Exclusive interview: DJ Mantra (+ Launch Mix)


DJ Mantra, thank you for answering our questions! Let’s start with the beginning; how did you end up behind the decks?

I started DJing when I was 16. We were going out a lot and my mates had decks so it was just something I was fascinated with. It soon became an obsession!

What is behind your DJ name?

Not a lot really haha I met Manifest years ago and he said he found his name looking through a dictionary so I went home, looked up Manifest in a dictionary and across the page was ‘Mantra’!

You are also behind one of the best dnb nights in London; Rupture – what is the story behind that?

Thanks for the kind words, there’s loads of good nights about in London which is wicked. I started Rupture with my partner, Double O in 2006. We were regulars down at Technicality, Bassbin and Headz and loved what those guys were doing and though we could do something on the same tip but a little different. To be honest I remember I was so into Gremlinz at the time and I just wanted to book him haha So for our first night we had Gremlinz, Equinox & Senses, Sabre, Double O and Flava.
When we moved to Corsica Studios in 2008 it all started to build up. Now we have a label going as well which is something we’ve always dreamed of doing.

You are playing at Launch on Saturday which we are very excited about – what can we expect and what do YOU except from the night?

I played at Launch last March and it was so so good! I was really nervous as it was my first gig in over a year as I’d had a baby but the crowd were amazing. The guys behind the night are proper party people and you really feel that. They have a really open crowd so to be honest I have no idea how i’m going to play it on Saturday. Will bring a wide selection with plenty of vinyl but it will most probably be pretty tearout as I’m on 3-4.

Is there any type of drum&bass you prefer to play?

I tend to like my beats broken, I get bored with straight rollers after a while. I’m really into more complex drum patterns and I definitely find those beats more fun to mix, that’s why I love jungle!

Who are your current 5 favourite producers?

Overlook – the young jedi is coming of age haha He’s just getting better and better, never fails – can’t wait to hear the album he’s working on.

Double O – There are loads of people making breaks and amen tunes but you can spot a Double O track a mile off. He has a real signature sound and mixes the rough with the smooth like no other.

Paradox – he’s been unstoppable for 20 years. The b-boy breaks maestro.

Rumbleton – He just get’s the groove of his breaks rolling so well. Deep pads always with a dubwise edge and a real ID on his tracks which can be hard to find. We’ve got a 12” coming soon from him which we’re really excited about.

DJINN – She doesn’t have a huge back catalogue (yet) but has been making some incredible jungle inspired tracks. Her mix downs are spot on and ‘Pressure’ which features on this mix is one of my favourite tracks at the moment – raw to the core!

What do you prefer; raving, playing or organising an event?

RAAAAAAAAVING haha Quite hard to compare those three things really, I love them all. I love organising events, I was just talking to Louise Plus One about it and after all the energy you put into an event you become really attached to it. It’s weird… the days leading up to it are so stressful but once it’s over you’re itching to start planning the next one. Playing at Rupture is one of my favourite things. I really feel like the crowd have my back. On one hand it’s quite a safe space for me to play but on the other I feel like it’s my night so if I don’t kill it i’ll have to walk the walk of shame haha

You recently played back to back with an absolute legend that is DJ Storm. That must have been amazing! How did it go?

Yeah it was wicked, when Kris from Evolution asked me I didn’t think she’d be up for it! Storm’s been so supportive of me over the years and has been a DJ i’ve looked up to for so long so to play b2b was amazing.

Do you produce as well?

Yeah I do. With the little one now it’s much harder finding the time but I’ve been getting on it quite a lot and have put a new track of mine on the mix I’ve done for Launch. I’m working on a couple bits that might make it for a Rupture release but we’ll see…

Any exciting upcoming events we shouldn’t miss?

May 30th – Launch@ Bar 512
June 5th – Rupture vs Skutta @ PST, Birmingham
June 25th Overproof @ Bar a Bar
June 30th – Function Records @ Evolution, Piccadilly Institute
July 17th – Rupture ‘Hidden Rooms’ @ Secret Location
August 8th – Rupture & Distant Planet alldayer @ Fox & Firkin
August 15th – Boomtown

Thank you DJ Mantra.

Here’s the mix for Launch – listen, enjoy and get ready for Saturday!

Mantra- Launch mix by Launch Drum And Bass on Mixcloud

Tickets for Launch, HERE. Line up, information and video, HERE

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