Friday, 10 October 2008

Clownstepping, across the universe...

I saw this post from the amazing Jim Bergerac, one of my favourite drum & bass satarists (are there more than one?), and I simply had to repost it on here.

Out of touch rock critics have no idea of what clownstep is

I was brought up by hippies, and one of the habits I have picked up from my ageing parents is an enjoyment of the type of meat-and-potatoes rock magazine that has dead people on the cover every other month. There is nothing better than reading a retrospective article on Jim Morrirson's passion for anal sex when you are sat on the toilet after a lentil curry, and a 9am rundown of the greatest prog rock symphonic concept albums is generally more interesting than the reading alternative at my mum's house - a rumpled copy of Surfer Magazine and some chakra-location manuals for aged white yoga enthusiasts.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that all of DOA's hard work over the years has paid off, and that the mainstream media is finally taking its first tentative steps back towards those halcyon days of the mid 90s, when you couldn't open The Face magazine without seeing yet another double-page spread of Goldie, Bukem and MC Bassman shooting grouse with Guy Ritchie, or turn on a BBC 2 youth drama without a teenage stabbing set to the sounds of Wax Doctor, Alex Reece or something on Joker Records that sounded like a broken fairground ride. Oh, how far we have slipped since that golden time. It's a travesty that Remarc's 96 version of the Blue Peter theme tune got canned because of the gunshot noises, and that the GLR back catalogue is only kept afloat by the soundtrack needs of the daytime home decorating slot on Channel 5. Somebody toss Limewax a bone and get him the gig doing the new music for Tweenies. I'm predicting big things.


This month's Word Magazine has a feature where different rock critics are quizzed on a variety of obscure musical topics (for points!), one of which is the eternal quandary "What the hell is clownstep?". As nobody got to phone a friend, and Phil Jupitus was not reading the answers from an autocue, not a single one of them could get it right.

The article is online, although the online one doesn't seem to have reproduced the answers. I have nothing better to do today.

What the hell is clownstep?

James Delingpole (Daily Telegraph): "Is it something to do with Gnarls Barkley?"
Peter Paphides (The Times): "I don't know. I'm not sure I want to actually."
Gavin Martin (Daily Mirror): "It's a musical genre. More than that I don't know."
Robert Sandall (The Sunday Times): "Blimey! Is it a sub-genre of the popular South London dubstep scene?"

Adrian Thrills (Daily Mail): "I really have no idea."

Robert Spellman (Daily Express): "It's a sort of hip hop dance where people dress up as clowns. Fictionalised violence. French guy made a documentary about it."
Andy Gill (Independent): "I suppose if I mention dubstep the ground will swallow me up. Is it a subset of dubstep?"
Alexis Petridis (The Guardian): "It's a sort of hip hop dance like the Aunt Jackie. Hang on, it's a microscopic variant on dubstep and grime, isn't it?"


*The man from The Times, whilst not entirely well informed, possesses the same kind of unformed psychic ability that makes dogs howl when Shabba D comes near
* Dubstep should rebrand itself as 'Aunt Jackie' for a level of media exposure that exceeds its current reach, which is obviously limited to Vice Magazine, an inch square box in the Guardian guide and the seat next to Mary Anne Hobbes on the tube
* Clipz and Hazard need to fix up their mailing lists
* It's probably Pendulum's fault somehow

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Free vinyl? Lovely f*ckin jubbly!

I know, I know, my generosity knows no bounds. Basically, I walked in to work the other day to find a returned package that I sent to a well known drum & bass DJ, full of lovely white labels. Apparently this ungrateful bugger didn't call at the Post Office to collect their free vinyls, and I'm not sending them to them again. So, I'm going to send them to one of you lucky buggers instead.

I have no idea what's in the package, don't even bother asking, I can't be arsed to muster enough energy to open it, it's hard enough just typing this to be honest. Anyway, I'm bored this evening, so email me your best joke with the subject "my best joke", and the one which splits my sides the most will win the prize -

Bonus points for anyone who manages to send a joke involving drums, bass or faces.

The Jeryl Anti-Interview Competition Winner!

Oh yes kids, I told you someone would win a pile of my unwanted white labels, didn't I? Well someone did, that someone being one Nik Boan. I don't have a picture of Nik, but a quick Google image search reveals this photo, which almost certainly isn't him...

Lucky Nik won himself:

AZ005 - Clipz - Loud & Dirty / Push It Up (TC Remix)
BRUK008 - Roughcut ft. Foxy - F*ck Off (Vapour Remix) / F*ck Off (Roughcut Remix)
CALYPSO010 - Malfoy, Imp & JFM - Bear Hunter (Jaydan Remix) / Catch
CE003 - Manga - Visionaries / Goodbye
CRIT036 - Bungle - Be Like This / The Source
CRPT001 - DJ Levela - Nuke Em / Nuke Em (Dub Alley Remix)
DNR004 - NW2 - Itchy Fingers / Octopus Legs
DSR015 - TC - Where's My Money (Caspa Remix) / Tron
FCY094 - Roni Size & DJ Die - Music Box (Sigma Remix)
RBR001 - The Force - Welcome To Earth / Gadget Girl
RES002 - Noah D - Water Song / Fire Song
RETRO006 - Mutt - Lady Love / The Motions
SCR005 - Dub Alley - A Grade / Fried Piper
SKYZ003 - DJ Die - Skate or Die EP
SMOKE003 - Jaydan - What U Want / DJ Pleasure - Stingray
STYPE009 - Bassface Sascha & The Force - International Sound / The Story
TECH050 - Tantrum Desire - Xenomorph / The Last Stand
V2E006 - Vital Elements - Murda Ya Bludclaart / The Flying Saucer
WAR015 - Drumsound & Bassline Smith - Mafia / Special
WARMLP001S - Polar - In The End Album Sampler
WBAYINTL004 - Concept & Shnek - Bedford Avenue / Supastar
WESTBAYLP001-S2 - Atlantic Connection - Can't Destroy Love pt. 2 / Soul Musiq

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Creating Impulses? So says ICR

ICR has slowly and surely been taking over the internet with his fresh blend of soul infused sample-based drum & bass, and his Hungarian D&B news site Impulse Creator ( Now is your opportunity to find out a little more about ICR, and to sample four (yes FOUR!) free mp3s. How very generous :)



Biggest release to date?

I appreciate every release I have and it’s hard to pick the “biggest”. For example I’m still getting flattering feedbacks on my debut record I released in 2003 (Stolen Symmetry / Rock The Sky), others begging for coming back to the sound I had earlier on my Covert Operations album (Daytrip). But I’m proud of my free albums as well (The Public Diary, Empty Pages) praised by Elhornet from Pendulum and Tony Colman, not to mention my own label’s releases.

Personally I would choose “So Unloved” on Counter Intelligence my biggest release to date – it means a lot for me; and I hope the recent 12” “Almost There/Somebody Else” is shortly going to be my biggest, supported by Marcus Intalex, Lynx, D-Bridge, Flight and many more.

Country of origin?


Describe your style?

Hard to describe myself, so I try to remember some critics I got. Someone told me a long time ago that my sound is very unique and definitely running but deep at the same time. I think my style is always developing in a way (it has to) – so it’s different than my sound for example on Covert Operations (which was more spacey, more futuristic). Sometimes I make harder and raw tracks, sometimes more liquid, sometimes experimenting. But I even tried myself in deep/minimal house and other genres, so it’s definitely varied. Maybe the common element is my effort to tell a story with every song. Which means – and I hope – that my sound is based on emotions, thoughts, “personal tales” – not necessarily using the common DJ-standard solutions that works on the dancefloor. Sometimes people say it’s “moody”, “musical” or “cinematic”.

Favourite food?

Not sure, maybe fried chicken with mashed potatoes and french salad. But I love my grandma’s chocolate gateau with cherry or my gf’s lángos (see at as well.

Girl or boy?

“I love girls, girls, girls, girls. Girls, I do adore. Yo put your number on this paper cause I would love to date ya. Holla at ya when I come off tour, yeah.”

How did you get involved with Drum & Bass?

It’s been almost ten years now! I didnt really know anything about jungle or d&b back then, I just started experimenting with samples and musical forms and started to make something similar to the tunes I was listening on german satellite radio Evo Sonic, some early compilations and later the Fabio/Grooverider shows. Meanwhile I started to learn more about music, established a website which became Hungary’s leading urban music online magazine and community site, ImpulseCreator ( and “the rest is history” – have written almost a hundred articles and released another hundred tunes, and lately managing my digital label Misspent Music.

Instant messenger or telephone?

Definitely messenger. I don’t like talking on the phone, I was even frustrated about it for a long time so I haven’t got a mobile until I was 23 or so which is strange I know! However I don’t like to talk about personal issues via messenger either – face to face contact is prefered.

Junk food or fresh veg?

A little bit of both, but of course summer time is more about fresh vegetables coming from my parents garden.

Knife & fork or chopsticks?

Never tried chopsticks but I would love to try it eating some Japanese food.

List your three favourite tunes right now?

Goldie – Invisible, London Elektricity - Southeastern Dream, Polar – Almost & Beyond. Off the best d&b albums of 2008 – no question!

Number of releases so far?

15 vinyl releases, 2 CD albums, 28 exclusive digital releases, 4 free albums/compilations, and featured on 11 compilation CD’s.

Plug your forthcoming releases here, go go go!

Almost There/Somebody Else (Influence Records) – on promo 12” now!

Something special from me on the third release on Aaron Jay's Influence Records. 'Almost There' already has a cult following after being showcased on Marcus Intalex's Redbull Academy podcast last year. Its moody vibes, attacking drums and film score samples make this a dance floor favourite. On the flip is 'Somebody Else' which is pure vibes combining an emotionally charged but heavy piece of drum and bass.

Same New Song/Sinking Again (Mjazz Digital) – out now on digital-tunes!

Hot on the heels of brand new releases on various labels i'm debuting on the legendary drum & bass veteran, Tony Justice's relaunched MJAZZ label! Following the label's ethos Justice picked up two of my deepest, musical tracks that represents modern urban jazz.

Hagyma – Thunder At Night (Misspent Music) – out soon on Beatport!
New Hungarian musician Balazs Hagymasi AKA Hagyma (meaning 'onion') debuts on my label with a special live jazz/drum & bass crossover track that expands upon the label's musical repertoire. Special music needs special releases, so this time, presented on a 4-track single, we can enjoy this cinematic, moody, key-lead ballad in different interpretations from Macc, myself and faalb.

Forthcoming on Misspent Music: Aperture, Bop & Dephecta, Sub, ICR.
Forthcoming ICR music on labels: Counter Intelligence, Sonorous Music, Transmute, Play:Musik, Vibez, and more.


Real name?

Zoltan Gal. (Zoltan came from the turkish Sultan word, means ruler. Gal is a celtic-irish originated word, means rooster. So im the rooster ruler! Otherwise the cock ruler!)

Shoe size?

US: 10.5, UK: 9.5, EUR: 44, CM: 28,55.

Tell us your best studio tip?

Honestly I’m not a technical producer, I’ve always made music with only my “ears” and “feel” – still without monitor speakers. So my advice is more general, not a practical tip: if you reached a level in producing, don’t try to sound anyone else, just follow your instincts, leave the cliches and do whatever you want.

Underground or commercial music?

Doesn’t matter what we call underground or commercial music – there’s good music and bad music in both. I try to listen good music from both, no matter if it’s pop, rock, hip hop, electronica, house, jazz, breakcore or drum & bass.

Vinyl, mp3 or CDs?

I’m not a DJ, so my opinion comes from a different angle and I don’t want to write down anything that wiser people than me have already told. For me it’s not the format what matters in the first place, it’s the content. But of course as a producer I’m the happiest if I can hold my “work” in my hand – and in both hands especially.

Who's playing your tunes at the moment?

DJ Flight, Alley Cat, ESB, Subject 13, Justice, Aaron Jay, Stunna, Hazey Haze, John Doe, DJ Krazy, Code, Lynx, DJ Ren and hopefully a lot more. Marcus Intalex, Fabio, Grooverider, Sileni, Tony Colman, DJ Trax also have played tracks from me. Sorry if I missed you from the list, much respect to every DJ who supports my music.

Xylophone or Reason 3.0? (yes, we know that's rubbish, you come up with one for X then!)

The only “gear” I use for producing is Reason. However I love the sound of a xylophone, I must have been using it in a few songs I think. But if I could learn playing only one instrument, it was piano or cello. Or hammered dulcimer – love it in Orbital’s “The box”.

Your local D&B scene, what's it like?

I think if you’re aware of drum & bass you know well that Hungary (mostly Budapest) has a healthy scene – or at least, d&b is very popular, mostly amongst teens (which means one sort of domination in sound aswell.) DJ's always love to come back here because it's still an enthusiastic crowd (check the “megaraves” we have ocassionally!). On the other hand maybe there's less 'movement', and 'innovation' in the scene now than back then and the younger crowd is less open-mindend to more deep, and experimenting sounds wich is a bit shame. Same with the producers - some repeating themselves, some experimenting with new and exciting sounds. So it’s going in circles.

Zoo or theme park?

Anything would be great to go and have some fun. I just need some spare-time and less work.

Download ICR's tracks here

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The BTK Identity

For those who don’t know, BTK a.k.a. Identity has been knocking out solid and heavy dancefloor music for quite some time. A skilled producer and an even more prolific DJ, this young man can be found wandering the raves of Europe with reckless abandon, leaving a path of dancefloor devastation in his wake. I had the pleasure of playing alongside him in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Christmas day, and believe me, this guy knows how to slap up a club full of eager ravers. Anyway, enough sucking on his penis, here’s a short interview and a sweet free mp3 courtesy of BTK / Identity…

The A - Z of BTK / Identity


Almost 26.

Biggest release to date?

Identity, Braindead on Barcode Recs, around 2005.

Country of origin?

Brazil, born and raised in Rio de Janeiro.

Describe your style?

Full of energy, fast and with BPM around 174 without space for dark vibes.

Ever tried to take on a tiger in an office environment armed only with a cricket bat?

Not yet...

Favourite food?

Rice, beans, French fries and big steak... Brazilian food!

Girl or boy?

Hummm... Girl :D

How did you get involved with Drum & Bass?

I went to this DnB party in Rio, around end of 99 and Marky was spinning that night. I was working as dj already, but playing house and commercial music... After that night I started to get more n more into DnB.

Instant messenger or telephone?

It’s easier to catch me online... AIM, MSN, ICQ, Gtalk, Skype, Facebook, Myspace...

Junk food or fresh veg?

Burger King or stfu.

Knife & fork or chopsticks?

Knife, fork or large spoon to catch more, not into oriental food at all.

List your three favourite tunes right now?

Uman & BTK – Generator
Histibe – Tears of a Machine
Radio Slave - Grindhouse (Dubfire Terror Planet Mix)

Motto, what's yours?

People, music, food, money.

Number of releases so far?

18 drum and bass tunes (Identity / BTK) and 5 techno tunes under “Vinicius Honorio” alias.

Not really sure what happened to “o”!

Plug your forthcoming releases here, go go go!

Renegade Hardware Genotype (Manifest & BTK Rmx) Toxic 2008
Uprising Uman & BTK Generator 2008
Deception Manifest & Identity Infected World 2008
Sudden Def Uman & BTK Ectoplasma 2008
S&S Koldfront (Identity & Uman Rmx) Moonraker 2008
Obscene Identity & Implant Hell of Techno 2008
Guerrilla Identity DTC 2008
Algorythm Nphonix & Identity Project 2501 2008
TBA Mindscape & Identity Ice Breaker 2008

Question, ask me one?

Wie gehts dir?

Real name?

Vinicius Honorio.

Shoe size?

43 ½ eu, 9 uk, 10 us or 28cm.

Tell us your best studio tip?

Cut everything under 30 Hz!

Underground or commercial music?

I’m totally into cheesy tunes these days, listening to really commercial electro and pop-rock.

Vinyl, mp3 or CDs?

I still love play with vinyl, but these days, only CDs coz I don’t trust on my laptop, an pc running Vista that much to cross the risk of crashes in middle of a set.

Who's playing your tunes at the moment?

Ed Rush, Cause 4 Concern, Concord Dawn, SOM, Counterstrike, Evol Intent, EBK, Bungle, Mindscape, Munk, SKC...

Xylophone or Reason 3.0? (yes, we know that's rubbish, you come up with one for X then!)

“Xubase SX 3” and thkz H2O.

Your local D&B scene, what's it like?

I’ve been spending most of my time in Switzerland, which has a really busy and health DnB scene. Big ups Axiom, Optiv, Phil ( and my partner and best friend, Jonas (Uman / Task Horizon).

Zoo or theme park?

Theme Park. I used to hate those school missions to visit zoos when u was lil kid...

Download Identity - Flashback
Mirror 1
Mirror 2
Mirror 3

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

The Great Big Jeryl Anti-Interview

Alright, so I couldn’t think of anything better to do while I arranged the next set of free tunes for you bunch of ragamuffins, so I got a bunch of people I quite like to ask me questions about whatever they wanted to. As a reward for having to read it, I have organised a competition that you vinyl lovers will be happy with at the end.

Peter Rogers - Peter is the D&B reviews editor for Mixmag ( and produces rather good tunes under his guise of 'Technicolour' for Simon Bassline Smith's Technique Recordings (check out 'Half A Chance' big old tune!). I admire Peter greatly for his honest and editorially impartialistic (yes, a word I made up) views on reviewing Drum & Bass tracks, including his own releases. Thanks Pete.

Why doesn't ice sink?


What is your favourite shape?

I'm rather partial to a rhombus, actually I'm not entirely sure what a rhombus is, but I really love the word, it reminds me of 'rumpus' which is one of my favourite tabloid-y words to use, as is fracas and Muslim.

According to the dictionary a rhombus is "a parallelogram with four equal sides; an oblique-angled equilateral parallelogram", and any shape which has that much wordiness to its description has to be adored.

How could the worlds of drum & bass and cricket be brought together?

This is a great question and one that's very relevant in my mind. I believe that cricket and D&B already have a lot in common. Firstly they're both 'invented' by the English, who now seem to be fairly rubbish at the art forms they have spawned, and secondly they're both played with small, hard balls. I think an England cricket team made up of D&B's finest would be excellent, just imagine Goldie hitting a birdie or Andy C getting that home run.

Did I mention I'm not a big sports fan?

What is the worst tune nu urban have released?

Definitely something on Intrinsic or Westbay tbh. Just kidding, I’m actually very proud of all the music I’ve been lucky enough to release. Really, I guess that beauty is in the eye of the beholder on this one, and a lot of the music which I personally hate is often the stuff that sells really rather well, so who am I to judge?

Given that god is infinite, and the universe is also infinite, would you like a cheese and ham breville?

That's another bready question! (for non Red Dwarf fans, never mind)

SOS - SOS is a loyal friend and sometime contributor to this very blog (check her excellent Blame and Zero T interviews); I'm a great admirer of her writing. She also DJs under the name DJ Mayday and has other interesting stuff on her C.V. too. Thanks SOS.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Ah, one of life's great mysteries, and one that's obviously subject to mood. If we're talking ice cream then a solid vanilla goes a long way, but when it comes to milkshakes then chocolate is king. Overall I'm gonna run with chocolate, but I'm a vanilla fan.

What's Love Got to Do With It?

Hmm, well it's a second hand emotion apparently. Really though, I'm a lover, not a fighter. I've fallen in love with all sorts of things over the years, music, chemical highs, women (probably in that order too), and all in all it's been a satisfying and educational experience. I suggest we all get together and hold hands now.

I haven't seen my neighbour in about 4 weeks and I am starting to think he is dead. What should I do?

Hire a new one in from Poland, they're half the price of regular neighbours and they never ask to borrow a cup of sugar.

Khal - Khal is the editor of Dogs On Acid ( and a fine journalistic mind. His enthusiasm and humble approach to his work put me to shame, he's one man who really knows his musical shit and isn't afraid to air his views on anything. Big up sir!

Who do you honestly see as “the next big thing” in Drum & Bass?

This is a very difficult question. Right now I'm caught between two opposing views of Drum & Bass, on the one hand I love strong production values, but on the other I'm a big fan of content over presentation. I think for someone to really break through they will need to have a really good knowledge of production but not let over-producing their tunes become the dominant aspect of their sound. I couldn't say that these guys will be “the next big thing”, but I'm really loving the tunes of Icicle, Subwave, Brooklyn and the Brookes Brothers right now. Not that many people are really catching my ear at the moment, but these guys have something that sets them apart.

You’re a fan of the Ragga, right? What are some of your favourite Ragga tunes from back in the day?

I grew up on Jungle and Ragga-Jungle, when I was younger I had some 4xCD collection literally titled something like "The Best of Jungle" volumes 1-4. I can't claim to have a massive knowledge of the Reggae / Ragga tracks that were sampled, that wasn't really of interest to me, it was always about the new ways in which those samples were utilised. I also can't claim it was specifically the Ragga stuff that I enjoyed most either, I loved it all, and everything was so open back then, there were literally no musical stones left unturned.

Some favourites of mine from those CDs and that era in general which I still play out to this day are:

The House Crew - Superhero (My Knight)

DJ Solo - Darkage

Hyper On Experience - Lords of the Null Lines (Foul Play Remix) - double drop that bitch with Champion Sound, I dare ya!

E.Q.P. - Crackman (The Return) - anyone want to sell me a copy cheap? Mine is fucked!

Do you think Drum & Bass blogs will become the new Drum & Bass MySpace pages?

I shouldn't think so, they're pretty rubbish aren't they? I'm only doing this one because I'm bored.

Smithy (Total Science)Smithy is not only one half of legendary production duo Total Science, but is also the lovechild of Karl Pilkington and Phil Mitchell. When he’s not serving up pints in The Queen Vic or working closely with Ricky Gervais, he’s thinking up questions for my blog. Cheers baldy, love you xx

If you could pick one old skool tune to get a remix. what would it be?

Ah, the obligatory non-funny question, you’ve done well to get it out of the way first. On a serious note, I can’t think of that many times an old skool tune has been remixed in a way that has made my jaw drop or improved upon the original in a large way. However, that’s not to say I’m not keen to see that happen.

Things I’ve often been more keen on are when a producer from outside of the scene has a bash at remixing a D&B or Jungle track. Rabbit In The Moon’s remix of ‘Inner City Life’ was a record that I absolutely played to death in my teenage years. I wouldn’t mind seeing someone like Deadmau5 have a crack at LTJ Bukem’s ‘Atlantis’ or Hybrid reworking something by Omni Trio, maybe even Chemical Brothers thrashing out some old Dom & Roland tracks or something. A lot of old Moving Shadow stuff has the potential for amazing new remixes I think, from both D&B artists and people from outside D&B. Shame it won’t happen.

Why is Zero T Irish?

It’s a serious personality disorder that he’s suffered from for a long time. Not only does it make him slightly more likely to burn in the sun, give him a tendency to lean towards mild alcoholism and makes him almost impossible to understand on the phone, but it also lends him a melancholic disposition which is just hard to hate. I think being Irish works out rather well for him and he should keep it up, he’s a shining example to all the other Irishes out there and just goes to show what can be achieved when you apply yourself.

Do you like men?

Only in a sexual sense, I don’t really like to talk with them much, and cuddling is out of the question.

Richard Lock (Devolution Designs) Richard Lock is, for long winded reasons I won’t get into, one of the main reasons that I got into Drum & Bass journalism. He currently runs an outstanding design company ( and creates stunning artwork for a bunch of well respected people. He’s also the third tallest man I know. Cheers Rich you big bummer.

Is drum n bass still cool?

Definitely not. I’m not even sure it ever was especially cool. Maybe kind of cool in that “oh that’s cool because it’s really uncool and being uncool is pretty cool right now” way. It’s basically always been about one of two things in my estimation, flaming computer geeks sat in front of their PCs trying to out-nerd each other with the latest and greatest production techniques, or flick-knife wielding charvers tanked up on special brew and shit ecstasy all spoiling for a ruck at MC Convention.

Alright, alright, so these sweeping statements mean nothing and are, of course, ridiculously obtuse. But no, I don’t think it is cool, I don’t think it’s ever been very cool, and personally, I kind of like it better that way.

Why does Zero T have naked girls on his cover? (not that I'm complaining)

Is this what happens when I show you the other questions before you invent your own Richard? Ridiculous! Might as well make a rule that everyone has to ask a minimum of one Zero T related question!

Anyway, from what I hear, Zero T saw a series of perfume adverts in some magazine or other where the lady’s private parts were covered by a perfume bottle. This was apparently the inspiration behind the naked ladies. I’m not entirely sure what that has to do with a Drum & Bass album entitled ‘Cheap Shots’, but who cares? You can even see a small amount of nipple if you look closely.

What the fuck is this blog all about anyway?

Honestly, I’m not really sure. I got bored one day and decided to start it, I realise that I’m in a position where I can give away free stuff and generally help promote a few things which are close to my heart, which is what I’m doing with it. But that’s not really the reason, I guess it’s just something to fill up some time with.

Darren Ressler – Darren is the editor of Big Shot Magazine (, one of my favourite New York based dance music magazines (ok, it’s the only one I know). His high standards of journalism and impeccable judgement in hiring Drum & Bass reviewers are unparalleled, and as such I give him a huge thumbs up. Cheers Darren.

When are you going to stop beating your wife?

When she learns to do what the hell she’s told! Let’s be honest, women should be seen and not heard, demons in the kitchen, whores in the bedroom and other misogynistic stereotypes which probably explain why I don’t really have a wife.

(Potential applicants direct an email my way; I’ll happily check you out if you send a tidy looking résumé along with a recent photo).

Why is the sky blue?

God is an aesthetic genius. That and Rayleigh scattering.

How do we achieve world peace?

I think it would take incredible miscarriages of justice to achieve such a thing; essentially the world is so incredibly screwed we need some kind of dystopian reality to emerge to truly change the attitude of the general populace, and perhaps some kind of incredible prophets to see us through the dark times and into the light. That, or maybe aliens, they could encourage us in some way, either as an outside threat for us to concentrate our anger on, or as some kind of wise ‘father figure’ race who teaches us the right way to live.

Or maybe we should just all try being a bit nicer?

Free stuff?!

Yes, yes, as is so often the way, you have to give people some incentive to turn up and read this sort of bollocks. So, as a lot of you may know I get sent a bunch of free vinyl, and I work at a record distributor, so I literally have piles of vinyl sat around generally gathering dust and doing fuck all.

With that in mind I promise to send at least 20 brand new 12”s to whoever sends me the most interesting and/or funniest reply to any one of the above questions via email. Be warned, I withhold the right to publish any and all of the emails I am sent on this very blog, so be careful.

Email me – with ‘blog competition’ in the subject and one of you lucky buggers will be the proud owner of a bunch of white labels.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Zero T - Cheap Shots

It seems common, and maybe sometimes silly, for Drum and Bass producers to get lumped into merely one category of what is in fact quite a diverse genre of music. Though often being branded with the “Liquid” tag, it only takes a listen to his massive back catalogue to hear the dark and rugged fundamentals much loved on dance floors around the world, some dating back to even his earliest released material. Make no mistake: Zero T is a jack of all trades Drum and Bass wise.

“I guess as a producer you are always critical of your own work, but it’s only in the last 2 years that I feel I can really represent the ideas in my head into sound. Ive always approached music from a intuitive perspective, rather than a technical one and I think that shows in my 1st body of work (i.e. the LP).” When setting out to make the Cheap Shots LP, what is quite possibly his most demonstrative work to date, Zero T’s main goal was to show that he was, above all, a Drum and Bass Producer. In his own words, “One sound, many styles.”

For those who weren’t there to remember, back in 2001, Reinforced was responsible for giving a lot of newer artist the opportunity to reach a much wider audience (Sonic & Silver, Breakage) and Zero T was right there with production partner Beta 2. What started innocently as Beta2’s girlfriend bigging up the boys tunes to none other than Digital, Stretch and MC MG at an after party in Dublin and passing them a CD resulted in getting signed. “We thought that would be the end of it, only for Marc Mac to call and sign a track, which turned into and EP and a 12. We really couldn't believe it and sometimes I still can’t.”

Clearly not one to steal the glory for only himself, Zero T is known for being in the studio with different artists at any given time, a process he insists has been both positive and beneficial. “I think music making is all about getting a good vibe going in the room you’re in. If you have an affinity with another artist, and you get on well - it's a really good experience doing collabs! It’s also how I’ve learned nearly every technical aspect of production.”

The Cheap Shots LP features pairs Zero T with heavyweights such as Bailey, Alix Perez, and favourite Beta 2, among others. Shining in the spotlight alongside him is vocalist Steo, whose versatility and delivery make him an artist you will surely be hearing more about. “He produces incredible beats himself, this was how I discovered he could sing the way he can. On one of his loops was this entrancing falsetto vocal. I called him immediately to ask where he got it…it was him singing into him mum's PC.”

It was their first session which resulted in “Refusal” and solidified the working relationship between the two, and for this LP currently. “I think most producers who've been around a while get to the point where sampling vocals gets tired. I’ve been so lucky with STEO. Recording your own unique vocals somehow gives the tunes more value. The human voice is the most evocative instrument!” Steo is also a member of the Hip Hop trio Infomatics who just released their own LP.

Total Science’s C.I.A have been putting out releases for Zero T since 2001, so it’s not surprising that they offered (and he accepted) to release Cheap Shots. Their continuing working relationship has gone past just that, and has formed effectively into good friends that are more than happy to work together on a professional level. Who else could tell you the TRUTH about Q-Project’s hair (“Its not real…it's a helmet! I swear!!”) or the benefits of a solid working relationship between artists, labels and friends. “Another consideration was creative control,” he says, “which knew I would be given by the lads, even down the artwork. That freedom was certainly appealing for a debut LP.”

The rest of 2008 shows no signs of slowing down for Zero-T and the LP is really only just the beginning of a string of releases coming this year. Be on the lookout for Dillinja and Lemon D remixes for V Recording, an EP for Integral (including a Calibre remix of Refusal. Whoa!), remixes of Q-Project, J.Ralws + Middle Child, Atlantic Connection and Specific and Sabre. And if that isn’t enough, you can watch out for the debut 12” on V with Steo and Calibre. “If I find time in between all that, I will launch my own imprint towards the end of the year; BARE MINIMUM Music.” Given his back catalogue, one does not doubt that he will find the time to complete it all. Possibly more.

Words: SOS

Competition: Win a copy of 'Cheap Shots'

To get your hands on a copy of Zero T's debut album for Total Science's CIA Recordings, simply email with the words "zero t competition" in the subject heading. We promise not to send you any emails telling you you've won the lottery, but we may email you with Drum & Bass related information.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Insider Trading

There are many rumours circulating the Internet about Inside Info, most are false. However, one of the ones that is true is that this man makes some of the most technically ridiculous, and powerful music known to man (this claim has not yet been subjected to independent study). Citing, of all things, a novelty radio watch as his initial musical inspiration, it was at the tender age of ten years old that Paul Bondy discovered pirate radio stations and the early sounds of hardcore and proto-jungle through his wrist.

Sucked into the innovative sounds it wasn’t long before Inside Info, or Paul to his friends, began to become infatuated with broken beats and, after receiving a copy of ‘Rave ‘92’ as a Christmas present, began to delve deeper into the world of dance music: “I used to be obsessed with computer games and I bought loads of computer game magazines when I was younger” he explains “I remember buying Gamesmaster which had an interview with The Prodigy in there. I knew them because of the tracks they had on ‘Rave ‘92’. This was just as they were about to release the ‘Music For The Jilted Generation’ album and I remember thinking “I HAVE to get that!”, so I picked it up. When I was old enough I bought tickets to one of their live shows, the way they played live fascinated me, and I was stood there wondering what the hell was happening behind the racks of equipment!”

Rewinding slightly from what has obviously become a great source of inspiration to Inside Info, it was the emerging sound of jungle that began to really catch his ear, eating up every compilation and radio show going, from ‘Jungle Massive’ to Randall’s show on Kiss FM. However, Inside Info was the only one of his peers who showed love for the clattering breaks and sub bass hits that are all too familiar to junglists of today, and he left the path to pursue other musical interests, heavy rock and metal.

In his own words though, it wasn’t long before he got the urge to revisit his musical past: “I remember one day waking up and thinking “I wonder what the hell jungle music sounds like nowadays” so I checked the radio listings and saw that there was a jungle drum and bass show on Kiss 100 really late in the evening. I stayed up and listened to it and I remember being completely blown away and wondering how the hell I’d ended up not listening to it. It was around the time ‘Bambaata’ was released, that was the tune that got me right back into D&B.”

Discovering DJing through some friends who played garage, Inside Info decided to buy his own decks and immersed himself in the world of playing music. Like many though, the desire to create his own sounds swiftly followed and Paul saved every spare penny that he wasn’t spending on records to buy himself a Roland MC505: “While at college I started doing more and more work, I worked as an assistant to a plumber, then an electrician, and painting and decorating. I remember redecorating my Nan’s spare bedroom for her and she gave me some money towards it too. Eventually I got my hands on one and made a few tracks which ended up in the hands of DJ Pappa G from Kool FM. He was impressed with my early progress and came down to my studio and showed me how to sample breaks and all kinds of stuff.”

Forming a partnership with a friend, the name Inside Info started out as a duo, they worked hard in the studio and landed themselves a show on Origin FM where they would play their new tracks, getting feedback instantly from the hordes of D&B fans tuning in each week. After a while the partnership went their separate ways, and Paul kept on the Inside Info name, taking out a loan to buy a proper studio setup and diving headfirst into his production, mixing up all the different sounds he loves and wrapping it in Tech. It wasn’t long before this unique tracks caught the ear of one DJ Hype, and his first release, ‘Concentrate’ b/w ‘Rumble On Signal’ was snapped up for his Ganja-Tek label.

Since that fateful signing, Inside Info’s tunes have been at the forefront of many a major player’s box, and with tracks signed to a selection of fine labels, including Horizons, Viper and the incredible anthem ‘Skyhook’ on Lifted’s sub-label, Breed12Inches, Inside Info is finally getting the props that his years of hard work have earned him. Look out for a slew of hot material forthcoming on Critical, as well as some choice remixes in the near future. If you want our trading tip, you’ll want to be picking up some Inside Info bits for your box, deadly.

Er, free tune then?

Yes yes yes, we hear you cry, but where’s our free Inside Info track? Well, you lucky little beggars, it’s here, and it’s a corker! Mr. Info has kindly donated his immense, and rather disgusting, ‘Angel Way’ to give away on our fair blog.

Please, if you want to repost this track then by all means do so, but give us, and Mr. Info a tip of your cap by linking back to us both.

Click here for the tune

Click here for Inside Info's Myspaz

Monday, 28 July 2008

Assigning Blame

Given the sheer number of artists that seem to pop up day by day, there are few Drum N Bass veterans that have earned their medals of honour and can proudly say they have been there since day one. Before digital downloads and internet discussion forums, there were a selected number of highly creative DJs and producers on the brink of something of new. Blame was right there alongside them.

“I started making tracks in 1990, when the term 'Drum and Bass' hadn't been created. I guess i was one of those like-minded guys listening to Fabio and Grooverider, wanting to speed up my hip hop breaks and fuse them with house and techno sounds. Work experience at a studio got me hooked on production, and I spent all my spare cash on studio time.

It was at this point that he wrote ‘Music Takes You' for one of Drum and Bass’ most celebrated and well known labels – Moving Shadow. In what Blame can only describe as a ‘blur’, his music career kicked off right then. At 17, he had a track in the Top 40, at the top of the dance charts.

“After pissing all my money up the wall (and having a great time), I decided to take things seriously with my music, so I bought my own studio and learnt all the equipment. Around 1996 I signed to Good Looking and mixed the Logical Progression 2 Album, and produced loads of singles and an artist album.”

His signing with Good Looking would be short lived in the grand scheme of things, unfortunately. There has since been talk about Blame’s leaving LTJ’s Good Looking Records in Drum and Bass various Drum and Bass circles. For him, it was quite simplistic, “Getting music and business right is a really complicated balance”

After parting ways, he went on to sign tracks to Charge, Metalheadz, Hospital as well as launching his own labels 720 Degrees and Blame Music. “I really wanted to leave my mark in this music, and felt that there was a futuristic sci-fi soundtrack edge to Drum and Bass that I could bring to the table, so 720 Degrees was created for that.”

“In the last few years I have signed tracks to Charge, Hospital and Metalheadz. It’s great, as I’m a massive fan of these labels anyway and really good to be part of the history. Ram, Prototype, Creative Source and Playaz are other labels I would love to have releases on at some time, but it’s all about getting the right track at the right time. There is something really special about building your own label’s identity though.”

The first release off of Blame Music is different, to say the least and may not be what people expect. As a producer, he intends to use the imprint as an outlet for everything experimental, tribal and oriental. “I just want to bring more flavours into this music and try and push the envelope a bit, as the same formulas seem to be dominating Drum and Bass at the moment.”

It’s no secret music sales have dropped all across the board and Drum and Bass is no exception. Despite being a vinyl enthusiast (“I still love playing vinyl whenever I DJ!”, he says) Blame has no problem adapting to and serving those new to the music in digital format. “ At heart, I think it’s really important to supply mp3s of the catalogue and not alienate the new fans that have never played vinyl. But for me, I will always try and keep vinyl alive.”

He remembers his days digging in the crates fondly and feel strongly that Drum and Bass has strong ties to the use of vinyl. “I used to love picking up coloured vinyl, or square 10 inch releases back in the day. It’s a massive shame but vinyl is a dying breed, the spirit of Drum and Bass seems to be missing when vinyl is taken out of the equation”.

With the whole resurgence of new-rave and people like digital and Randall Bringing back the old school hardcore sound, Blame currently is toying with some of the sounds of the old-school and the possibility of bring some of his old sound back. “Yeah that would be a lot of fun. I’ve just released a track called 'Flashback' which has all those sounds in the background... a real trip down memory lane!” In the meantime , working diligently as ever, he is working on his own album at the moment, building on the sound and success of 'Stay Forever', “It has really inspired me to keep pushing on and writing the next chapter of my music.”

And so, as the next chapter for Drum and Bass unfolds, Blame is at the forefront and balancing so delicately the nostalgia and history of the old-school, while never forgetting the importance of experimentation and progression of the new. If that’s not a recipe for success, when what is?

Words by: SOS

Competition: Win a copy of 'Stay Forever'

To get your hands on a copy of Blame's latest release for Mampi Swift's infamous Charge imprint, simply email with the words "blame competition" in the subject heading. We promise not to sell your email address to any Nigerians but we may email you with Drum & Bass related information.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Go West...

Atlantic Connection and Jeryl's Westbay Recordings has plenty of goodness signed up for the coming months. Kicking off with the vinyl releases taken from AC's debut album 'Tomorrow's Not Enough'. First up is 'Danger Zone' featuring Lynx, a silky smooth ride through liquid D&B territory, on the flip of that one comes 'Touch This' ft. Kemst, a slick crossover between Drum & Bass and Hip Hop that should satisfy any fan of that distinctive Westbay sound. Following that will be the outstanding follow up to one of Westbay's biggest releases to date 'Can't Destroy Love' as AC and Minds One go back in on the formula to create part two. Backing that one is another quality collaboration, this time with Youngman MC who provides some smooth lyrical flow for 'Soul Musiq'.

Not to be outdone, the sister label, Westbay International, steps up the pace with some more hotness from Concept & Shnek and Loxy & Matt U (yes, Loxy on Westbay!). 'Bedford Ave.' is already getting plenty of praise from DJs like Fabio and 1Xtra's Mistajam, despite being consistently misnamed 'Bed For Dave' thanks to a labelling issue at the mastering house! 'Supastar' comes correct on the B side with some LFO business that's hard to resist. Next up, Loxy & Matt U bring the jungle-funk with 'Jumanji', a fast paced blend of beats, bass and percussive layers that just doesn't let up. Matt U goes solo for the second track, 'Charger', another concoction of beats and bass with just enough of that Westbay attitude.

Plenty more lined up from the Westbay camp with talk of a 'Tomorrow's Not Enough' remix album, exclusive artist EPs and more. Check out their Myspace for audio clips of some forthcoming tracks.

Hey Good Lookin...

Without a doubt one of Drum & Bass’ most successful and recognisable record labels, Good Looking has always stood for quality atmospheric and soulful music. With one of the scene’s living legends, LTJ Bukem, at the helm, the label erupted as a breath of fresh air upon the raw and irrepressible Rave scene in the early ‘90s and has stood as a testament to how far across the globe well produced and thoughtful electronic music can reach.

Of course, LTJ Bukem is still one of the world’s leading DJs and his career has seen him tour the length and breadth of the world spreading the Good Looking word wherever a set of decks and an up-for-it crowd can be found. And now, after a break from releasing music, Good Looking is ready to roll once more with a selection of exciting 12” singles from some of the freshest talent that musical Drum & Bass has to offer, and LTJ Bukem’s next long awaited instalment in the ‘In Sessions’ series is set to drop this autumn.

First up will be a name familiar to any Good Looking fan, Furney. This artist dropped the awesome ‘Drum Tools’ on the flip side of the last Good Looking single (LTJ Bukem’s own ‘Switch’), and here he comes again to provide you with some more silky smooth sounds with ‘Pipez’, a track that features on the aforementioned ‘In Sessions’ CD recorded live from Exit Festival. Backing that up will be another of the scene’s leading lights, Utah Jazz, with the soul-fuelled ‘Leap of Faith’, a track that cements his reputation as one of the hottest producers on the block right now.

Following that will be another outstanding selection of split artist singles featuring Funktastics and Peyo, Soulmatic and Furney, Tayla and Ink & Perpetuum, and as you can see, the future is looking very good for the Good Looking camp.

GLR 69 - Furney – Pipez b/w Utah Jazz – Leap of Faith
GLR 70 - Funktastics – Wild Willy b/w Peyo – Old Times
GLR 71 - Soulmatic- Self Belief b/w Furney – Distance
GLR 72 - Tayla – Turn it around b/w Ink and Perpetuum – Say Never