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Introducing : K.I.M – Conjunction Recordings

New D&B Record Label.

 

Conjunction Recordings.

 

You may have seen K.I.M.

 

Female DJ from London U.K on recent event flyers.

 

Also heard a little about her role within Conjunction Recordings.

 

Drum+Basics needed to know more.

 

Here’s a quick interview from K.I.M.

 

DJ K.I.M how many years have you been involved within Drum & Bass?

It was around 98 I began listening to Jungle and Drum ‘n’ Bass initially via radio stations such as Soundz FM, Rude FM and Kool FM.

I then started going to events from around 2001, this gave me the inspiration to start DJing in 2003 as my record collection had grown nicely up to this point.

After submitting some demos, I then had some regular playouts and residencies at local D&B events around Kent and South London (Organised Noize, Social Experiment and Armageddon), from there I went on to play at other events such as Terraforms in Oxford which gave me the chance to promote my name further afield. 

What drew you into the world of Drum & Bass?

I got hooked on the music when listening to radio shows on a regular basis at the end of the nineties when the darker side of the music began to evolve, I was blown away with some of the music being released from producers such as Ed Rush & Optical, Goldie, Klute, Digital and Spirit to name a few.

Then in 2001 when I met my now husband Catalyst .AD.

I started to go to events, seeing D&B live and feeling the music and seeing the crowd reactions and the atmosphere got me addicted to the music completely. Paul then introduced me to UKRumble, an Internet Radio Station where he had a weekly show.

I soon got to see the whole other side of the scene and all the work that went in by the various artists on the station.

I was then given opportunity to host my own weekly show on Wednesdays. 18 Years later we are still in the scene, going to various events like “Middleskool”, “Launch”, “From the Vaults” & “Champion Sounds”. 

You’ve progressed a lot over the last several years and we noticed you have started a record label.

How and why did you start the Conjunction Recordings label?

The idea of a record label was something that Paul had wanted to do for a number of years having released his music on several different labels as part of the duo “Able Danger”.

A few years ago we set up our own studio and felt that it was a good time to make the break and release music ourselves whilst Paul continued to push his own music as a solo artist under the name of Catalyst.AD

There’s many record labels out there pushing underground sound.

How does Conjunction stand from the rest?

Conjunction was set up primarily as a platform for Paul to showcase his own music with various collaborations planned as well as releasing music from new up and coming artists.

Conjunction also is aiming to be a multi genre label so each release will be something different.

You can expect to hear anything from deep, melodic 140 BPM tracks to upfront and hard-hitting drum n bass with a real focus on musicality.

How many releases are you aiming for a year?

The aim of the label is for quality over quantity and we plan to have around 4 releases a year which will mainly be E.P.’s so there will always be a nice selection to choose from.

Also are these releases mainly available on vinyl or digital?

The releases will mainly be digital, with some limited-edition CDs.

Forthcoming Releases?

The next Conjunction release following the “Coming Home” E.P. (out now in all good digital stores!) is pencilled in for the end of the year / early 2020.

This will be another E.P. from Catalyst.AD featuring a new artist who is a well known MC now turned producer – watch this space!!

Forthcoming Events?

At the moment I am just concentrating on promoting the label and producing regular mixes and podcasts.

I have recently played at Middle Skool (shout to Mike Ascension!) and From the Vaults organised by Voice MC and LS Dare.

Final Words?

Thank you to MaryAnne for giving me this opportunity to talk with Drumandbasics.com

A big shout out to my family and of course to my husband Paul (Catalyst.AD) especially for the support he has given me in these 18 years.

Also to my good friends MC Carnage and Skinz (original UK Rumble crew).

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/dnbdjkim 

Instagram

 https://www.instagram.com/dnbdjkim/

Mixcloud

https://www.mixcloud.com/kimdnb/

Soundcloud

https://soundcloud.com/dnbdjkim

Website

https://www.conjunctionrecordings.com/

https://conjunctionrecordings.bandcamp.com/

Exclusive Interview: Ded Sheppard

Hey Ded Sheppard! Thank you for answering my questions for drum+basics. Let’s start with the obvious; your name. What’s the background to this?

The name comes from a vision of a dystopian dark future and a leaderless world. Imagine a hooded grim dead Shepherd shepherding the living.

How long have you been producing music? Has it always been the same spectrum of music or have you experimented with it?

I’ve been producing DnB since around 2000 with my first release in 2002 under the alias Code Blue. From there I had another release, a collaboration with The Panacea titled “Graveyard Twist” that was played by Aphex Twin at Coachella. I had several other super dark and very hard releases under that alias. For me, it’s been pretty much dark centred DnB/jungle all along. Although I have experimented along the way and my sound and sonic interests have evolved quite a bit. My first EP under Ded Sheppard was a liquid watery sound design heavy EP. My more recent releases are best described as halftime DnB/jungle with a tribal techno element to it. My sound has also been tempered by external influences. Working in gaming for example has given me access into different perspectives and insights into music composition and different production techniques as well as sound design, which I think has influenced my sound toward a sound design experience.

How would you describe your music?

I would describe my music as dark, tribal techno halftime DnB/jungle with a cinematic sound design edge. There’s also ambience, doom-drone and cinematic elements.

Where do you find inspiration?

I take a lot of inspiration from many sources. I live in Vancouver and it’s very close to vast wilderness, ocean and ancient cathedral forests. I think a big one for me is the landscape of the Pacific Northwest and my province in general, British Columbia. These open, wild and rugged spaces I think are reflected in my music. I also think working in game audio has inspired me.

Are you always listening for inspiration or do you ever ‘just listen’?

That’s a bit of a struggle as I do listen differently than before I was involved with music production, now my brain will try to unpack what is going on technically or musically. So the music I like to listen to has to be so “other” to me that I really have no idea what’s going on so I can just listen to it, Sunn O))) for example I can listen to. When I’m writing music I’m very careful what I let in musically.

What kind of music are you listening to when are at home?

I don’t listen to much music at home, I work in audio full time so after listening to music all day long, I’m ready for silence or creation.

Do you DJ as well?

Yep, I also DJ – I started out as a DJ using vinyl :) I have a pretty nice 1994-2000 DnB record collection.

Are you still DJing out?

Yep, my last show was at the Onset Audio label showcase in Vancouver that was a wicked night of dark halftime music.

Your latest album ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ (out on Onset Audio on the 27th September) has a dark and dystopian feel to it, where did this come from and what do you want to say with it?

The track “You Can’t Take It with You” has deep roots, I sketched out the concept, lyrics and melody a decade ago but it didn’t fit in anything I was doing so I forgot about it. When I wrote the theme for the album the melody sounded familiar and I realized that it was this lost song from a decade ago so it finally found its place. I’m glad you’re picking up the dark dystopian feel, which was the landscape I had envisioned for this cinematic journey. Dystopian themes certainly have been resonating with me lately.

What is it that we can’t take with us?

That’s a heavy question I think it’s for the listener to contemplate. Personally, as a music creator I don’t want to leave anything behind without trying to express it. So, for this album I experiment with the concept of pushing my boundaries in terms of form, structure and sound.

How long did you work on this album?

It’s a blur. I think it was in production over the course of months although, as I said before, the main melody for “You Can’t Take It with You” has been living with me for a decade and didn’t find the right voice until now.

What’s the hardest part of producing music?

Trying to produce when you’re not feeling it.

What do you do when that happens?

I like to be outside when not in the studio, I like to hike, paddleboard and get out there. Due to the proximity of where I live to nature and the scale of the wilderness that surrounds me, you don’t have to go too far off the beaten path where it’s just you and nature.

When I’m not feeling creative I also like to do boring stuff like studio maintenance, deal with technical issues so I don’t have to deal with that stuff when I’m producing music.

You have been called a ‘sound deconstructer’, do you agree with this?

I agree with that. The thing I love to do is to create new sounds that I’ve never heard before. For me, sound deconstruction is the process of constructing sound. I love working with rough wild sounds that sound almost untameable, like in “Run Baby Run” for example. I’m always moving forward, learning and evolving.

What set up do you have?

Because I first learned to produce music with a sampler, my workflow sort of mimics this world. I still have my Emu e6400 ultra and a akai s950 that I use from time to time. I like to access my instruments quickly without losing the idea. So I don’t have patch bays or a monster eurorack set up. My set up is quite simple; I use a mac and a small selection of synths, outboard and inboard samplers and hardware units. I like to keep my community of instruments and tools small and limited so I can concentrate on sound manipulation.

Do you prefer producing by yourself or collaborating?

I like both, I like producing solo, but collaborating does add certain unexpected results, and it’s pretty neat when it all comes together and a collab produces something that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.

Dream collaboration?

Aphex Twin and or SUNN O)))

The majority of our audience are ravers, would you call yourself that too? Any good nights you can tell us about?

Totally, this all started out because I was a raver. My roots run deep into the Canadian rave scene, and the scenes been a great influence on my music in the past and the present. One memorable event was the first time I heard jungle at a party called Plan B in Montreal. DJ Rap was the headliner at a velvet lined dinner theatre venue overrun by ravers. In Vancouver, I can definitely say we have a vibrant underground scene, I find myself our more at the DnB nights naturally but I do check out other tempos as well. We had an Onset Audio label showcase which became known as “The Night of Darkness” at The Deli a few months back. It was a dope night with Homemade Weapons, Grym, Underfelt myself and one of my favourite Vancouver DJ’s Kir Mokum

How is is the Canadian DnB scene at the moment?

I can’t really comment on all of Canada since it’s so large and each city has its own thing going on but I can speak about what’s happening in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest in general. The Vancouver scene is vibrant and strong; we have regular nights with local talent as well as international DJ’s coming through. In the summer there are many outdoor festivals too many to mention. There’s a lot of cutting edge halftime coming out of the Pacific Northwest specifically, Vancouver’s Aufect and labels like Onset Audio, Weaponry in the Seattle area.

What’s next for Ded Sheppard?

I’m working on new stuff right now! There are remixes slated for Run Baby Run & The Youth.

Any famous last words or shout outs?

Big shout out to Onset Audio & community.

Thank you, Ded Sheppard!

You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Twitter & Beatport

Listen to sets from Ded Sheppard here: Onset Audio 

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: LS Dare

Hey LS Dare and thanks for chatting with us!

How long have you been DJing?

I bought my first decks at 14 (2000), I would go to record shops but wasn’t sure of the names and titles and would end up buying a load of shit record’s lol, I quickly gave up Djing after that. By 18 I knew a lot more about DnB and I would go to my mate Fred’s house and have go on his decks, I loved it and soon got the hang of it, I then got some cheap direct drive’s what were pretty lame so quickly saved up for my Technics :). So short answer 18, 15 years ago.

How did you get in to that?

Listening to Pirate radio, I used to record all the sets I liked and then listen back to them. I’d also nick a few of my older sister’s Cd’s, I remember she had Roni Size (New Forms)…. I was feeling that from an early stage.

Your DJ name is very unusual – what’s the story behind that?

I’ll give you A long answer… I used to be called Robin Hood and about 4 years ago I wanted to change my name, I didn’t think Robin Hood fitted the direction I was going in. I was living with my Dad at the time and I was trying to think up a name for ages then I came up with LS Dare, so my Dad’s name Is Alasdair, So I sort of slimed his name down, Plus I thought it plays on the whole LSD vibe :)

What kind of DNB are you playing?

Some of artists I’m feeling at the moment are Tyrone, Madcap, Ilk, X Nation. I play tunes from 93 to the present day, anything from Jungle, Liquid, Deep, Late 90’s Tech Step, Rolling Dnb and Halftime.

Favourite DJ and producer?

Dj: Killing me with this question, so hard I’ll say a few because it’s to hard to name one Andy C (Man is Jedi), Loxy and of course Randall

Producer: Spirit and Total Science

Do you DJ any other genre than DNB?

I used to Dj Garage/Dubstep/HipHop/RnB and different styles of House. That was more under The Robin Hood alias. I played some amazing gig’s under that alias, Several festival’s such as Outlook. I had a residency at The Westbury in Kilburn and a residency at A Nightclub in Greece.

You are involved with From The Vaults at AAJA Deptford, how did that happen and can you tell us what’s that is all about?

I started From The Vaults with Tom (VoiceMc). One of our friends Sam owned a bar called AAJA, Tom was doing a Dj set there and I came to watch, we both fell in love the place and realised that we had both wanted to start a Jungle/DnB party for years. The ethos behind From The Vaults is Jungle/Dnb past, present and future bought to you by trusted selectas and hosts/mcs.

Where do you see From The Vaults in the future?

There will be more parties at Aaja, also The 1st Birthday is in October. Although i’m moving on from FTV, the one just been was the last one I was involved in. I’m off on a new venture, so watch this space. The badman Voice Mc will be flying the flag for FTV and I wish FTV and Voice all the best in putting on dope party’s.

You’re a raver too – what do you prefer, DJing or go out?

That’s a very tough question, DJing would slightly edge in front. I love putting tracks together, I love mixing, hearing new tunes old and fresh And for me it’s one of the best buzzes in the world, to step up at the right event, festival, party and smash down A set to people that enjoy the music just as much as me, massive buzz. I’m blessed to have played at some of the event’s I have.

First ever rave?

I went to a dancehall rave when I was 16 it was at Tudor Rose in Southall there was always some madness going on there, pretty sure it kicked of that night! First DnB rave was at Fabric when I was 18, I left Fabric on such a high, the club was amazing, the vibe was sick, I literally went every Friday after that for two months on the trot, I was hooked!

Do you produce as well?

A little, I don’t know enough to be fair, need to get back on it. I made a tune with my mate Phil (Philth) end of last year, that was fun and inspiring.

What music are you listening to at home?

Soul, Funk, Reggae, Dancehall, Techno, literally all sorts depends what mood I’m In.

What’s next fort LS dare?

More regular promo mixes, hopefully a few show’s here and there back on Rude Fm, some more bookings (cough cough promoters), a new event and production.

You have done a wicked mix for us, what can you tell us about it?

I recorded this mix a few months ago, when I started selecting tracks for the mix I was drawn towards the summery vibe.

There’s quite a few styles in there…
Soulful vibes, rolling amens, some new tracks from this year, a bit of middle skool and finishes up with some gems from the mid 90’s.

I feel it all links up well and has a rolling journey to it, I hope you enjoy it

Famous last words or shout outs?

Big up, Fred, My Dad, Dozer, RudeFm crew, Voice Mc, From The Vaults for 6 awesome party’s and shouts to everyone in attendance. Everyone in Jungle and Drum and Bass that makes it such a fun solid amazing scene.

Interview & Guest Mix : Enbe – Nu:Generation DnB

Dj Enbe is a male Jump Up DnB Dj / Producer from Leamington Spa is currently bringing new events to Birmingham and is the head honcho of Nu:Generation DnB, a producer and and valued member of Fully Charged performing team.

 

Which consists of myself Enbe, Dutty Mowgli & Mcs Kolapse & Skinn-E.

https://linktr.ee/enbednb

 

We had a quick chat with Enbe to get to know more…

 

 

How long have you been Djing?

Firstly id like to say a massive thank you for this invite to have a chat with yourselves..

Music runs very deep within myself as it’s always been a getaway from my life and my earliest experiences and it was inevitable music would play a massive part of my life but I started Djing when I was 17, I bought a pair of turntables with my first ever pay check, but back then I was mixing Garage, Hip Hop aswell and Drum and Bass..

I really fell in love with dnb once jump up started to come into it’s own a few years later..

I had my first set out in 2005 at a small event in Birmingham called dnb shop and haven’t looked back since, I had a spell on the sidelines and came back with an absolute bang, I’ve since performed at most of the major brands including Innovation vs Random Concept in 2008, sticky, United sounds , Nu:Era, Bassmans bash which is Random Concept led, and a small event in Belgium too..

I’ve learnt a lot on my way and have now finally found how to get this music game right, so it’s only a matter of time and with my hard graft and constant effort to make it.

 

What is Nu:Generation DnB?

I am the only member of Nu:Generation, I run it on my own as a label, events and radio station which will soon be a studio based station.

I set it up in 2014 and kept it going except for when my son Ashton was born thats when I took a break from music to settle in.. ever since then and this last 12 month’s especially Nu:Generation has been doing some pretty big things including the big event for mine and fellow fully charged member Dutty Mowgli bday bash in November then a pre Xmas Mash Up in December.

www.facebook.com/nugenerationdnb

Birthday bash in May which i am going to do a boat party and really celebrate in style.

It’s also a label too, this year has been event focused so my releases, one release every other month but they are doing well and you can find our catalogue at

https://www.junodownload.com/labels/Nu%3AGeneration+DnB/

Next up on the label is a impressive Ep from Kre and nice mixture of jump up and rollers and it’s such a well produced Ep that I’m proud to release.

 

 

 

You live in Leamington Spa but shall be hosting events in Birmingham, why did you choose Birmingham?

Yeah Leamington is my home but when it comes to Drum and Bass then Birmingham is my home.

I’ve got an affinity with the place and it’s always been the place to be when it comes to Drum and Bass in my eyes.

The scene is incredible here at the moment with some other brands putting on amazing shows and some incredibly talented artists and home sweet home and all that..

I do plan on branching out to other areas but Birmingham always is and always will be the place to be for Drum and Bass..

 

Birmingham DnB scene is dominantly Jump Up.
When planning an event in Birmingham among other Jump Up promoters did you find any difficulties or do you all support each other?

I find with any kind of promoting wether it be a music event, a building company or just any kind of promoting in general it’s difficult because of competition but you have to try to go one step further and graft and really give it something special.

I’ve trained in music business, social media, marketing, branding and a lot of workshops to improve myself as a music businessman and it seems to be paying off, in terms of the other promotor, no I don’t find difficulties with them whatsoever, everybody here loves the scene and wants it to thrive and are all good people so if you study the scene right you know what’s going on and set your dates accordingly and if they are talented wether they run another brand or not then I will book them.

For me it’s all about the love of music, the scene and what I do..

 

 

 

You also do many live streams on AA1radio.
When is the next live stream?

Me and my Fully Charged team do our shows on AA1 every Monday from 8pm-10pm and we bring special guests.

It’s 2 hours of raw power and I love to perform with them..

 

I noticed you did a set without any MCs and promoted it as an MC free zone.
Do you prefer having no MCs on your set?

Mc Free Zone isn’t a set it’s a mixtape series I do without Mcs just so I can get more content out and give the listeners a chance to really hear me.

I love to perform and be involved in music in any way shape or form but I do prefer Mcs on my set because they help the performance and always give the set that something extra.

Fully charged Mcs Kolapse and Skinn-e are absolutely incredible and I love to perform with all of my team and they are all making me very proud of them and how far they are coming.

We recently played at Bassmans last bash and we all put in a big shift and the room was absolutely rammed.

 

 

Any more info we should know about yourself?

Yeah I’m not only into my DnB.

I also do Graphic Design and a Videographer too.

I get a lot of work in those so I’m happy with anything I do, I’ve also got an interview on camera with Limelight T.V to look forward to and also I’m doing a project called Enbe Expeditions where a cameraman follows me to and from bookings and films my escapades which I’m really looking forward to..

I’ve got my mc free zone mix series every other month and I’m also doing a mix series called the producer mix series where I take one producer and mix only their tracks into a mixtape for release once a month.. the first one is filthy habits out now 31st August..

 I am sitting on alot of tracks ready to be released aswell as the monthly releases from Nu:Generation where I’m excited to be releasing from artists such as Damage Report, Total Recall, Top Dolla and Kre to name a few, I’ve also got a full up booking schedule so you can catch me at a dance near you soon, I’m also going to be doing some impressive collab soon with a couple. I can’t let that out of the bag just yet.

Above it all though I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my wife and kids, they’ve helped me grow into what I am today and I may not be the greatest man alive but it’s striving to be and that makes u who you are, I’ve still got a long way to go to be where I want to be so my goal is to keep doing what I’m doing and when my opportunity arises I have to make sure i take it.

 

Final words?

Head on over to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/enbednb or scan my QR code which will take you directly to all my links where you can access free content and so much more..

Also head on over to Nu:Generation on Facebook and check out our forthcoming releases and eup coming events and make sure u lock into our Fully Charged Takeover show for free giveaways and event entry..

A big shout out to my Fully Charged team, the management at AA1 Radio, Mc Toddlah for his support, my agent Alex for all his help and advice, all the ravers and promotors…

( event details below )

https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Birmingham/The-Tunnel-Club/NuGeneration-DnB-Presents—Enbe-amp-Dutty-Mowglis-Birthday-Bash/13547234/

https://www.facebook.com/events/407825163311429/?ti=icl

Listen to Enbe Full Jump Up DnB mix here….

 

Behind The Label: Unbeatable Music

Hey Unbeatable Music – Thanks for chatting with us!

Who are involved with the label?

Adrien (Manager), Odile (Financial manager), Erwann and Ilsen (Strategy advisors), Thibault and Lucile (Graphic design). This is the core of the team but we got a lot of partners around us who got an important relationship with the label. We also got a network of friends, DJs, recording studio, label managers, distributors and vinyl shops who give a lot of advice to help to improve the project.

How and why did this label get started?

How? Just need to put the money in! Also you need to be strategic to get an impact. Why? It’s like a feeling.. Something missing in my life. I searched for a long time what it was and I’m sure I found it now. I needed something to highlight and elevate drum&bass! I needed a name, a logo, a serious and professional project to say: ‘Hey people, have a look!’ Make people dreaming & dancing, that’s my goal!! That makes me fully happy! One of the bigger reason is to produce vinyl and protect the practice of mixing vinyl. Some people ask me why I’m releasing vinyl if the bigger label like RAM Records almost stopped producing vinyl this year.. My answer is simple; if a specie of an animal is disappearing, some people will fight to save this specie, right? I’m probably an utopianist but I want to do the same for vinyl! We can still see some DJs mixing pure jungle on vinyl! Some artists like Alix Perez (1958 Music), Lenzman (The North Quarter), Kasra (Critical), London Electricity (Hospital) are keeping the vinyl right? Life is too short to not fight for what you love… Today I’m the only french dnb label doing this fight for vinyl and I hope I will do it as long as possible.

What’s your background in the dnb scene?

I used to teach music in three different schools in Preston, close to Manchester, for a couple of years. I used to have a web radio channel called Loud on Vmix.fm. My channel was specialised in bass music. I organised a lot of music events in England & France. This label is a logic continuation of all that.

Do you produce music yourself or are you finding music to release?

Firstly I’m a strictly vinyl DJ, I never mix any digital music and I refuse to do it! It’s like refusing to eat meat when you are a vegetarian, it’s just my rule! I don’t tell everyone to do the same but I tell everyone to respect my philosophy! People don’t understand and argue with me sometimes. It’s about the roots of the DJ culture and the massive respect I have for music. I think
music is the best thing in my life and I don’t mind to pay over 10€ to get my record.. The hard drive kill your music over time but your vinyl will be with you all your life. Also, I get upset listening to people saying that ‘DJs are jokers, they do nothing behind their desks’… I just want to tell them: take these vinyls, try to mix it and we can learn together. Secondly, I produce music on Ableton Live! I still miss technics but I got the vibe.. 

Fortunately I got help but I really need to improve it and I know it’s a loooong way. Today you can listen and watch the video of my first tune Quasar. This tune is on the side B of the first release of Unbeatable Music.

Ad Loud – Quasar

I’m finding music too, for example The Caracal Project who is on the side A with the track Skippin’. Behind this kind of cat is Felix, he is very smart, I think he is a prodigy! He is ready to catch the big stage now. His music has been played on Noisia Radio several times and also on BBC Radio One dnb show with Rene Lavice… His tunes has been played by a lot of great artists like Ed Rush and Phace. You can listen to a lot of his tunes on Skank & Bass if you want to..

The Caracal Project – Skippin’

How do you find artists?

I got a profile on www.soonvibes.com Also I like to receive a private Soundcloud link from artists! The idea is to make sure I’m the first listener and the tune is not published in public. This is very important.. I would like to chase the gold tunes but I don’t have a lot of time at the moment unfortunately, the distribution and promotion take a lot of time.. Anyway I prefer the quality and not the quantity so I will take time to find some tunes for the next release. I don’t want a basic label and releasing one EP per month but I’m looking for a nice quality with a large offer like music video & nice gigs.

What has been the hardest part to run a label?

Money and time! If you don’t have money – forget the project and if you don’t have time is the same. It’s very expensive especially for me because I’m making vinyl. To start a label you need to invest all your time to run everything properly. So if you have a full time job in addition you can’t make a label and if you get a part time job forget sport and say good bye to your friends (except music friends of course)… If you have the time and money, then you can run your own label.

What has been the best part?

The best part is the pleasure you got when you watch your first music video or when you touch physically your own vinyl for the first time. ‘It’s Magic’… Also people are grateful about what you are doing for the movement.

How does the future look like for Unbeatable music?

That’s the best question ever! Obviously, an amazing future but I can’t tell you why. I’m working on a secret project which I’m not 100% sure about and it’s important to keep the secret and work on a strategy to give the message in the best moment. I got everything I need to do it.

How would you describe the sound of Unbeatable Music?

All sort of dnb! Old school to new school, darkness to melodic, underground to mainstream!! Drum & Bass broke the codes and mixed all kinds of influences with its rhythm, it’s why I love this music! If I would describe it in two words, I want to say: Open Mind.

What’s next?

Massive distribution for the first EP half September and preparation of the selection of artists for the second EP for this winter. Also I’m working on music video and a big gig for September 2020.
Stay tunes guys!

Any famous last words?

Music is the key of humanity! (I’m too philosophic, I know :D)

You can follow Unbeatable Music on SoundCloud, Facebook & Instagram and buy music on vinyl & digital on Discogs & BandCamp

Behind The Label: Skalator Music

Hey guys! Can you tell me how and why Skalator Music started?

Hello! Thank you for inviting us to talk a bit about us. The whole thing with the label started back in 2014 as a platform to release Gil [Skalator]’s own productions but it has since moved to become the nest of upcoming producers and a platform for established producers in the scene, both Portuguese and foreign.

You are 4 people (at the moment) working for the label, how do you divide that work between you?

Gil [Skalator] is based in Lisbon and handles with A&R, sales reports, contracts, press releases and makes some music sometimes, when and if a spare moment arises!

Hugo [Y.L.S.] is based in Portimão and deals with the mixing and mastering process as well as A&R and always on the lookout for new talent to join the label.

Al:X is based in Singapore and our ambassador in Southeast Asia, reaching out every month with new beats and dubplates and hosting our podcast called “Decadance” on Portuguese Rádio Quântica.

Last but not least, Gonçalo Incendiário is our art director and responsible for our social media content.

What’s your background in the music scene?

Most of all, we’re all ravers for a long time. We all share a live music and Djing background for quite some time; Al:x is also a guitarist and former member of Portuguese band Macacos do Chinês.
Both Gil and Hugo have worked as sound technicians in the past doing live sound and studio mixing for bands, across several different venues and events. Incendiário studied Fine Arts, but he played guitar back in the days. He also makes the sound design for his video art works.

You didn’t release as much as you used to in 2018 – what happened?

We had a difficult year in 2018 as we used to be together pretty much everyday at the studio in Lisbon, making music and running the label but due to parenthood and family relocation, for both Hugo, Incendiario and Alex who also moved to Singapore, it took us a while to adapt to this new way of working together, further in distance than usual.
We didn’t change the label’s core & ethos though, we just didn’t manage to release music with the same consistency as in the previous year.

What’s the hardest part of running a label?

The hardest part is that people, in general, don’t buy music. We need to have other jobs to pay the bills, as the label itself doesn’t generate enough income for us to solely dedicate our full time to it (although this is what we should be doing, all four of us, in an ideal world)
Despite all the marketing techniques and social media input to improve the label’s visibility and presence, it is an ongoing job of persistence and resilience and we are committed to continue pushing the scene forward as this is something we really really love.

What has been the best parts?

We used to organise a few parties around in Lisbon up until recently as we had a residency at a local venue, and we have built a good following ever since which helped us getting into the map, Lisbon is having regular Drum and Bass parties with some big names in the scene and it makes us proud to see our DJ’s also on those line-ups; having had our music played on BBC Radio 1 and Noisia Radio and having the support of some of the legends in the scene and unknown people around the world, it’s very rewarding.

How do you decide what tunes/artists to release?

We meet regularly via video call and sometimes in person, and then we go through all the tunes we get sent; we discuss our personal opinions about each one, and then make a decision whether it has potential to be released or if doesn’t meet the sound criteria that we want to have on board – deep, bass, breaks, “techy” stuff.

How’s the dnb scene in Portugal?

It all started back in 1997 in Porto, pioneer in showcasing the now part of the oldskool gang (Fierce, J Majik, LTJ Bukem, Hype, Ed Rush & Optical, D.Bridge, Zinc, Mampi Swift, Marky, among others). The scene has since then grown steadily with memorable events but suffered a considerable blow with the arrival of Hardcore Drum and Bass. A lot of people stopped going to raves because the sound was just too heavy and repetitive and they couldn’t feel the vibe anymore. There was a natural split between the “hardheadz” and the “metalheadz”. We followed the latter as we like that deep bass music; then we began to link up with old friends and people that had given up on the scene because of the above and we started doing parties again and took care of bringing back the good vibes. I think the scene is growing well again, as the promoters are bringing good names in the scene and people are coming out to venues much more.

What is the goal with Skalator Music – where do you want the label to be in the next few years?

The aim is to continue releasing new music that showcase what inspire us but we are also in the process of creating a sub-label soon to push for the more experimental side of things; we also would love to continue playing out in gigs to spread our sound far and beyond.

What’s the plan for the label for this year?

We have a few releases lined up for the near future, including an EP, a single, a remix E.P and a VA compilation E.P, watch this space! :)

To strengthen and nourish our back catalogue is a priority for us, later in the summer we will unveil Al:x’s 1st E.P on the label. Our second free instalment was released via Hypeddit on the 23rd July, a deep searching track by Incendiário called “Sonder” – very exciting times!

Any famous last words?

Big shout to you Jenny for the invite, big ups to everyone that follow and support us! Support the artists you like, buy their music and go to their gigs, especially those who are your friends.

For more information, head to their website. You can follow Skalator Music on Facebook, BandCamp, SoundCloud & MixCloud

Behind The Event: Lucidity DNB

Hey guys!
Thank you for answering my questions for drum+basics. Who are Lucidity?

ALEX: Hey Jenny! So yeah, we are Lucidity DnB – founded in 2016 with the mission of bringing the deep and techy side of the drum and bass scene that we love, to our local town. It started really at the slight frustration of essentially having to travel to London to catch something we were totally into. It started off with 2 guys, me and a guy called Jack Sutherland, who at the time was the manager of the local music venue called The Ramsgate Music Hall (more on that later). I at the time was running a sound system called Infekted Hertz, and put on small parties with local dj’s and friends. He wanted me to help with the promotion, and supply the sound system for the second room at The Music Hall, after a successful first event, things went full steam from there. Jack has since left to go travelling, but we still talk about Lucidity when we get the chance.
Funnily Jack was replaced with another Jack – Jack Vickers, another passionate head, who joined the team at the end of 2016 to help with the running and promotion of the brand.

I’m always interested in to know where people get their rave name from. What is your story?

ALEX: Credits go to Jack Sutherland here, he said. “Lucid means expressed clearly; easy to understand. I wanted the events to be straight up with their purpose – to bring something upfront and different each time. Lucid is a cool word that made sense at the time and it just kind of sounded cooler as Lucidity.”

What is your background in the drum&bass/jungle scene?

Just very committed fans! Other than the events under Lucidity and the local DJ’ing and producing we do not have any background at all.

How do you go about choosing DJs?

JACK: It’s not always about who want to play at our events, it has become more about what is financially viable for us, being at the bottom end of the country in an area that isn’t really well populated with people that are into the sound we represent. When we started in 2016 we announced a series of label nights that were happening throughout the year, which were Spearheads, Critical, Dispatch, Metalheadz and Peer Pressure. These included some of the top artists in the scene like Hybrid Minds, Hyroglifics, LSB, Bcee, MC Tempza, Kasra, Ivy lab, MC Mantmast, Zero T, DBR UK, MC Fokus, Facing Jinx, HLZ, Philth, Collette Warren, Scar, Commix, MC Visionobi, Dom & Roland, Klute, MC Gusto, Script.

This year we have decided to go for a different approach. We want to book artists that are perhaps not as well known but will still provide the top quality experience we have always promised. So for our next event we have got DJ E & Blackeye MC coming to play. I actually bumped into DJ E at a tech itch night a month or two back and spoke to him about Lucidity and some of the issues we have finding DJ’s to play which led to me asking him to come down for our next event. There was a few artists at that party I respect, and I had the same conversation with them, so already we have some great ideas for the year ahead.

Dream line up?

Ed Rush & Optical but a proper virus set, Philth, Smyla, Mefjus in 2015, Audio hardware/virus set, Technical Itch… We could go for quite a while really but we’ll keep it short and sweet and these are the first few that popped to mind.

What’s the goal for Lucidity?

To just continue what we’re doing really, we love to bring something different to our area and to push the sound we love by always looking to work with other brands, labels and artists.

What’s next?

Watch this space..

Any famous last words or shout outs?

I definitely want to shout out everyone that has got involved with Lucidity, come and played or helped out in anyway, big up! Jack Sutherland, Will Spinout, Oversight, Jake Lee, all the crew down the music hall, the guys from F1 Sound co ltd for providing hench sound systems and lighting, script, everyone that has done design work for us, justin, jungletrain.net, big thanks to you!

Thank you!

For more information, head to Lucidity DNB but get your tickets for Saturday here!

Introducing – MINIKIN

Please introduce yourself…

Hiya all,

I am Fedi, I am Slovak, I am short, crazy and a bit weird too but most of my friends love that.

Also I am in love with drum and bass and probably heading to be a full on DJ in the future – hopefully! ( haha )

 

When did you decide to start mixing Drum & Bass and why?

I have listened drum and bass so many years basically from my early teenage years.

I used to be a promoter back in my country for few years so I have been into dnb even more than just a regular fan.

I am still part of the biggest promoters crew in Slovakia – Trident and currently I am also part of my lovely Hexagon crew here in UK.

When I moved to London I was 100% sure that I wanted to do more with drum and bass so I have started to teach myself to play on friend’s CDJs Pioneers 350 and that’s how it started.

 

 

Was there anyone in particular that inspired you to start DJing?

Many of my friends inspired me to start also many producers with their amazing music really inspired me too.

 

Any events your playing at this year?

I have already done DJ sets this year in Bratislava/ SK, Prague/ CZ and London.

Next one will be at our biggest dnb festival Trident open air in Slovakia.

 

Any Final Words?

Big shout to all my friends, family and my partner for putting trust in me and pushing me to achieve my goals.

Also my second family in Trident SK crew, Drum and bass Wear crew and Hexagon crew for giving me opportunities to learn and improving myself in many different ways.

 Finally thanks to Drum+Basics ladies for this great opportunity.

Great to have a mix on your channel!

I really appreciate it and hope you all will like it!

Behind The Event: Hexagon

Hey Jenny from Hexagon and thank you for answering my questions! What is Hexagon and how did it all start?

Hexagon is a drum and bass collective of 6 friends who love the music and the scene so much that we decided to start our own regular event. This all started, as many music things do, in someone’s living room. The founding 3 of us would play for so many hours straight week in week out, till one day someone said we should start a night. I took on making that happen and once the other 3 were also on board, within a month we had booked our first party at Work Bar which was perfect in terms of location and capacity, and also because it was so well known already on the scene thanks to its mid-week DJ Mag events there.

Where does the name come from?

The name comes from the fact that there’s 6 residents and we wanted a strong name and logo. Hexagons are found everywhere in nature and it’s the strongest geometric shape there is.

What is your background in the drum&bass/jungle scene?

We all come from different places and our ages span from 20s to 40s so we have varied backgrounds. Lady Lena, our most talented and experienced DJ, has been cutting her teeth on the scene for couple of decades now. Our 2 youngest both come from Czech and we also have myself and my husband Alex who grew up in Cyprus, so we all bring a very different style to our mixing and tune selection. That’s why our tag is “6 sides of cutting edge drum and bass”.

Do you guys remember your first rave?

6 DJs with 6 different answers here. All of us put down strong roots in Fabric though. Those Friday nights made regulars of us all.

Favourite venue & favourite rave?

Fabriclive is still hard to surpass, especially now it’s found its feet again after that horrible fiasco when the council tried to shut them down.

Do you all DJ as well?

Absolutely! We all bring something to the table on top of DJing though. Some of us promote harder, some bring in the connections and experience, some bring technical skills. I bring in the leadership and organisational skills. But we all contribute equally and that’s the whole point of having a collective.

How do you go about choosing DJs for a Hexagon night?

When we started it was just the 6 of us playing but we soon realised that was no way to go forward. So we reached out to some of our closest contacts and found so many amazing DJs wanted to get involved. From the second event we already had our first special guest, none other than McLeod from Spearhead, who also does our t-shirts by the way. We followed up with Benny L, Philth, Ed:it, Phil Tangent, A Sides and that was just in our first year.

When is the next one and what can we expect?

This Saturday at Bar 512 in London from 9.30 pm until 6 am with SCAR (both of them!), HLZ, MD and Wreckless! Plus Hexagon residents of course.
21st April we are taking over room 2 in legendary Volks, Brighton with Metalheadz in room 1!!
And you can always catch us and guests on Studio 808 every 2 weeks, Saturdays 4-6 pm.

Dream line up?

We’ve always said that getting DLR to do a b2b with Octane again would be a dream come true! Having said that, every line up we have is a dream for us because we’re so happy and privileged to have these amazing DJs playing with us.

What’s the goal for Hexagon?

We want to settle in our new home at 512 for now but one of the big goals we always had in mind was hosting room 2 on a big Label night and with Metalheadz in Volks on 21st April this is already becoming a reality! Hopefully more to come.

What’s next for Hexagon?

We’re planning some regular rooftop parties for the summer and possibly getting involved in some festivals here in the UK and also in Europe. Watch this space…

Any famous last words or shout outs?

I was just thinking about this quote this morning coincidentally:
‘Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”‘ H.S. Thompson

For more information, follow Hexagon Collective on Facebook and get your tickets for this Saturday HERE

Interview & Guest Mix: Bonnie Blaze.

 

Please introduce yourself..

 

Hi my name is Eleni aka DJ Bonnie Blaze.
I’m originally from South East London now currently situated in Peterborough UK.

 

How many years have you been Djing out in clubs?

 

I’ve been DJing since I was 19 years old since December 2001.
My boyfriend ( who I was seeing at the time ) brought me my first pair of decks for my 19th birthday.
I taught myself to mix in 2 weeks and got to play my first ever live set in 2002 at Jamm in Brixton

 

How do you balance being a parent and Djing?

 

Although it is quite difficult at times I still manage to fit my DJing and goals around parenting because luckily like their mother they are junglists and don’t mind me playing my music or following my dreams just as long as they come first so I have to prioritise well.

I would like to be able to start doing radio shows from home or at a studio and I plan to do some guest appearances or some radio shows too very soon.

What my goals for the next few years will be getting my head down in the studio and stuck into music production.

 

Who has kept you motivated & inspired you over the last few years within D&B?

 

When I started out mixing I had two goals one to bring the Old Skool sounds back into the raves as I missed them and wasn’t hearing them out much back then and that I wanted to inspire more and more females to want to DJ as you got to admit they wasn’t enough females in Jungle and Drum and Bass back in the early 00’s.

In regards to my sets I use to play a lot of 94-96 Jungle mainly, I was lucky enough to have borrowed a lot of my cousins records so I could practice and use to play out when I finally got to that point in my DJing.

Back then I was playing a lot of tunes from 1991 hardcore right up to 1996 Jungle and Drum and Bass because I wanted to start from the beginning due to being an Old Skool lover.

My inspirations go way back to some of the originators like Fabio & Grooverider, DJ Hype, DJ Randall, Micky Fill, Aphrodite and DJ Rap to name a few.

More recently I’ve been inspired by the likes of Bladerunner, DJ Hybrid, Aries, Epicentre, Benny L plus many more also artists that are working hard as DJ’s in the scene like Andy C and Nicky Blackmarket pushing boundaries and are out there playing through the whole spectrum in their 5 hour sets.

Plus we cannot forget all of the female artists doing their thing in the scene right now, they inspire me the most to keep doing what I love.

 

 

Where can we see and hear you next?

 

Here’s a list where you will be able to catch me playing out next.

So far confirmed are…

– Jungle Revival @ Club Aquarium, Old street on 5th April 2019.

– T Promotions 1st Bday Bash @ Protocol, Vauxhall on 20th April 2019 (Day time event).

– Unity in the Sun 2019 repping Jungle fever in Corfu, Greece from 20th May – 27 May 2019.

– Lakefest 2019 (More details to follow soon) dates between 8th – 11th August 2019.

 

Do you prefer 60 minutes sets or 90 minutes?

 

I’m going to say I really prefer 90 min sets.

When I’m playing out live in clubs I enjoy seeing people dancing and smiling to your live sets and I like to have plenty of time to express myself through my sets, plus time always goes so quick when you’re having fun.

If I’m mixing at home I prefer 60 mins sets as it isn’t quite as liberating and I just want to hurry up and finish my recording (if I’m making one at the time) and get it up on my mix cloud so others listen and enjoy the music too.

 

Which Dj/Producer are you enjoying at present?

 

The DJs/Producers I’m feeling at present have got to be Mrs Magoo, Frenetic and Holly-May, Euphonique, DJ Jessie Jo, Lady V Dubs.

DJ CALI, Aries, DJ Hybrid, Bladerunner, Veak, Benny L, DJ Blacklist, Jaguar Paw & Yush, Lydia Briggsy, Dizzy Blonde, DJ Choppah, Spectrasoul, DJ G Luis, Operator M, Mantra, Djiin.

Sista-Matic, DJ Bagpuss, DJ Relm, Lavery, Uncle Dugs, Billy ‘Daniel’ Bunter, The Fat Controller plus too many more to list right now…

 

Any final words,special thanks,mentions?

 

Finally…. I want to send some shouts and special thanks/mentions to all my family and friends and people who have booked me and supported me over the years plus more.

All these special mentions are in no special order D.V.S MC  for booking me (one of my first epic bookings) Grant Epidemik, MC Deefa and Mr Joseph for organising me to play at Fizzy Wednesdays.

DJ Chalkie White for giving me my first set on a boat on the Thames, my friend Marc (Owner of the event Rave Utopia)

Funki and Simon for booking me for Moondance events, Billy Bunter, Sonya and The Fat controller for believing in me and booking me to play out in Corfu at Unity in the sun in 2018 and now again May 2019.

Lisa Dizzy Blonde for our b2b sets at Moondance and getting me up on Kool fm as one of her guests.
DJ Bagpuss and DJ Relm, Briggsy, Papa Gee, Uncle Dugs and Sarah, Luke DJ Skyz, Lavery, Rachel EC and Vinyl Junkie, Aaron V, Clayton Hines aka Mr Renegade for believing in me and giving me bookings the last two Renegade hardwares.

DNBE Girl sisters DJ Kisscut, Basscake, Bassline Beanie, Lady Niki and Kan Jacca, Barry from Swoop promotions.

My brother from another MC Deanie Rankin, my friend Jay for making so many this possible for me right now doing what I love in the music also DJ Operator M, DJ G Luis, DJ Reggie Ryder, MC Testsite, Cara, DJ Gravity for my booking at Blueprint, Kyx, DJ Lady Eliza, 7EVEN, Dubplate Bass, My partner in crime Theo Luis, another brother from another Roger Gateson, and so many more people I could be here all day….

Thank you all for all of your support….

 

Here’s one super bassy jungle/dnb mix from DJ Bonnie Blaze…

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Promo ZO

Introducing Promo ZO a female Dj from Maidstone Kent U.K.

A lady you may of heard of already as Promo ZO has been working hard for many years within D&B but usually behind the scenes.

We asked a few Qs to find out more & what Promo ZO has planned for 2019.

 

Your Dj name is quite unique and stands out, any specific meaning behind the name?

Yea it’s kind of transferable!

My name is Zoe so in comes the abbreviation “ZO” and I have always been involved in some form of promotions, from club, vinyl, brand and product so it just kind of works and has stuck. 

When and why did you start to listen to and mix D&B?

I was taken in by D&B as a kid, we would listen to cassette recordings of Nicky Blackmarket and Ellis Dee in class, not that it was on the curriculum!

I then discovered if I hung out of my bedroom window with a coat hanger attached to my radio aerial I could pick up London’s Kiss 100 FM and tune into incredible specialist Jungle Drum and Bass shows hosted by the likes of Hype, Kenny Ken and Jumping Jack Frost. I remember listening to Pascal’s P-Funk Era on repeat on my Sony Walkman, it got me. 

In my home town of Maidstone in Kent we were lucky enough to have the legendary Atomics night club which was home to epic weekly events such as Heat and Pure Science plus we had an amazing record store Plastic Surgery Records, from there the culture became a lifestyle. I would have a go at mixing at friends after parties plus I worked at a couple of South London record shops and when it was quiet I’ll have a little roll out, I then soon bought my first set of 1210’s.  

 

You’re a lady whose been involved within D&B for many years, recently here at Drum+Basics we’ve noticed you’re now Djing more at numerous events and fully back doing radio..

When and where can D&B fanatics expect to see/hear you mixing again?

You can catch me live every Wednesday on Bassdrive from 2-4pm GMT broadcasting to the most dedicated Drum & Bass listeners across the globe.

That’s 8am-10am CET so for my American listeners it’s a breakfast show with quite a difference! 

I played out at the last Middle Skool at Work Bar which was really good fun, since then a few promoters have reached out so fingers crossed I will have some 2019 gigs to announce soon. 

Will you be adventuring down the music production route?

I am!

I’m often in the studio with KG and also 2Shy, between us we have cooked up a few beats. 

 

As a female DJ, have you noticed the sudden urge in females being inspired and stepping up within the music industry?

Yes, I think it’s great that more ladies are stepping up in every role.

I have worked amongst many women in the music industry over the years, those in key positions, some that are behind serious headline acts, clubs, events and labels. Some whom have hired me, some whom have helped make artists who they are today. 

My female DJ inspirations are comprised of ladies like Lisa Lashes, Kemistry, Storm, Lottie, Miss Pink, Lisa Loud, Smokin’ Jo and DJ Rap. Granted they are not all D&B DJ’s but none the less they are inspirational trail blazers in their own right. I am pleased to see that female DJs are beginning to be represented equally on line-ups, it is about time that the balance was right and it’s great that promoters are becoming more conscious of the often male-heavy bills yet they also have to be mindful not to book for the sake of gimmick, token or trend. 

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Woah!

Beating Cancer!

Ok I know it’s not quite a music related achievement but it’s a big deal and it certainly put a lot of things into perspective for me. The support I received from the D&B family was incredible. Once in remission I did a charity skydive and donations came in from across the scene, I surpassed my target thanks to support from the likes of Andy C, Pascal, Delta Heavy, Ulterior Motive and many more scene figures to the point that the campaign was in the top 3 per cent of JustGiving campaigns that month.

That’s going to be a really hard one to top!

 

What are your plans, main goals for 2019?

To get stuck into more production.

I’m really liking the sound of the colabs that I’ve been a part of so the goal is really to progress on that and see where it leads. Maybe some releases, maybe some events, what matters to me is that whatever IT is, that it’s organic.

Of course any special thanks, mentions, final words?

Big thanks to you MaryAnne for taking the time to speak with me. 

I must send thanks to Keria EOC and all of the Middle Skool crew, Greg from Secondary School for pinching his brother’s cassette tapes, 2Shy MC, KG, Louis, Donovan, all the Bassdrive family and the amazing listeners.

Out to the ladies representing since day; Caroline, Jo Hines, Zara, Alicia, Tasha, Empress, Robyn Chaos and not forgetting MC Jakes, Anile, Digital, Total Science, Randall, GQ, Frost, Bryan G, Audio, Calyx, Night Shift, The Prototypes and everyone supporting.

I see you! 

 www.promozo.com

 www.mixcloud.com/promozo 

 www.facebook.com/promozo

 www.twitter.com/promozo

 www.instagram.com/zopromo

Exclusive Interview: Indidjinous

So first thing first; your name, Indidjinous. What’s the story behind that?

There are two meanings behind it. “Didj” is short for didjeridu, the instrument I use in much of my music. So I changed the spelling of “indigenous” to “Indidjinous” to emphasise the didjeridu reference. I also chose the name because it evokes the tribal vibes that characterise my sound.

You have been playing the didjeridu since 1998, what drew you to this ancient instrument?

The didjeridu appealed to me because I hated learning the piano as a small child, which just felt like a chore. I’m sure it instilled an important musical sensibility in me, but at the time classical music lessons, anything that involved reading music, was not enjoyable. When I saw a didjeridu played up close in a world music store in California, it seemed so wild and limitless compared to a ‘normal’ instrument. I gave it a try and discovered I’m more of a wind instrument kind of person.

You grew up in San Francisco but have lived in other places in the US and now you are in the UK. Can you tell us about that journey and how you ended up here?

I moved from the SF Bay Area to Santa Cruz, California for college in 1998. That’s also when I first started playing didjeridu and got obsessed with drum & bass. At that time the dn’b scene in Santa Cruz was smaller than the dominant San Francisco scene, but it was uniquely vibrant and I feel lucky to have been part of it. Our small but authentic scene incubated heavy hitters like Boreta from the Glitch Mob, Matty G from Dub Police, EPROM from Warp Records, Red Army from Samurai Music and Nick Argon of Argon Records.

I moved to Washington D.C. for graduate school in 2007 and later New York City, getting involved in both cities’ dn’b scenes along the way. I eventually moved home to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012 and for the first time really embraced the dn’b scene there. My plan was to remain there forever but in 2015 I met a woman from London and my life turned upside down! I very unexpectedly got married and moved to London in 2016. I miss home but have no plans to return to California anytime soon.

You mentioned how dnb came in to your life, but there can be quite a long way to start producing it as well, and now you’re also a DJ. What happened?

I was exposed to dn’b in the mid 90’s through mix tapes and the occasional rave, but I didn’t really get hooked until the techstep sound matured around 1998-99. At that time I was becoming good friends with some house and breakbeat DJs and they took me to the 20,000+ people underground massives happening in California at that time. After wandering into the dn’b rooms a few times I got hooked. Dieselboy’s name was on the best line ups and after I picked up one of his mixes, it was all over. I became quickly addicted, listening to his mixes and playing my didjeridu along with them. Soon I started to perform over other DJs. It wasn’t until I graduated university in 2002 that I actually started making drum & bass, and of course I’d sample my didjeridu a lot and I still do. DJing came last. I had made so many tracks but didn’t have a way to perform them, so I had no choice but to learn!

Any releases we can look forward to?

Confirmed releases for 2019 so far:

1. My second collab LP with Centaspike on Tech Itch Recordings, called Continental Convergence.
2. A collab on Paragon’s Iris LP on Tech Itch Recordings.
3. A collab with DJ E on the RESIST:ED FOUR compilation on Tech Itch Recordings.
4. Two tracks, each with a different Russian producer, coming out on the American label AGN7 Audio.

As a producer you’ve collaborated with a few other artists. Do you prefer to produce alone or with someone else? 

I love both collaborating and working solo. Over the last six months I’ve been included in a series of experimental production sessions with the techstep label Biotic. Every week I meet with Facs, Scythe, Synchronise and several others with the goal of creating an entire tune in one night! I’ve accumulated a lot of unfinished projects during these sessions that I’m really excited about, so my challenge now is to finish the best of those and get them released. This brand new mix is a taste of those rough projects, including collabs with Facs & Scythe

Do you have your own studio? What is/are your best tool/s?

Since moving to a tiny flat in London I’ve had to downgrade my studio. At first it felt like a major drawback, but it forced me to invest in some really good headphones and I think my mix downs have actually gotten better for it. It’s just frustrating sometimes because I don’t have loud monitors or serious bass to sit back and listen to. So I have methods for compensating like testing my tracks through different stereos and bass-heavy headphones. My best tools are my microphone, guitar FX pedal and didjeridu as that gives my tracks originality and an analogue element. I use didjeridu in about half my tracks. It’s like an organic synth.

You’re not only a DJ and producer, you’re also heavily involved with Tech Itch Recordings events. Can you tell us how this came up and the story behind that?

Living in the US, you become accustomed to interacting with UK producers purely through the Internet. When I found myself living in London, I knew I had to meet the artists I work with face to face. That desire, and also my impression that the London scene in 2016 lacked a techstep night, was the inspiration for a Tech Itch Recordings label night. The timing seemed right also because the label was expanding to include several new artists in London. We’ve happily settled at Rolling Stock on Kingsland Road where we have a regular event about every two months. Residents include myself, Paragon, DJ E, Structure, Voyage, Terror Cell, Layer 3, Xanadu and Blackeye MC.

What’s your main focus right now?

My act consists of DJing while playing didjeridu through a microphone. If I don’t practice regularly I lose my edge, so to stay sharp I’m beginning a regular broadcast series soon that will air every two weeks. I find accountability is the best way to instil willpower. A regularly scheduled broadcast will force me to practice! Here’s a taste of my act:

 

Aside from the weekly Biotic production sessions and DJ/didjeridu-ing practice, I’m always working with Tech Itch and the residents to plan out events in the UK and internationally.

When are you playing out next?

I’m excited for my debut show in Timisoara, Romania on 12 January. It will be the first Tech Itch Recordings event hosted outside the UK. We’ve also got another Tech Itch night lined up in Bristol on 8 March at the Black Swan which will be savage!

Tech Itch in Romania – that’s amazing! How did that happen? Any plans to bring Tech Itch to other cities too?

Romania has a thriving dnb scene at the moment and they got in touch with Tech Itch Recordings to see if we could send out some artists. We’d been looking to expand our event overseas and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. So we are working with the very reputable Nomad Audio crew at the moment to co-host our first international event on 12 January and hopefully this will be a regular occurrence for the label, not just in Romania but other countries as well. Crews interested in co-hosting a Tech Itch event in their area please drop me a line: mikeindidjinous@gmail.com

When is the next Tech itch night – and WHY is it on Thursdays in London?!

Aside from the Romania show mentioned above, the next Tech Itch event in London is on Thursday 31 January. We chose Thursdays because (at the time) there were no other Thursday night events so it made scheduling easier and put us on a unique night. Weeknights also have less overhead, which allows us to keep it free. Another reason is that our club features mainstream music on Fridays and Saturdays so we wouldn’t fit their weekend vibe. I wouldn’t rule it out in the future though. Our shows outside London are always on the weekend!

That is very exciting! What can you tell us about the line up?

We’re excited too! This is a release party for Paragon’s Iris LP. This collab-heavy album is heavily focused on grimey, industrial rollers and includes DJ E, Cypher, Voyage, Zigril, Code 906, Furious and myself. In addition to Paragon, we’ve got Source Direct making his second appearance at Rolling Stock, as well as Cypher, Y2, Operator, Structure and Blackeye MC. This event is free with RSVP. For more information, head to the Facebook Event Page

How do you choose DJs for an event?

The aim is to go beyond a typical club event and generate a genuine artist community, so we book techstep producers (or DJs that show an authentic passion for the Tech Itch Recordings vibe). All performers are afterwards encouraged to submit demos for the ongoing RESIST:ED compilation series (RESIST:ED FOUR just released this month) which helps to inspire collaboration and synergy among performers. We want our event to help catalyse the growing techstep renaissance.

When you’re not being very busy within the dnb scene you are also involved with politics, tell us a bit about that! What is your ‘normal’ job?

I am the campaigns manager at Open Rights Group, a non-profit organisation working to protect “digital rights”. Basically it’s like a human rights organisation focused strictly on how people are treated online. So that means we fight digital censorship, the government’s mass surveillance programme, and we also fight for laws to protect your personal data from tech giants like Facebook. It’s exciting work and similar to what I used to do in Washington D.C.

Any famous last words or shout outs?

BIG THANKS to all the residents who have stuck with our vision for the event! Thanks also to everyone who’s made it out, we promise to take things to the next level this year!

Thank you!

Tech Itch / Facebook / Store / Instagram

Indidjinous / SoundCloud