Friday, 21 March 2014

DJ FAV Interview & Guest Mix for the Strictly Nuskool Blog

- It’s very good for some people to learn about these oldschool days and how everyone started..So..We'll let you take us back to your youth age & tell us any interesting story from there and what made you stuck to the oldschool music.

I was fortunate to be involved in the hardcore scene from day one. The bug bit hard in 1989/90 and I started DJing in 1991. The speed the music developed meant every month boundaries were being broken – if you blinked you’d find you’d missed another genre-defining twist. It slowed down towards the end of 1995 as the genres became more defined but the 4 or 5 year ride was just amazing to experience.

- Which period of the rave era is your personal favourite?

As a raver it would be 1991 to 1993. Hands-in-the-air raving turned towards the darkside and the output from 1992-93 was just phenomenal. There was nothing like having your head smashed in by an amen/mentasm brick!! Here Come The Drums was really the big turning point for me. There was no dancing to that track…it just wanted to kill you… 

- Which tune would you love to remix from the oldskool era & tell us please your TOP3 productions ever..

I would love to work on a proper remix of Here Come The Drumz with Doc Scott, or maybe some mentasms with the master himself Bizzy B. In cloud-cuckoo-land though I’d be in the studio with Current Value or Autechre mashing up some new darkness rather than remixing tunes that probably don’t need remixing!
As for a Top 3 – that’s impossible. A Top 300 might be if you’ve got the time! 

- What inspired you to start the HWND site?

Top Buzz – and mainly their set from Fantazia New Years Eve 1991. There were at least 9 tunes on there I’d never been able to ID or find that I simply had to have. Back in 2000/1 I’d got bored playing d’n’b and started digging out the hardcore again. There were hardly any online resources for dance music, no youtube, no discogs, no HWND, but there was a small community of ravers on the B2VOS forum who helped each other out IDing tunes from old mixes and knocking up the occasional tracklist. These were mostly done by copying tapes (proper old skool!) and mailing them out. So I had a 90 min cassette full of Top Buzz clips and posted out about 15 copies. Most got ID’d – and I managed to track down the vinyl. I felt the need to share this knowledge so would often rip the vinyl, upload the mp3 (before the days of internet police!) and the complete tracklists where possible. It started out as with a few mixes and tunes. By the end of 2002 it was Now I host around 25Gb of audio - nearly 2,000 mixes and over 2,000 tunes - and the site has been getting tens of thousands hits a month for the past 12 years!

- From all the classic DJ sets you have uploaded to HWND, which ones really stand out for you?

There are so many. The aforementioned Top Buzz set from 1991 is top of the list. The Buzz always managed to be one step ahead of the other DJ at any event. They’d always have a few tunes that would blow you away that no-one else was playing. That set is full of them and Mad P’s Mcing is absolutely spot on. In fact, they’d fill the Top 10 sets easily – Two Blacks & A Bubble Part 2, Fantazia Summertime, Dance Planet Detonator, Obsession 3rd Dimension…I could go on!

They’d be some Ratty in there, some DJ Seduction and a spot of Ellis Dee too.

- How to you see the nuskool/nurave movement at the moment?
  Are there any artists or labels that have already drawn your attention?

It’s really good to see so many producers having a crack at keeping the old skool vibe going. Back in 2004 there were only a handful of us producing what we called Hardcore Breaks on a few labels (Enormous Mouse, HWND Records, Repeat Offender and a few others), but by 2006 this had really gathered momentum to the point you could pick new releases on vinyl from new labels every week. I’ve no idea what happened between then and 2010 ‘cause I was buried under a pile of nappies!
If I’m honest I don’t spend a lot of time listening to other artists mainly because there are so few producing the nasty darkness I’m in to. DJ FX and Tactical Aspect do stand out though. I don’t get the 140 scene, or Future Jungle I’m afraid. 140bpm is just too slow – I’m much happier between 155 and 165bpm!

- There is a massive release out now on 7th Storey Projects, the 'Dark Arts Vol.1' including a tune from you, 'Soul Survivor'.
Tell us please if there will be any future releases from you and if there's any possibility to relaunch your record label..

I recently released HWND005 as a free digital download ( and it’s racked up nearly 100 downloads to date which I’m very proud of – especially as I’m producing tracks that don’t really fit into the very popular 140 genres.
I’m working on HWND006 and that should be out shortly – featuring remixes of some classic old skool tunes (that probably didn’t need remixing in the first place!). I’ve also collaborated with a very talented producer called Bleetz and we should have an EP out soon on Criminal Records.
Keep an eye on my soundcloud page too cause they’ll be more free downloads on the way. 

We would like to thank you as a Blog, giving the chance to a lot of nuskool readers & oldschool 
fans in general to learn some essential things about the man like...DJ FAV! Is there anything extra you want to say, or anyone to shout out?

I’ve got to big up 7th Storey Projects and 92 Retro for getting me back on vinyl. I’d always planned to put out HWND005 on wax but family commitments took me out of the scene and I never got round to it. Winning their DJ Excel remix competition towards then of 2012 came as total surprise as it was the first track I’d produced in about 6 years. To then be asked to contribute to Dark Arts alongside DJ FX, Dom (as in Tango & Dom!) and Worldwide Epidemic was just amazing.
Thanks to all the DJs who’ve picked up my tunes over the last 18 months – Tariq, Glowkid, Back2Nite, Quicklung and many, many others – it’s great to know your hard work is appreciated.
I’d also like to thank anyone who has supported me and HWND over the years – far too many to mention!



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