Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix – Headgear

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

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

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

Was there any specific reason to change your artist name?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now to the present..

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

There’s a great forthcoming release on AKO Beatz.

Tell us more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anything in the pipeline?

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

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

Where do I start? Haha.

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

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

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

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

Any special thanks & final words?

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

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

Many Thanks Headgear…

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

http://akobeatz.com

Also many thanks to Thumbs Footage Photography.

 

 

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