Jamie’s Jungle Book Roulette – Part Five
Jamie links up with Audio Danger frontman and all round star on the MIC, Jimmy Danger to roll out some classics on the Jungle Roulette jukebox.
It’s been a minute since your last appearance on the microphone, how do you juggle such a hectic lifestyle? Events, production, videos, artist management, release schedules – the list goes on! How do you fit it all in?
“I have bags under my eyes. Sometimes people ask me if I’ve been punched in the face! On the outside I look knackered and pissed off a lot of the time, but on the inside I feel like a duracell bunny and I’m busting with happiness. In all honesty, I feel very blessed to have this hectic lifestyle and only want more of it. I’m pretty certain that the majority of people doing what I’m doing would say something similar. It has its ups and downs like anything, but that is what makes it so much fun! Plus who likes being bored?”
Audio Danger has been running since the year 2010 with a string of hefty releases behind it. Your forthcoming ‘Hydra’ project is released on 13th March featuring T>I and Coda, both heavyweight tracks. How do you compile an EP? Is it an easy task or are you wading through track after track to find the right fit?
“It’s actually the 3rd EP in the Hydra series and we have a release launch event in Bratislava with Critical Sound on the 10th March at the Refinery Gallery, plus a DJ contest. I don’t have a formula for selecting tracks for an EP. I just release stuff that I like myself. I don’t care what’s trendy or popular at the time. It’s more about, do I want to listen to it? Would I rave to it? Would a DJ play all these tracks in the same set without them all sounding the same? If all those things add up then it will get signed. I guess that’s a kind of formula!
To be honest, the tracks have to be on a similar vibe, with this EP I thought all the tracks sounded stripped down and industrial, With Coda’s ‘Oblivion’ at one end and T>I’s ‘Emotions’ at the other end of that kinda spectrum! We swapped some tracks around as we were putting it together, it evolves as more tracks and ideas are involved.”
T>I has been destroying sound systems left, right and centre with his production. Do you feel he was somewhat slept on as a producer for some time? I know you have supported him all the way through his career.
“You are 100% right, T was slept on hard, he still is a bit but I think that’s changing this year! To anyone reading this who doesn’t know who T>I is, he is your favourite producer’s favourite producer! I met T>I and Azza at Warning in Cambridge about 4 -5 years ago when I was running a ADR room. They did a set together and I was blown away. I was so gassed I recorded as much as I could on my phone! I had no idea why no one had heard of them and from then on bought them to everything musically I was involved in!
I think they both showed something that hadn’t been done before, and they were and are both their own masters of that! Most people know a T>I tune when they hear it and no one spits bars like azza. Sorry no one “did” spit bars like Azza..!
But to focus on T I would say that he is a true perfectionist of his craft, the first track i signed from T>I was ‘Run Stitch Error. Really low sub panning bassline and the drums, MY GOD- it almost sounded like someone had thrown the contents of the kitchen in the air then it all somehow dropped perfectly to the floor to create the mental percussion. A real craftsman of the subs and drums, his attention to detail is second to none. I have a lot of respect for T as an artist, promoter, DJ and a friend! He just does his own thing and won’t lower his standards for anything or anyone.”
Masker, TrendR and Ruxim, three producers I’ve never heard of yet they have come up with some wicked bass heavy tunes for the EP. What’s the story here? Masker just makes me think of the M.A.S.K cartoon from way back when! B.I.G!
“I met Masker through Cino (RED I and HEDEX) a few years ago, we were driving to City Flow in Belgium to play a set and he is their friend he so tagged along! I can’t say too much about Masker as i don’t want to get in trouble with any other labels or put my foot in it, but just look out for him! I’ve signed some other bits from him so there will be a single from Masker coming soon. It was Coda who made me aware of TrendR, a young dude from Vienna, running his own label and events, I heard a few of his tracks and thought ‘Drained’ would work well on the EP! Check out his Label Overdose Records.
I heard of Ruxim through an old friend who runs a mastering business and teaches him music technology at University. Ruxim is another very new guy who I’m sure will get snapped up by the bigger labels this year. We really try to help out the new artists, as a sort of stepping stone to the bigger labels. So if these new guys go on to bigger and bitter things then i know I’ve done my job.”
2016 was certainly the year for jump up, do you think this trend will continue into 2017? It’s certainly looking that way!
“Yep, you are right. I think the snowball effect is happening here with jump up, It’s just gathering momentum and spreading its tentacles all over the map. It has its own real die hard fans all over the earth so I would say it’s not a trend anymore, it is its own culture now! All power to jump up and drum and bass as a whole, lets see where it goes aye…”
Talking of jump up, it’s been said that certain labels who previously turned their noses up at this genre of drum and bass have all of a sudden started supporting it. Financially driven or just rolling with the times? How does Audio Danger keep with the trends?
“I think it’s probably a bit of both. I don’t wanna say if I think a certain label is lowering its standards to follow a trend! Things move so quickly in this digital age so get on board or get left behind is a fair attitude to have. As I mentioned, we just do our own thing but at the same time we are moving with the times and the new guys we bring to the label bring their own sound. We are not tied down to any one sub genre, we release drum and bass music, that is all.
There is a few people getting a bit snobby about jump up, but if you don’t like something, don’t waste your time hating on it!
Some people despise jump up but people are scared of change and people’s opinions are their own, so fuck em! My advice to anyone would be – don’t watch the next man’s plans and just do your own thing! Has someone nailed your ears to a table and blasting DJ Guv’s ‘Warning’ through a sound system? No, well shut your pie hole dick head. No one is forcing you to listen to it…”
If you could predict the future of the underground music scene, who would you say was 2017’s brightest star to shine? DJ, MC, producer, stage dancer – whatever!
“I’m gonna cheat and say one name but it’s a few artists! TNA (The New Age) T>I, Dominator and Nu Elements behind the decks. Azza, Grima, Manek and Rizzla on the mics. All relatively new guys on the scene, covering many styles of drum & bass production and lyricism. TNA as one entity will only get better as each artist’s solo carriers grow. So TNA for 2017 is my answer. I am a fan…”
I’ve been asking MCs about lyrics quite a lot recently, how do you write yours? Do you have to zone right out in silence, put on the kettle prior or just be in an unfamiliar place?
“It all depends completely on what I’m writing about or the vibe I’m trying to create with the lyrics plus whats going on in my head at the time. Using writing as a release means as lot of dark ish stuff comes out but my personality is also there so bound to be some humour (awful humour) in there somewhere. I’m writing anywhere and everywhere, scene and setting etc affects it a bit.
I used to write a lot of bars when i was a roofer at work and when i was working for habitat building furniture as a kind of escape from the mundane boring work environment. So I’m writing whenever i can, on my phone, when I’m walking the dog, on a train, on a plane, on the beach, on the bog, when ever an idea or even just a few bars come in my head i have to get it down or i forget cause i have a rubbish memory!
I still use a rhyme book, I learn the lyrics better when I’m actually writing the bars down on paper. And I’m always losing phones. I write a lot when I’m traveling but also when I’m in a creative environment, just jamming in studios with like minded people really brings it out of me! Sometimes I can get an idea in my head then I’ve got a complete track in 1 – 2hours, give or take a bit of editing afterwards. Again, there is no formula for me here. Just never force it.”
Spinning some classics now with 3 specially selected beats from way back when. The idea is to tell us some stories behind your memories of these tunes, if you don’t have any just give us your feedback on the vibes!
First up – DJ Krome and Mr Time (who are supposedly making a comeback this year) with ‘Hip Hop Ride’.
“Well that’s wicked news. This is a great track, you really know your old school. I have a feeling you got this on vinyl? I don’t have a story for you I’m sorry. Most of my stories aren’t suitable for half of the readers i think! But this track just brings me back to the “good ol’ days” of calling a rave party line number and driving to the middle of nowhere in a convoy of motors all to jump about in a random field/barn/warehouse till quarter past piss of in the morning.
Second, the one like Dr Octagon with ‘Blue Flowers’. DJ Hype on the remix of this wicked hip hop tune.
“I love this track, and the whole album was amazing! “create rap music cause i never dun disco”! Blue flowers reminds me of that film A Scanner Darkly with Keanu Reeves, go watch it if you haven’t seen it, mad trippy! But this track also reminds me of chilling in my friend bedroom, playing the Dr Octagon album, Wu Tang, Omni Trio, one Nation Tape Packs (arguing about who had stolen the DJ Hype and Skibadee tape) etc, smoking doobies out the window hoping his parents wouldn’t smell it and kick us out!”
And lastly, another hip hop infused track from DJ SS under his alias LE1 1FB which from memory was the postcode of 5HQ. Busta Rhymes samples a plenty with ‘Step Correct’.
“Yeah this bangs, the bassline is right up my street! Not sure I remember this actual track but instant memories of Raindance 11th Birthday in the Old Drome at London Bridge. Raving in the arches, blowing my horn and genuinely thinking I’m one with the sound. I just remember when the club closed, the tube station would be descended upon by a shit load of wide eyed ravers trying to get home. Everyone would just jump the barriers and get on the tube with all the ‘normal’ suited people on their way to work. Still makes me laugh just thinking about it…”
Any shouts or big ups?
“I would like to shout out Kato, Fractal, Beaty and all the Trident crew. I just joined their agency! Big up Let it Roll Slovakia, Solid Festival, Wyro at Drum and Bass Wear, Ross at Cambridge Mastering Services. Pete, Barrington and the gang at Warning in Cambridge, T>I and the Rumble/Color squad, Coda, Pandora and the Switch guys over in Vienna, My Super Mega Bad homies and everyone who enjoys Audio Danger Records. And Finally massive BIG ups to Emilia for all her hard work for the label.
For bookings contact Beaty