Thursday, 1 March 2018

DJ DEMO Exclusive Interview @ Strictly Nuskool Blog

Interview by Andromeda (Transcripted by Audio recording)

Mark Giles also known as DJ Demo, short for "DJ Demo(n)(stration)", has continued to demonstrate what you can accomplish with hard work, dedication, and how to create a legacy that last the test of time for the old, the new, and everything in between. For the past 20 plus years his music has traveled through the sound waves as being a key player in the hardcore sound,breaking barriers with his cutting breakbeats and taking risk when no other at the time thought it could be possible.

DJ Demo has made such an impact with his movement through the times it has reached a point in this day and age where records that were once a fiver are now being sold as a high rarity item to have in any collection. After years from ‘retirement’ he comes back strong, repressing his first two releases from 1994 from his own record label Corrosive Recordings. While releasing another 12” with never before heard remixes from Hattrixx (Ownen Palmer) making this release a must have 3x12”, with only 100 units being sold.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Mark, his passion for the music is humbling and inspiring. Down to earth, knowledgeable, sincere, real and a man who knows his beats, DJ Demo is a true Master at his craft. We spoke about his first record ever bought, how he promoted COR001 in 1994 compared to today, and he even gave great insight for the future of our beloved music and scene.

To give a little bit of back story on the records that are being released mid April 2018, here are some questions I asked.

First of all, how did you come up with the name Corrosive Recordings?

DJ DEMO: Funny story behind that I was looking for an idea for a logo and at the time I used to work for a shipping company in my late teens. We used to ship hazardous cargo, one day I saw the logo on the side of a lorry and thought ‘yeah that works, we are the corrosive element' and that is how i came up with the name for the label. It’s a simple but memorable logo.

*laughter from both ends*

It is a cool logo! So tell me please, the label released about 10 records between the years 1994 to 1997; which one was your favorite?

DJ DEMO: Oh that’s easy, definitely COR001. It was the first release of course it would be my favorite. COR002, COR003, COR004 was strong also but not as memorable as COR001 honestly. There was lots of ragga in 1995, Krome & Time they were really good in 1995 along with many others, they were doing some pretty good stuff, 'Ganja Man' for example. I always looked at them and said ‘if I can make anything half as good as them I’m alright’. So I did my best at the time.


Indeed! It’s such a nice record truly. No wonder it’s loved by so many, you produced it well. Is that a ‘Frankie Goes to Hollywood’ vocal sample on COR001 the Essence E.P 'The Power of Love'?!

How did you make this record, please tell me all the secrets!!

*laughter from us both*

DJ DEMO: Ha! Yeah we used simple systems like an Atari, S1000, commodore, a small sampler, a good mixing desk, and that was about it. The engineer in '93 was DJ Gain but we was using OctaMed it was pretty poor TBH (the software) however in '94 the engineer in a real studio was Little Matt; this was so much fun and another interesting character to work with.

I gave him the vocals and ask ‘you think we can squeeze this?’.
We pushed the limits on the sampler, time stretch it, put it in key and it worked.

*you quickly hear a snap of fingers and a loud clap after by me, followed by more laughter from both of us*

Yeah you see that is what I am talking about!! Simple. All about simplicity when it comes to making tunes that is why I love 1995 you can just hear it. Sometimes it can sound better than the sounds of today.

DJ DEMO: ehhhhhh…. Sometimes. *chuckles*

What made you want to repress both records and rerelease this?

DJ DEMO: A few years ago a friend rung me up told me to look on Discogs, so I did and found that the prices it was going for outrageous! My first record £40? No way! It was a fiver when I first released it. Then about a year ago Robin Allison from the Music Preservation Society(MPS) messaged me saying they would consider it for a repress. 

At first I didn’t think it could be true, after a few conversations on the group and researching the wants list of nearly 300+ people here we are, I'm repressing my early back catalogue again. I am happy to release these again; I am actually deeply humbled by the response really. I’m not doing this to make any money, it’s all about the nostalgia and love of vinyl, if we do make any rest assured it will be paid forward hopefully towards up and coming artists. 

We are releasing this as a triple pack 3x12” it has a stunning spine sleeved, one time limited edition version and only 100 units that are numbered.


Only 100 units? We must be quick then in getting those pre-orders that are available in March huh?

DJ DEMO: That’s the trick with everything, to try and get something someone doesn’t have. We might press some more if the demand is there but we will see. Vinyl pressing is not like it used to be, years ago you could sell 600 of something, these days you are lucky if you sell 100.

This is awesome! I see the comments on your facebook page, how excited everyone is for this release. Both tunes as I said before are produced so well and refined. COR002 has that stunning vocal from ‘Nikki’, what’s up with the remixes how did those come about?

DJ DEMO: Yeah Nikki, what a lovely girl... Owen Palmer (Hattrix) came to me around 2012 and asked if he could remix them. I listened to a few of his records and said ‘all right, have a go at it' He did a really good job. They came out really well, have you not heard them?

No I haven’t can we hear them now please?

*subtle noises are heard from Demo*

DJ DEMO: Here, I will play them for you. For the Essence EP ‘Power of love’, I gave Hattrix the vocals of a Gabrielle Aplin version of ‘The Power of Love She does it so well over an acoustic piano, I always thought that would be perfect for a remix.
Hattrix was a bit sketched about it because of the piano, but I told him to just go into his programs, split it up take the vocals away from the piano and he did. The remix is wonderful!

*Power of Love remix starts to play in the background,with a big smile on my face I bob my head to the beat, listening carefully*

Wow, that remix is heavy! He gives it a nice edge and that vocal is beautifully set in there, she really does it justice. Hattrix revamps it well, sounds like the original but gives it a heavy bass line. Banging remix! Thanks for sharing.

DJ DEMO: Yeah I’m pleased with it. Most Drum & Bass has come a long way the last 10 years or so, but after ‘Terminator’ drum and bass got really 2 step with the same formula, Hattrix switches it up or back a notch. He has an album coming out with DJ Vibes from back in the day, has an old school 93-95 jungle sound. (Check here)
Let me play you the other remix.

*Fantasy remix starts to play causing me to bounce in my chair as I listen, writing a few notes in my notebook*


Oh wow! Really good stuff! Heavy hitter Hattrix, that would kill the 
dance!  Are you working on anything currently? Will we be hearing new DJ Demo tracks this year?

DJ DEMO: I am back in the studio with an old pal but I can’t tell you who it is!! Well we worked really well together back in the day those that know me will know who it is! It’s been great fun. Back in the day I used to do remixes in exchanged for remixes from other artist. Of course I did a few and never got paid for any of them. We might do a 4 exclusive track EP with remixes that have never been released before. If you go to my website click on Audio Free Tracks.

 What I have there are tracks that were cut to dubplates but were never released, we are going to do some sort of release some of these tracks. Like one of my tracks that was quite big ‘Your Mine’, the last track at the bottom of the list ‘Your Mine Demo Dubplate Mix', there is another mix to it that is just breakbeats. People over the years have wanted that on vinyl. So we are going to release it. It’s early jungle and really good. That is what we are doing next. If the studio time goes well, we might do something like another triple but of new material but you never know really. I am just doing it for fun really,trust me its fantastic creating again.

I am curious, how did you promote these records back in 1994 compared to today with bandcamp and social media platforms?

DJ DEMO: I think these days bandcamp is the way to go, just how things are really. But let’s see,I got into the studio end of 1993, it didn’t sound right so we went back in early 94’ and got it right. Put it on to a DAT, drove to Music House on Holloway Road and cut my first dubplate for myself.
*laughs* My first dubplate, cut one track on one side. I was about 23 around that time and there were about 2 or 3 DJ’s that I thought were great, so I called them up and played the record  down the phone. Back in those days I didn’t have money to ship a record, *laughs* 

I knew I had 10 test presses, phone up 10 DJ’s. DJ Slipmatt was one, DJ Hype was another one. Hype and Slipmatt used to play the Essence EP a lot. Hype cained it for 6 month at least, solid. He would stop his set after 10 minutes and play from the top the original COR001 and used to scratch over it. Slipmatt was the first that ever did it at a rave; he played it at Reincarnation, Crystal Palace in the spring of 1994. I drove to London bought a ticket and met him at the bottom of the DJ booth, gave him the Dubplate and he played it. He opened his set with it for months after. It was brilliant!

What an experience and rush! I could only imagine what that felt like for you. What advice do you have for the nuskool era of producers and DJ’s trying to come up in the music industry?

DJ DEMO: My thing is and always will be is "Be consistent and be persistent" talent doesn’t always do it, but it helps. It’s good to have a bit of knowledge, it is good to have a bit of skill, but be nice on the way up. Be sincere, be humble. I did alright, I had sooo many haters back in the day and this well was before social media....haa haa!

From your experience witnessing the music evolved through the years, where do you see it going in the future?

DJ DEMO: Well let’s see, what is going on in dance music that is electronic? Well Jungle/Rave/ Dnb? Who am I to say anything, I’m nobody. See I was lead down the wrong path 20 years ago and I had to stop to take a massive break! The technology is getting there, who would of thought 20 years ago you could or would have the whole of Abbey Road Studios in your Mac,PC or Linux box!?
Pioneer Nexus, Modern sequencing Software and now sequencing hardware!! Internet, socially read understood, and lets not forget cryptos, it's coming so much that it’s the youngest smartest that will have the upper hand! However it’s a bit instant, disposable some might say. Like the the “Jump Up” or “EDM” thing.

It’s like the way Happy Hardcore went but hey its fun for some.Now Breakbeat is always going to be cool, understood; see the Jungle drum beats are always from the heart. The darkest most ruthless will always survive. That dark/light element that is just glimmer from the front left of the speakers on the dance floor! Yes… you remember what it’s all about, the moment the track that has its lick comes in!!! See not many have the edge these days or a novel, original idea(says the guy sampling massive 80’s tuneage ffs!!) but the talent that does are holding their own. Some are pressing vinyl with digital backups.

See passion is holding it in your hand, treasuring it, revering it, controlling it, training it to one’s will not giving into the norm (i.e evolving the sound past the male lead amen loop that has dominated the sound for years now!!) Ohh and notice this female energy rising DJ’s like Djinn, Mollie Collins and many others that are getting noticed via streaming.

Hey it’s a good thing as it opens the music and dance floor to a wider audience(everyone is included) no DJ elitism, just good vibes and really good music! Hail the unsung heroes! #PLURAHF from Dr. Demo :) 

That is beautifully said Mark! Ok, so my last question is, what are the labels/artist that you rate at the moment?


Foundation X
AKO Beatz

Secret Operations
Cylon Recordings
Metalheadz (mainly DETBOI)
Omni Music

Really there are so many artists but to name a few: 

Tim Reaper
Conspired Within

Excellent choices! By the way, I totally lied that was not my last question..

Since we are both part of DiTC (Diggin in The Crates) you know I can not end this interview without asking you for a top 5, and what was the first record you bought?

DJ DEMO:*laughing* Yeah I love the unity and movement of that group. My god, the first record I ever bought was Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew, that was 1985 I think! But I was collecting music much earlier Streeet Sounds Electro 1-2 at around 1983-84 tape ONLY!!

*heavy laughter from both of us*

‘OH MY GOD’ yes!! What a tune!! Perfect first record! Classic hip hop!

Yeah, god let me play that right now.

*Doug E. Fresh ‘The Show’ begins to play*

DJ DEMO: Ok my top 5 is:

Excellent top 5! Peshay Piano Tune is a classic!! Well Mark it has been an amazing time chatting with you today, thanks for the laughs, the insight, the knowledge and your time.

DJ DEMO: You are most welcomed. It was fun thanks! Cheers!

[Audio Ends]

Follow DJ Demo on facebook and soundcloud for new release information, downloads, and streaming of his massive catalog also available on his website

You can listen to the tracks being released on youtube if you never heard them before. But I suggest you hold on tight these are certified classic anthems from 1994!!

COR001 Essence EP 'The Power Of Love'

COR002: Extreme EP 'Fantasy' Feat. NIKKI

Pre-Orders for this limited edition release will be available on bandcamp on or around the 15th of March with release schedule to be around mid April. Good Luck on getting yourself a copy of this! Any hardcore jungle music lover would be ecstatic to have this repress and remixes in their collection! I know I will be waiting for it to go live for my copy!

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