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Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Monita

We are extremely excited to post this interview together with an amazing guest mix from the one and only DJ Monita. No need for an introduction, let’s just put that mix on while reading!

I usually start from the beginning to get to know a little bit more about your background as an artist, and how you ended up doing what you’re doing now. Tell me how it all started.

It all started around late 1991 I think, when a guy from my estate approached me. He knew I was a DJ into hardcore/rave and said he had just got some sampling and sequencing software for his PC and if I fancied taking up some vinyl to his to sample.
I took a bunch of vinyl up there and started sampling some breaks and noises. We got as far as looping up a break and throwing some noise over it, but he didn’t really know how to use the software properly and I got easily bored after a couple of visits. It really gave me the bug though and I wanted more, so an old friend introduced me to a guy (K-Rox) who had quite a decent studio set up in his home bedroom.
That basically was the beginning.

I know you started the label in -92, what made you want to start your own label?

After a few sessions at K-Rox Studios I ended up with two completed tracks, ‘System Crashed’ and ‘Luv Ta Luv Ya’. I had a little bit of money and was really keen to try to get them pressed to vinyl. So rather than approaching labels, I enquired about getting 1000 copies pressed up myself.
Originally, I was going to go with a standard white label with a hand stamp on each, but someone showed me a logo that they saw at a car show of a skull & cross bones which I quite liked the look of and after a few little changes, the original Skeleton logo was created. All hand drawn!

Where did the name Skeleton Recordings and Monita come from?

Back in them days I used to knock about with a bunch of skinny guys that had the name the Skeleton Krew, so Skeleton Recordings seemed very fitting to match the logo. It was that simple.
Monita was actually something that an old friend and I came up with. I had been DJ’ing for about 3-4 months when she said I needed a DJ name. We both sat down on her bed, pen and paper in hand and started coming up with some names. Some really bad names!!
Monitor was favourite choice for us both, but I decided for one reason or another to spell it incorrectly like I did with Luv Ta Luv Ya. It’s caused me a few headaches over the years though, as quite a few think it’s pronounced Mon-ee-ta, which to me sounds like a European female DJ!

You stopped in -94 due to personal and financial reasons, was it a hard decision?

Not really, as I was pre-occupied with my eldest child by then and had started full time work. I got taken for a ride by the distribution company that were supposed to be selling / pushing Skeleton and they ended up just sitting on the last two releases (SKEL012 & SKEL013) which caused me to lose money.
Also, I didn’t really understand and appreciate just how much the label was recognised back then, so I didn’t think it would be missed much.

20 years later you re-launched with the 20th anniversary release of The Razors Edge but before that you had releases on Moving Shadow. Was it difficult to balance being a family man, working and also producing tracks together with Dom&Roland?

Yeah, it was very difficult. Working and earning regular money was my priority, as I had to look after my little family.
Dom was local to me, so we used to get together to work on bits as much as my time would allow. He is an absolute legend, as we know and it was always fun working on beats with him.

Has it always been drum&bass/jungle for you, or have you explored other genres as well?

My love for Drum & Bass comes originally from my 80’s electro days when I used to be a breaker. It certainly was the foundation for what has become my love for D&B.
I am quite open to all kinds of music. 70’s soul, 80’s and 90’s Hip-Hop, as well as some other stuff from some bands. I’ll probably get slated for admitting this, but I’m quite fond of Coldplay.

Exciting project for you and Skeleton to celebrate the 25th anniversary, what can you tell us about it?

Basically it’s 20 tracks spread over 5 vinyl releases to celebrate 25 years of Skeleton. The whole project took around a year to get to a finished state and ready for release.
The plan was to release the project over 4 months. Volumes 1 & 2 in September, Volumes 3 & 4 in October, the final part Volume 5 as a picture disc in November and then the digital release in December.
I wanted to do something for the vinyl collectors and decided to do some sort of collector’s piece. The artworks from Volumes 1 to 4 when pieced together make up one big piece of art of the original Skeleton logo. Also, giving exclusivity to the people that buy vinyl by me not releasing the digital versions until after all five volumes have been released.

How did you find the producers you wanted for this project? You’ve included some lesser known names on the first four volumes, did people recommend producers for you or did you go on a hunt for them?

Some of them have had their own release on Skeleton and I now class as friends rather than music associates, so had to have them be a part of it.
Everyone on there I rate as a producer and don’t get me wrong, it was hard work cracking that whip on some of them to get stuff finished and the track sounding right for both myself as well as them.
Yeah, each of the first four volumes do have an artist on that I felt just needed a little push. So, in my eyes, including them into a project that includes some household names from the scene was the right way to go about it.
They were people I was already in contact with anyway and were already sending demos over to me. There were more artists I could’ve gone for, but I chose the guys I thought fitted in best with the plans of the project.
There’s not one bad track on this project in my opinion and the lesser known artists really held their own.

What do you enjoy the most; djing, producing or running a record label?

Easily DJ’ing. I like being able to test out any new bits for the label and get a nice crowd reaction if things are going well during a set. People make me laugh when they say I look moody and not enjoying it when I’m behind the decks. But I love it. That look they see is my ‘focused’ look, not ‘Moody Monita’.
I haven’t produced for many years now, but always did enjoy being in the studio and having made that finished track that you and others can finally play. Maybe next year this will happen again. There’s been plenty of offers, so who knows?

What’s the hardest part of running your own label? What’s the best part?

The hardest part is definitely having to deal with the stuff to make the end product right. Tracks not mixed down quite right, pressing issues, delays in manufacturing when you have deadlines to meet etc. These are the things that most of the public don’t see.
The best is seeing all the posts, photos and comments from the supporters and also getting feedback and recognition on releases from some big names in the scene. To know that people appreciate the end result really does make all the issues that were dealt with to get that result worthwhile.

Do you ever go out raving when you’re not playing?

I try to go out as much as I can to support and network, although it has been known that I do actually shake a leg now when out.
Problem is that there’s so many good events on now that I do have to choose wisely or I’ll be out every weekend. The main ones I try not to miss are Rupture and Metalheadz events as they are always good nights for hearing quality music and socialising.
There’s a nice little group of people around at the moment that are always to be found at one event or another, so even if I go out on my own there’s always people I know in the venue.

Do you have any Skeleton nights planned?

I actually had an event in August which was done alongside Repertoire. We held it down in Rye Wax, SE London, which is a nice little intimate venue with a capacity of around 120.
Myself, Law, Dead Mans Chest, Tim Reaper, Future and Charlie Turbo were on the line up as these have represented either label with a release. The night seemed to be a success. A lot of the crowd have been asking when we are doing another one, but I haven’t thought too much about it yet. Maybe next year. Who knows?

You’ve also made a mix for us, thank you so much for that! What we can expect to hear?

You’re welcome! I quite enjoyed doing it to be honest. It’s a short 40 minute mix of Skeleton tracks which are all vinyl releases.
There’s a couple of older bits in there, quite a few selected from the XXV Project and also a couple of VIP remixes to be released in the near future. A little exclusive for Drum+Basics.
One of the remixes being a VIP of my ‘Nightmares’ which has been done by Ricky Force, this is being pressed to vinyl. The other is a rework of another of my tracks, ‘Smart Kid’, which has been done by Threshold and Theory, which again will be coming out on vinyl alongside something else which I’m not going to say too much about at the moment.

When you’re at home and want to relax, what music do you listen to?

I tend not to listen to music at home to relax. I try to catch up on movies or TV as I’m surrounded by music for most of the day.
Other styles of music I listen to though are old school 80’s Hip-Hop and 90’s rap. They are my favourite outside of D&B.

What 3 things would you bring to a desert island?

This is an easy one. My 3 kids. I couldn’t survive without them. Although I’m not quite sure they would feel the same!

What’s next for Monita and Skeleton?

Just planning and scheduling for 2018 now. The final part of the XXV Project has just been released, with a double CD of the full album coming in the next couple of weeks.
I have a nice little vinyl release out in December.
Januarys release, which is SKELR11, has just been mastered and cut and I have already finalised the releases for SKELR12, 13 and 14. Plus a few things to tie up for a couple of other releases. So 2018 is all go at the moment.
I also want to start gigging on a regular basis as I’m really enjoying it when I play out. So if anyone is interested, then you can get in touch through my social media or email info@skeletonrecordings.co.uk

Any famous last words?

Of course I would like to thank all the fans and supporters of the label. There has been a lot of love and support shown this year and I really do appreciate it.
Thanks to each of the artists that have appeared on Skeleton releases over the years, especially those on the XXV Project that I gave a lot of stick to to get things right and finished on time.
Thank you also to Jenny Jo and Mary-Anne for asking me to do this for Drum+Basics. It’s been an honour.

Here’s to the next 25 years!!

If you want to download the mix, do it from here

Tracklist:

DJ Monita – Nightmares (Ricky Force VIP Remix)
Threshold – Don’t Ask Me Why
Gremlinz – Untitled Bleeps
Response & Pliskin – Ask Yourself
Threshold – Rumours
Steve C & Monita – The Razors Edge (mSdoS 2014 Re-Work)
DSP – Lion
K-Rox & Monita – Smart Kid (Threshold & Theory 2018 Remix)
Antidote – Dead Cities
Tim Reaper – Lake Volta
Future – Time & Space
Sicknote – SCM
Ricky Force – 147

Follow Monita/Skeleton recordings here:

Skeleton Recordings Bandcamp
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter
Mixcloud
Soundcloud

Exclusive Interview & Guestmix : Enjoy.

Enjoy  – music producer/Dj from Udine,Italy has been producing music since 2002.

Enjoy is becoming a familiar name to some within D&B but still a mystery to many.

Drum+Basics decided to interview Enjoy, as we all need to know more!

You have a forthcoming release on AKO BEATZ no.12.
This release focuses your ambient production skills & hard heavy hitting drums ‘ Just a vibe ‘ & ‘ Fragile ‘
( personal fave )

I’m definitely hyped for this, big love to the man like Stretch he always puts a lot of passion into his record label! 

That’s actually what I love about music in general : the rough with the smooth.

Really glad Fragile has a little part in your life, just to let you all know there’s a VIP floating around here…but cannot say anymore  than this…just stay tuned!

Did you ever think you would be having a release on an iconic record label?

I guess every dj/producer has a goal and I admit AKO BEATZ is one of them. 

I’ve been a fan of AKO since I spotted it in the late 90’s, collected maniacally every single release until now.

So yeah I dreamt of it then and I couldn’t ask for more now!

When and what record label was your first release on?

My first appearance leads back in 2004 as part of a collective called Juice Loosers, we released a tune with LTJ Bukem’s Earth Recordings on Earth Vol.7 (not bad for a start !!)

As a solo artist my first releases were on an Italian net label called Laverna in 2004 and on the Australian Materializm in 2010.Kinda jumped into the dark thing, I was experimenting basically so
what I considered  the real baptism was releasing 2 tunes from my 2 main projects (Enjoy and The Blunt Needles) on Code’s Subtle Audio Vol.2 in 2010 and just after that a split vinyl release with Nebula on Bustle Beats in 2013.

A special mention has to go to Eschaton, head of Omni Music for releasing my first ever LP in 2013 and for including me in a vinyl project along with artists like Dj Trax, Infest, LM1 and Justice (2013/2015).

Chris is a real talent scout…try and check out the Omni Music catalogue, you’ll find some usual suspects!
Anyways lets just say all of these releases were shared with other artists, so technically my very first solo vinyl is this years’ ‘Cloud/Empty Structures’ on Transmute.

 

Is it dominantly Drum & Bass you wish to produce in the future?

 Jungle/D’n’B is the core but I’ve always written down tempo and breakbeat stuff.
I recently had the chance to release those kind of sounds on Next Phase Records, thanks to Infest for believing in those old beats!

When it’s time for you to hit the studio, what do you focus on first with music production?
Ideas first!

It’s difficult to say where I start from because it really depends on what I have in mind, it should be a sample or a particular sound that fascinates me.

Anyway.. I quickly write a loop to have the idea there, then I work on the sounds to let them glue together,
then edits and edits and edits… I’m an edit addict (..and actually not sure if it’s good or not lol)

Any specific software?

Cubase, a little bunch of plugins and my 2 girlfriends : Roland MC505 and miniKorgXL, all the basic stuff anyways.

How long did it take to produce ‘Just a vibe’ & ‘Fragile’

I guess 2/3 weeks,difficult to say to be honest, as I jump in the studio whenever I have time from my daily work.
So it’s an hour here and there..I’m pretty slow after all.

Which do you prefer producing music or Djing?

Both of course, 2 parts of the same passion.

 2018 is approaching already, any other releases we can look forward too?

I’ve got a few releases lined up including 2 albums, 2 singles and a bunch of remixes.
I can’t reveal too much to be honest.

What I can say is to take a look at these labels…
Omni Music, Bustle Beats, AKO, Next Phase, The Dreamers and Tarantula.

Are any included in the exclusive guest mix you’ve provided for Drum+Basics?

For the mix tape I thought I’d focus on the HUGE quantity of quality beats that are out there at the moment,
there is a lot of wicked music like in the sweet old days so I gotta pay some homage to some of the people who I respect and whose music I love to the bone (despite the 1 hour limit…I could’ve done a 3 hour mix tape lol).

Anyways as well as ‘Just a Vibe’ and a very fave of mine Nebula’s ‘Spectrum of Styles’ , you’ll find a tribute remix I did for Stretch, Guyver business which i was at a crucial point  when I did it nearly 3 years ago and a special one by The Blunt Needles (me and my partner in crime and life Dany) which is still unreleased.

Hope you enjoy it!

Of course have you any final words,special thanks?

I’d like to thank you Mary-Anne and Jenny Jo at Drum+Basics for this opportunity, I definitely appreciate the passion you put into this work.

I’m feeling blessed for all the people who contact me just to give a shout or simply chat because of the music.I mean it’s something that makes my day and motivates me, I’m so grateful for this.

There’s really a lot of people to mention and I’m pretty sure I’m missing someone.

A massive big up for the support and the continuing energy goes out to Stretch, Code, Eschaton, Rob Strike, Infest , Nibbers, Maxist, Lu, Maurizio Ravalico, District, Dj Trax, Nucleus, Bob Macc, Equinox, Double O & Mantra, Greenleaf, Ricky Force, Rumbleton, MartianMan, Monita, Ricky Law, The Beautifully Crafted Jungle Crew, Dj Ardimann, Tode & Mother Inc. Crew, Neve and The Dreamers Crew, Stefano B, and of course my real muse : Dany!

Release date for Enjoy – Just a vibe & Fragile is 3/11/17
http://akobeatz.com

 

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix – Headgear

Headgear is no stranger to Jungle / Drum and Bass; back in the 90’s he went under various artist names including Threshold.

Previous releases on Foundation X, Brain Records & Second Movement Recordings all under different artist names.

To save some confusion M_A decided to interview Headgear to get the facts & hear about his forthcoming release on AKO Beatz this month.

Was there any specific reason to change your artist name?

To be honest it’s not the first time I’ve changed or used different names.

Back in 93 I was featured on Plasmic Life Vol.2 (Brain Records – DOPE23) using the name ‘Alistar’. I was also part of ‘The TI Cru’ where I did the B-side for Tech Itch’s second release (TI002).

I then had a solo release on Tech Itch (TI005) and went under the name ‘Soundcraft’. ‘T.I.C’ was the next name I used with Mark Caro for our release on Back to Basics (B2B12023), I did the track ‘Rockers’ and Mark did ‘Too Fast’ on the flip.

After a short break from producing (can’t remember why) I got back on it and began using the name ‘Threshold’. I used this for my release ‘The Wire’ on Second Movement (SMR33).

I then did some work with ‘Ultravibe’ on some collaborative projects using the name ‘Logistics’. These tracks were put out on ‘Dubz’ (DUBZ001-3) a sister label of Back to Basics.

I than stepped away from the music for 15 years until a friend encouraged me to listen to Rupture Sessions on Jungletrain.net (Big up Rondema). I realised very quickly that I wanted to get back into making beats.

Anyway, to finally answer your question hahaha (sorry, it needed explaining.). I couldn’t go back to the name ‘Threshold’ as a certain someone (Forrester) had started using it. Funny thing is me and Forrester (new Threshold) are now good friends and we’ve collaborated on tracks since meeting at Rupture.

So now I’m HEADGEAR and I think I’m sticking with it….for now.

So you used to be part of Tech Itch in the 90s. Are you still in contact and will you be producing music together again?

I’d lost contact with Mark Caro (Tech Itch) around 95 after he moved from Birmingham to Bristol. Then, after nearly 20 or so years he gets in touch and is keen to work on something in the future. Watch this space, time permitting.

Do you personally think that you should have continued or has the long break served you well?

I definitely needed to step away when I did, I’d lost my love for the music, plain and simple. I wasn’t enjoying it and had many external pressures and responsibilities that needed my attention.

I’ve now come back to the music feeling excited like I did before. I’m not putting pressure on myself, I’m doing it for the love of doing it, and if any music opportunities come my way then it’s a bonus.

I never thought I’d get back into producing after such a long time, so to have a number of digital and now vinyl releases recently gives me the confidence in my own ability which helps give me the drive and motivation to continue. The only problem I have is the lack of time I get in the studio. Life just keeps getting in the way haha.

Now to the present..

So Headgear you’ve only had a handful of releases since your gap in music production.

There’s a great forthcoming release on AKO Beatz.

Tell us more.

This forthcoming release is a nod to just some of my favourite producers that rekindled my love for this music – you can definitely hear their influence across all 3 tracks. I’m not going to say who they are… I’m sure you can figure them out.

Will you now continue producing music with no long breaks and get the releases flowing again?

I certainly hope so, I’ve got that music making bug again.

You’re obviously known to collaborate with other producers… Do you prefer collaborations or solo music production?

It’s hard to say which I prefer but I think at the moment I want to concentrate on getting some more solo work under my belt, mainly because my time is very limited so any time I do get in the studio I want to build up my own portfolio a bit more.

However, I do like the idea of working with other artists just to see what can come of it.

Anything in the pipeline?

Got some remix projects coming up which I can’t really talk about as well as a follow up to my release on AKO. I’m also working on something for the forthcoming AKO Album ‘Unknown Elements’ due in 2018.

Have you noticed any major changes in Drum & Bass from the 90’s to now?
i.e production, social media, the way releases are planned.

Where do I start? Haha.

It’s crazy to think how things have moved on since then. You now have almost limitless possibilities when it comes to sequencing and sound manipulation. This is obviously a good thing but can also be daunting.

Back in the early days having technical limitations shaped how you worked and what you produced. These constraints made artists really push their equipment beyond what was thought possible.

I still can’t believe how patient I must have been to produce tracks on Amiga’s, ST’s and hardware samplers. You had to make do with what you had until you got your hands on the next piece of tech.

Social media has become integral to the scene, it’s made the world smaller. Lets just say things are much easier now lol.

Any special thanks & final words?

Much love to all that have supported and believed in me over the years. There’s too many people to mention so I wont reel off a load of names plus I’m pretty sure I’ll forget someone. Near and far you know who you are, Big up.

P.S. thanks for the interview Drum + Basics.

Many Thanks Headgear…

Headgear  – Planet03EP ( AKOBO11 ) Release date: 1st November 2017 click the link for more info… 

http://akobeatz.com

Also many thanks to Thumbs Footage Photography.

 

 

Exclusive Interview with: Spline – Dispatch Recordings

Hey Spline, so you’re a new face to some within Drum & Bass.
Please introduce yourself…

Hello everyone.
My name is Andrey, I’m from Samara which is located on the bank of the Volga River in Russia.
I’m a DJ and a musician.
From time to time I take part in DnB music events, that take place in Samara and in other Russian cities.
I love broken rhythms and “bold“ sounds.

 

So you’re located in Russia.
Do you have many events, Djs and record labels there?

Yes, of course but we do not have as many record labels as in the U.K.
Also parties with underground DnB music are rarely held in Samara.
All events are mainly held in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Would you consider moving to the U.K just for D&B?

I have never been to the U.K.
Of course I want to visit your country, not only as a tourist but also as a DJ and a musician.
To be honest, I didn’t think about moving to England but who knows.

 

This Friday you have your debut on Dispatch Recordings.
Congratulations.
How did this happen?

Yes, thank you!
If we talk about how I got into this culture it will be a long story, that began in the year 2000.
If we talk about how my tracks were getting released on Dispatch Recordings, then I’ll say – it was simple.
I just sent the tracks over via email and Ant TC1 said that he likes it.
So everything was quite straight forward and easy.

 

Are there any other record labels that you really want to have releases on?

Yes, of course and there are so many record labels i wish to release on.
I don’t bind my creativity to some kind of labels but I will mark my tunes to fit some labels.
Metalheadz have  influenced me at a certain age & that would be a dream to release on that record label.

 

When it comes to music production, where do you get your inspiration from?

Ohhh … It can be almost anything that can give an emotion, a thought.
I can sit around sorting out sound banks, find some FX sound that has nothing to do with DNB and make a melody from it,with which everything can begin.
Or just experiment with Bass and BOOM!
Other music influences me a lot and this is not necessarily DNB.
This is something that can be from hip-hop, or jazz or whatever.
Also it can be a couple of sounds from a scene of a movie about robots and of course the most important generator is in my bathroom!
When I go into the shower, everything falls into place!
Then suddenly a new track appears.

Any big plans for 2018?

At this moment I have a lot of projects that I’m finishing and of course I have such a big task of creating music that will be more than just music!

 Final words…

Create, experiment, be strong and appreciate your loved ones especially those who help you!

Spline ” Injection EP ” release is out on general sale this Friday.
Click the link to purchase…
https://www.dispatchrecordings.com/product/disltd043-spline-injection-ep/

Exclusive Interview – Payback Promotions – Birmingham.

Please introduce yourself.

Hey big upz all the Drum + Basics ladies.hope all is bless.

I’m Andy Stringer founder and owner of Payback Promotions Artist Management Agency supplying established and fresh up and coming Jungle/Dnb/Oldskool and Reggae artists to events and festivals worldwide.
We also run Payback Events at Club Pst in Birmingham alongside the one they call my partner in crime the sheriff Kurt Kelly.

Payback promotions is a family affair many Djs/Producers contribute to the events in Birmingham.

Do you feel that the events will continue in Birmingham or expand into different towns and cities?

For real we at Payback have many artists repping us and contributing to our events not just from Birmingham but from all over the Uk and even internationally..

Our home for events is in Birmingham but we are always looking at opportunities to take the Payback brand and showcasing the artists on the agency and expand into other towns and cities in the Uk whether its hosting a stage at festivals to hosting a room at events Payback always brings the vibes ..

How have you as a  promoter/manager managed to keep residency at Club PST all these years?

We first started doing events in 2010 at various venues like Suki 10c and Plug in Birmingham then we came across Club Pst (PEOPLE STAND TOGETHER) in late 2010 and fell in love with the place,at the time the venue was undergoing refurbishment so we did the odd event there and at the other venues until the works was complete then we started using Pst for our events and not looked back since .

Club Pst is probs one of the best underground venues in the Uk the owners Specta,Pecka,Jake and all the crew are always so welcoming a proper family affair and the venue is so intimate and the vibes are always electric with good food,cheap drinks and of course quality events everyone who visits Pst always leaves with a smile on their face.

We are blessed to be involved with Club Pst and look forward to putting on events there in the future.

 

Do you feel that Birmingham is mainly dominated by Jungle & Jump up or has a mixture of line ups (sub genres)?

Birmingham is a very diverse city especially when it comes to underground events and music.

I would agree that Birmingham is dominated by Jump Up/Dnb nights but we at Payback and a couple like-minded promoters started to bring Jungle events back to Birmingham with a massive success and will continue to push it through our events for years to come.

Would you go out of your comfort zone on a line up or do you keep it to your personal style you enjoy and do you take on board what D&B heads request?

Yeah we have done Oldskool,Dnb and even Reggae as well as Jungle events in the past but the last few years has been all about the Nuskool Jungle.

We try to keep it with as much Jungle on the lineups as possible as there are enough Dnb/Jump Up events already in Birmingham gives peeps more choice.

Do you get overwhelmed by the events that you host?

Always lol, if you see me with a tear in my eye you know why!

I love it when a plan comes together and the smiles and reactions on people’s faces all having a good time makes me tick all about the good vibes trust.

Are you noticing the younger generation attending your events & their ears are being educated?

Yes, the younger generation are attending our events more and more and they are definitely getting educated.

We work alongside Kiran Bangerh (DUBGASM) and Huw (Dubsoc) who work alongside like-minded students in the midlands universities spreading the jungle and Dnb vibes after all they are the future and key to keeping the underground scene alive for generations to come same in places like Leeds,Manchester and Bristol the younger generation are attending more and more events.

What’s lined up for the rest of the year & into 2018?

Incoming for the rest of the year and into 2018 from Payback …

6/10 – BASS INVADERZ 2.0 – CLUB PST BIRMINGHAM

7/10 – JUNGLISTS RUN COME ( JAKES BDAY BASH ) – CLUB PST BIRMINGHAM

28/10 – JUNGLE JAM – MANCHESTER (co hosting room 2 with Bloc2bloc)

11/11 – RIZZLA BDAY BASH – CLUB PST – BIRMINGHAM

17/12 – PAYBACK FREE 12 HOUR XMAS PARTY – CLUB PST -BIRMINGHAM

7/4/18 – ARIES BDAY BASH -CLUB PST -BIRMINGHAM

28/4 – CHESHIRE CATS BDAY BASH – CLUB PST – BIRMINGHAM

We also do a PAYBACK LIVE RADIO session once a month which is open to the public on a Sunday 4pm-10pm live from Club Pst.

Showcasing Payback artists and guests and a Payback boat party is also planned for 2018 follow Payback Promotions on FB for news on all forthcoming Payback events and to book any of the Payback artists for events/festivals check out the website for more info >>
www.payback-promotions.co.uk

Any final words?

I would like to thank Mary-Anne Hood and Jenny Jo at Drum+Basics  for the interview opportunity,big love!

Also shouts to all the artists repping Payback and all the artists who have played for us over the years big upz Kurt & Amanda,Specta,Pecka,Jake and all the Pst crew,Matthew Blick(flyers).

Aries,Chopstick Dubplate,Cheshire Cat,Kjah,Jungle Citizenz,Cautious,Rizzla,Ras Demo,Mono Paul & Paul Reynolds (sound).

Glenn Aston Jaytee,Jella,Patrick,Dimpz, Adi (GammaFunkula) the Manchester crew,Bloc2bloc,Kiz (DUBGASM) Huw (Dubsoc) all the Jungle Jam family all the Raiders of the Oldskool crew also shouts going out to Tenor Fly gone but never forgotten King.

Shouts to everyone working their ass off behind the scenes at Payback and lastly massive shouts to all the promoters booking Payback artists and each and every raver who come out and support our events without you all,none of this would be possible.

Many thanks,
Andy Stringer from Payback Promotions.

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Distant Planet >> Louise Plus One & Hughesee

Hello Simon and Louise who run Distant Planet. Thanks for answering my questions and making a mix for us!

From what i gather, you’re both DJs & promoters. Are you involved with other things within the dnb/rave scene?

We also sell records online and at the Clashmouth D’n’B Record Fair, the next one is coming up on 28th October in Cafe 1001, Brick Lane in London. It’s a great opportunity for a get together with other DJs, Producers, Promoters and Label owners, not just for buying records but also to hang out and chat with out being at a rave. We only sell records so we can buy more. Lol.

How did you get involved with the raving scene and how did you end up together (if you don’t mid me asking…)?

Simon: We generally like to go out raving to the sounds that are important to us not to just attend events when we are booked we love the social aspect. We have guested on radio shows on various stations such as Originuk.net, Koollondon.com, Cambridge105.fm and Jungletrain.net to name a few.

Louise: I used to go to the odd rave from about 87, however, it was when I started going to squat parties in 94 that the rave scene took its hold on me. Within a few years I had bought some decks and started co organising events and put my own night on called Re-Rave-All in the Dungeons in Hackney. I used to put on a Sunday all dayer with Jerome Hill at a pub called the Pembury Tavern in the late nineties. I was lucky enough to play in some huge warehouses to massive crowds. Eventually I started playing on Interface Radio which I think was the first Internet Dance Music Station. and became aware of Simon. We would bump into each other at parties and 7 years ago we started to hang about together on a more regular basis, raving, doing radio shows and and eventually forming a relationship. Putting on an event together was a natural progression and we linked up with a few like minded people and formed Distant Planet.

What was the plan with Distant planet from the beginning?

Simon: We always wanted to achieve consistency in terms of quality music with decent sound quality at our events with a friendly vibe and I think we have achieved this. My main ambition for Distant Planet has always been to put on outdoor events in the countryside which is something we are working towards.

What has been toughest in running your own night and what have you learnt along the way?

Louise: The hardest bit about running a night is getting out of bed at 4am to go flyering in the middle of winter. However, I think this is essential to make a success out of an event. Hopefully we now have a fairly decent following so we still flyer but not to the extent we did. I have learned to be more confident about what we are doing. I think Simon and I have learned a lot from each other. He has taught me to be a bit more careful about the financial aspects of putting on an event and he I think he has learned about promotion and putting himself out there.

You’re both ravers I assume – what do you enjoy the most; djing, promoting or raving? How has the raving scene changed since you started going out?

Simon: For me DJ’ing .. simple as! Best hobby ever, I tend to say that quite a lot in conversation. How has the rave scene changed? Seems like it’s the same idea a lot of people coming together through music. The scene has changed in terms of new clubs starting and it seems like so many iconic clubs we knew and grew fond of in London closing down which is a shame. The structure of the more mainstream events seems more focused on digital DJing quick mixes and getting as many DJ’s on the bill but we don’t really go to many of them nights for that reason the nights we do go to seem to keep the core basis about what the raves back in the day were all about, good music, dj’s and great vibes!

Louise:
I love all three. But it’s fantastic being involved in an event and DJing at it. Putting on events is great as I have something to look forward to. I’ve seen the rave scene go up and down in terms of popularity, however, I am always optimistic and I suppose we are lucky here in London as there is always so much going on. The growing festival scene is a great sign that people do want to get together in a field and dance, which is amazing. I love the fact that festivals are popping up all over the place.

Best rave you’ve ever been too?

Simon: Too many to say one favourite so many parties different for different reasons. I would have to say Rupture seems to come up very high due to the consistent quality of DJ’s that play there and the awesome vibes of so many friends under one roof. There has been so many great free parties back in the day that I went to and helped with sound systems like the Oxford Ridgeway Moots they used to really kick off with sound systems from all over the UK great times!

Louise: Its very difficult to say as I can’t remember. I’d like to mention Rupture here as Indi and David put on probably the best underground event in London, if anyone reading this hasn’t been I recommend you check it out. Castle Morton Common in 92 was amazing. I wish I could go back and do it again.

Lots of clubs are closing down and it seems to be hard to find good venues, what do you think is going to happen with the raving/club scene?

Simon: In London it seems a way different place to rave then it was when I first started going out, so many iconic clubs have shut down or been demolished. It’s becoming more harder to put parties on you really have to go to some lengths to make it work so it’s good to see people putting the effort in. Perhaps a shift more towards festivals? isn’t that already happening?

Louise: There is a venue shortage, however, in London you can always find somewhere if you really think outside the box and look about, especially in London. It feels like I get invited to more things every weekend than ever. Although they might be smaller events there is a raving spirit still there. It does worry me the lack of stuff happening in some towns outside the big cities.

Louise; as a woman, do you think you’ve had to work extra hard to prove you’re a good DJ?

I seem to be fairly well respected as a woman dj, especially on the London Jungle and Old Skool scene, I have always had maximum respect off people. Whether or not I would get more bookings as a man I’ll never know. lol. I do hear about women not being taken seriously on other areas of the scene. Also on many of the lineups at bigger events there seems to be very few female DJs. I think the number of women DJs is increasing slowly.

When are you guys playing out next and when is the next Distant Planet?

The next time we play out will be at the next Distant Planet on September 30th which will be an all day event at The Royal Sovereign in Hackney. We will be focusing on 1992 and previous years musically. We have a treat in store as David Rupture who is going to be doing a 91 Techno set which is the era that he represented, playing at venues such as the Doncaster Warehouse back in the day. Simon and the staff are really behind our events we do there which is nice so thanks to them. We also have Morgan OSL who played on Rinse FM and Format FM back in the early Nineties. He is going to be doing a 90/91 Rave Set. Sharon Taylor coming up from Kent to do an Acid House set, plus Sherrine will be starting of the proceedings with a wicked 2 hour mix of Dancehall, Dub and Roots Reggae. Myself and Simon will be playing too. The pub is really chilled, and as always at Distant Planet Parties the vibes are really friendly. As its child friendly a lot of ravers can bring their kids and have a proper catch up with everyone. There is a big garden out the back and excellent Pizza.

How do you go on about choosing the DJs for a night?

Louise: I’m starting to realise how important it is to book DJs who are really out there doing their thing. It’s important they represent the music style we want and can play a good vinyl set. They don’t necessarily have to be a big name, just play quality music and promote themselves well. Also we favour people who come to our night as they will an understanding of what we are about and what we will expect from them as a DJ.

You’ve done a mix for us as well, what can you say about it?

In our mix we have included tunes that we love and you will hear us play out, many of them are Old Skool from 93/4, however, there is so much good stuff coming out at the moment so we have included some of the more recent stuff.

What’s next for you?

Simon: More Raving, DJ’ing and Production. We are really trying to push ourselves in the production area and we really like old hardware we have a fair few Synths, Samplers, Drum machines and Effects units that can make some really awesome sounds.. lots of fun.

Louise: I want really want to take Distant Planet to festivals. We are going to be knuckling down in the studio over the next few months and putting on more parties.

Any famous last words?
Shouts out to everyone we know, we started to make a list and it got so long and we were so scared of leaving people out.

Big up Jenny for your support.

 

Follow Distant Planet on Facebook, Twitter,  YouTube.

More info about the 30th All dayer: Distant Planet

Behind The Event: Essence Of Chi

© Chelone Wolf Photography
Hello Keira from Essence of Chi! Let’s start from the beginning; how did it all start?

Essence of Chi started in 2004, I guess you could say at a real high point during the surge of soulful or ‘liquid’ drum n Bass. After attending the likes of Swerve, Movement, Metalheadz & Traffic – Chelone (MC LowQui) & I decided we wanted to do our own night with our own spin on it. We walked randomly into Plan B (now Phonox) in Brixton, and after much consideration – decided that was THE venue for us.

Where did you get the name Essence Of Chi from?

I came up with the name Essence, Chelone (LowQui) had already done a couple of parties with the name ‘Chi’ – we combined the two coz it’s all about the balance baby!

What did you want to achieve with EOC?

We really wanted to achieve something that included all the elements that we felt were key in putting on a regular party. Many of the line ups we felt at the time were focused too much one one particular style or label. Sure we embraced the lighter side of dnb, but also with a darker edge. Sound was a massive thing as well, we were fed up of shabby sound systems and promoters putting up with it – so if we didn’t like what was in a venue, we always tried to bring in our own (big up Funktion One and Ninebar every time!). We also loved making sure our brand and artwork stood out- and put a lot of thought into flyer design…I guess that’s the original raver coming out!

We started off very small, like 100-200 capacity midweek – mainly Plan B, before moving to Herbal a couple of years later. Things really took off for us after our first birthday- we sold our Scala (alongside London Zu- Sabre’s jam who we also worked very closely with). Moondance chose to have us regularly hosting their dnb arena and it all sort of escalated from therefore. Before we knew it we were being booked at venues outside London, going to Spain for Inno in the Sun, and doing much bigger events on more regular basis.

What else have you been doing within the dnb/raving scene?

EOC took a break about 2011, life and other commitments took over (mortgage, family etc !) but I was also quite heavily involved in Kane FM which is a community radio station based in Guildford where I live. I ran the events team there for about three years, but it was voluntary so kind of took the pressure off.

What has been the toughest in running your own night and what have you learnt along the way?

Definitely the financial risk. Putting on a night is effectively like putting your money on a horse once a month. You can do all the groundwork, promote this one as hard as the next one, and it still might not come in. But the toughest thing is keeping a smile on your face and not wearing your heart on your sleeve! You want the crowd to know it’s been a good one even if you know you’re gonna be eating 9p noodles for the rest of the month!

What is the BEST thing with running your own night?

Seeing the crowd going nuts on the dance floor at your own jam- after all the blood, sweat and tears that’s what makes it. In the words of MC Ken Mac “there ain’t no party if we don’t have you!”…it’s true!

I’ve seen you around on raves so I assume you’re a raver. How has the raving scene changed since you started going out?

I’ve been going raving for well over 20 years and yes it has definitely changed! The scene has diversified hugely, although the nights themselves have got smaller. There are far more festivals etc springing up in the summer. The internet has had a massive influence- we didn’t used to find out the name if a tune for about two years after hearing it on dubplate- now you can have that info in the palm of your hand, as well as messaging your favourite dj on FB or twitter- they used to be like untouchable Demi Gods haha!

Best rave you’ve ever been to?

I guess everyone always remembers their first rave – which for me was Dreamscape 15 v 16 at the Sanctuary, back in 1994. A friend I had met on holiday who lived in Milton Keynes convinced me to go. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for or what I was doing – but let’s just say it changed my life! I still listen to the DJ Randall set from it today and the tape pack takes pride of place on my bookshelf! I’m an English teacher by day so it sits well in amongst all the Charles Dickens and Jane Austen novels haha!

Dream line up?

I may sound biased but the Moondance Festival line up this year comes pretty close to my dream line up- honestly! Some of my personal heroes: Bukem, Rap, Randall, Mr C, Shades of Rhythm all on the main stage, plus the EOC crew repping in the D&B tent- it’s pretty much a dream come true.

We’ve seen lots of clubs closing down lately and it seems to be harder to find good venues, what do you think is going to happen with the raving/club scene?

You say that but new ones seem to be popping up and opening all the time. All day events and festivals seem to be becoming more widespread too- which means bigger crowds- which is a bit like what it was like back in the day.

The next event is on the 6th August August; what can you tell us about that and what can we expect from it?

Well, after having had about a 6 year break we are absolutely delighted to be working with Moondance again. We’re hosting the D&B stage alongside Son of Dance – who cater for the more upfront end of the spectrum. It is definitely the most diverse line up we’ve ever done. We’ve definitely gone for DJs that reflect our soulful vibe but can also smash a dance floor namely Storm, Total Science, Kane, Zero T & Al – interspersed with the likes of DJ Guv and Shadow Demon – it’s going to be interesting for sure! But we’ve made sure there’s a logical flow to the line up as well. We are of course absolutely gutted that Marcus Intalex is no longer with us, as he was originally planned to play- and is a influence on why EOC began. But he’ll be there in spirit for sure with Storm doing a tribute set and as far as I’m concerned the whole stage is going to be dedicated to him.

What’s next for Essence Of Chi?

I’m hoping EOC will be making a return in some shape or form in the near future- we have some venues in mind.

Any famous last words?

Watch this space!

Thank you Keira and see you on the 6th August! get your ticket to Moondance Festival where you’ll find Essence If Chi & Son Of Dance which will represent the full spectrum of drum&bass, HERE and find the full line up HERE

Visit their site for more information

Like Essence Of Chi on Facebook, Twitter , Soundcloud & Mixcloud

Exclusive Interview: Collette Warren

Collette Warren a young female vocalist originally from Birmingham has featured on numerous previous releases from producers like

 FD,Philth,Skeptical etc.

 

Collette has been making moves within D&B for some time and will be continuing to do so through 2017.

 

Here’s a quick Q & A with Collette.

 

Your originally from Birmingham but chose to move to London to gain a career within music.
Surely that was a big decision to make & do you feel that is has all worked out well?

Yes definitely!

I love Birmingham and it will always be my home, but I just felt like London had more opportunities and the drum & bass scene is so strong there with so many different club nights that I could network in, I had to do it!

I wasn’t doing any music when I was living in Birmingham, just raving every weekend, so one day my best friend Zoe and I, after talking about it for years, just made the move and it was the best thing I ever did!

If I didn’t move to London I don’t know what I’d be doing now.

The opportunities came and I grabbed them and was lucky enough to follow my dreams!

So yes, it did all work out well, I’ve actually moved to Bristol now which is also an amazing place for music and full of opportunities.

You were scouted by MC TALI & were one of her backing singers.
Do you still have contact and do backing vocals for her & the jazz band?

Well unfortunately Tali moved back to her beloved country New Zealand a few years ago but thankfully we got an amazing friendship out of it and we are still in contact  but no more backing vocals for her & the jazz band.

I’ve actually started my own band since moving to Bristol which is something I have wanted to do for years & years, so I’m really happy I have finally done it.

We will be doing live versions of a lot of my drum & bass tracks, not all of them are drum & bass versions but the music we do is a mixture of d&b, soul, funk, acoustic and together as a band, we are also writing our own stuff too.

You have performed in some iconic venues.
Have those venues helped you gain more confidence?

Absolutely!

Every gig and every venue I perform at just helps me gain more & more confidence but you can never let yourself get too confident because it takes the beauty away from it.

I always get nervous before a gig and always will!

It’s a mixture of nerves & excitement, it all adds to the adrenalin and makes you perform better!

Where’s the best country/venue you have performed in?

There are so many but I’d have to say when I performed in Brazil, for Marky & Friends at a venue called Audio Club!

It was such a dream come true to get to perform in Brazil and the gig was amazing!

It was the first time at a gig that I felt like the people there, were there to see me, as well as the other artists and it was a nice feeling!

The fans in Brazil are the best in the world and I really hope I get to go back!!

How did you become a solo artist?

It was a natural process really.

I didn’t have much confidence before Tali believed in me and I became her backing singer, and my confidence grew & grew until I was ready to be at the forefront.

I always wanted to be a D&B vocalist, so I was just waiting for the right opportunity.

It was actually when I sang at my friend Keira & Tim’s wedding, when Freddie (FD) heard me sing and asked me to work on a track with him.

The track was called ‘Want You’ and featured on Lenzman & Riya’s Metalheadz Podcast, and that’s where it all began.

Riya and yourself have been known to work alongside each other but we haven’t seen or heard anything in a while.
Whats happening with that?
Are you two in the process of getting back in the studio and working together?

Riya and I are great friends and we love singing together, but we have been working on our own projects for a while now and we also live in different cities now.

When we both lived in London it was easy to have a jam together and it was a lot of fun! I’m sure we will end up on a track again together one day.

 

Do you agree or disagree that females within D&B are still finding it hard & face alot of pressure within this genre?

( especially with recent events on social media )

I definitively agree!

All the hate on social media against Mollie Collins is just ridiculous!

I mean what era are we in really?

I just think it’s a joke and it’s only because she is a woman, if she was called Matthew Collins and was a guy, she wouldn’t be getting all this hate!

To be honest I think it’s good for her, no matter whether you get good press or bad press,as long as you are getting press it means you are successful.

The more hate she gets the bigger she will get and I say good for her!

At the end of the day the male/female ratio difference within D&B has always been this way and it will probably always be like that.

I mean I do definitely think that a lot more women are coming through now whether that be producers, DJs or vocalists and that’s great. The gender thing doesn’t really bother me to be honest, I’m just so used to it being this way and it is what it is.

I mean compared to when I started going raving there are a lot more women in drum and bass and at some raves you go to, you will get more men maybe at like the hard drum and bass nights but I know there are some girls that worship that hard stuff.

I think the good thing about having more women in drum and bass is that it brings a kind of feminine sexy edge to the music and it’s something for the women to look up to in this society..

Where can we see you live on the mic next?

Well my next gig isn’t till April now and it’s in Ulm, Germany.

The NME Click boys have a night out there and these boys are so great and I’ve been wanting to play out there for ages, so really looking forward to it!

Then in the summer I’m going on a US tour, so looking forward to that as well!

Who has been your favourite producer to work with?

I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone, but my favourite producer to work with, would have to be DJ Marky!

Not only is he a legend and I’m so honoured to be working alongside him but out of everyone he is the person that believes in me and my music the most out of all the producers I have worked with and he really supports me and pushes me!

I’ve had some amazing opportunities off the back of our songs, Brazil being one of them and I can’t thank him enough!

He is also a lot of fun and always so positive, especially if he has got some sushi in front of him, haha.

Also are you currently working alongside any producers for forthcoming releases?

Well I’m actually working on an EP which will come out on Innerground hopefully late summer!

I’m really excited about it, I’m so grateful for everything I’ve done but it’s nice to be not just the ‘featuring’ artist all the time, and have my own thing!

So far I have a track done with Marky of course, being Innerground and all that, hehe!

So we are just sorting out the rest of the collabs and that is all I can say for now on that.

Any final words?

Big ups to anyone out there that is enjoying what I’m doing and my music!

I really appreciate all your support and I hope you continue to like my work in the future and I really hope to see everyone at a show near you soon.

Many Thanks Collette Warren.

Here’s a few links to check out, keep up to date where and when you can hear Collette performing.

https://soundcloud.com/collette-warren 

https://en-gb.facebook.com/ColletteWarrenMusic/

Exclusive interview: DJ Handy

Hey DJ Handy! Thanks for answering my questions for drum+basics.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing in the drum&bass scene?

Hi Jenny, It all started in the late 80’s early 90’s when I when i was going to acid house raves, I was lucky enough to meet Dj Bazza from Cambridge who was promoting parties, he was kind enough to let me have a go on his 1200’s and this gave me the bug to learn to dj. I didn’t play out at all in the early years apart from house parties and in my bedroom!! I stopped deejaying for quite a few years and ended up selling one of my decks and put my vinyl in storage. Playing drum and bass came after meeting Kred on a snowboard holiday about 15 years ago. We had one deck each and we got together in his garage in north London and started doing mix tapes. Utah Jazz got us a slot on Origin fm from where we started to get a few gigs and then we started Launch.

You’re both a DJ and promoter, do you produce as well?

I am only just starting to make my own music, It’s going ok but I have a lot to learn. To be honest, I was never interested in making my own tunes as I just love to dj, it’s only been in the last couple of years that I felt that I wanted to have a go at production. I am lucky enough to have a lot of producers around me that are more than willing to give me a few pointers in the right direction.

What do you enjoy the best; organising your own night, playing out or raving?

I enjoy all 3 in different ways. Raving is what got me into deejaying and promoting. I’ve been to so many amazing nights with great music and atmosphere. I have also been to nights that didn’t quite turn out so well for one reason or another, but this then gave me the inspiration to try and do better rather than just complain about the rubbish nights!

It’s a great feeling when you get to play out to an up for it crowd, I tend to feed off the energy of a good crowd which makes me play better and enjoy it more and hopefully it works for the crowd to.

Promoting is definitely the best to do! This is because when I get ravers coming and telling me what a great night they’ve had and when artists tell me how much they enjoyed playing at Launch it makes me feel proud of what I have achieved with the night and makes it worth while.

If you could put on a night in ANY other genre than drum&bass/jungle, what would that be?

I still like old school 88-91 so would probably be something based around those years in style. I find myself mixing that more and more at home after a weekend of drums!!

You’ve been doing Launch now for a few years, how did it all start? Was there a plan from the beginning with Launch or have you just taking it step by step to see where it would take you?

Kred and I started Launch 10 years ago so we could put a party on for friends to enjoy and also so we could play out more as it’s really tough for Deejays that don’t produce to get a booking. It’s really just grown step by step, just my ambition for wanting to do something for people to come and enjoy.

Launch is really going from strength to strength and it’s wicked to see more and more people realising what a quality night it is. What did you expect from Launch at the start?

I didn’t really expect anything, i just wanted to hear good music and see people having a good time. I wanted to be able to pay my artists their fee even if it comes out of my own pocket.

What’s been toughest?

There are a lot of different aspects of putting on a successful night apart from getting people through the door. I would say the hardest is finding a good venue, it has to have a great sound system and very good security staff. When you’re a punter going out to a night the security is the first aspect of getting into the venue. There is absolutely no need for rude staff. The last thing you need is some steroid beef cake on the door wanting to rough up your customers because they had a bad day!! What you need is polite crowd control that can deal with a situation calmly if things get a little heated. 99% of ravers are just coming out to have a good time. This is why Launch is at Bloc, they really know how to handle themselves and the crowd correctly. 

Picking the right line up and then been able to secure the artists within a budget. You would think that would be easy but it’s very difficult when you can’t book some djs 6 weeks either side of them playing at particular events in London because of exclusivity deals. Booking agents also asking for ridiculous fees for artist for the size of venue. In my opinion it just suffocates the scene and stops artists getting a gigs.

Big night at Bloc. tonight with a massive line up, what were your thoughts about getting these names together?

I always try and be diverse with the line ups at Launch, I have a long list of artists i wish to book. I usually start with a headliner and book other artists around them to suit the night. It seems to be a formula that works, I book artist for their deejaying skills rather than production skills

If there’s anyone who’s never been to a Launch night before, what can they expect? A great atmosphere with good music!

What’s next for Launch?

Its our 10th year this year so hopefully the best yet. I’m planning a couple more parties in London this year but haven’t got any dates to give out just yet.

I’ve also teamed up with a friend with the Launch sound system where we have been booked for a visual and sound installation at festivals in the summer, we have Latitude, Bestival and Lost festival confirmed so far. It’s not just drum and bass but a multi genre stage of us playing all sorts of music to visual projections. Pure party vibes!!!

Favourite producer/DJ? I have so much respect for some artists I can’t give you an answer, it’s like asking a parent who their favourite child is!

Where can we see Handy play next? Launch tonight, AKO on the 19th May (more info HERE), Sun&Bass 3-10/9. You can also hear me play on Bassdrive every Friday from 9-11pm gmt

What’s next for Handy? Work on my production and get more gigs really. I think there is always room for improvement.

Any famous last words? I just want to send a shout out to all the people that have come to Launch and keep coming back, it really wouldn’t be the successful night it is without their support, they are the real reason I’m still able to do it 10 years on.

I also support this group: Drum&Bass Against Racism

Thanks and BIG UP!

Tickets for Launch TONIGHT: RA

Launch Facebook // Launch Mixcloud

More Handy: Mixcloud // Facebook

 

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: ‘ Ricky Force ‘

Drum+Basics first exclusive interview & a guest mix of 2017 comes from Ricky Force.

Ricky originates from Dublin, Ireland.

 

Director of Pressin’ Hard Records.

Has had many previous releases on Skeleton Records, Mac 2, Flex & obviously not forgetting Reinforced.

 

This year we have already seen Ricky nominated for the Jungle Awards.

A lot more is forthcoming for Ricky, so lets find out more!

 

1999 You became part of the Bassbin Crew in Dublin playing on pirate radio.

 How did you get onto playing pirate radio stations?

I began Djing properly in 1999 however I didn’t start playing with Bassbin until I had a few nervous sessions on Power Fm with Don Rosco.

Power Fm was a truly great station with such a great spectrum of music..

 Did the regular slot on pirate station help you gain residency at events?

Yes, it did both on Power FM and Raidio Na Life,however there wasn’t that many decent events about.

Bassbin were at the top so I was happy enough to have a regular slot there.

After that you began running your own events many years back, alongside like minded friends.
Whats your view on the whole promotion game?

The people I ran the events with were somewhat like-minded at the time but that all changed as time went on.

Events became quite difficult and taxing on the pocket.

Let alone the cold nights handing out flyers to drunken ravers..!

We would book artists from overseas and lose lots of money sometimes,empty rooms were frequent.

Saying that we had many serious nights..

One of the best events I attended was one of our own parties with Randall, Kenny Ken and Criminal K,it was incredible, all worth it for those ones..

It takes a certain person to promote and do a great job at it, I have the utmost respect for them as they are essentially the door for people to access the music.

Would you start running an independent event again?

No, definitely not in Dublin.

 I don’t  have the time to invest in what’s necessary but also the scene is somewhat divided and different here now, the same age-long rules of respect don’t apply anymore.

There are lots of established artists living here from the likes of my good friend Beta 2 (Metalheadz), Mecca + Code (Subtle Audio), Jet Li (Phase 2), Genetix (Basic), Calibre (Signature) to name just a few.

They don’t get booked here, be it at clubs or festivals and if they do it’s extremely rare, including myself.

That attitude puts me off the scene here and has done for many years.

It’s definitely an unfortunate one as there is so much talent here.

There is really only one or two decent promoters, one being Jenni,she has a good eye for booking quality acts as she has passion for the music.

 

 2005 is when the production started.

Why wait so long to start producing music?

Being the worlds best procrastinator, had a part I think.. I wanted to make tunes for years,I knew exactly what I wanted but took me a while to get into it.

Thankfully I had people like Elmo, Naphta and Beta 2 of Bassbin to guide me,starting on their hardware, then on to software.

I have so much respect for those guys,I was very lucky to have them around.

Big up!

What was your first release?

My first release was digital on Exegene recordings.

The Aerial EP.

Cube from Subvert central (the place where I could nerd out before social media) was the man behind it.

Any past & present influences within music?

My influences come from everywhere.. Not really within music..

I’m quite a nostalgic person (surprise). I get influenced by my surroundings and the seasons also obviously relationships, like any musician I guess.

I’ve just had the most difficult heartbreaking 3 years of my life.

Wasn’t able to write anything for a long time.. That influences me about 80% if I’m honest.

Soon you’ll be visiting the South of England for Brighton loves Jungle showcasing Dj Stretch record label AKO BEATZ..

Yes! Brighton Loves Jungle, I can’t wait to play there again.

Last time I played there was 2013,such a killer night.

This time along side legends.. FBD Project and DJ Stretch.

 More info here.. https://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?917994

 

Have you any forthcoming releases on AKO BEATZ?

I have a new 12″ on AKO coming in the next couple of weeks. Pre orders have gone live

! I also have a track which features Mecca that may make an appearance on AKO soon.

Noticed you will be heading out to the USA.
Will you be touring anywhere else this year?

Yes, I’ve just returned from a tour in the US Oct – Dec ’16.

This year I will hopefully be returning for 2 more,provided that idiot in charge over there gives me the okay!

I have a few other events lined up this year, Dublin, Galway, Leeds, Bangface and Boomtown so far.

Possibly Australia too.

 

Any other achievements you wish to accomplish this year?

A couple!

I’m planning to get into some serious sound design work this year,I also want to take up Aikido and get a license to train dogs.

Final words?

I want to thank Reinforced, Flex and AKO for getting me on board,It means a lot to me.

Randall, L Double, Stretch, Remarc, Equinox and Marc Mac, props to you guys.

Finally to everyone who had the patience for my music over the last few years.

A lot more coming your way!

Check out Ricky Force Exclusive Guest mix for Drum+Basics.

 

Drum+Basics: Exclusive Guest Mixes.

Here’s a link to all our exclusive guest mixes so far…

 

Roll on 2017 as we will be back providing the best within D&B!

 

Behind the Rave: Kapow! Interview with Skyz

Hello Skyz and thank you for answering my questions for drum+basics!

Let’s start from the beginning, how did you end up in the drum&bass/raving scene?

Hi Jenny, it all started in about 92 listening to the Pirates (Pulse FM, Dream, Eruption, Chillin) I used to tape shows and play them on my way to School and on my Sharp Mega Box! I was really into the ‘Subburban Base/Moving Shadow and Ram sound’. I remember the first tracks that really stood out for me at the time which were 31 SECONDS, THE DARK STRANGER and LORD OF THE NULL LINES. I was all over them tunes I knew was a musical sound I really connected with. Growing up in my early teens I did the classic bunking of school, playing street fighter in the local record shop, listening to Hardcore & Jungle that the DJs were playing, thinking to myself ‘I want more of this’! So I saved up my money and got some shabby decks from a local pub and started Raving!!

dnbHow did you start organising raves? From raves in the early 90’s, I was fascinated by the DJ and was always at the front going mad to DJs like Mickey Finn, Andy C, Hype & Zinc thinking ‘I want to be doing this, I want to get that reaction!!!’ In about ‘96 I started playing at house parties and youth club discos, but wanted to put on more of a rave party so after a few years I organised a small Rave event called ‘’STILL IN MOTION’’ with my crew ‘Social Sound’ with local DJs & Mcs. That led to a crew event called ‘’SOCIAL SOUNDS’’. I think we put on 7 events over the space of a year with the full spectrum of dance music, starting the nights off with House n’ Garage, Oldskool, Jungle & Drum n Bass. They were awesome nights as each one of us played different music. In 2006 I teamed up with a fellow Raver from Essex (M1) who shared the same style of Music and suggested we put an event on in Essex as it was swamped with Jump-up events and no other Drum n Bass style going on at the time. So we created “DEEPAH” and alternative Drum n Bass events from Rolling, Dark, Jungle, Oldskool, Liquid… We did our first few nights in London in a small bar called DRY BAR in Barbarian and from the success of the night we then held events in Reading & Essex where it really took off with the support from the local Ravers who were into our style. We created a massive following, filling every club we held an event in with artists such as GOLDIE, HYPE, MAMPI SWIFT, FABIO & GROOVERIDER, JUBEI & SP:MC. We also hosted a CRITICAL RECORDS night and DISPATCH that were road blocks! From the success of the DEEPAH nights we set up our own digital label called DEEPAHBEATZUK and had 10 successful releases from producers METH & 2SHY, ATECH, EXIT9, MIZO, EXPECT, NRANGES & UBERMAN and more. In 2009 we were offered Room 2 every month in Essex’s biggest Club Venue “TALK NIGHTCLUB” where DEEPAH found its home. We had 3 successful years at TALK with DJ’s like ICICLE, HAZARD, KENNY KEN, ROCKWELL, DILLINJA, LENZMAN, JUBEI, TOTAL SCIENCE, JUMPIN JACK FROST, and Mc’s SP:MC, RAGGA TWINS, EVIL B, FUNSTA, MESSY and many more. As we slowed down, we decided in 2012 to have a break to focus on other projects, our own lives and day jobs since running an event every month can be quite a commitment.

What’s the best Rave you have been to? I think that has to be WORLD DANCE, HARDWARE, JUNGLE SPLASH, DESIRE and most of the Raves from 95-2005.

From what I’ve heard you are also producing music, what can you tell us about that? I started producing back in the early 90s in the ATARI ST & AKAI days. I went to the Legendary HURRICANE STUDIOS in Deptford & Bagley’s for my Music courses. It was Always for a bit of fun until the past few years where I have been actually completing and mastering tunes I made years ago, and playing them out I have been getting good response. That’s given me the drive to get back in the Studio more and make more tracks.

Favourite Dj & Producer? It’s gotta be Andy C for the early days, Zinc & Total Science for productions. I play a lot of old Drum n Bass and Jungle in my sets so love the 90s Drum n Bass production.

What do you enjoy the most: DJ, produce or organise raves? I think the ultimate buzz for me is playing my own tracks out and seeing Ravers going mad to Music I have produced! That’s the best buzz.

When you are not living drum&bass and raves – what do you do? I work as a Designer/Printer and have just set up my own design company Skydesignz. I have always been into Art & Design and love creating new images, I create a lot of Rave flyers & logos so always looking for fresh ideas…

You are behind the event Kapow! which has its third event this Saturday. How did this come about? I run KAPOW! with Richard Raindance so I am lucky to have his knowledge & experience to help promote and organise the events. It was Richard who came up with the idea and as soon as we spoke about it I knew it was an awesome concept as it was more Of an Umbrella concept for urban Dance Music: different themes, different Music styles but keeping it underground and Rave orientated. I had it in my head from the start how I wanted it to look like and as soon as we talked about a few ideas it all fell into place. dnb

We put production first as I feel most events seemed to have lost that vibe from 90’s Raves where you would go out and see the time and effort spent on production from stage acts to back drops – it’s the small things people remember. Yes of course it’s about the Music but it shouldn’t stop there; we are trying to recreate the original party vibe from back in the days where there is more to look at than the Mc on stage, Djs and Music policy. Each DJ booked I ask to play a certain style, it’s all about the non anthem sets!! Too many Oldskool events play the same old music just in different order. And we book djs who can properly mix (talent over popularity) and know their Music. The music from the 90s (jungle, dnb, Oldskool) was so versatile you could play b sides all night long!! So each DJ booked I request what style to play, it’s all about the Original Rave Music that time and DJs left behind!!! Fancy dress is optional although everyone seems to just turn up in some kind of fancy dress as the flyer designs we use seem to give that feel. Themed production is what most events are missing these days and I want to put more fun & visuals back into events rather than just a few lights and a banner!

dnbHow did you choose the DJs for Kapow?

I’m always looking for new djs and get sent loads of cool mixes and have them playing at work all the time, a lot of the djs I book is from hearing them play out or mixes I’ve been sent, there are so many talented DJs out there that don’t get a chance to play out and most of them have more passion and skills than what I hear out! The last KAPOW! I took a risk and didn’t book a headline DJ as I felt the crowd at KAPOW is all about the music regardless of who’s playing as long as it’s good music and mixed well; and our last event was rammed! We don’t need Likes or Labels, just good Music! So dress how you like and dance like no one’s watching you – this is KAPOW!

What’s the hardest part of organising a drum&bass rave? Agents and set times!!!!

What’s next for Skyz? I’m planning on getting back in the studio and making more music, also have some more dates for KAPOW! next year and want to find more djs and push the brand forward into different areas.

Any famous last words..? REPRESENT YOURSELF! Always think outside the box! Imagination rules the world!

Kapow will be taking place at Work – Bar/Nightclub, 3 Chapel Market, N1 9EZ London and you can get your tickets HERE. Don’t miss this raving experience!

Follow Skyz on Mixcloud.