« Posts under Interviews

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.

Drum+Basics Event – Dj Stretch Ako Beatz + more

dnb

Free Entry  

( Print off official invite which can be found bottom of this page )

Friday 16th December.

11PM – 3AM.

Venue

The Cavern 
The Buttermarket 
Howard Street 
Shrewsbury 
Shropshire
SY1 2LF

* Over 18s only – Bring photo I.D *

Line Up…

* STRETCH *
AKO BEATZ
(Reinforced Records)

Our special guest for the night is Stretch Ako Beatz ( Reinforced )

Check the link to know more…

http://drumandbasics.com/exclusive-interview-guest-mix-ako-beatz-dj-stretch/

* INFLUENTIAL B2B JUNGLETTE *

Two local DJs who happen to be a couple will be providing the best in some dark rollers!

* UNDEFINED B2B ROCA *

Undefined is a new upcoming producer Jack Humphreys whose tunes are just pure gold..alongside we have Roca bringing some true lush vibes!

* DJ SWELL *

Swell will be representing the Mass Effect DnB which was an event many years go in Shrewsbury.

* M_A *

Drum+Basics own M_A ( birthday girl ) will be stepping up.
She’s usually the other side of the decks,so not to be missed!

* MCs DRIBBZ & SLIMIFY D *

These two will be jumping on the mic for DJ Swell Mass effect reunion set..

For more info head over to our Facebook event page

 https://www.facebook.com/events/203155153458785/

Official invite to gain Free Entry.

15078758_1331754766869950_1726933618701422418_n

Exclusive Interview: A sides.

 

A sides is no stranger within Drum & Bass.

 

Beginning back in 1992 with his own releases & setting up Eastside records with Ola, we’ve seen & heard how versatile his releases are.

 

A sides has a long history within music & M_A wanted you guys to have an insight into his music career.

 

15128552_10157781384755173_1414347094_n

 

 

A sides you’re known to be a veteran within the music industry.

What’s your opinion on this status that you’ve been given on social media?

It’s a strange one as I’m still active within the music industry but I mean can you really apply the term veteran to someone who is still active? any how i’ll take it as a compliment :)

Lets chat about the history of your production and record label…

Going back to 1991, can you count how many releases you’ve had?

Looking back its way over 550 but then you’ve got to take into account all the remixes, compilations, all the engineering I’ve done which i never got credit for which never had my name on those releases & only got paid an engineering fee but overall we are looking at 600 plus figure which includes non D&B.

Production wise I started messing around way before 1991 purchasing a multitrack the recorder and my first set of SL 1210’s at the age of 15 with my wages from a milk round

Thank’s for being guarantor Mum x

Tell us about your transition from Hardcore to D&B?

Originally i came from Old School Electro and Hip Hop to Hip House to Hardcore then over to all genres of Drum & Bass.

 Music then & music now?

A lot has changed within music I have made tempo wise from the early days.

starting at round 122BPM & now working at around 175BPM but Drum & Bass music still remains fresh and innovative and groundbreaking which is great and production skills are second to none.

I do feel the D&B is misrepresented commercially to the masses because what people are hearing in the mainstream is very watered down and isn’t real Drum & Bass. People need to dig deeper and find the real side of D&B, what it really is!

So going on from that.

Do you think having D&B compilations in high street stores like HMV can help educate?

I haven’t really paid it much attention but I think compilations can help if they are compiled well and contain a mixture of commercial and more underground Drum & Bass.

D&B Releases?

From my current experiences i feel that the industry is changing when it comes to releasing music.

I am always thinking of ways to restructure how i release my music in the future.

Labels are starting to see more income from streaming from places like Spotify etc and are also setting up their own stores i.e Bandcamp to sell their product direct.

Vinyl is becoming more of a collectors market now.

I see a lot of labels using crowd funding through sites such as Qrates to do limited vinyl presses and it can be profitable on limited presses if it’s set up correctly.

I think most people who buy vinyl nowadays are either serious collectors or people who appreciate the art side, the cover and they like to read the sleeve notes and sit at home and just play a record on 1 turntable.

They are not worried about how loud it is any more as you can have your loud digital version if you are a DJ.

RIP Loudness war!

15050461_10157781385505173_811961781_n

Quart Sector releases?

My idea was to have the Quart LP released as 5 individual digital EP’s / Sectors over a period of 5 months and then release the whole album and some exclusive bonus content as a single package in the new year along with crowd funded vinyl releases, something special.

I feel a lot of albums get overlooked nowadays because there are so many tracks on them and people tend to forget about them very quickly especially if there are a lot of albums coming out in a short period of time so to release as 5 parts helps to prolong the life of the music and also prolong my publicity as an artist.

Your views on Quantity & Quality of releases?

Nowadays you don’t have to outlay much money to get a release out there in a digital format so really you can do what you want to musically which can be a good or a bad thing so labels can be more risky about what they release as they don’t have to pay large amounts of money on vinyl manufacturing.

Every label is different though some will have less releases but better quality and others will have more releases with less quality.

Swings and roundabouts but the label that releases the better quality would hopefully shine through!

Record Labels, your thoughts on them at present?

Some are good and some are bad :)

If you are keeping it real and in it for the right reasons then i salute you!

What’s your opinion on production, the track length times becoming shorter?

Production is great and just always seems to get better and better as technology evolves.

It doesn’t matter to me about track lengths I can roll them out in the mix either way as DJ on Serato, I don’t mind a 3 or 4 minute tune but I do agree a lot of song lengths are getting shorter.

Part of me thinks with the track being shorter it makes it more radio friendly especially commercially but it can also make a song sound more interesting if things are happening quicker but for me sometimes i love a track that just rolls out too.

images-1

A sides, you’re also known to be a global Dj.

Are there any countries you haven’t played at an event?

I haven’t been to India, Indonesia, Bali,Turkey, Vietnam, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Egypt, Ukraine, Malaysia etc but I think I have played in more countries than I haven’t lol.

So do you think that’s due to lack of D&B knowledge or event promoters?

Some countries have very small scenes if any so I may never get to play those ones.

I also feel a good established agent always helps but I do a lot of my own bookings direct, I also wish i got more love from UK promoters like I do from other countries but got to say thanks to promoters like Innersoul, Launch and Soul In Motion who have shown me great support in the UK.

Do you think events are looking all the same lately, not much variation on line ups?

I don’t really venture out to a lot of nights so it’s hard to say but I prefer the more underground events where promoters book a varied line up and keep it quality.

Label nights can all be the same but it depends on the label roster and how often they do that label night in the same city.

My ideal night is to have several rooms all playing different styles of music.

Forthcoming events, tours, projects end of this year & 2017?

I think I’m in Cardiff on 2nd December and then off to the USA over Xmas and New Year before heading straight to New Zealand from early Jan till April for the Sun And Bass tour.

Project wise I’m looking to get in the studio in New Zealand with Nathan Haines to work on new Sci-Clone projects for Metalheadz and hopefully before i leave the UK a collaboration with Serum. The Quart project is now a wrap for me so its time to move on to the next episodes!

Well it’s been a pleasure asking you these Questions.
Thanks for letting us interview you.

 

To get up to date news on forthcoming releases from A sides click these links.

www.facebook.com/pages/djasides

 www.mixcloud.com/asides

 www.soundcloud.com/djasides

 www.asides.bandcamp.com

Also Quart Sector 4 release is out this Friday…

Check it out.

 

Resonate DnB : Triptik.

14611031_10154336477640860_5509279401564142033_n

Triptik, a DJ and Producer who is finally making his debut into the DnB scene after being discovered behind the decks at an after party.

 

Hailing from Maidstone, his preference for a deep, layered mix of bass driven, rolling DnB, with a musical edge, is what his sound is about.

With his own music in the works, I’m sure you will see Triptiks’ name more frequently from now on.

 

14699874_10154362507530860_143258068_n

Here’s a promo mix.

 

 

Exclusive Interview: FD – Sun & Bass Curator 2016.

FD has deep roots in Europe’s underground scene which sees him providing varied styles of D&B in his DJ sets.

 

FD music production has the same characteristics of his mixes,ambient ,up beat & unique elements.

 

FD has had releases on recognisable labels like Soul:R, Metalheadz, Critical and Subtitles.

 

In the studio he has already collaborated with well-respected producers including Lenzman, Ulterior Motive, Fracture and vocalist Collette Warren.

 

Here’s a short Q&A with FD.

1151046_10151561337142951_1070120768_n

What gave you the push to start music production?

I was 19 and had a good friend who had already been making tunes for some time.
He offered me to come and make some tracks and I really enjoyed it, even if I had no idea what was going on!
We did a few together and I quite got the bug for it.
Eventually about 5 or 6 years later I bought my own set up, and that’s when I started taking things a bit more seriously – although I’d say I didn’t make a tune I was happy(ish!) with till about 4/5 years later!

Over the last few years you have collabed with various producers & last couple of releases have been solo.
Will we see this more often in 2016 or will you be back in studio working alongside others?

A lot of my early releases were collabs as I love working with people, i find it really enjoyable – but i then wanted to spend some time doing some solo stuff and really try to develop what ‘FD’ stood for, and get better at my craft.
I’ve really enjoyed doing that, but as I said, I love working with people too, so I’ve just recently started some collabs with a few producers whose work I like and respect and I hope some of them will see the light of day of soon!

Any producers you wish to work with?

Quincy Jones! Of course many good dnb ones too…

On that note,forthcoming releases?

I’m currently finishing EPs for SUNANDBASS Recordings and CIA, i hope they’ll see the light of day at the back-end of 2016, early 2017.

When can we expect you in the UK Djing?

I’m about a fair bit, have had some great gigs in London and Bristol recently – looking forward to many more!

FD has been officially announced as one of the Curators for this years Sun & Bass festival in Sardinia.

13912741_10153868938217951_6667169823118263601_n

Do you have a lot of input with Sun & Bass recordings?

Yes, I’m helping with the label and releasing music with them.
My next EP should be coming soon!

Recently numerous of D&B producers have started their own record label…
What’s your opinion on this?

I understand why people do it, and it’s something I’ve personally always wanted to do.
It’s a great feeling to be able to control how a product looks, sounds, feels all the way from start to finish and you can really make it exactly how you want.
There’s also financial benefits too and you can control scheduling to suit you etc.

So you’re saying you would consider starting an independent record label?

 Yes deffo.

Any final words?

Thanks a lot for having me and apologies for the longness! 

Many Thanks FD.

Keep up to date with FD music here…

& social media here https://www.facebook.com/fdbeats

 

 

 

Exclusive Interview : Emma G – Soulside Sessions & Integral Records.

Emma-G-570x321

Emma G a female Dj originally from New Zealand has been supplying us listeners true soulful vibes with her mixes alongside MC TALI..

Soulside Sessions!

 

Emma G really has inspired a lot of females to carry on and make a huge impact within the D&B industry.

 

So here it is a quick Q&A with Emma G.

 

What was the main reason why you moved from NZ to the UK?

I moved to fully immerse myself in the two creative scenes that are my life – drum & bass and sportswear/fashion design!

I never planned on staying this long, but it’s worked out really well and I’m loving life in London.

It’s such a stimulating city.

Is there anything you miss about D&B in NZ?

I miss my Fu Bar and Liquid Recreation crews for sure but times have changed.

I have so many amazing memories from that era that I cherish. Fu Bar really was my second home back in the day.

There is something very special about being from such a small and isolated place in the world that has such a strong music culture – all the international DJs who used to come and play would feel it and talk about it.

The NZ music scene in general is very loyal to it’s own, so the local DJs get just as much (if not more) love than the big internationals – well they used to anyway!

You have been known to be the golden girl of DnB back home do you feel that you still & here in the UK?

Haha – that was a nickname given to me by my awesome friend and fellow kiwi DJ Lobo because I used to rinse that amazing Bukem/Conrad track out and wear gold boots out to shows.

Golden Girl is still my favourite tune ever! Now, I think I’m onto “Soulside Queen” thanks to Tali

Unknown

You certainly have made a great positive impact by being a female DJ in a mainly male dominated industry.

Do you consider that females are equal within D&B?

Women aren’t equal in Drum & Bass ‘cause they’re better!

In all seriousness though, I think women DJs, MCs, producers and even promoters definitely bring a unique vibe – and I think it is appreciated.

Drum & bass is such a boys club and it probably always will be – female DJs are still seen as a novelty as there are still not many of us but I have worked hard to perfect my craft and be a role model.

I think I constantly surprise people because maybe I don’t look the part, but I love showing the boys up!

And actually, I have never really thought of myself as a “female DJ” as when I started it just wasn’t a thing.

DJing was super underground – it was about passionate, music-obsessed people feeding their habit by spending all their money buying vinyl and all their time mixing in their bedrooms and preparing for the clubs!!

At the time, I could never understand why there weren’t many girls into it.

Luckily I had that natural confidence back at high school and didn’t really care what other people thought, I just did my thing.

Any past or any present females who have inspired you to heavily get involved within D&B?

I was originally exposed to DJ culture through my older brother Stephen who was a prominent NZ DJ back in the day.

I was so obsessed with dance music from about age 12 and it was a bunch of my school friends and raving mates that fully got me into it (all male btw!).

That aside, I do have really fond memories of the Kemi & Storm gig in Auckland back in 1998!

I was 16 and just starting to play out and was in absolute awe of them and still am.

A-3283-1395499482-7631.jpeg

Is their any females within D&B at present that we need to keep our eyes and ears open for?

Check out fellow kiwi cutie and beautiful vocalist Blake who’s currently working with Hospital Records.

Tell us about your role within INTEGRAL RECORDS?

I’m the Label Manager and we are a small team so I work on lots of different things –A&R’ing, PR, graphic design and general management of all the workstreams.

I first started working on the label to put together the Integral Select compilation album that came out a couple of years ago and we have big things in the pipeline which is super exciting.

Integral-Records-Header

How do you balance your normal daily job while running a record label?

I’ve always been a busy person so pretty used to juggling and thrive on having a huge to do list.

I’m a freelance sportswear designer by day and work a lot remotely so I can manage my workload to find time for all things music-related because music is my absolute passion!

We don’t release a lot of music as we are all about quality over quantity so it’s not a full-time role.

It’s more of a hobby for all of us involved.

Paul and all the guys at SRD are absolutely amazing – without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Can we expect more Soulside Sessions alongside MC TALI in the near future?

Tali and I have just been talking about a timeline for Soulside Session 9 – so I’m going to start the curation process very, very soon and it will definitely be out before the end of the year.

Hold tight!

What was the main plan behind Soulside Sessions?

When Tali and I first met at one of the Shapeshifter after parties here in London, we really hit it off and became friends and started playing a few shows together.

As we are both super passionate about the music we decided to put a mix out for free, just for fun and were pretty overwhelmed with such a positive response.

So we kept doing them and each time would watch our stats on Soundcloud climb.

Eventually we decided to start touring the live show and to date have done 2 European tours and we also get together and have a jam in New Zealand whenever I head back.

We’re super close to locking a US tour which is still hopefully on the cards, we just need schedules to align.

We both feel pretty blessed to have so many Soulside fans around the globe who constantly reach out to us from all corners.

You recently had an event alongside True Romance.

( Big love to Zoe & Charlotte ).
Will there be any other UK events we can see you DJing at?

I’m just figuring out some dates at the moment for various gigs so watch this space!

Would you consider moving into different genres of music?

I actually had a side career playing house music back in New Zealand, which was very successful.

I did it for a number of years and had residencies all over Auckland and played on all the big parties but eventually I grew out of it and found my way back to my roots in drum & bass which was where my DJ career started – at underage raves playing techstep would you believe.

It was actually really hard to have a profile playing both styles – people were a bit funny about it.

You were either a house head or a junglist – the crews were so segregated, but I did manage it for a while.

I used to play a gig in Tauranga where I’d play 2 hours of house and end with drum & bass which was awesome and people were really into it.

I also used to cheekily play drum & bass on my radio show which was meant to promote house music. Eventually it became a full drum & bass show!

I’d absolutely love to play different styles of music again but as I have so much going on in my life and my passion for d&b will long prevail, it makes sense for me to stay focused.

Do you produce alongside ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE or independently?

I don’t really produce – I’ve delved into it so many times over many, many years but I’ve never really had the time to hone my skills and make something of it.

It doesn’t help that I am an absolute perfectionist so can never finish anything.

Production in some capacity is definitely still on the cards but for now I’m focused on getting the next Soulside Sessions sorted and releasing future Integral talent!

artworks-000127755648-p20fbe-t500x500

The answer to this will probably be a no but here’s the question that most D&B fanatics what to know…
Do you know who DAWN WALL is?

The whole project is so mysterious and it’s way more fun keeping it that way.

All I can say from behind the scenes is that there is SO much fresh new music coming from the Dawn Wall camp and we are super excited to share it with the fans soon.

Next level business!

Been great to ask you a few Qs..

Any final words?

Thanks for asking me to contribute x

 

Exclusive interview and free tune: BPSK

Hello BPSK! Thank you for answering my questions for us!bpsk

Forgive our english, we’ll do the best to tell things in a good way :) We’re better at making beats!

Hello Jenny, It’s Bernard and Greg from the BPSK Duo. It’s a great pleasure for us, thank you.

How did you you end up being a producer/DJ and how long have you been producing music?

Bernard: I discovered electronic music during mid 90’s, 1996 to be exact, then my very first alias was born under the name of Breaker Poker aka DJ Koink. I was a lucky guy to work in a vinyl shop in Avignon (France) from 2001 till 2005, specialized in Bass Music. That helped me to discover a bit more in depth the UK bass music culture. I remember the first time I heard Jungle Music, I had shivers! That was incredible for me. Since then I wanted to know more about Jungle – thanks Roni Size! And the music production came in 2005 after a sound engineer/music school in Marseille.

Greg: Electronic music has been in my life since I was 10. I remember listening to some techno tapes like N°1 Techno or Techno .com in my mum’s car! And on an other side Thunderdome CD’s in my bedroom. Then time flies and I’ve met some friends that were DJ’s or producers and started to create some Drum N Bass/Hardcore beats on Fruity Loops 3 Demo for fun, that was in 2005 too. Then the next year, my father passed away and I decided to get more seriously into music to find a way to express myself. three years later, The S.K. was born and changed into TheSK, nowadays a solo alias. Producing and Djing went at the same time, I’ve learn on vinyls and tried CD’s, controllers and now leaved the DJ part to focus my home studio, making beats and mastering.

During 2009, we met over the internet thanks to a friend, also a producer called Hubwar. We finally met up in the studio and BPSK was born!

You are originally from France but have been here as well, what did you do in the UK?

Yes, we are from France but for some personnel and professionals reasons, Greg moved to Belgium.

Bernard: In 2012, I entered a remix contest with Virus Syndicate – The Sign, and I had the chance to win it. That helped me to get in touch with Virus Syndicate. I have wanted to go to UK for a while, so I decided to meet up with Goldfinger Mc and spend a month in here. That was such a wicked experience; go to parties and say Hi to talented artists such as Dub Phizix, Strategy, Skittles, Skeptical, DRS, Dj Hype, Danny Bird, Jade… I was feeling like a kid in a Lego Store!

bpskAre you planning to come back to the UK soon?

Bernard: Yes, I really fell in love with UK DnB a long time ago. Now it’s time for me to get closer for my love for UK culture and meet the people and friends I now have there. The idea of leaving France for UK is growing in my mind…

I’ll be back! I love UK!

Greg: I’d like to go there with him, but I have to admit that I love my comfort so much and sadly my job is taking a lot of time, but hopefully it’ll change in the next months.

Do you produce other genres than drum&bass as well?

Yes, we are making different music styles such as Dubstep and other similar styles. And we’re both in love with Techno and those kind of grooves. We’re owing a label under the name of Datalab Records. A bit on the side at the moment to keep focus on our projects.

Data Synchro is our techno alias, we really wanted to make things clear with 2 alias.

And Greg’s solos aliases, as a good schizophrenic; techno and hiphop.

How would you describe your music?

It’s kinda hard to describe what we do. We’re a bit multiple faced producers, making different styles, doing different style.
We’ll just let you do your own judging by reading and listening to the links.

You have done a free track for us, thank you for that! What can you tell us about it?

Yes, and we’re pleased to make this exclusive one for you, called « Double Faced ».

This one is something that really show what we like. Atmospheric intros, easy but effective drop. We’re not looking for complexity in our tracks, but we’re trying to reach people with something catchy and groovy.

You DJ as well, what type of set do you usually play?

Bernard: I mostly play Drum N Bass, but sometimes other styles. To me the most important thing is what I can give to the crowd.

Greg: I like djing all the music styles I love, but I’ve got my preference for dark and slow techno.

What’s more fun: djing or producing?

Bernard: No doubt: Djing! I’m so happy to see people dancing at my sets, I never want it to stop!

Greg: Opposite to Bernard: producing. I enjoy djing, but I feel more free in my studio, making the exact thing I want to do, listening to the same loop for hours and hours to make it better. And Im also attracted by technics production and my mastering job more than djing.

What’s next for BPSK?

Some big projects on the way, but we keep them secret for the moment!

Any famous last words?

Bernard: « Drum n bass is not a music, it’s a religion »

Greg: « Groovy baby! »

Big up!

Find them on Facebook & Soundcloud.