Casting a monumental shadow over an unwitting 2014 is a certain Warehouse Music complilation on Chronic. Looming large and brimming with lots of names, lots of styles & layers and bristling with kinetic energy.
Bailey is involved, given the unenviable task of an accompanying mix. Phew. We caught up with Bailey to talk us through the comp, the music and the approach to grappling with such a giant concept as a mix for Chronic. He also drew an interesting detail about label founder Bryan Gee on the A&R front…
Looking at this formidable tracklist – L Side, Capone, Chap, Command Strange – what are some standouts for you?
L Side, Need For Mirrors, Symptom and DJ Chap are definitely amongst my favourites.
Names like Young G and Saxxon have caught me by surprise, what are some other highlights here for you?
Optiv & BTK have killed it with their track. They’re known for gritty and dark sounds but have come up with something much more different with a slight Jungle feel to it. Bad tune! L-Side shines through too with a simple but vibing stepper. One of the most on point producers out of Brazil right now.
Capone and Roni Size inclusions remind us of the early days of this crew and the stuff that came out then: what are YOUR memories of the Bryan Gee/Chronic world? You are known for your finely-detailed knowledge!
Getting a Chronic release was a luxury in the early days. Loads of these releases would never have come out if they hadn’t been on the label. Producers techniques advance with technology very quickly and a lot of the time they don’t want something they see as the ‘past them’ getting released. They however trust Bryan’s judgement on how good the tracks are. He spotted the talent of Moby and other big names when A&R’ing back in the day. You can’t argue with that.
… and how would you say Chronic differs from output on V, for those new to it?
Chronic was like a dubplate label, testing rough and new ideas on the public. V Recordings had the tracks you instantly knew were going to be big.
The Brazilian input here: do you think people may forget the importance of Brazil to D&B?
What Bryan has done is prove that there are pockets of great D&B vibes that exist elsewhere that are worth tapping into. In the case of Brazil it’s a no brainer if you do the math. They’re great sense of rhythm and appreciation for the importance of music in their everyday lives was bound to harvest great results if applied to D&B. Shockingly, I’ve never played in Brazil and have yet to experience these vibes first hand.
So this mix for Warehouse Music: what did you want to capture, what vibe?
I actually did the mix twice. The first time I did it I managed to squeeze all the tracks into half the time of the version that is coming out. It just didn’t feel right though. It’s important to let the music breathe so I did the mix again. This time at a more casual pace. I did it in my typical ‘Bailey journey’ style. The highs counter the lows and vica versa.
Isn’t it hard to do a mix like this for Warehouse Music? So much tunes and so much you COULD play! You surely could go on for three albums’ worth!
My personal mission was to get every track on there and I did. It wasn’t as hard to do as I thought it might be because there’s a lot of strong music involved here. It’s much easier to do when it’s like that.
On another point, you and Bryan have been the ambassadors for this excellent new wave of D&B on radio, with Ministry, and your show is as good as/better than it was in the past for mood, vibes, specialty selections, guests and banter… how have you enjoyed it?
Ministry of Sound Radio gives me total freedom to represent the music the way I feel it should be. No boundaries. It’s one of the greatest wishes any DJ could be granted. That’s why you can hear the difference in me from chat to music.
Any shouts and words for 2014? In terms of exclusives, names to watch?
I’m gonna throw some names out there. Voyage, Philth, Acid Lab, L Side, Vigorous, Infamy, Boosta & Atmos T, Level 2. If you want to check producers coming through from the ground up, start there. They’re hot!