And here they are...
What does 'UBLF' mean? and Why do I like downtempo, trip-hop, chillout music?
I hope you have a bit of time to spend reading this post!
What does 'UBLF' mean?
No, it's not a urinary track infection of the most nasty kind nor is it a radio station from the hinterland of Uzbekistan.
It simply means "Uranium Based Life Form."
Now that you're not looking at the computer sideways wondering what in the heck I was thinking we'll head into the logic behind why I chose this name.
About a decade ago, I used to hang out at a coffeehouse in northeastern North Carolina where hard rock/death metal/stoner rock/rap metal/etc played in the back of the store. Bands would come through a few times a week and, because of my size at the time, I was asked to be the bouncer (I used to be around 280 lbs/127 kg/20 stone. Now I'm about 175 lbs/79.38 kg/12.5 stone). It was a great way for me to get in to see shows for free. I didn't mind one bit.
One of the regulars there also liked electronic music and we became fast friends. We hung out together, stayed up late watching MuchMusic's R.U.R.E.C.E.I.V.I.N.G., and dreamt of making electronic music. He showed me a magazine describing the Gabber scene somewhere here in the States. It incorporated heavy beats, loud sounds, and molecular destabilization of sorts. I wanted IN!
Because of this I decided on a possible name for a group: the Uranium Based Life Form. It arrived out of the fact that Uranium is a radioactive element and I wanted to create music that would destroy you. My comic book imagination stretched out and thought that if the C in Carbon based life forms was changed with a U, it would only bring chaos to the human race.
We experimented with groovebox sounds and keyboards without taking the "deadly" sounds. We split up eventually doing our own thing (but still working together to help fine tune our sounds). My friend took on the moniker of "Cybersada" and I kept my radioactive nickname. I toned down my sound exponentially going into more of a house/trance direction.
Over the next several months the computer became my instrument of choice and I dinked around with one of the first editions of Techno eJay to create my sound.
I've kept the nickname UBLF (as well as a slew of others, but for this blog it will suffice), and instead of wanting to destroy humanity - I want to radiate out downtempo vibes to help people find a chilled out denominator in their lives.
This brings me to the second question: "Why do I like downtempo, trip-hop, chillout music?"
I can answer this question in sooooooo many ways.
To me, the music is different from what most people listen to. Am I doing it to be different? Maybe, but in the long run it is a section of the musical spectrum I truly love and I try to share with as many people as I can.
Hence this blog and my podcast.
Remember my first statement that this is just one of many ways I can answer.
A part b of sorts would have to be the theraputic nature of the music.
I am a natural worry wort/awkward individual. I think what compounds this is my 'consciousness' of this fact.
Here's what I mean:
I tend to over think everything (for a good synopsis of this fact watch Halou's "Everything is OK" seen here).
I think I offend people all the time, or I've done something else to lose their trust, so I apologize for things that are boldly innocuous. My best friend can get annoyed by this fact and helps me through the ropes of frustration. People do tell me that I'm not as annoying as I think, which does help... but this post isn't about my "self-diagnosis."
It's about music!
The music helps me find a calming point, a catalyst if you will, so I can get to a state of being level, plumb, whatever. I understand that I have to allow this catalyst to get me to where I need to be, and more times than not it happens (I cannot go too much further without adding the virtues of my wife who is also a huge contributing factor).
When I start to focus on the lyrics, the beats, the melody and then allow them to flow through me, the therapy can help me find what I need to do and how to go about doing it.
The Chillout scene has been wonderful in helping me accomplish this.
There are other reasons, such as the multifacetedness (did I make up a word?) of the music going from the lounge scene to music you turn on in your room when you want to be alone. The history of the music pointing back to that calm down period between raves so people can just relax (see Ibiza), and the experimental nature most makers of the music tend to enlist are also other points that I enjoy.
Downtempo, trip-hop, chillout, lounge, dub, IDM, etc., may not be the cure all, but it's a nice "pill to swallow" when life gets a little testy.
I hope this answers a few questions people might have about me, this blog, and the nature of my podcast.
Update: I made some grammatical corrections which help clarify my points.