October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment
I first heard and saw Alice at the September 2010 DMZ down in the depths of Brixton. She played a pretty mindblowing set straddling a whole bunch of bass heavy genres…read on!
Hey Alice, you just got back from the US, where exactly did you end up visiting and how were the vibes over there at the parties?
I started off in LA and was staying in an apartment in Venice which isn’t really near to any clubs! I was only there for a couple of days so only checked out the club I was playing at which was in down-town LA. After that I flew to NY and played at the Deity club in Brooklyn for the Swamp 81 party alongside Loefah, Kode 9, Falty DL & the rest of the ATG Crew. Because I was only in each country for a couple of days I only went to the clubs I was playing at but would have to say NY was more my kinda place in terms of the right vibe.
I know it is a clichéd question, but how did you get into dj’ing? Have you always leant to the Dubstep and bass heavy sides of music?
I started buying a lot of vinyl after learning how to mix at School when I was about 15. At that time I was really into my Hip-Hop and Old School Garage, we had an after school workshop and i signed up, the rest is history!
The Dubstep love affair happened after i went to a house party probably around 2003 and my friend Exel from Reggae Roast was dj’ing and said “this is the new sound” and from that moment I took notice.
As a DJ, how do you source your tunes for your mixes? Have they been a constant evolution of your first ever set, or do you try to keep it fresh with different sets out of the bag every time?
Over the years I’ve built up relationships with a lot of producers so am lucky to have music sent to me direct. I also have music sent to me via music pr companies but still buy a lot online and when I’m in central London will pop into Soul Jazz & Blackmarket to pick up some records. In terms of planning my sets I prep crates on Serato with the tunes I want to play and then draw from previous crate to give me ideas. I think it’s important not to plan too much as you can never anticipate what the crowds going to be like.
Following on from that, did you see the DMZ slot that Mala and Loefah hooked you up with in September as one of those sort of pivotal moments in your career so far? Being the first woman to play a DMZ night, did you feel any more pressure than usual to make your mark and smash it or did you treat it like any other night?
Playing at DMZ was a huge honour and something I will never forget! To be completely honest with you I was petrified!! I had found out the night before when I was on my way to Brighton and so by the time I got back to London I had about 4 hours to prep! It was probably for the best as I didn’t have any time to stress as I just had to get on with it and do my thing. I started playing to no one and then when I finished the crowd were going for it, at that point I really didn’t want to leave the decks! Unfortunately I had to leave straight after my set to play another gig, I wish I could have stayed longer that night…
Loefah and Mala have invited me to come back and play a main set which i can’t wait for, will probably be sometime next year.
That’s the DJ side covered, so what about production? Have you had the chance to get behind the desk yet, or is it something you’re saving for the future? As a side question, if given the chance, who would you like to collaborate with if given the opportunity?
It’s something I’ve dabbled in but is one of those things I’ve put on hold for the minute. Right now I just want to concentrate on being the best dj I can be, I’m never satisfied with myself, which I suppose is something that keeps me going. But If I had the opportunity to collaborate with anyone it would be Moodymann because his music is straight from the heart, no messing about plus he is pure gangsta! Secondly it would have to be Ramadanman because he is one of the most promising producer/dj’s out there and I have a lot of time for him. He’s so young and yet he has accomplished his sound that is way maturer than his years, when ever I have a tune of his sent to me I can’t wait to play it out.
I’d like to say thanks for the interview, was a pleasure. Anyone else you’d like to thank or give shout outs to?
As always big up to my extended ATG family members and of course badman Benji B and rude gal Z Jama.
October 18, 2010 § Leave a comment
We’re back, finally. Kicking it off in style, the first of many guest mixes comes courtesy of Dub Police member and Soul Shakers founder, J:Kenzo. The mix is chock full of dubs and forthcoming tunes and is almost too much to handle. To sum it up within one phrase; sheer, unadulterated bassweight. Read on for the interview and mix…
Easy Jay, hows things in the Medway towns right about now?
Things are good thanks, there seems to be more buzz about dubstep music locally than ever before.
As a producer, how long have you been twiddling the knobs for? Were you guided by someone else in the early days or did you have to find your own way around things?
I began taking production seriously in 2006. I already had basic knowledge on sequencers, but learnt a fair bit from friend and fellow producer Markomen on basic synthesis and drum programming.
Following on from the last question, when your track Constant was released through Dub Police, did you feel like all the hard work had finally paid off?
For sure, It’s a good feeling to have your music stand out and picked up by a leading label in the scene, and to have one of the biggest dj’s (Caspa) supporting your track around the world really helps.
Obviously we can’t reveal your tricks of the trade, but what program/s do you use for sequencing and what is one piece of equipment that you use on every track?
Reason and Cubase have been the backbone to every track i have produced. Sometimes I re-route them together and other times I will use them both seperately, depending on what mood i’m in at the time. I would say Reason’s ‘Redrum’ is pretty much an essential tool I use for drum programming on my tracks.
As far as questions go this is pretty open ended, but where do you see Dubstep to be headed? Many people say its falling into the same trap that Drum & Bass did by not looking outside of the genre for influence. What are your thoughts on this and how do you think the situation could be improved?
I think Dubstep as a whole is a very healthy genre, it has expanded in popularity worldwide over the last two years and I can see this increasing. Every genre has its fashionable peak, and for this year it happens to be Dubstep. What i’m hoping is for the new fans, producers and dj’s stay true to roots and learn about how the scene progressed and where the scene has come from.
In regards to the question on searching for outside influence.. quality will always shine through. Of course there are always plenty of stale copycat tracks within any genre, but as an innovative producer you are always looking for a new way to create a vibe and entertain through your music. The best way as a producer and DJ is keep an open mind and experiment and this will keep the scene fresh and exciting.
Around the Kent area, who do you think we should be keeping an eye out for over the next year or so?
To be honest Producer wise it is very hard to say as the majority of music i get sent is from all around the UK, Europe and the States. However I am always looking for fresh and exciting tracks from homegrown Kent based artists, so feel free to contact me via my Soundcloud page with a message and your music.
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