So I caught up with my old mucker Madcap to chat about some stuff!!!
Hi Mate. How’s your week going so far?
Yes very good sir, thanks. I’ve just about recovered from The Rave Story and Distant Planet over the weekend. Both were amazing events and it was great catching up with everyone. I’ve got a week off in the sun now to reset and to spend some quality time with the family.
Yes Rave Story was amazing wasn't it? I'm sure Distant Planet was too, awesome party that! So lets start at the beginning… What is your earliest musical memory?
Probably seeing My Dad on his guitar and singing.. He had converted half the front living room to a studio space to mainly write songs, before he went to another main recording studio up the road.
When you were growing up, what music was being played in your house?
Mainly Rock & Roll. My Dad was influenced by Eddie Cochran, Elvis, The Beatles, Little Richard etc. My Mum was 9 years younger and more into the sound of Motown. My older brother was into Jimi Hendrix but also Ska and Reggae so a combination of live music. The first artist I really liked was Micheal Jackson. Hearing those early albums and later seeing a VHS called The Legend Continues amazed me and definitely introduced me to other artists like James Brown, Quincy Jones etc.
Your mum & dad were both musicians yes?, how did this effect your musical direction?
My Dad was a singer / songwriter he had his own band called Mainland, they released an Album and toured a lot in the late 70’s. After the band departed he did solo tracks and released music on labels like RCA. He continued to tour and gig and was awarded a plaque to recognise his hard work. It’s in the Quay Arts Centre on the Isle Of White. He was born on
The island, we recently went down to see it as it was originally at a venue he used to regularly play at called the Pegasus in Marlow Bottom, Buckinghamshire. From the late 80’s he built a home recording studio and continued to write and record until he passed away a few years ago. He would hire out to local bands and engineer their tracks. He even did an early rave tune with Pascal, where he played the stabs. It’s called the F.U.B.A.R EP and came out in ‘92 Also MC Conrad came up once for a session. That was in 1994 and I remember meeting him and listening to those early Good Looking tunes on his cassette.
My mum is a piano teacher and originally taught pupils from home. She currently works at a school twice a week and still teaches from home.
it was inevitable I would get into music, they would both support me DJing. Even take me to early gigs and help out when we would hire a local hall etc.
They were both a huge influence on me and as you can imagine gave me some sound advice and from a different perspective.
What was the first record you ever bought and how old were you?
I was probably around 8 or 9 and purchased a best of Jackson 5 LP.
Before you started DJing… Were you going out raving much these days? What party stands out the most in your mind and why?
I started DJing at the end of 1992 as a young kid, so couldn’t go to any big raves due to my age. I was obsessed with the music and had to make do with the countless rave tapes that were doing the rounds at school. I started to learn about the artists and tunes through magazines like Blaze and Eternity. We got to go out to a few local parties called Technology and Phase One and we were lucky we could get in and see DJ’s like Swan-E, Dr S Gatchet, Slipmatt etc. from 1994 I attended an event at the legendary Sanctuary In Milton Keynes, this was an over 14’s event called Evolution 5, this is an early highlight as you could here all your favourite DJ’s in this massive purpose built arena which held about 3500 people. These events only went on until 1am and it was handy having cousins in MK or we got a coach which was included in the ticket price, but they were amazing and a great introduction for me.
Personally for me, the rave scene changed my life… Is that the same for you and Where do you think you would be now if we never had that?
The rave scene 100% changed my life. I’ve not often thought where I’d be with out it but I’m sure I would have been involved with a music scene of some sort.
The early 90’s was a magical time for the music and the scene in general. When did you first discover the rave scene and how do things differ now from back then?
As mentioned above I was originally into MJ. Most of my friends were. Towards the end the 80’s everyone I knew naturally got into Hip Hop and we loved NWA and Public Enemy. My older brother hung about with UK rapper Silver Bullet and gave me a cassette. He knew I liked Hip Hip and thought It might be up my street.. He wasn’t wrong, I loved it. The breaks were faster and the tunes had energy!! Looking back for me personally this was a direct link between that and what I heard on these early rave tapes circulating in school and even in the charts around 1991. Tracks like T99’s Anasthasia, R&S , early Prodigy we’re all very early influences.. My friend at school was cousins with Danny Breaks aka Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era and had been sent ‘Far Out’ he played me this track and I loved it. Again we were very young and only had limited access but you could listen to the tapes and even check out what was going on Normski’s House Party / Dance Energy.I heard loads of early rave tunes on this program. Of course it was amazing when could actually go out and hear it nice and loud and feel that sub bass for real!
When did you first start learning to mix records and what inspired you to do so?
In 1992 my dad gave me a second hand turntable to play the few records I had. It had no pitch and no feet. You had to use turn the lid upside down for it to balance. Around the same time I got a small mixer and a HIFi belt drive deck with a pitch control so at least I could mix one record in. Thinking back I believe hearing the early rave tapes inspired me to DJ.
What DJ’s have influenced you over the years and how has that influenced your DJing style?
Originally I had early tapes from Stu Allen, Slipmatt, Top Buzz, Carl Cox, LTJ Bukem, Randall, Ratty, Sy & Hype. All of these were a major influence on me, either for their mixing, scratching or music styles or all 3. This was around 1992-1993. I still listen to these sets & have loads of favourites.
I’ve definitely taken on elements from each of these DJ’s and then experimented with other mixing techniques along the way.
You once one a DJ competition and won some turntables. Tell us the story…
This was back in 2002. I had entered the comp via DJ Magazine and it was sponsored by Bryan Gee’s Movement night and Technics. You had to submit a demo CD and you had to wait to see if you got a space.
I got contacted 3 days before the event saying hundreds of DJ’s had entered and I had made the top 5. I went down The End, London and had to perform a 30 min set in front of a packed crowd and 3 judges, Bryan G, Patife and Carl Loben (Editor of DJ MAG) I had took about 30 mates along for support and won the comp winning the decks and mixer.. The only issue was Technics had sent these to the club and they were being used in room 2 and there were DJ’s on until 6am. Most of my mates had gone by then and I was left with about 3 mates each carrying something, we travelled by Taxi and Coach and at one point the driver took us down a wrong way and I thought we were getting robbed lol. The boxes were really obvious and had Technics labelled all over them. Safe to say we got them back in one place even if we had to walk the last 3 miles. Wining this comp got me a lot more work and was definitely a highlight.
Cool story bro. When and where was your first gig and what are your memories of this night?
We put on lots of parties around our way. My first gig we put on was called Bassline Biology. My Dad helped with the sound system. I think we charged a couple of quid to get in just to try and cover the hire of the place. It went well and we carried on with more In different shapes and forms up until about 2006.
Vinyl DJing Vs Digital DJing… What do you prefer and how do they differ?
Ahhh the long debate, Personally I prefer Vinyl, however since 2002 I have embraced CDJ’s. However, when I’m doing old skool sets I prefer to play off wax. As you know the tunes weren’t as tight as they are now. There’s lots of advantages to taking a couple of USB’s stacked with thousands of tunes that don’t jump. don’t brake your back, you can loop up and take it to another level on the mixing etc. at home I mainly use Serato for mixes and radio, that way it involves both.
There has been a massive resurgence in vinyl sales lately with loads of old classics being remastered and repressed. Is this a good thing and why? Discuss….
Personally I think it’s a great thing and gives my originals a rest, some have been played out so many times. It also gives the new generation a chance to get hold of a copy
Have you been buying many of them yourself and which ones did you start dribbling about the most?
I was quite excited by the recent Crystl ones and hope they do more.
What record would you most like to see get the Repress treatment??
I would love to see a few of the basement records and more from Reinforced.
The sound of the early 90’s hardcore and jungle has come full circle with lots of young people, who were not even born first time round, adopting this sound, buying records and even producing music in this style… Its amazing… whats your thoughts on this and how is it going to effect the future of the scene?
It’s amazing for sure, especially after the last 2 years where no one could go out. Most of the gigs I’ve been doing recently have had a much younger crowd & I love the fact they are really into the music and culture. We’ve also done a couple of record fairs this year and it’s wonderful to see the younger generation purchasing vinyl.
How does the newly produced hardcore / jungle compare to the original stuff?
We all have a soft spot for the originals. Though so many new tracks I’m hearing sound very well produced but yet include that classic authentic sound we all love. May it continue.
You currently run Creative Wax with the labels founder DJ Pulse. How did this come about?
I originally met Pulse in Buzz Records and used to purchase purchase records from him. We always stayed in contact and then started to see a lot more of each other around the mid 2000’s we decided together to re-launch and the first release was my remix of the late great Tango’s Understand.
The label has been a bit quiet of late… Whats going on and what (and when) is your next release?
Covid delayed a few things. But we have just released a 12” marble vinyl called Planet Funk b/w Flava by Pulse. This was exclusive to The Rave Story and will be available again at a Clashmouth on 26th November. We have also just released a new design of T-Shirts and Sweatshirts. In 2023 we plan to release more records. Keep an eye on the socials.
I know you own a shit-load of records. How do you keep them in order and how long would it take you to find a specific record??
They are mostly in year order. However some of it is in label order or stored in a particular musical style. I can find most of it, but there is always something hiding away in the racks haha. Every now and again I’m resorting, but it’s a task and a half.
What record is top of your wants list?
Tom & Jerry – Physics. I’ve got most of the Tom and Jerry back cat but just not this one. Maybe I’ll have to cut it to Dub...
Yes, that would defo work out cheaper... Tell us a crazy / random / funny story about something that has happened to you whilst out and about DJing?
I think I’ve done most of the embarrassing things like take the wrong needle off, play it on the wrong speed. I even did it at Distant Planet recently and quickly realised.. You have to kind of style it out and laugh it off.
Tell us about the mix that you have done for my radio show/podcast.
It’s a mix of some of my current favourites from AKO Beatz, Deep Jungle and other labels focussing on the slower 165bpm Jungle. I’ve included a few of mine which came out on the first Vibez ’93 EP. Most you can get from your shop.
You can click here or on the above image to check out the podcast (Fully Track-listed).
Cool... Any final words??
Just to say a huge thanks to all my family and friends for all their support also respect to all the artists & promoters for pushing good music and flying the flag, Not forgetting the ravers going out supporting the scene. Big Love x
Brilliant! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview and mix. Bless x
Below is a couple of Madcap records we have in the shop in limited numbers.... Grab one before they are gone :)