimpse of powerhous... ‘Fully automatic drums’ and ‘a galaxy of gorgeous bass’ is only a metaphorical glimpse of powerhouse dimensions the drum’n’bass musical genre covers. There are many electronic bands that attempt to fill clubs with their pumping drum’n’bass sounds but few do it as well and as forthcoming as ‘negative pH’ does.
Warning! You are about to enter a world of ingenuity and brilliant craftsmanship.
‘Reanimation’ is a perfected current of fast paced drums and smashing bass that know no boundaries. With abstract effects filling the beginning sequence 'negative PH' pushes us into a wonderland of mood prodding bass and transcending effects that will leave the audience breathless. An entourage of smooth strings near the middle is the perfect mood defining touch to this masterpiece. There is little one can do but dance without shame or sit back and soak in the beautiful structure of this song. If this song were an object it would probably be a bulletproof vest. The best quality of this jam is that it is capable of prodding several contradicting moods in the human mind simultaneously. Aggression, exhilaration, and relaxation name a few. A barrage of metaphors and adjectives couldn’t possibly explain this song fully. If you are into drum’n’bass you should absolutely hear this song.
The skill and craftsmanship displayed by ‘negative PH’ is refreshing in this sometimes bland genre. One can’t help but sense a bright future for this up-and-coming duo.
Technical Skill: 8.50
Recording Quality: 9.50
Long Term Appeal: 8.00
Concert, CD boost local bands
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November 9, 2004 Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal Concert, CD boost local bands Doug Elfm...November 9, 2004
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Concert, CD boost local bands
On Thursday, a bunch of local bands head over to GameWorks to play an all-ages show. The bands on the bill are also on a local album called "Support Your Local Scene," although the full title of the CD has a curse word in it that won't get past my editors.
If you are saying to yourself, "I didn't even know that Las Vegas had a local music scene," then you are pretty much right on the money. There aren't many local bands in Vegas, considering this is a metropolis.
That's partly because there are very few all-ages venues in town. But Jillian's at Neonopolis and GameWorks have jumped into the all-ages fray, which is dominated by the House of Blues. The Huntridge Theatre is all-ages, but it's closed for the year for renovations.
The compilation album was put out by a student organization called The UNLV Polar Bear Club, which exists for local-music. The most striking thing about the 21-song disc is that it has a wide range of musical styles on it. There's metal, punk, alternative-folk music and hip-hop.
The best song, Negative pH's electronic DJ track "Propaganda," is good enough for a major-label album; the second half of the song is shockingly fun. Dirty Sanchez's "Rage & Anger" is a nice, grimy punk rock song that would have been perfect for slam dancing. And Infa Red's "Kart-Wheelz" has urgency in its rap.
There are some other decent songs, as well as some bad songs. But let's cut the CD a break. It's nice to see someone trying to help local music.
Thursday's lineup includes the bands GDB (ska), Jr. Anti Sex League (rock), A Beginner's Mind (pop-rock), Zerofingers (metal) and MC Randumb and Jewish Dave from the hip-hopping Polar Bear MC's.
Jewish Dave is Dave Rosen. He formed Polar Bear two years ago. He also works as a "lifestyle marketing representative" for one of the major music labels. That means he promotes major artists' new CDs in Vegas.
Rosen put out the album three months ago, but he's just now getting the concert together, because it took that long to book an all-ages venue.
"That's the big problem in our local scene," he says. "I can book a show 21-and-up anywhere in town. ... But the tough thing is all-ages."
The all-ages tag is important. Without it, attendance falls, and interest during a concert dwindles.
"The all-ages show always seem to way outnumber" 21-and-up shows in turnout, Rosen says. "The over-21 crowd just seems to be there to gamble and drink."
So we need more all-ages venues. That's my soapbox for today. Thursday's show starts at 7 p.m. The $6 cost includes a $5 game card and a copy of the CD. That's at GameWorks, 3785 Las Vegas Blvd. South.
Doug Elfman's Night Beat column appears Tuesdays.
9. 7th day
10. the hunted
12. rising sine
13. liminal space
14. liminal space (reprise)
Our set of all original music runs approx. 30 minutes (4 songs) to an over an hour (over a dozen songs) depending on the needs of the venue. We can easily tailor our set length to the needs of the venue as our sets organized in Ableton Live! under dozens of templates.