Vinyl Junkie interviews - THE DJ PRODUCER
So I caught up with Hardcore Techno warlord and my long-time crate digging buddy and vinyl enthusiast to talk about giant flying pigs, pitched up turntables and.... other stuff!!
Hi Mate. How’s your week going so far?
Hi Mate... Well actually pretty crappy, started the week with toothache & a migraine all at the same time which sucked big time, but that was just a glitch, I'm over it… studio is on and i'm contemplating tackling new projects that are already stacking up 🙂
Contemplate this… What is your earliest musical memory?
Not only my first musical memory, but literally my first waking memory! My parents were serious headz & I had a serious infatuation with Pink Floyd even at age five. My parents being the absolute freaks they were, thought it would be good that I see them live, and they took me to see them at Earls Court - 1977 - In The Flesh Tour; The world premier of the album "Animals". If you know the record, with Battersea power station on the cover and the inflatable pig. Well, during the show, the pig emerged from backstage and literally flew over the auditorium. Scared me shitless & I promptly darted under the seats and hid. My parents (quite possibly on acid) were freaking out trying to find me. Well I guess they must've found me because here I am.
Also… Animals is still my favourite album ever, and it's dark 1984 undertones still resonate very hard today. This album also probably explains my fascination with discordant dark ambient tones. A huge influence.
So… When you were growing up, apart from Pink Floyd, what other music was being played in your house?
My Dad was really into Punk & Ska so a lot of 2-Tone was played in the house as well as Ian Dury, The Damned & also Kraftwerk . My mum was a bit more conventional with her love of The Beatles & Brian Ferry. But my Dad was the Don. He taped John Peel Shows religiously and even made me aware that he played imported U.S Hip-Hop… and once i realised this… I was also hooked… to the point where it probably ruined the last 3 years of my school life. I was getting a different schooling 🙂
Yeah, I was pretty much raised on a diet of Punk Rock & Ska… The first record I ever bought was Sex Pistols “Never Mind The Bollocks” aged about 10… What was the first record you ever bought and how old were you?
Five years old. Blondie - Heart Of Glass… bought with 1 & 2ps i saved and I still remember emptying it on the record store counter and it going everywhere . Also, I think that's the only Blondie 4/4 disco tune… obsessed with 4/4 almost directly🙂 ❤️
Before you started DJing… Were you going out raving much those days? What party stands out the most in your mind and why?
I was literally a bedroom Dj from 1987, no club or rave experience at all, so when I got to college in 89 & got my 1st Technics start of 1990, I was already ready. Then Acid House really broke and I was one of the only Djs around where I was… so I just had to understand House Music and I was away!
So if Acid House never broke and there was no rave scene… where would you be now??
It's hard to say. I started out DESPERATELY wanting to be a Hip Hop Dj (before there was a rave scene), solo or with an MC… whatever! I was just gonna do it whatever, that's WHAT i was gonna do, so when Acid House broke & i realised it was fuelled by DJ's. It wasn't even a conversation, i was GOING to do it. That was it!!
The early 90’s was a magical time for the music and the scene in general. How do things differ now from back then?
We got old and grumpy mate 😆 🤣
Nothing stays the same, it just shape shifts. The rave never really went away did it? it just fragmented and spread out globally & got its business life sorted (which i actually quite like, not like the wild west of the 90’s lol )
When did you first start learning to mix records and what inspired you to do so?
Electro, Hip Hop, Being an awful breakdancer & realising i loved the music more than the dancing. I was totally OBSESSED with scratching… I just wanted to make "that sound", and the more records I had, the more different noises I could make. This also spawned the start of my record collecting obsession ❤️
When and where was your first gig and what are your memories of this night?
Something me & my mentor Mr D (Dave Pardue)... Who was responsible for taking me to my first legal rave; Energy at Docklands Arena April 1990. We were doing gigs at the Glastonbury Assembly rooms from mid 1989 so it would have been those for sure. That's where I learnt to use Technics in front of people. 🙂
Wow I was at that Energy Rave at Docklands. All I really remember is standing in the queue to get in. Must’ve been a good night! LOL… I was also at Universe for your legendary B2B set with Tanith in 1992… A lot of people see that as their earliest memory of the DJ Producer. What are your thoughts reflecting back on this now?
I consider 22nd September 1992… That night of Mind Body & Soul… that was the night "The DJ Producer '' was born. That's the night I did something so different to everyone it was bound to cause a fuss. UK really hadn't been exposed to European Techno in such a completely rounded way before this night, and in all fairness, i really played like that...
- a) to NOT sound like every fucker else (we all shopped at replay and i was getting a bit sick of being the poor relative of Jody & Die) - but mainly…
- b) to support Tanith as he was the ONLY serious Techno guy on the line up. So i literally played like that to warm them up to him
I was playing Breakbeat Hardcore from literally day dot. But my new found Techno Funk blew up in my face THAT HARD. The day after my phone was off the hook with requests for "Producer to play Techno". Reluctant Techno warrior??? Maybe. But that choice made me realise I had something different… and more importantly… no one hated it (yet) 😀 😆
Vinyl DJing Vs Digital DJing… What do you prefer and how do they differ?
For me, sorry not sorry, Technics SL1210 MK 2’s BEAT EVERYTHING!! Even CDJs are inaccurate and I refuse to use sync. The problem is; DIGITAL IS ZEROS & ONES!! With analogue it is continuous. Any digital pitch is stepped - stepping from digit to digit, so never accurate and always pushing forward & pulling back. I mix BETWEEN the zeroes & ones. Analog is just a continuous sweep meaning accuracy of at least 0.000000000000000001%. And when I mix I've NEVER touched the platter IN MY LIFE - PITCH does it all, if it's not stepped..
So for you it's all about the vinyl? There has been a massive resurgence in vinyl sales lately with loads of old classics being remastered and repressed. Is this a good thing?
IT'S OBVIOUSLY THE BEST THING EVER. Let's be honest, most of what's been remastered recently sounds totally AMAZING. When these guys made these records 30 years ago, skills were borderline zero & virtually NO ONE knew anything about mastering. With 2022 technology, remastering softwares & meticulous manipulations, a lot of what has been redone has been so worth it.
Have you been buying many of them yourself and which ones did you start dribbling about the most?
Yeah i got all the Ram's, Your recent redo of Men From Del Bosca was amazing and i know you got more coming, The Deep Jungle rereleases are amazing and Chris Kniteforce has been doing loads of bits too! What a time to be alive 😊
What record would you most like to see get the Repress treatment??
2Xtreme - Xtremities EP needs a PROPER repress, I also think Hellfish should repress the 1st 30 Bogwoppas. But I've been asking for 10 years now so I'm not holding my breath 😀 🤣
Do you think the vinyl thing will grow or fizzle out?
Again, Hard to say. Me & you together have literally watched its rise - fall - and rise again. So who knows? I think with the internet now, it has pooled all those collectors who are after certain things to be guided to certain places. Those that collect - collect, and those that know - errr - know? 😉
Who do you see as your early musical influences and who continues to inspire you today (apart from me obviously lol)?
Straight up influences: Lenny Dee - Obsessed with his New Groove stuff - Then i discovered Hardcore Techno - Then literally the next Universe gig; Big Love… I watch Lenny play the 1st SERIOUS set of REAL Hardcore Techno in the UK, and i said to myself: "Im doing it wrong… Need to go deeper"! So I did! To then get released a few years later on Industrial Strength with my man Manu Le Malin… I honestly felt "Inaugurated into the house of Hardcore".
Yes i bet that felt amazing to get a release on Industrial Strength. But what was the first record you released and can you tell us how this came about and what you remember about those early studio sessions?
So by 1994 i was already resident for Revalation - A club in south west UK really middle of nowhere. We had immaculate line Ups with full on Techno creedence - We had the best line ups man - Colin Favor, Colin Dale, Dave Angel, Steve Bicknell - just the cream of UK Techno & legends to all of us. Then we had Dj Edge - Gordon Matthewman - Who ran Rabbit City with Colin Favor… but also ran Edge Records. His 1st gig was utterly mind blowing. Mid set, he takes the platter off, unscrews the bottom plate, hoiks up the pitch to plus 16 on both decks & plays this set of hyperspeed hard German techno the likes we had never heard. That was the very 1st time we saw "the pitch trick" live in a gig and needless to say i immediately ran home to ruin my decks 🤣 and yes, this is where my speed started drastically increasing… sorry not sorry 😀 👊🏻
Gordon came to Revalation a 2nd time, but by this time we had relocated to the enormous Plymouth Warehouse with easily 1.5 -2k people weekly. It was mental. But me also being a massive fan of the Edge Records stuff at this point as i was playing all that hard german acid stuff he was licensing for edge, after his set, we were just talking and it really came out of nowhere, but i just said "don't know how you are fixed but maybe i could come and do some music at some point", to which he ultra enthusiastically replied "ABSOLUTELY!!" And we exchanged numbers & within the month i went to London, stayed with him for a week & with my notes (i took LOADS OF NOTES. I didn't know how to do it but i knew what i wanted in it) & his technical knowhow, we knocked out Edge Records number 13. My 1st ever & still a banger. 😆 👊🏻
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… It's amazing and very humbling… What's your thoughts on this and how is it going to affect the future of the scene?
I think It's fully awesome. I know its been said before, But Breakbeat Hardcore as a genre had a 2 year window of existance before it got real darkside moody, then shunned that for jazzy influences and the forming of drum and bass. But you know me man, im about all the Hardcore's and to see this shit get a resurgance with fresh interpretations is just awesome. There is much to be explored using new technology but keeping it oldskool raw… it's very possible.
How does the newly produced hardcore / jungle compare to the original stuff?
It's all inna sound innit?? New technology can do miraculous things & applied correctly can def push things forward. I do like 64bit higher definition productions of the 2020 era. It can be ruff and tight at the same time, right??
You are obviously really busy producing your upfront “Ultra-Violent” hardcore, but you have actually started producing 92/93 style Hardcore music as well. Your first taste of production was in 1994 by which time that 92/93 sound had already evolved. How does it feel to be able to go back to that sound from a production point of view? And from a personal point of view?
All the things i mentioned above, but i do say this: I came from that era of Hardcore, but never got the chance to produce it, and once i understood studio stuff i did kind of regret missing that era, to a degree. Just something I would have liked to do in a legitimate sense . LOL. And here we are… just wait for that 30 year cycle and im jumping right THE FUCK IN ❤️ ❤️
Feels fresh to me as I never got to do it, so aside from my ultraviolence… Here's something different to play with in the studio!
Do you have any vinyl releases lined up? If so, tell us about them.
I got shit stacked up but I'm not mentioning anything. No Spoilers. I fucking hate previews. Just wait!
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??
Chronological. Separated between US. UK & Euro. It's my own system but I can pretty much find anything out of 8-9k tunes in about 5 mins flat. BADBOY.
What are your 5 most treasured records?
- All 4 copies of my KLF - Chill Out Albums (1 Unplayed Mint Original, 1 Played Original, 1 Dutch Backwards Bootleg Dave Pardue gave me & 1 clear vinyl repress - to be exact 🙂
- Robin Wants Revenge - Well Frankly My Son - Jungle Jam Records. LEGIT 1990 Warehouse BANGER.
- Mescalinium United - We Have Arrived - R&S Records - Signed by its creator, Marc Acardipane.
- Kraftwerk - Neon Lights 12"" (Glow In The Dark copy of my fathers and was this record being my 1st introduction to them age 7 - in a dark room, with the sound of Trans Europe Express blasting out and this THING glowing and floating on the turntable.
- The ENTIRE Streetsounds Electro Collection. In Duplicate - And NO I'm not choosing one… they WERE "My 1st record Collection ❤️
What records are top of your wants list?
- Birdsong & The Dugout Boys - The Sucker M.C'S - Singh Records 1985
- M.C E.C - You Ain't No Vanessa - Jamm City 1987
- At A Jam - Tray Bag M.C - Whop Records 1987
Above is a recent live stream you did. Rinsing out some oldskool vinyl... A little taste of whats to come on the Vinyl Junkie UK 1st Birthday Live stream on 23rd March? So what do you have in store for us?
OLDSCHOOL BREAKBEAT HARDCORE INNA 1992 - 1993 STYLE & FASHION... Probably 😀😀😀
Any final words?
Mate… You've fucking rinsed me here! 🤣 What do you want??? Blood???? 😆 shout to all the crate diggers worldwide. Record collecting is not a mental illness, and can be carefully managed if you know what you are doing 😂 BRING ON THE REPRESEES!!!
Big love.. keep digging... Lukus 😊
So there you have it... DON'T FORGET. You can catch The DJ Producer doing an exclusive vinyl LIVE-STREAM for us on Wednesday 23rd March alongside Nicky Blackmarket and myself. We will be broadcasting from Headroom Studios in Bristol
Live streaming from Stacked Out Entertainment @ Headroom Studios…
Also from the following pages:
For more info including set times... check out the facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/378884740460213
Here's the first live stream we did when we launched the shop a year ago... Streamed from the mighty Run Tingz studio with over 500 people locked on LIVE and has now accumulated over 40,000 views between facebook and YouTube... PURE VIBES!!
BIG LOVE to all the vinyl crew. See you Wednesday...