Friday, February 29, 2008

Mekstravision!

DJ Mek has very kindly uploaded some of the good ol' Mekstravision VHS. Heres a snippet featuring Tim Westwood and the Beans episode...


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Benga Interview



..look at the bass face on yer man in the back


Mark Gurney:
You were quite young when you started producing?
Benga: 12 -13, at the time I was playing football, but I was always in music. When I was in primary school I would get this little tape recorder, I stole it from school as it goes, (Laughs) a little white thing, and you could record things, so I’d stop it and record something else and create a dodgy mix.

M: Like a stop tape mix
B: Yeah, I always wanted to do something with DJing and I begged my mum for decks for ages, but she wouldn’t get them. I had this friend, anything I wanted he’d get, he had rich parents. It’s not like my parents aren’t well off and that, but they just didn’t believe in buying anything that would disrupt my education, so I used to go round his house and mix and I learnt within two weeks, or something stupid like that. I went to Big Apple (Croydon Record Shop – now closed) and was buying records from there even though I didn’t have decks. And they said to me “Hey, you’re too young to be buying records, your wasting your money pal” and I was like, “I bet I can mix better than you.” They were like, “c’mon then”, so I clashed Hatcha (much laughter). John Kennedy, the owner of the shop at the time, gave me sponsorship, so I didn’t have to pay for any of my records after that.

M: What inspired you to start making tunes?
B: Hatcha had so many tunes I couldn’t get, and that pissed me off. So the only way to get tunes like that was to make them myself, Hatcha was getting tunes off El-B and that and them tunes were banging. And I tried to imitate it, but where my sound wasn’t strong enough, me and Skream, we were both trying to do the same thing; we came with some next level on it. We had Artwork saying no, you don’t wanna go down that route, just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re going somewhere else. So we carried on building and are making what we make today.

M:
Going back to that vital decision you had to make between Arsenal Youth Team and Music, how easy was that choice?
B: How does everyone know about Arsenal? My brothers at that time they was mad, saying things like “You gotta stop doing one, music or football”, and my older brother would train me at football, but sometimes I wouldn’t come out. And he would say “I’m not gonna waste my time trying to train you up” so I picked music, coz I felt it more, I enjoyed it more. I could sit for days and days making music.

M: So you’re a lazy arse?
B: Yeah, (laughter) but I scored some wonderful goals back then.

M:
Obviously people want to know about 'Night'…how did you end up collaborating with Coki?
B: It was our third tune. We made ‘World War 7’ together, another tune called ‘Full Throttle’. They were mediocre. I’m not saying they were shit, but average tunes. We kept coming up with melodies and riffs, but kept turning them down; it’s weird how the simplest thing worked so well. I came up with some mad oscillator to pitch, some mad route to make it do that mad pitch thing, and then we came up with the riff, basically we used a bit of science, a bit of Coki science head. I think it was the fact we knew we wanted to come up with something different, so we sat there until we did.

M: On your new album you seen to be experimenting with melody a lot more, especially Zero M2 and Loose Synths. It’s sounds you were really going for it...
B: That’s the thing though, it’s not like I just begun to experiment. It’s more I’ve learnt a lot when I was making a lot of pop and house music, but I turn it on and off. It’s knowing how to use it in dubstep.

M: Lets get into the album in a bit more depth. ‘Emotions’ is such a powerful track. How did that come about, was it a mood you were in that day, a vibe, or just grew from a simple chord structure?
B: I think I wrote ‘Emotions’ the same time me and Coki wrote ‘Night’. It was one of them tunes where I was moving so quickly, like, in two months I wrote 50 songs. So if I wrote something like ‘Night’, I would turn around and write something completely different, which would produce ‘Emotions’. And the next night I would write ‘Go Tell Them’. I kept on switching it up, bang bang! That was the beauty of writing so much and so quickly.

M: It sounds like you writing is instinctual...?
B: Yeah, rather than trying to sit there and think of what to make next.

M: Is the house tempo of ‘Someone 20’ a statement of your other musical tastes or just a evolution of your sound? It’s almost saying dubstep doesn’t have to be 140 bpm and banging.
B: Exactly, It’s more about when people sit down to write dubstep, they think they have to make clubs tunes. I know it’s hard to get dancefloor and be creative; it doesn’t always go hand in hand. If you try and mess around with the beats too much you can get lost and it doesn’t sound right. It’s a weird one; some of the tunes I created for that purpose, with mad beats structures didn’t make it onto the album. But, me sitting down writing them, is helping me find ways of incorporating that into my dancefloor stuff.

M:
Do you listen to any old music at all?
B: Now and then. I not really the kind of sit down and listen to a certain type of music person. I just listen to whatever’s around. I remember Arthur (Artwork) went out and bought me a bunch of CD’s, there was loads of old stuff. He bought me Chic, Stevie Wonder and loads of other old school thing and it took me two weeks to listen to everything, listening to what goes into the songs they make. That’s about it really, that’s the only time I’ve listen to whole albums.

M: Yeah, it’s quite interesting, because there are other producers out there who get their influences from old music etc. You seem to draw your influences from within. And the tunes you make somehow tie in with other stuff that’s out there. Which is a mad concept to comprehend. It’s instinctual, organic and natural music…
B: It’s slightly mental you should say that. Arthur used to say that to me. It’s only now that I realise what he was saying. He used to say, “you’re really natural at it. You kinda of listened to music while you were younger and get the influences now”; it all comes out when I’m making music.

M: You have a tight knit friendship with Skream, growing up together. How important is that for you?
B: He is one of the ones who pushes my limits and I think I do the same to him. It’s no competition. It’s more the fact that I make a tune that’s big and he’ll want to make a tune better than that. And it just grows and grows, and our production gets better. It’s only healthy for us. So, not only has it helped in that way, but also kept me focused.

M: Are you addicted to BAPE trainers?
B: (Laughs) Badly, badly.

M: How many pairs do you have?
B: It’s really hard for me to count. Because I keep this wardrobe of just trainers, the fresh one stay in the wardrobe and other ones go under my bed.

M: Do you still wear the ones under your bed?
B: Yeah, I try and match my trainers with my top (Benga is wearing a deep purple polo shirt with matching BAPE colourways) I’ve been ringing up BAPE every day this week because they have four new pairs out and I’m gonna buy every single one of them. And some BAPE’s are £160, and some days I’ll go in an spend £700 on 4 pairs of trainers.

M: Why Bape?
B: They are exclusive, you only get one pair, in your size, in Europe. You’d never come across the same person wearing the same ones. Plus, they’re bright and colourful. People always Looked me up and down, the hair first, trainers second (laughs).

M: Are they not giving you any free yet?
B: Nah, but we’re working on an endorsement at the moment. (grins)

M: Are you still kicking ball?
B: Not at that level, I had my moments. But Power League is one of the things for me, coz I’ve never lost my close control and my finishing ability, I used to score some stupid goals. I used to score from the corner flags, things way before my time. My manager used to say, you shouldn’t be finishing goals like that at your age. All the boys who I used to play with as a boy, are still playing. We killed division one in a Nationwide tournament recently. I played for Whitely for a while, semi-pro, but I started going away too much and couldn’t make commitments.

M: Plus it keeps you fit.
B: I need to bruv, have you seen this belly? It’s not a good look. I ran twice yesterday, once at 1am and once at 6am.


'Diary of an Afro Warrior' is out on Tempa in March.

For more info check www.tempa.co.uk or www.myspace.com/bengabeats


Words: Mark Gurney

:) Many thanks to Markie at 3 Bar Fire

The Nice Up - Tomorrow Night

Monday, February 25, 2008

26 Basslines

Benga does it again. From the forthcoming album 'Diary Of an Afro Warrior' on CD and triple vinyl(got mine ha ha!)


Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

February Bonus Mix!

DJ Colz February Bonus Mix!

Hot on the heels of the dubstep monthly mix, heres a bonus mix for your listening, swaying or bouncing pleasure. Featuring tracks from 4Hero, Benga, MJ Cole, lots of El-B of course, its not my usual dubstep mix, but takes in two step, broken stuff and some more techy tracks. A full tracklist can be grabbed from my Myspace, just follow the link in the blog.


Click the pic to bag the mix


twostep/broken/dubstep/allsorts

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mek Gets Dusty



DJ Mek has just stumbled on a bag of old mixtapes, and has been kind enough to throw up a couple of examples...

Mek has some damn fine mixes up in his blog as it is,
So if you missed them,
Check them on his Myspace...

For Muppets



Monday, February 18, 2008

DJ Distance



This Friday Night Folks...DJ Distance drops in on our shores
with support from

2bit, a-force & wobble residents.

Traffic, abbey st, dublin 1.

ten at the gate, session run 10.30 till late

heavyweight sound by worries outernational

reach if you can

Shari! Vari!

Still a killer, A Number Of Names(Sterling Jones and Paul Lesley) classic 'Shari Vari' as debuted on Detroit's local dance show 'The Scene'back in '82.

Witness the birth/endless rebirth of the groove


Keepin' it Reel

Thanks to Tu-Ki for this one, Mr Tape's 'Revoxlution' from 1991.
.....



And Big Up the man Tukes, himself, here he is in 2005 performing his DMC routine from that year. Holllllllllld tight ;)


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rusko's Response




;)

Blackdown Meets Burial

Ok, its an old interview(March 06), but I reckon Burial was hitting the nail on the head. With current moan-ology on forums and elsewhere concerning Rusko, Caspa and the areas into which they are taking the sound, its good to look back at a piece like this and remind yourself of the reality.

With dubstep nowadays seeming to be at less risk of degenerating into a k-hole of sludgy fuzz, and more at risk of splitting into genres that will want nothing to do with each other(havent we been here twice, three times before?), it was heartening for me last night to see Grizzle doing it like it should be done.
Toward the end of his set he dropped a dub of his that one would theorise would not go down well with either the trustafarians or the hipsters, as it is drenched in two step rhythms, a bassline aimed fairly much at the waist, and a vocal(as yet undivulged)which just lifts the track through the stratosphere.

The thing is, the dancefloor(as always at dubstep events) was a healthy mixture of male and female. Women like to dance when they are enjoying themselves, and this causes the men to feel the need. Standing at the back and nodding half time is for teenage boys ;)


Blackdown aka Martin Clark meets Burial


M: But with the r&b vocals, a lot of dubstep is very masculine and you often sample women…

B: It makes it a bit more sexy. I like that. I think people are afraid of that sexy garage slinkyness. Those rhythms. I love in FWD>> sometimes you’ll just hear one of those tunes. I’m not saying girls only respond to sexy Twice As Nice music, that’s bullshit, but there’s vibes to be had there. But there’s plenty of people who if they were given any room, would make dubstep sound like slowed down drum & bass. And those people are terrified of those sexy vibes I’m talking about. They don’t want this music to have come from garage.



M: It’s almost like a fear of inner city black culture.

B: But it’s also white culture, anything from the suburban rave culture that went into drum & bass. People’s sampling video games, films. They’re scared of all that history. They just want it to be tech…. Drum & bass was a mix of all those things, so was garage and so is this.

B: I was brought up listening to drum & bass. The thing that was scary for me was when I started liking club tunes that were a bit sexier. I was tempted over to that, totally.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What Ever Happened...

To B Wonder?

Along with the likes of Scooby and Búachaill Dána, he was one of Cork's unholy alliance of up and coming MCs/Producers, and definitely one to watch...
If anyone knows him for gods sake buy him a mic and get him back on it...

Heres some(thankfully)surviving footage of the traditional Langer style ;)

B Wonder with Búachaill Dána on the Beatbox


'Wake Up' - THE INFOMATICS

Definitely one of Dublins finest crews, The Infomatics drop some heaviness on 'Wake Up', from the album 'Kill Or Create'.
Big Up Steo on this one.


We All Need A Laugh Sometimes

This made me chuckle. Carlos gets a good shreddin'.
Created by stsanders


February 08 Dubs

At last, its good to have two turntables again. Back from repairs and working fine. So, last night I threw together the latest monthly instalment. Some old and new tracks on this one, the likes of Skream, Pinch, RSD, The Bug, Headhunter, Benga, El-B and many more. Check my myspace for tracklist...



Click the pic to download ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Scary Eire - The Scary Era LP Promo






In case you were asleep through last summers miserable weather, you may not know that Irelands premier hip hop outfit, ScaryÉire, finally released their long awaited debut album, 'The Scary Era'.

Formed in 1991 by the four members, DJ Mek, Dada Sloosh, Mr.Browne and RíRá, ScaryÉire were the first irish hip hop act to sign to a major label. Their live performances included support slots with bands such as, 'House of Pain', 'The Beastie Boys', 'Madness' and 'U2', along with their own, now legendary, 'Barnstormers' sessions.

ScaryÉire's punk-like attitude, raw sound, topped with a vivid sense of humor, made them unique and comparable to no other band of any genre. Often praised by the greats, (like the late Joe Strummer of 'The Clash' and 'The Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan), their music is a hard hitting truth and a voice of social misfits, sometimes political, always original.

'The Scary Era' album has been 16 staggering years in the waiting, and is a collection of songs from the pre-westlife, pre-Pat Kenny, pre-celtic tiger Ireland. It stampede's from the start with rattling rhythms and thunderous rhymes.

'The Scary Era' sounds as relevant today as ever.

'The Scary Era' album is available in most decent record stores and also through the internet.

Bag it

West Coast Rocks ;)


Simon and Steve of Get Low


Well, the Galway experience was fun and games.
I felt a little old and grey surrounded by 19 year olds on the batter, but there were some great things I noticed on the night. Simon and Steve(collectively known as Get Low had just got in a new sound system from the UK(Steve having been up for two days driving Galway to Croydon and back again) and were eager to test it out tonight, so we had some techy difficulties at one stage, including a pint of guinness baptizing the main plug board at one stage.
Simon pulled it back nicely with Bobby McFerrins 'Dont Worry...' a suitable choice to calm the steadily fraying nerve endings of the punters who had turned out.

Watch the bwai sweat...



What struck me most about this gig was the set the lads put on before me - chaotic, of varying level and timbre mp3s were set off against each other from two laptops, there was little if any vinyl employed, but I suppose thats just the auld man getting perplexed. Then I began to notice that the lads, through the fact that the records they want simply cant be got in Galway, had to build tracks up from snatched sections(some of which were from Dubstep Allstars CDs), sampled, rebuilt and remixed then mixed live by the lads. I dont know if they realised it, but it was brilliant to watch history repeat itself. Necessity being the mother of all invention, they had emulated experiments done by Larry Levan back in the late days of disco/early days of house, and also Herc, D.St, Flash and others who did the same out of a lack of source material for the punters. I think I was the only idiot grinnin as I sat, watched and listened...the lads just looked busy in gig panic mode and the punters danced..;)

Special shout out to Si, Ste, Holly, and all a them who enjoyed it.
(and the gal who pulled the plug out and killed it (literally) during my set. Tsk!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Barefiles




Thanks to Deapoh at Barefiles for uploading the Full Irish Mix.
Barefiles is one of my favourite resources on the interweb, with an archive to be proud of, a great place to hear mixes by DJs you may or may not know of.
Check them here

;)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

All Galway Massive

Good stuff.
My first gig outside Dublin in about two years...and its in the West.
Always great crowds out west, punters are well up for it and if they like it they let you know...
Looking forward to dropping some heavy dubs on Galway ;)
Big up the Get Low Crew!


First Irish Dubstep 12" Release!



You heard it here folks...
Dublin based band of gypsies The Alphabet Set have just released T-Woc's first installment of his deep and brooding 'Delayed Responses' series.
The EP features tracks which can be previewed on his myspace, namely
'Maghreb'(my personal favourite)
'Dogman'
'Old and Grey'

Check it!

DJ Colz - The Full Irish Dubstep Special







Hello again...

Heres a special I did for Raidio Na Life, for the showT-Woc ar An Raidio while T-Woc was away sunning himself in Morocco.

Thank you to all the producers who sent tracks, there is a wealth of talent out there throughout Ireland, and I only wish the show was longer, many tracks and artists were unfortunately left out due to time and other constraints.....:(

The Full Irish Dubstep Special mixed by DJ Colz
Raidio Na Life 106.4FM / www.rnl106.com
12/01/2008


1) Oh Yes I - Prof. Ruff Chuff
2) Unknown Souljah - Radikal Guru
3) Spanik Sabotage(Budstep Remix) - 2Bit vs SEBP
4) Menace - Arus Na Dub
5) Catalogue C - Jonny Oakley
6) 48 Hours - Grizzle
7) Come Together - Major Grave
8) Concrete Rumble - Madd Axxe
9) Moonstomp - Colz
10) A Tone - Fono One
11) Believe - T-woc
12) Stale Cheese and onion - Colz
13) Rainfall - Grizzle
14) Wiser - Arus Na Dub
15) Bass Is A Canyon - Jonny Oakley
16) Ancient Archive - 2Bit
17) The Evacuation - Major Grave
18) The Warning(Remix) - Colz
19) Warriors Dub - Radikal Guru
20) Language - Fono One



Anyway, if u missed it just click here




Fuck House Music?



This flyer was posted on my myspace recently by a crew in Dublin to promote an upcoming gig headlined by Vex'd, and featuring proper musical localists T-Woc and Grizzle performing live sets in support, a treat Im particularly lookin forward to...
But I dunno about this one...
Because in 1987 I heard Chip E, Adonis, Derrick May, Fingers Inc... drifting over to Dublin via the UK from Chicago and Detroit...and I cant turn my back on such beautiful music. Ah well.
What is House music in 2008? And should we be fucking it?
If you go to the promoters myspace page, youll hear a track called 'Micro Soul' by Ceephax as the profile song. If Id heard this in 87, I would have called it House ;)

Ursus Crew

enuff rant, heres the gig...

C Is For Cookie

Hello
And welcome to Smokeless Fuels. I was told to find an outlet for my rantings by a few people close to me, in that jaded voice I am so used to hearing, and so here I am to vent.
With that in mind, heres my mixtape 'C Is For Cookie', a labour of love I completed some time in 2006.
Originally the mix began as a favour for a friend who wanted some nice clean breaks for his samply stuff wot he did do on his computer, and I obliged. Like a latter day Kool Herc, I faded in each break like a human sample cd, break by break, track by track....and grew bored.
And so, what should have taken an hour ended up taking 4, 6, 9 months...if someone called up for a chat and a smoke Id fire up the recording equipment, get the auld dusty vinyl out and add to the mix, overdub after overdub.
This is the result. A track list would be a bit much, but anyone who can work it out can send it to me and Ill personally say a prayer for you.

The intro is a shout to my auld crew when I was 12 years old and had the sound of Egyptian Lover pulsing through my veins. The good old days ;)

C Is For Cookie - DJ ColZ b-boy breaks mixtape
Running Time - 59.13
Click the Muppet to Download...