Legendary U73b German Engineering In The Digital Age!

U73b Plug

At the end of the press release for this plugin the developers assure the reader that “We’re sure you’ll like what you hear!”

They are not wrong…. this is a really nice piece of kit, a curious bit of vintage boutique audio brought back to life to provide us with a beautiful tone that so many of us have grown up with and had imparted deep into our subconscious from listening to the countless classic records mastered through these processors…


The U73b started life as a grey metal box, a cassette style module, broadcast gear from Germany and Eastern Europe. TAB Telefunken, Seimens, Neumann and Filtek all had similar looking format modules, compressors, limiters, eq’s, built to meet the exacting standards of pristine audio that broadcast demands… In the UK it was the likes of Neve and Calrec that provided the level of quality required in the broadcasting field, so you can already get the picture that the hardware being modelled here was absolutely top notch…

My good friend Fritz has had some of these modules lurking in his “One day i’ll get these racked up and working” box forever… But the know how, maintenance and patch bay drama is making less and less people use hardware anymore, let alone the rarer more exotic pieces of gear… The times may have changed but the quest for the sound remains..

If you’re reading this then you’ll doubtless already know of the multitude of emulation plugins that offer analogue mojo in the virtual world…

The biggest companies officially license the rights to emulate the original gear, there is evidently enough people desperate to reintroduce analogue texture back into their music that the emulation game is now big business, companies like UAD, Waves and Slate Digital are arguably the big players leading the way, but something very interesting is now starting to happen….

Smaller companies with some very talented coders and builders of algorithms are popping up at indie level and making available some incredible and fascinating emulations of more obscure or rare lesser known personal favourite pieces of equipment, companies such as Boz Labs, Kush, Tritone and Klanghelm deserve an honourable mention.


Audified (I’d never heard of them) developed the first audio effect plugins for Apple’s OSX and some of the first plugins for TC Powercore…So it turns out there is more to this seemingly small company than meets the eye.. They now choose bring us the U73b Classic German Broadcast turned Mastering compressor/limiter as a plugin alongside their other offerings which include some interesting amp and pedal simulations I have not yet had the pleasure of using..

So why model the U73b module?

Artist and Producer Boris Carloff is responsible for the choice, he says:

My weakness is a pathologic love for vintage german mics and audio and I’m always surprised by sound and craftsmanship of old German broadcast preamps and dynamics or eq. I noticed that not so many people especially in US had possibility to  even try these gems and mostly use US made vintage stuff. The U73b is something extraordinary. Everybody knows Fairchild but nobody U73b.. Why? So that’s where the idea was born..”

The emulation offered here models every component of the complete circuit exactly, when I asked about their modelling technique and how it may differ from compeitors lead programmer Jarda Macak had this to say:

If you consider a faithfull emulation of the circuit, then the basic approach is proper analysis of the whole cicruit and each component resulting in a complete mathematical model which is to be solved in real-time. Of course I don’t know how our competitors solve this model so I can’t really say how much our modelling techniques differs from the others. But our algorithms are based on real scientific research which was done in cooperation with universities.”

This is all very well of course but what is important to us music makers is what meets the ear…. The sound of this U73b plugin does not disappoint, it sounds brilliant, yes it adds a vibe, yes it is quirky and for the limited amount of controls available it takes a minute to get used to… but it oozes quality, it has that vibe Like a piece of real hardware there is a feeling that you have to learn it, find the right way to push it to get what you want from it…. but something about the sound just feels intrinsically right….

As with the hardware there is bass roll off with this plug engaged, broadcast and vinyl mastering compressors would do that and as a faithful recreation this feature is present here, however I have gathered that by the time you will be reading this the update will allow the user to switch this aspect of the behaviour off… allowing a more modern sounding option, this sounds like a good idea and I for one welcome this move… no need to be a die hard accurate model if offering a choice to the user makes it more versatile without compromising the subtle tones imparted. The plugin offers compressor mode, Limiter mode and a bypass option where it doesn’t compress or limit but the audio still passes through the virtual circuit, it also features a side chain option too.. Very cool!

I have tried the U73b on vocals and it really shone, I have used it to make the drum bus sound wonderful, it rolled off a bit of bottom which gave the bass room, the drums however kept their punch and also gained character and body somehow… I have used it on deep bass without the compressor or limiter mode engaged which still gives a saturation and analogue tone to the signal.. subtle but lush and very beneficial in my experience.

This a boutique offering, not everyone will have this, So it has the potential to be like a secret weapon for those in the know, just like having one racked up in the corner of your studio that gets patched in for certain duties… A rare breed and great to have in your arsenal….

The only place i didn’t try yet was strapped on the output across the whole mix bus… Might go do that now… I won’t write anything about that here though because I implore you to go and at least get the demo and try this product for yourself!

It is protected by iLok2 and installed via redeemable license code, worked flawlessly and with zero hassle… I think it’s a must have….

I definitely highly recommend this plugin… Get it from Audified for $149 here:



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The Pursuit of the Tone, First Love and Coming Full Circle!

I remember reading one of the computer music production magazines way back around 2002, a small side column caught my attention where a featured artist/producer  (I can’t remember who) mentioned this VST plugin called ValveTone62 and cited it as a real favourite, waxing lyrical about it’s ability to bring some analogue vibe into the digital arena and stuff..


Having only ever known studios filled with outboard, tape machines and consoles up until that time, like many I had was excited with the transition toward the ‘In the box’ world of the virtual studio that has now since become the norm..

However it did feel as though something was missing….

Those early days seem distant now, so much has happened, so much has evolved and technology leapt forward, coding techniques have changed, the platforms and frameworks have changed, the cpu power is now in a different league…

But what hasn’t changed… Is the human ear… The air we move, the soul that is touched…

So I went and bought ValveTone62 in search of a bit of that analogue vibeyness I missed, On the strength of that brief mention I had read, coupled with the rather attractive looking GUI in the picture, It actually became the first plugin I ever bought, I added it to my stock Emagic Logic setup and instantly fell in love…

It really did seem to add that bit of ‘vibe’ back in, I loved the ‘Sitter’ and ‘Thick’ presets on my favourite bass sound..  The sound from my Korg TR Rack, recorded into Logic with the ValveTone62 plugin on it became a staple diet in my tracks…


I also added the extremely generous ‘ColorToneFREE’ plugin the good folks at Tritone were giving away as a taste of the full ColorTone Pro..

The ColorTone plugin was so ahead of it’s time it is unreal when I think about it now, in fact the whole Tritone ethos was amazingly ahead of it’s time, ever since then there has been a steady stream of new plugin developers arriving and adding their attempts at bringing that analogue ‘mojo’ into the digital realm.. Many claiming to be the most accurate, most non linear, organic, warm and authentic, offering tube saturation, valve distortion, modelled transformers, components, whole circuits… All of them and every user who has bought these products has been in search of the same thing… The pursuit of Tone!! Analogue sounds in a digital world..  I don’t remember anyone else really doing it before I found Tritone, they were definitely very early to the party…

ColorToneFREE had this beautiful SSL model and it delivered what I had been missing in the box.. I produced a whole album for Scott Johnson and that sound was the glue on every track throughout… Happy Days..

Then as OS updates and DAW updates came and went, newer plugin invaded my folder and compatibility issues arose for older pieces of code (The death of runtime upon which older Tritone Plugins depended), my ValveTone62 hung in there, got updated to an Audio Unit at some point because I needed to open an occasional older song, but in the passage of time Tritone Digital and those pioneering and groundbreaking plugins became all but lost in my world buried beneath a thick molten layer of all the code that followed them..

Until now…. Fast forward 2015

One morning, I visited Gearsluts as one does, only to be greeted by a Tritone Digital are back and 64bit ready thread title… I rubbed my eyes with hazy disbelief… Followed a link and to my surprise, it was true, boom they were back!.. It all came flooding back, it then occurred to me that as ValveTone62 had been my first analogue modelled plugin love affair that it would be a great idea to revisit some of their offerings and see how they fared in the current climate and highly populated and competitive analogue emulation plugin marketplace…


I eagerly loaded a Logic song, started comparing the  CT 560 and ColorTone Pro plugins alongside other counterparts from UAD API (560) and the UAD Studer and Ampex, Slate VCC and Virtual Tape plugins, SoundToys Decapitator and Klanghelm SDDR..

Now I must be clear, I didn’t map the curves, level match or analyse beyond using the human ear, but here’s the thing, the ear is what the audience hear the music with.. the route to the heart and soul of the listener right?

So how did the Tritone Plugins fare against the current crop?

Interestingly the UAD API 560 and Tritone’s CT560 were quite different yet definitely had a related vibe, if I tweaked them deliberately I could get them pretty close to each other but it was reminiscent of two hardware units that had aged and didn’t sound exactly the same although you could tell they were the same if you see what I mean?, the punchiness that is associated with API models was present and the high end was crisp, the UAD at first felt more substantial but when I realised that if I didn’t try to match the controls and just went by ear alone  I got them  a lot closer.. Both are great EQ’s… the Tritone held it’s own very well against a heavyweight contender from UA..


ColorTone Pro is a very, very cool plugin, it is packed with emulations of tape machines and pre-amps, it has a wonderfully simple interface to use and yet delivers so many great variations of that sought after warmth, gentle saturation and analogue flavour with an easy and effortless elegance, this plugin just sounds nice… plain and simple, it does affect the sound, it does not pretend to be transparent, it is what it says a blatant ‘Color Box’ and to that end it succeeds with great results..

It compared really well with the current saturators and tape emulations because it was somehow more than just another variation, there is just a certain roundness to the sound after the signal passes though this plugin… I wonder if this ‘vintage’ code somehow has more ‘mojo’ than it’s newer and younger rivals? Funny to imagine, but somehow I know i’ll be using ColorTone Pro a  lot more than some of the other competitors available… It has a character of it’s own..

The Tritone guys names their company after two recording studios they each owned, Trinity and ValveTone.. Hence Tri-Tone.. so not because of the weird horror piano, death metal musical interval… These guys know their gear, have a historical pedigree and most importantly have an obvious love for the analogue ‘tone’ and their plugins reflect this vibey sound so well…

Damon Salvator

They are proof that age is indeed nothing but a number, if you want vintage soulful tone then maybe vintage code is your perfect choice, they are priced fairly and customer support is very good…

It really is All About the Tone’ and I cannot wait to see what else these guys come up with next now that they are back!




*at the time of writing Tritone have a sale on until Valentines Day Feb 14th 2015

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A Local Legend & The Perfect Valve Mic Pre Amp Design..


Meet Dave Barnett a local legend…..

When I moved to the South Coast it wasn’t long before I heard talk of Dave, his reputation precedes him locally. If you need something fixing, something no one else know’s how to mend?… Call Dave, or if you have a dusty old piece of kit you want racked? Go see Dave..

Everyone from renowned record producers to local schools and church halls bring their vast array of broken gear to Dave..

This is also how I met him, I was passed his number by a friend, I called him and reluctantly he agreed to let me come by his workshop with my rack of SSL compressors that had an intermittent crackle on one channel, next was a Tesla Channel Strip I had that he built a PSU for and racked, then he built me a custom built PSU for another box full of Calrec modules I was putting together which without Mr Barnett and his kind and patient assistance would never have happened.. I use them lovingly everyday and am forever grateful..


So I have taken to staying in touch with Dave and seeing how things are going with him and his real passion, building handmade British Valve Guitar Amps with his partner Clive Davies under the moniker Barnett Davies, their Fifteen-Thrty Valve Combo Amp is very highly acclaimed and is a thing of beauty, it is a totally high end boutique product, all classic British hand Built legendary valve goodness, do a google search and if you are serious about your guitar sound you really do need one!


It was a summers afternoon on one of my visits to his workshop one day that I really got talking to a man who’s talents are thoroughly wasted on repairs!

His personal quest into audio sonics began many moons ago as a youngster building hi-fi amplifier kits and attempting ambitious projects such as converting his fathers radiogram into an electric guitar amp… My observation is that Dave has made this his lifes work, a kind of obsession, a passion… I have it on authority that even kicking back in the tropical sun on a beach in the Caribbean he will still be found with a pencil and paper working out new and interesting circuits he dreams of trying someday to investigate their sonic potential… True dedication.


One such idea is the Barnet Davies Valve Mic Pre Amp. Based on an intriguing vintage valve driven mic amp circuit by RCA, apparently at some point a while back he fixed and racked a couple of these mic pre’s for a client and during testing he was so impressed with their performance he was inspired to recreate the circuit and then go on to update it and even hopefully improve upon it…


He shows me his hand drawn circuit diagram, I can’t claim to understand much of what I see before me on paper, but my interest is peaked when he produces the circuit board hand built from amongst the multitude of parts, tools and critically ill pieces of gear in the middle of open heart surgery…

He explains the background to me and rattles of names of valves I vaguely recognise and specs I don’t fully understand but by the time he’s through I’m totally enthralled and I just want to hear this thing in action!

We part company on the premise that when it’s built he’ll let me know and I can ‘have a play’ with it and offer my humble opinion.. Which I gratefully agree to do… I drive of into the sun feeling the valve warmth to come..

Over the coming weeks periodically I check in and on the occasions when I actually bypass the ‘I’m Now Retired’ answer phone message and get through to the man himself I’m assured that when he’s got something clever to say.. he’ll call me..

Months pass…. In fact we reach Christmas, then New years…

Suddenly.. Out of the blue on January 5th I get a missed call from him, I call back and am unexpectedly told.. ‘It’s Ready!’


I go over the next afternoon and after being talked through the features onboard the box before me and after multiple disclaimers about the one off temporary nature of the presentation and case, how the actual product will look different when it eventually see’s release both inside and outside… I get to take home a two unit rack with two channels of hand built Barnett-Davies valve mic pre amp goodness to try out for myself..

One side using the original valve spec from the vintage RCA design and one side uses the updated configuration and i’m getting to try them both and compare!!!

I get home, plug it up, drink coffee and before long I have tried them both, I find I like the Barnett-Davies tone more, it’s close but it’s somehow fuller sounding, no i’m not a stooge just saying that, it makes me happy that it worked out that way but I wouldn’t let the fact I like Dave a lot sway me..

The sound is clear and lush, detailed and yet full, has a subtle character until pushed but can then break up a bit in a really nice way when driven a bit more.. Every nuance is audible, I’m only using pretty low grade mic’s such as an AT3033, AT4040, Shure SM7b and SM58

I also personally like the homemade look of this temporary unit, I try it on vocals, acoustic guitar.. Next is melodica.. All sound really good… It looks so cool in my rack..

I start feeling pangs of sadness knowing it’s not really mine to keep, knowing i’ll have to give it back is already hurting..

I begin plotting the sale of two of my existing pre amps on Ebay so as to justify offering Dave the proceeds to allow me to keep this unit..

I’m in love with it, knowing I won’t need another valve mic pre ever if I have this..

I’m avoiding calling him to tell him how much I am enjoying it because I know it’ll be a heartbreaking conversation or an expensive one.. I think the retail cost of this might work out at £300 per channel and he’s planning single channel half rack units..

But i’ll tell you what… when these are ready to buy…. You better get in there and grab one quick… It takes a while for him to get around to putting them together amidst the piles of repairs and back orders of their legendary Fifteen-Thirty guitar amp..

Like I said, this man is wasted on repairs, just like this mic pre he is a true individual and has tons of character..

Eventually he rings me to see if I’m still alive or if no news is bad news…

The only bad news is gonna parting with this baby… I’m trying to convince him to build another that I can buy in the time it takes me to come to terms with returning the prototype..

I hope he calls it the Barnet-Davies Mic Pre-Wrequisite 23-7

It’s sound is a thing of beauty and rare clarity…

Check the Barnett Davies Site at: http://www.barnettdavies.com/


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Big Dutty Bass “Deckwrecka” Plugin Available for Free!


In conjunction with the infamous code master Chris j @ AirWindows we are proud to present a really cool little freebie ‘Deckwrecka’ plugin…

Throw it onto a 909 or 808 kick and see what happens as you slide that innocent looking lil slider about a third of the way…. Use it gently on the drum bus… Smash it on a sub bass..

Don’t forget to pass through the AirWindows site and see what the man really does.. His full set of tools is very comprehensive and a best kept secret… Some very cool specialist sonic weapons.. Remember where you heard it first and thank me later!!

His plugin are fully 64bit AU format, have no fancy GUI or overcomplicated stuff that goes wrong or bugs you.. but they sound brilliant.

‘In the Mix…. No One hears your Screen….’

Download the ‘Deckwrecka’ plugin here:  http://www.jinxtigr.com/f/Deckwrecka.dmg

Check the full range at AirWindows Site:   http://www.airwindows.com

Leave feedback..

One Love.


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WreckaWear Is Now Available!!


Now you can show some love, support and represent with the availability of Limited edition Wreckawear gear!

We have beautiful quality WreckaWear hoodies in adult(XL) and kids (9-11yrs) sizes, we have WreckaWear baseball caps and Castro Army Caps all with beautiful embroidered Original Deckwrecka Logo, styles available are pictured here… The T-Shirts are soon to follow..

Place your orders and pay via Paypal buttons below and feel free to drop us an email if you have any specific requests leaving your name and Paypal email address details and we will try our best to accommodate you..  mailto: zilla@agzilla.com

Make sure you order what you want and want what you order as processing returns and refunds is not on our ‘to do’ list unless the item is defective.. but our quality control team will ensure this not to be the case…. So ask any questions before your purchase please!

Red Adult (XL) Hoodie Buy Now Button

Blue Adult (XL) Hoodie Buy Now Button

Kids  (9-11) Red Hoodie Buy Now Button

Baseball Cap in White    Buy Now Button

Baseball Cap Charcoal    Buy Now Button

Castro Style Cap Olive   Buy Now Button

Castro Style Cap Khaki  Buy Now Button

Rock the WreckaWear with pride, Your affiliation and support is appreciated…

One Love!


Posted in Hip Hop clothing, Hip Hop Fashion, Urban Accesorries, wreckawear | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clariphonic, Getting High and Life at the Top..


This is something special… Having been a very happy customer of Kush Audio in the past having bought their UBK-1 Plugin (Which is excellent and gets used here a lot) I reached out to Greg Scott on a popular audio forum we post at and was really excited and most honoured to receive a message of support from him for my blog!

Along with his enthusiasm and positive vibes also came a license for the Clariphonic EQ plugin for review purposes.. So I could not wait to get to using it and hear what it was all about…

Now as ever I will make it clear, this isn’t gonna be some long ass technical jargon filled report, no plotted diagrams or whatnot, do a search.. those kind of reviews are out there if the in depth scientific approach is your thing…. You won’t find it here!

I believe a bit of real world, real use, problem solving, track enhancing is perfect for checking out this piece of virtual gear.

So I installed it and authorised without issue, no iLok problems, works with iLok 1 or 2 flawlessly which is a relief after the recent issues with the new PACE system which thankfully now seem to be all resolved..

So five minutes later I’m armed with Clariphonic and can fire at will..

The plugin is modelled after their hardware release of the same name and Kush let it be known openly that the plugin version gets about 90% of the way there sonically, which is unique in itself when nearly every other developer of virtual gear claims to have complete dead on emulations that will make the hardware obsolete etc..

Yet here you have a company making both hardware and software letting the reality be known openly… which is refreshing to say the least!

As ever the convenience of multiple instances and instant recall verses the extra sonic ability of the physical unit is the discussion at hand… Having not had the pleasure of trying the hardware version yet I don’t know the gulf in audible difference myself but believe me, as you will see, having multiple instances of this unit available in hardware or software form will never be a bad thing..

So with the new piece installed and available I decide to just carry on working as normal  and wait until I need what it offers naturally rather than throwing it onto everything in order to avoid the ’emperor’s new clothes’ syndrome whilst testing it…

So eventually when I find the hi hat getting lost in the mix and the vocal needs a little more definition and clarity I finally draw for the Clariphonic and give it a go…

I think the thing with emulations of hardware is that the limitations of the hardware itself as well as the unique tone on offer can be where the specific creative vibes and choices you make come from.. the options being limited is part of the reason you can guarantee you’ll get a certain flavour from the given unit.. or reserve certain gear choices for specific purposes…

The Clariphonic does the highs, brightness, top end.. Whatever you wanna call it.. It adds a certain sparkle, sheen or gloss… detail.. and extremely well!

The minimal controls are labelled descriptively with words like Lift, Shimmer, Clarity and Focus. It has a cool distinctive look in the trademark Kush Brown, the whole thing feels like quality and this is only the virtual version! I’m already dreaming about the hardware just looking at it..

So I unleash it on the hi hat issue which it deals with easily because in truth it was not hard to solve, a boost with any decent EQ in the 10k region or so and we have the tick tick of the track buzzing nicely… but now the vocals… a human voice.. in this case a rapper who’s voice has that full bodied yet slightly monotone thing going on, like Guru (RIP) from Gangstarr and needs a bit more presence to invite the listener in, an energy boost somehow, bring out a bit more urgency without making him sound artificial or metallic if that makes sense?

Set to ‘Sheen’ and boost the Clarity control a bit, Select ‘Open’ and turn the Focus a little and suddenly the lyrics are not only more audible but are more engaging, it’s sounding like a finished performance and I am already well and truly sold!

So with this review in mind I decide to try and use another EQ to get the voice sounding as good, curiosity at work, I draw for a regular workhorse EQ capable of a broad spectrum of applications and set to work to recreate what the Clariphonic is doing to the voice and although I can get fairly close, upon comparison I am not getting the same result at all and in a way more importantly it’s taking a lot of time and effort, much too much fiddling around.. I’m not a technical genius, I’m much happier to reach for that special something and get the result I need in an instinctive an inspired way….

The Kush Clariphonic interface and the limitation it offers is a big part of the result because what’s on offer is somehow just right!

The Clariphonic plugin is really simple to use and just does what it does amazingly well… I don’t know how else to say it, I didn’t check what frequency the different controls boost, I just used it and felt the vibe of what it did, listened to the result and know I’ll be using it over and over whenever I want to address the tops…

This plugin is high end… Like the hardware itself no doubt… I hope to find out some day just how much higher it can take me… but for now… I gotta say I’m really digging this plugin and think you will too…

It is obvious from the previous UBK-1 plugin and now the Clariphonic that Greg and The House of Kush Team are not playing when it comes to the tone and audio quality they bring to the table, there is a certain passion for what they are doing that resonates through their products that I have experienced and so far that’s just the plugins..

Available for $149 from:  http://www.thehouseofkush.com/

They just sound seriously good… Recommended!


Posted in Audio Software, Music Production, Studio Equipment | 1 Comment

The Legend of the Golden Buckle..


The story begins as I’m sitting in front of the computer with no particular purpose..

I don’t really recall what led me there or if someone else had posted a link? At a push i’ll guess, although I might remember this wrong but there is a strong chance it was actually a Lee ‘DJ Def’ Lawrence post on Facebook that alerted me to the existence of the mighty Pyestar… Anyway…


Before we get too involved in the man behind the creation of this story, we need to take a short detour down memory lane, back into a time of Goose Country jackets, Straight leg jeans, Puma and Adidas sneakers with fat laces… yes fat.. NOT ‘phat’ that was later… A time when the art of Hip Hop was the foremost thing on the fledgling cultures radar, we were practising, building, taking part in and just being the phenomenon today recognised as Hip Hop and often mistaken for just ‘Rap Music’ (sic)

“Rap is something you do.. Hip Hop is something you live….” -KRS One

Rapping, Breaking, Graffiti, Deejaying, Knowledge… Peace, Unity, Love and having fun….. These were the pillars upon which our temple and lifestyle was built… We have strayed a long way from the tree as the fruit has fallen… Time moves on and we not only evolve but money corrupts… Nevertheless, beneath the surface sheen and disposable heroes lies a sleeping lion….

“No sell Out” – Malcolm X

I.S-LogoFIXED2So when I clicked the link and arrived at the InkStinkIzms page on facebook and saw what was being created there I was extremely impressed….

All the way back in those formative days, like many others I had got myself a shiny brass ‘name belt’ from the legendary Four Star General shop and was proudly rocking it for all to see along with my Kangol hat and Adidas boots..


So when I saw the original concept updated and presented with so much style I had to know more and more importantly I knew I just had to get me one of those….

No self respecting Old School Original Deejay could resist…


I reached out to the guy who later became known to me as Pyestar, on his page the true passion for Hip Hop culture was evident in this man’s work and his story was a familiar one to me…

Blown away by the style and finesse of the original New York graffiti scene, writers like Seen and Tkid, Skeme and Duster, Pyestar points out that The Subway Art book and Style Wars and Wild Style movies etc were our YouTube back in those days, our points of reference as the then new street culture swept the globe…..

Also influenced by the original UK graffiti pioneers such as The Chrome Angels and TDK… A young Pyestar began by imitating and copying styles, a kind of reverse engineering..  I personally can relate to this as I was doing the same with scratching and mixing at that time, listening to hissy cassette tapes of Deejays such as WhizzKid or Mixmaster Ice and trying to recreate what I was hearing..

Pyestar was from then on and still is an active writer, he still loves piecing whenever the opportunity presents itself, he remains dedicated and true to his art as a member of the KFO Crew, Although nowadays painting shares his time with work, being a father and his InkStinkizms custom made Hip Hop accessories business. He proudly lets it be known nevertheless that he’ll still never ever quit writing… Respect.

I find out that the origins of the custom bespoke belt buckles began with a young Pyestar using his school metal work lessons to make the cool name belt he so desired which he couldn’t afford to buy at the time…

“Out of adversity comes advancement…”

He recalled this story to a friend a few years back who suggested he tried making a graffiti style buckle which he did and recalls “It came out looking pretty good…”

Inspired by this he went in for more and refined his techniques and style… he remains grateful to Leon P for the suggestion that opened up this whole new direction for his creative energy…

227684_532332623457983_417553063_n When I mentioned the possibility of a Deckwrecka logo buckle the answer that came was an emphatic yes, It was  full circle for the Deckwrecka logo, originally designed many hazy years ago by my good friend and true old school pioneer writer BusOne of the legendary DDS crew, It seemed somehow fitting that the logo as designed by BusOne should be immortalised in metal, I remain ever thankful to Bus for the gift he bestowed upon me that fateful day…

So now my logo and I would be joining the ranks of Hip Hop legends such as Biz Markie, Hardnoise and even the classsic MC Duke as a proud owner of a custom Pyestar piece…

The process of making the buckle is exacting and requires a great deal of skill and even more patience..

The template is cut away by drilling out the metal surplus to requirements…


Then the rough shape is hand filed into shape and the uneven edges removed and refined.. leaving the raw unfinished form.


Finally the piece is polished and mounted to become a one off bespoke Pyestar Original!


Apparently this buckle was one of hardest he’s ever had to make..

I’m glad to contribute towards the advancement of his abilities! He tells me the most pleasurable and rewarding aspect of doing this is seeing people rocking his creations and knowing that they are pleased with them..

He also does a lot of community work and puts on events promoting the elements of Hip Hop. “Hip Hop culture is still important today as it still inspires kids to be part of something” he says, although like many other old school heads he feels that sometimes the commercial end of the industry can overshadow the true meaning behind the culture. He feels that this makes it even more important to push on and keep promoting and organising so that this generation of kids can have the chance to be exposed to the real elements of HipHop and see how they all connect… take part and live the culture.

Asked where his business is going? He replies that he’d just like to let it go where the future takes it… Sure it’d be good to get bigger but equally he’s happy now…

“New ideas never cease so new things are always on the horizon” – Dave Pyestar

I suggest that if your reading this and feeling the vibes that you need to head on over to his page and get in touch.. Prices depend on design and are all made to order as unique one off pieces.


Fill up his order book and grab yourself a piece of your own Hip Hop History.. I did!



Posted in Graffiti, Hip Hop clothing, Hip Hop Fashion, Urban Accesorries, wreckawear | 4 Comments