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Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Dutchie.

Who and when inspired you to become a Dj?

It’s going to sound ridiculous…but I remember when I first saw Kevin and Perry Go Large! and, even though it is supposed to be a comedy, I was just amazed at the clubs and the music. I wanted to DJ too! I was  big into trance and club music as it was what I was brought up around. One day at around 10 years old I discovered Nasty Habits – Shadow Boxing and the rest, as they say, was history !

Has D&B took over your life?

I think it has yes. In the most positive way ever though! I always loved the music before. I never knew anybody else that was into it though. Eventually I met people in my area that also liked drum and bass. It wasn’t until I transitioned to the other side of the decks that it fully began to take over my life though. Most of my friends now are drum and bass related. Most of my conversations down the pub on a Saturday night are drum and bass related too (ha!)

What is the main thing you enjoy the most within this music?

It honestly has to be the community of people I have met. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the amazing people I have met along the way. I have made friends for life in this scene. I found love a few times in this scene (even if we did end up having to call it a day) and I just love the fact we all get together to get merry and dance about like nutters. It’s fantastic and the novelty really will never wear off !!!

I’ve noticed you’ve been in the studio producing music..
Tell us more?

I’ve been keeping it on the DL…but I’ve been plugging away trying to learn the craft. Dark jungle is what I think I’m leaning more naturally towards creating. Hopefully you will see some Dutchie productions soon. I was just keen not to rush anything. If I’m gonna do it, I’m gonna do it properly! 😉

When can we see you next Djing?

I will next be performing at Epidemik in Stevenage on the 19th of May alongside the GTA crew! I performed at Epidemik’s 21st Birthday Bash with GTA back in November 2016 – we are thrilled to be asked back. Each of us in GTA provide a unique flavour within drum and bass and jungle.

Any big plans for the rest of the year?

Just to really work hard on getting some more bookings in the darker, more headzier side of the scene. That’s really where my passions lie when it comes to production and my own creations and I would love to be more involved on that side ! I am slowly getting there (I came into this scene not knowing anybody really!) So fingers crossed. I also want some Dutchie productions to see the light of day! One step at a time though aye…

What’s your opinion on females getting more attention within D&B just due to that fact they’re female?

This is a sore subject for me. I will be honest…I hate it. I’m not going to be naive, I know a good percentage of people probably only paid attention to, say, my live streams because I’m a woman. I’d like to think, though, that once they clicked play the focus turned more on the tunes. I do wish the whole webcam thing wasn’t an option. With a name like ‘Dutchie’ too people would never know if I was male or female. I honestly hope the attention spreads more equally as time goes on. We’re here for tunes.

Thank you to Maryanne for having me on Drum and Basics !

I am stoked to have conducted this interview and I love the work you do. It is great to be a part of it. Thank you :)

Exclusive Guest Mix: Melos

Melos’ has been long-standing resident DJ of Lincolnshire for many years now, throwing parties and putting on events for nearly 25 years.

A true vinyl junkie at heart, he has also been hard at work in the studio churning out over 200 releases over the last 8 years on Baker Street Records, 22 Digit, Soul Deep Recordings, Deeper Vision, Vibration Records, Deconstructed Recordings, New Progress LTD, Liquid Brilliants and many others.

DJ support over the years has come from Laurent Garnier, Krysko, Slam, Brothers Vibe, Stacey Pullen, Iron Curtis, Vince Watson, Deetron, LTJ Bukem, London Elektricity and Annie Nightingale showing without a doubt that Melos is not a one trick pony.

Deep house and techno is a big passion for him but his roots in 90’s hardcore and ambient jungle always steers him towards drum & bass music in his DJ sets and production.

Melos is all about good music, no matter the style.

Plain & simple!

Links to Melos’ music production and previous mixes.

https://www.mixcloud.com/melosmusic/

https://soundcloud.com/melosrecordings

Check out Melos’ guest mix for Drum+Basics here.

 

Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix: Future.

Future started buying records 1989, started Djing 1990.

His early days of a DJ started on Trance-fm middle of 1991 moving onto Raw-fm which became Don-Fm.

 

Back in 1992/93 Futures first gig was “World Party” at linford studios in Wandsworth.

 

Future began working at Lucky Spinn Records in 1993/94,ran an event @ the Gas club called Tempest in 1994/95.

More recent Rupture, Jungle Syndicate, Technicality, Outlook festival Sydney Australia.

 

Then to the present Dream Fm, Life Fm & sets at AKO Beatz forthcoming set at our own event Drum+Basics presents real sound of the underground.

 

First record release was on Federation records 1999 with a track called “The Truth” & Neo on Compasite records.

 

Other releases on DSCi4, 117 records, Criminal records, Mute:8 records, Lost Dubs, Bustle Beats, Skeleton Records & with more to come on AKO Beatz.

 

It’s looking good for 2018 & 2019.

 

Hey Future,what a journey you’ve already had within D&B.
What’s been the biggest achievement so far?

Hey Mary-Anne, many thanks for asking me to do this interview.

My biggest achievement so far has been my E.P on 117 with Trax ‘ Is it safe? ‘ & ‘ Evil place ‘ which kicked off the record label 117.

Also my remix of Babylon which was nominated as ‘ Best Jungle Track of 2017 ‘.

Still being involved in the music which in my eyes is a big achievement.

 

Obviously there has been a lot of inspiration.
Anyone in particular?

The whole inspiration thing comes from so many different genres of music, off the top of my head my main influences have been a lot of electro Hip-Hop mid/late 80s obviously early 90s Hip-Hop.

There’s been too many influences but the main one for me that sticks out the most within D&B.

 ‘ GOLDIE ‘

Due to his early 90s influences with Reinforced Records & Timeless Album.
That album stands the test of time.

 

There’s a lot of mixed opinions on Jungle at present,most are quite negative due to misrepresentation on social media and on event flyers.
What’s your opinion on this?

I think the music is at it’s best all sub-genres of D&B.

It’s good to see the influence of breaks and amens, all the original elements of the early days influencing the sound again. The discovery of new talent is great aswell for the music and a lot of new artists coming through.

Jungle on the whole is getting a lot of attention which is great but for me a lot of people don’t know the difference between Jungle,Jump Up D&B due to poor media articles where you can tell that there’s been no knowledge/research where the music really stems from.

A wise man once told me in a conversation relating to this that there are plenty of mans at present on the band wagon, we will see what soldiers are still standing when the dust has settled.

 

Your music has been released on many record labels.
Is there any labels that you wish to release music on?

No I’m really happy with what I’ve got at present, being creative and expressing myself within my music is a blessing and anything more that comes about in the future will be even more of a blessing.

The labels I have already had releases on truly mean a lot to me.

 

Forthcoming releases?

AKO BEATZ – Dynamical Forces E.P Alongside Eric Electric

Pre – order 27.04.18.

http://akobeatz.com

JUICE RECORDS.

 

Which do you prefer Djing or Music production?

At present it’s all about the music production for me but I really enjoy doing gigs but my creativity is music production as the more I produce music the more i learn.

 

Any gigs coming up?

Not many except your event which I’m really looking forward to as the line up is really diverse and looking forward to playing out some hard breaks, testing new material.

Playing at a festival in Cambridgeshire in June.

I’m not really concentrating on that side of things at present just working on tunes.

 

Any final words, special thanks?

Big thanks to everyone who has been supporting my music in the last 7 years may it continue.

Got to say a big thanks to DJ Trace for believing in me back in the day and pushing my music through with the DSCi4 release and 117.

Monita Skeleton Records. Code Bustle Beats. Mark Fuller Mute:8.
Stretch AKO Beatz . Andy & Undercover Agent at Juice Records.

Essential links for more info on Future forthcoming releases.

http://akobeatz.com

https://www.facebook.com/GaryFuture    

Check out Futures Exclusive Guest Mix & what you can expect at our next event.

Exclusive Guest Mix: Remedee

Another exclusive guest mix here on Drum+Basics

from Remedee.

 

Lately we have witnessed Remedee tearing it up at Kapow & lined up on many forthcoming events i.e Diggin In The Crates 20th April at Bar 512 London.

Sit back and chill.

 

Exclusive Guest Mix & Interview: Sicknote

Hey Lewis aka Sicknote!

How did you end up producing tracks, being a drum&bass DJ and also being a part of G.H.O.S.T? Tell us the the full story!

Hey!! Thanks for having me!

Has been a little while now, haha! I have been Djing for about 17 years and making music for about 8 or 9 years I would say. All started in Bournemouth for me, listening to tapes and then buying records from destiny and Avid records and then finally going out to raves when I was about 16/17. One of the first nights I went to was Destiny at the old fire station and I remember seeing Brockie and Mampi Swift for the first time and being fully in awe of those guys.

First memory of buying records was in Avid and Destiny in Bournemouth. I think the first record I bought was in Avid, DJ Zinc – reach out on True Playaz. Me and my mate used to start at Avid and then walk across Bournemouth town centre to Destiny and some times stop of at Standout on the way as well. Always remember Destiny, they would have music blaring out and you could hear it as you walked up the street. Good times!

As time went on I managed to play at a few nights in Bournemouth and put on a few nights myself with friends but nothing too serious. Around this time I was getting really into the heavy stuff, Current value, limewax and the whole therapy sessions sound. Me and my mate DJ Beast were playing at a few nights in town and abroad in Belgium for Mindsaw and I was keen to start making some tunes to play out. Started to play around with cubase and was also going to college studying music technology. 

After finishing my music technology course I moved to London to do my degree in sound engineering. By this time I had thought of selling all my records and concentrating on recording bands and making other electronic music but through the friends I made while studying I fully got back into drum and bass and bought my decks and vinyl up to London and started fully getting my head down into my course and making drum and bass. This is when the whole G.H.O.S.T project started. G.H.O.S.T originally was a 5 price crew which then later went down to being a 3 piece. Big shouts out to Tom, Will, Ben and Mathias! And that kind of brings us up to now where I’m mainly focusing on solo tracks and collabing with other artists and producers.

Where did you get the name Sicknote from?

My name comes from one of my favourite records by ed rush & optical on virus – sicknote/watermelon. My mate had the record at the time and we were playing it a lot when we were learning to mix on his belt drives & blue dog mixer set up on a old plastering table, which you had to climb underneath to get to the decks haha. Big up Dave!

What do you enjoy the most; producing, djing or raving?

I would say I like them all as much as the other, Haha. For me they are all a big part of the scene and the music we are into. I get the same buzz from Djing or being in the studio as I would if I was out at a rave.

For me the main thing that I enjoy is meeting and being with people in the scene. Whether this is in the studio doing a collaboration, out Djing or in a rave with all the crew at Launch or Rupture.

Do you have your own studio or how’s the set up like?

Yeah, well I have a studio setup in my bedroom. One day I will have a separate studio, maybe (that would be sick!)
I use a combination of computer software/plugins and out-board gear. 

There are some things I can do with my out board gear you just cant do in the box. I swear by my Mackie desk and EMU for certain sounds, especially on bass and drums it really does give this crunchy gritty sound I struggle to get in the box. Also at the same time, there are things I can do on my computer that is harder to obtain with gear (unless you have a endless budget for new hardware) so using both simultaneously is giving me good results at the moment.

What inspires you to make music?

Hmmmm, lots of things really. Films are always a good one for inspiring me to make a certain sounding track or a sound or sample I will hear in a film will make me think ‘yeah, I could use that or make a whole track out of that’.
Another one is going out to raves, this always inspires me to go in and try and make something like I heard out that night.
Also other people’s music from all genres. This always inspires me especially if you hear something and you think; ‘I can sample that and make a tune with it…’

Do you prefer to collaborate or making music by yourself?

I think I would say I like collaborating more. It is good to have two heads in the studio in terms of direction and making any decisions on wether and idea is any good or not. Along with having multiple skills and abilities in the studio to draw on.

Also it is just more fun in general than being sat in the studio on your own.

Not to say I don’t like writing solo tracks I just feel some of the best music I have worked on has been in collaborations up until this point.

What’s the hardest part of collaborating?

The only downside sometimes is when the person you collaborate with doesn’t say if they like what your doing or not. I prefer it if someone tells me if what we have made is shit or they are not feeling the vibe. This helps push the track forward and also can change the direction of the track completely.

Also good cups of tea got to be able to make a good cup of tea in the studio.

What else do you do with your life?

My life is taken up with music 24/7 at the moment. I work at SRD, which is an independent record distributor. I work in sales selling records to the independent record shops up and down the country. SRD sell drum and bass from the likes of virus/Dom and Roland/spearhead and Shogun audio to name a few along with a range of big techno labels such as Tresor/Ostguton/Kompakt. They also distribute everything from soundtracks and folk music to Punk and Metal. 
When I am not at work I’m either in the studio working on music or listening to records at home. Collecting records is a big passion of mine so I’m constantly on Discogs looking for records or when I can I will hit reckless and sister ray down in Soho to feed my addiction.

What did your family & friends think you’ll end up doing when you were a kid? What did you think yourself?

Haha! Not sure actually. I trained to be a carpenter when I finished school so I always thought I would do something with that. I was also a French polisher for a while but never carried on with it. When I quit that job, this was around the time I started college and decided that I wanted to take music a lot more seriously.

How would you describe your music?

I would say generally my music is quite breaks heavy and loud. Heavily influenced by the late 90s, from the likes of Dillinja, Optical, Technical itch and Dom and Roland to name a few. These guys are personal favourites and have definitely influenced my sound I think.

What’s in store for you in the near future?

I have a 12” coming out on Silent Force around March time and also a track on the next Dope Plates 12” which is out around March time as well, super excited to get these out there! Big shout out to Mark Cox and Alex Soul Intent!

I have a few more releases lined up for later in the year on Detrimental audio but I am not allowed to go into detail on them at the moment. Big up Will Token!

I have been collaborating with a lot of cool artists as well recently and hope those tracks get to see the light of day soon. Main goal this year is to work on as much music as I can.

What music do you listen to when you’re being ‘just’ Lewis?

I listen to a lot of techno when I am at work. Really into the Drexyia sound and the older Detroit techno from Juan Atkins and Jeff Mills, Shed is a sick producer, and his early albums are really good, the last Steffi album on Ostguton was amazing and I listen to that a lot. I really like the Empty Set releases epically Re-cur on Rasta Notton which is sick label to check out if you like experimental music.

Obviously I listen to quite a lot of Drum and Bass, haha. Lots of old skool DJ sets and tapes; these really inspire me to make music along with keeping up to date with the full spectrum of releases coming out.

Where and when can we see you play out?

At the moment I don’t have any bookings lined up, but I am sure something will come along soon. I would like to say big thank you to all the Promoters that have booked me recently though!

You’ve also done a mix for us, what can you tell us about that?

In the mix I have tried to play a mixed bag of music ranging from the mid 90s right up to the latest releases along with a couple dubplates that I cut recently. The Whole mix was done on the fly as I really don’t like planning mixes and I always try to play old and new records in my mixes as there are so many old records that don’t get played anymore that deserve a re-visit from time to time.

Hope you enjoy the mix!

Any famous last words?

Haha! Just to say thank you to you and Marry-Anne and big shouts out to everyone that has been supporting my music and me, means a lot. Too many names to mention but massive big ups to you all!

Special shouts to Will & Tom, G.H.O.S.T, Dissect, Mikey Soul Beat Runner and Rico

Follow Sicknote on Facebook, SoundCloud, Twitter Instagram

Paws Recordings

Skeleton Recordings

Free Download: Code Subtle Audio Recordings.

We’re gearing up for another batch of releases on Subtle Audio and Bustle Beats and getting ready to launch our new sub-label ‘Treaty Treats’ ! Test pressings of the forthcoming releases on each label arrived just in time for this show, and so I did a bit of a showcase of the new sounds from Drummotive, Enjoy and K3Bee. We hope to have these releases on the Subtle Audio site around the end of April or early in May, so watch out for em. Besides that there are lots of other unreleased beats in the mix from the likes of Bizzy B, Mecca, Dub One, Naphta, Ink, Equinox and Recon + recent releases from Coco Bryce, JCW, FFF and Scale & plenty of oldies from the vinyl vaults too including a remix from the sadly departed Tango. Rest in peace and my condolences to all that knew him.

Download link : http://www.mediafire.com/file/mqeccsu26vm99e6/Code-SubtleAudioShow_Jungletrain_2018-02-11.mp3
Tracklisting : http://www.mediafire.com/file/c00nzp49d6y8pea/SubtleAudioShow_2018-02-11-tracklisting.txt

Exclusive Guest Mix: Ascension Middle Skool Mix

There is ‘Old Skool’ and there is ‘New Skool’ …but there’s a time around the first decade of this century which spawned some of the greatest tunes, labels and producers of the genre, yet is often overlooked. We feel it’s time for this period to be truly celebrated, in conjunction with the 14th anniversary of EOC’s foundation. So prepare yourself for a musical feast from the years 1999-2009, played by the DJs and producers who were there. Welcome to… the Middle Skool!

Essence of Chi Presents Middle Skool: The 14th Birthday Reunion @ Work Bar, Angel in London on the 31 March 2018. More info and tickets HERE

The Cambridge 4 – When Pilots Eject
SpectraSoul – Tomorrow’s Promise
Andy Skopes – Break It Down You Fool
Calyx – Mindfold
SPY & Mosus – Mercury Tears
Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Palamino (2003 remix)
Logistics – Uprock
Conrad & Makoto – Golden Girl
Break – The Drone
Loxy & Ink – Amazon
Survival – Forget Tomorrow
Digital & Spirit – Phantom Force
Calyx & Teebee – Cyclone
Duo Infernale – Playing Games (Drifter remix)
Break – Mr Crystal
Dose – Lost Inside
Tactile – The Mist (Breakdown is 3)
Moving Fusion – The Beginning
St.Cal – Red Light
Icicle & Alix Perez – Caution
Influx UK – Take My

Merry Xmas: Exclusive Guest Mix – Problem Child

Merry Xmas from us ladies here at Drum+Basics.

 

This exclusive mix is from Problem Child – Louis Morton from Coventry U.K.

Problem Child only plays the best in D&B/Jungle.

Problem Child is a resident Dj on jungletrain.net.

Put your feet up get merry & enjoy this mighty heavy mix.

Download link

Tracklist

Abstract Illusion – Dark Droid (Dub One Remix) [Silent Force]
Abstract Illusion – Lo Fi Selassi [Silent Force]
Headgear – Dem Deh [AKO Beatz]
Enjoy – Fragile [AKO Beatz]
Double O – The First [Rupture]
Sonar’s Ghost – Exit 13 [Rupture]
B-Key – Jah Warrior [Scientific Wax]
Nebula – Properties Of Terror [Scientific Wax]
martianMan – Focus [martianMan]
martianMan – You Are Here [martianMan]
Djinn – Pressure [Foundation X]
Jedi Hi-Fi – Problems [Foundation X – Amenizer]
Threshold – Rumours [Skeleton]
J Monita – Nightmares (Ricky Force VIP Remix) [Skeleton]

Exclusive Interview & Guestmix: Natty Dub Recordings.

London-based Natty Dub Recordings was established in 2012 by Cabin Fever UK.

Natty Dub became a success due to having #1 chart spots on DNBarena and Juno.

Natty Dub Recordings is still growing strong.

Let’s find out some more info with a quick Q & A with Sam Frater.

Natty Dub Recordings.

 

2012 the label began.

Why not before 2012?

I had in fact run labels before 2012.

I didn’t really push the labels at the time as I was concentrating on production.
We were developing our own unique sound.

Natty Dub came about through necessity, the unique sound of our collective Cabin Fever needed a home.
Natty Dub was only ever set up to release our own music.
We believed in the music and wanted to push it, so we did.

As Natty Dub grew so did the sound and it evolved into what the label pushes today.

Does running the label take over everyday life?

Yes, it does at present, a very small but loyal team run Natty Dub.
Myself & Regina do most of the day-to-day work so yes can be very time-consuming.

We have and still are privileged to work with many artists, they keeps us busy.

Never a quiet moment here at Natty HQ.

There’s been a few familiar producers have releases on Natty Dub but saying that….
Do you wish to push the more under rated producers forward with releasing their production on your label?

We may have had some big names grace the label, like Bladerunner & Serum. Saxxon, T>I, and Jaxx amongst others on the label all making waves.

We recently signed Feline, who has recently had his first release on a various artists EP Ammo Box V4, a guy from Germany, Busterd, who also had his début single recently .

So yes, I believe Natty Dub is a label pushing new talent.

What’s lined up for 2018?

We have a lot lined up for 2018.
Off the top of my head there’s music from Saxxon, Suv , T>I , Jaxx, K-jah , Suv & Hoogs.

We are building the Rise of the Soldiers pt 2, that will hopefully be finished this year.

There will be an unveiling of the Illuminatty but that’s as much as I’m willing to say about that project.

Lots of exciting projects in the pipeline.

 Have you had any or planning any Natty Dub Events ?

This year was the first year we branched out into events.
We now have enough on our roster to offer promoters in 2018.

We have been privileged to work with some great promoters that have fully supported.

We are already in talks and planning a lot more Natty events for 2018 .

Watch This Space !!!!

Final words, any special thanks?

Firstly I want to send love to my better half Regina for the help and support she gives me with the label, without her I would go mental haha.

Sblendid Selection for his work behind the scenes.

Special thanks to the Natty squad for all their hard work and putting Natty Dub on the map.

Saxxon
T>I
Jaxx
Suv
K-Jah
Coda
Dub General
Feline
Busterd

I’m eternally grateful to you all.

To everyone else that has worked with the label over the years, Thank you .

To the supporters, without you guys there is no Natty Dub.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, your continued support drives us on.

 

To find out more info regarding future releases follow Natty Dub here….https://www.facebook.com/NattyDubRecordings/

 

Exclusive Guest Mix: Jungle Citizenz.

JUNGLE CITIZENZ

 A Jungle Crew Comprising Of Dj’s/ MC’s/ Producers / Remixes of Jungle & Dubwise based music .. They Have Vast Experience Amongst Them ..

 

CHRIS ROCKZ

20 Yrs in the scene,played for big events such as Fantazia//Eclipse//Milwaukees//Jungle Fever//Amazon etc

 

DJ BEADY

 10 Yrs producing everything from.. Hardcore ..DnB .. Breaks ..Dubstep .. and is the heart beat in the studio with his knowledge of music and technology.

 

LANGMAN

 Huge experience in the scene and seems to have always been around.

A member of the famous Starlight Pirate Radio station from way back and still to this day plays various radio stations and internet and certainly knows his music.

 

CHESHIRE CAT

Born and bred in Birmingham, started on the mic in 1982, for local sounds like ITAL WARRIOUR and NYAHTONE HI FI.

In 1988 he joined LOVE INJECTION SOUND.

Clashing with other sounds like SAXON, SIR COXSONE, V-ROCKET.

In these clashes CAT would hold the mic and tear up the dance also clashing with sounds from yard like STONE LOVE, GEMINI,SILVER HAWK, JARO.

In the 1990’s  CAT got a record deal with SONY MUSIC releasing BITE THE DUST, also worked with legendary dance act LEFTFIELD releasing RELEASE THE PRESSURE then CHANT OF A POORMAN for LEFTFIELD.

 

Here’s an exclusive mix for Drum+Basics: Langman – Jungle Citizenz.

 

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
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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