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DJ Cartier – Tape Packs, Carts and Plenty of Bars

DJ Cartier – Tape Packs, Carts and Plenty of Bars

DJ Cartier, one of the biggest names in UK garage right now and certainly a long time supporter of the scene talks to resident Jamie S23 on his massive MC project, influences from the jungle and plenty more. Read on for an education in 2 step beats and bass..

‘Bars with Carts’ the library of UK garage MC’s

“The series was all about letting people know that UKG MC’s had a real talent. The real supporters of the scene knew that typical shouts of “olly olly olly” bared no resemblance to what garage stands for and I wanted to showcase some of my favourite artists.

I always will have a ‘dream team’ list of MC’s in my head, I’m still waiting for Viper to come back to me with regards to his episode and hopefully Bushkin will eventually complete a version although he’s currently taken a step back from mic duties to write his own material.

Dappa was a great introduction to the series, he was literally blowing up at the time and had so many fresh lyrics that he was an obvious choice to kick things off with.

So is that it for the series?

“Far from it, it’s never a closed book and the series is all about diversity. Forthcoming I have MC B Live (aka Evil B) stepping up. We are fully going in with the selection and it’s going to be something really special.

Bars With Carts Introducing is coming soon featuring a whole host of MC’s, some new to the genre or new to the scene in general. I’ve already got Rhymes, Fellon and Mr Faizer on board and plenty of others wanting to do their thing on a mix.”

Bars with Carts Volume 1.5 featuring Dappa is out soon, different tunes but with the same MC as volume 1.”

Who’s your favourite?

“Remember the film Home Alone? That will always be my favourite as it was the first one and the same applies to Bars With Carts although I actually love them all and it’s really interesting to hear supporters giving their opinions as it’s really mixed. Some love MC Neat’s where others favour Mighty Moe’s.

Dappa, Neat, Vapour and Mighty Moe were fans of the series favorites.

Jungle, what’s your influence?

“Back on the school bus, walkman in hand and a copy of a Telepathy tape rolling. Skibba and Shabba on the mic really influenced me back then, tunes such as Krust’s ‘Warhead’ and Zinc’s ‘Reach Out’ with tons of lyrics rolling over them – those were the days!.

I remember begging my Mum for money each week so that I could buy the latest packs and when UKG started blowing up and many sets contained a whole host of MC’s the previous experience with Jungle really connected me to this new sound.

Producers frequently crossed over genres in the mid 90’s and the two scenes always went well together. Many fans of jungle moved over to UKG when the scene changed and I can see why some of them did. Vibes in garage dances back in the 90’s were stupidly big!

Geenius’s ‘Pay As U Go’ Mix of Trend’s ‘2 Degrees’ is a prime example of a drum & bass to UKG crossover

I’m an MC’s DJ in some respects, if you hear one of my sets in a proper underground club then it’s going to be alongside at least 3 or 4 of them in an ideal situation. I love vibing alongside artists spitting lyrics, cutting and chopping in and out of tunes and bringing something fresh to the dance.”

Bring your lighter or your AK47 to the dance?

“The violence was totally overdone by the media, granted some bad things happened in garage raves but the same could be said for the likes of jungle and house events across the country back then.

Papers want to make sales, they grab onto anything they don’t really understand

 I remember playing at a club in Essex, I pulled up ‘Pow’ by Lethal B, put it on the deck and the sound engineer told me quick as lightning not to play it. By then people had made their mind up about the perceived violence relating to garage and tons of clubs wouldn’t allow it for ages.”

Jungle’s roots in pirate radio are deep but how about UKG?

“When I was growing up all I was doing in my spare time was listening to tapes of pirate radio. I grew up in Windsor so I had to either go online or borrow tapes from my friend whose cousin lived in London. When a new tape came our way it was like Christmas, especially one recorded from Delight FM!.

The thing about pirate radio is you would hear tunes way before them being played anywhere else, plenty of obscure stuff too and nothing too commercial. Good music was being broken via the airwaves and the only way to pick it up on vinyl was to take my taped recordings to the local record shop in Slough.”

FM radio and tape packs were a massive inspiration

Ministry of garage

“The link between Ministry of Sound came about by just being active in the scene, they contacted me and asked if I would represent UK garage and obviously I was really keen to do so. Thing is, I’ve never really been a radio DJ, I’m more of a 40 tunes in an hour’s set kind of guy so I had to think pretty quickly how I was going to adapt my style.

It’s a shame that the show was recently axed due to a structure change but I will be back on the airwaves VERY soon!”

10,000 UK garage classics on 1 CD?

“The countless garage compilations are sometimes frustrating to me as a DJ, I do understand the restrictions in terms of licensing but on the other hand, it can’t be that hard to actually put some work into pushing out the proper underground classics, not forgetting the excellent new music being made right now.”

We’re bringing UK garage back in 2005, 2008, 2010..

“I think garage has never really gone away, it’s just adjusted and developed. Take Disclosure’s ‘You and Me’, that tune to me is a proper upfront UKG tune and although I wouldn’t say they were a garage act, this tune still kills it.”

People get confused in terms of what the sound should be now, take Drum & Bass for example – that to me sounds nothing like it did back in the Telepathy era and the same can be said for UK garage.

In 2006 I was one of a few DJ’s actually playing upfront garage, I would never jump on the latest bandwagon and will continue to support the music for as long as it’s being made in whatever form it may take.”

In terms of recent tunes, who places 1st and 2nd?

Jillionaire & Salvatore Ganacci Feat. Sanjin ‘Fresh’ (My Nu Leng Remix)

“This is proper naughty and fits into a garage set so well”

Rudimental Feat. MC Shantie ‘Deep In The Valley’ (Woz Remix)

“Bassline on this is SICK!”

Proper UKG classics – what’s your top 3?

“It’s a real tough, on the spot choice but here’s my top 3 selection right now.”

Wookie’s ‘Battle’

Groove Chronicles – Stone Cold

The Heartists – Belo Horizonti (Ramsey & Fen Mix)

Catch up with DJ Cartier on

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You can follow Jamie Section 23 on Twitter, @JamieS23
Jamie S23 is part of the editorial team at Drum&BassArena, has a huge collection of vinyl from the 90’s and spends many hours wishing music still came on cassette. He’s stupidly into fitness and most importantly, a devoted Dad. Reminisce about air horns, lighters and The Sanctuary with him via Twitter or Soundcloud

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