Crossfire 2: Deep in the Zone
‘More?’ you enquire, raising eyebrows. Indeed…
There’s also LJ High & Wags and Jaybee & NCamargo. Both duos are responsible for some eye-wateringly deep, strong and dangerous cuts.
So it was time to step out in the line of fire and corner two of them, namely Jaybee and LJ High, and get involved in some serious interpersonal crossfire of our own…
In scene where it’s too easy to pigeonhole into neat boxes – liquid, hard, neuro whatever – what essentially did you wish to BRING with this ep, vibewise?
Jaybee: With ‘Your Nightmares’ I was going for a dark, steppy, eerie vibe with a bassline that made you step back. Big up to NCamargo for vibing on the same level!
LJ High: Me and Wagz wanted to create an oldskool kinda ‘ruff’ jungle breaks and bass vibe with ‘I Know’. The track was built around the main synth and vocal initially.
I do indeed get snapshots of the classic sound of the past so have to cut to it: what got you into D&B?
LJ High: I first started going to ‘The Edge’ in Coventry – formally The Eclipse – and fell in love with the music from there. I was stood next to DJ Tango on the balcony at The Edge one night, his track was playing and the whole place was bouncing. I thought ‘yeah, that must be the great feeling’. After that I started buying records and got into DJing.
Jaybee: I was introduced to this music by way of the Hit The Decks Megamix series and The Prodigy’s Experience album. My background is in hip hop, so I was able to recognize the drum samples and was already into techno at the time. Hearing a genre of music that had that same kind of vibe hooked me from the first time I heard it.
And what heroes have you got in the scene?
LJ High: Grooverider & Fabio, Randall, Bukem, Calibre, DBridge, Tango & Ratty, Andy C…
Jaybee: Hype… The first D&B tape I ever bought was Take Control; Randall… The second tape I ever bought was one of Randall’s A.W.O.L tapes from the mid 90s. Plus Grooverider, Fabio, Bukem, Goldie, Mickey Finn – where’s he at?
What’s some vibes you dig outside of D&B? Techno, house, you name it.
Jaybee: In general I was raised in the boom bap era of hip hop, so that’s where my heart will always be. I’m also a huge fan of deep house and that filtered out, disco vibe type of house. I cannot forget my love of dancehall as well.
And what do YOU check outside of D&B, LJ?
I like to listen to some progressive house, breaks, and a bit of hip hop.
Do you prefer DJing or producing? Or both, as they feed into each other really don’t they?
LJ High: Definitely both, I was a dj first and later was introduced to a guy called Mark Morris (aka Darkman) who had a studio and was signed to Flex Records at the time, and I learned the ropes from him. I’ve always loved DJing live aswell as radio, I’ve been doing online radio now for 10 years and currently host a show on bassdrive.com
Jaybee: I would have to say producing. For me, being able to create a piece of music is more satisfying than anything I have ever done, other than having a beautiful baby girl.
For people just getting into you due to your work on the Crossfire 2, what’s earlier things they should check?
Jaybee: My release on the first Crossfire ep.
LJHigh: Check out ‘I See’ on Soundtrax Recordings. Also ‘Hibernation’ which was my first release on Mac 2.
And what’s happening for 2014?
Jaybee: I have a bunch of stuff coming out on labels like Mac II, Chronic and Good Looking. Those are all labels I grew up on, so to have releases coming out on them is like a dream come true.
LJHigh: I have a five track ep due very soon on Directors Cut, which is Ashatack’s label. I’m also working on a remix for Man Parris… the track’s called ‘The Journey’ via Element Recordings and features Man Parris’s lyrics talking about the early days of raving and life back then.
That’s stunning… what’s some other exclusives you can tell us?
LJHigh: After I work on a track, I go for a drive and listen to it in my car. I always tend to spot sounds that don’t fit well like that. I get most of my inspiration for tracks whilst driving and listening to music.
… and Jaybee? Thanks for this, this is a killer ep.
The first time I heard Randall was interested in one of my tunes I celebrated like it was 1995!