Sabotage Soundsystem is a two-man machine made up of Big Island surfers and Pepper band members, Remy “Dub” DeRochemont and Kaleo Wassman. Hailing from the West Side, the two began making music together casually in 1999, and in the years since have developed a professional working relationship that allows each to flourish in the freedom of thoroughly knowing the other. The result: an operation broad enough to crush the biggest sound, and a tight-knit unit that can hold it down. “What I love about Dub is that he encourages frequent surf breaks during recording sessions,” says Wassman. “If something wasn’t clicking or didn’t feel right we would just bail and go surf. Clear the mind, then come back and hit it again fresh,” adds DeRochemont. It is a key partnership… those familiar with the pair’s previous musical endeavors will immediately recognize the hallmark respect for each other and give-and-take in their sound.
The new venture for the duo culminates in music that has a decidedly laid-back rural island feel, while at the same time it is clear the two come into their own with influences and experiences that come from worldly travels, international exposure, and a long life on the road. As the title, The Boto Machine Gun implies, the new album is all at once dirty, sexy, and lethal. A guerrilla style recording, this weapon was built in people’s houses and garages on both sides of the sea, from Hawaii to SoCal. With just two members hammering out the entire production start to finish, The Boto Machine Gun retains its original integrity and is delivered to us as a cohesive and visionary effort— boasting a fresh, rough, raw, and lawless sound you probably didn’t realize you were missing. The pair pulls influence from “pretty much everything,” says DeRochemont, “soul music, Otis Redding style, Hawaiian music, dub, hip hop… we have always been into the Jamacian Soundclash scene.” Having chops from long standing careers in the industry, the boys are able to mash it up effortlessly.
The ease of Sabotage Soundsystem’s primitive sound is their signature this time around. For these musicians, no rules equals more fun. “We are open to each others ideas, and we laugh all day long at each other,” DeRochemont reveals. What is purposely lacking in over-production type polish only enhances their stress-less and hard hitting sound. The Boto Machine Gun’s first-take, analog sound on a digital budget is refreshing in its simplicity and as riveting as heavy rounds being fired off. “The way we recorded it was so relaxed,” he continues. “Previous to this we had always been up in LA recording studios in kind of a stressful environment… A lot of the stuff is first takes. No pitch correctors. No producers. Just two friends drinking some wine and having fun laying down tracks.”
The seventeen-deep album is set to include cameos from other lifelong friends, Big Island rappers Philly Blunt and Splinta of Arena Productions. Five additional tracks were trimmed and withheld for release at a later date. However, among the tracks which made the album, Wassman insists “there are no favorites, just adventure in all of them.” Indeed, it is a cool and deadly canon from which it is hard to pull just one song to be partial to. “Constant Reminder is really meaningful to me ‘cause it was written about a really hard time in life,” relates DeRochemont. Its upbeat tempo and echoing chorus earmark this track to easily be an early single.