Dope Ammo – Wishin’ On A Star
Dope Ammo is dropping some serious bombs for 2018 and with the imminent release of his dancefloor monster ‘Wishing On A Star Jungle Evolution’ Jamie takes 5 to get the lowdown.
It’s been a while since ‘Kill Bill’, in fact 2004 was a pretty long time ago! How has your sound changed since this classic was unleashed on the world?
“Yep Kill Bill was a long time ago and back then I was young and wanted to make dance floor bangers I guess kinda like Macky Gee and Levela are doing now! Simple catchy big dirty basslines. Obviously as I’ve got older, my musical taste have become wider, so therefore the music I’m making now is more musically influenced drum and bass as well as other genres like funk and breakbeat.”
Where do you take your influences from? Has this changed since the days of breaking through as a young producer?
“I watch a lot of films and take a lot of influences from the past. In my forthcoming album ‘Influence’ their is an 80’s flavour track based on the classic hit movie Risky Business and I also go back to my roots with a Bollywood dance anthem inspired by the song ‘Tauba Tauba’ by music legend Asha Bhosle. I am inspired by all music, be it funk, disco, hip hop and 80’s soul so a lot of my sounds come from all over. I’ve always been a massive Dr Dre fan and love his production style, also the legendary Nile Rodgers and Chic sound and vibe. I feel this music is proper creative and next level man!”
Tell us about the ‘Bullets Reloaded’ project, was this an ideal way to revitalise original production and get some remixes in at the same time?
“We just wanted to get the back catalogue remastered and sounding fresh so we came up with the concept of the DA Classics (Bullet Tunes) and reloaded them again for the 2nd time! It’s been quite crazy actually as we’ve been re-releasing our back cat but a lot of folks have assumed it was new content and the maddest thing is the tunes have been standing up to what is going on now therefore they’ve lasted the test of time! I guess you know they’re good tunes that way!”
How do you even begin to call in other artists to remix your tracks? Did you have a wish list of your favourite producers at hand?
“A lot of these remixes on Bullets were done back in the day! We had people passing through the label before they got signed up by bigger labels. Hazard, Benny Page, G Dub, Taxman, Majistrate for example. At the time these guys were making some good tunes so I remember just approaching them and they were keen to get involved! Then they blew up so I guess it was just good promotion and being on it at the right time!”
Talking of favourite artists, you were originally signed to Micky Finn’s agency back in the day and released a remix of the classic ‘Bad Ass’ by Aphrodite and Micky Finn. How did it all happen? It must have been a highlight for sure?
“I remember being over the moon about it when they asked us to do it! We had just released ‘Kill Bill’ and that was making such a big impact that they were keen to get a remix from us. I really enjoyed remixing such a classic and to this day I still play a version that they didn’t want as a cheeky VIP in my sets.”
That leads in nicely to your ‘Wishing On A Star Jungle Evolution’ track that’s currently doing the rounds on dub. What was your inspiration for taking this seminal classic and giving it another rework? Was the Urban Gorilla relick a favorite of yours?
“I was actually sorting through my records and came across it and thought it would be great to do a new version. To be honest I had always had it in my head to do a version as I loved the vocal so much. Rather than following what Gavin and Micky had done with it I wanted to go back to the original version by Rose Royce so I took all the parts I wanted to use and replayed them and came up with this new version which for us was jungle music evolution”
Is there really a jungle evolution going right now or did this kick off a year or so ago?
“I guess Bladerunner for me is the king of it all. He basically put new production on jungle tunes which was cool, however, I think now he’s really cracked it and a classic example of this is the ‘Jungle Jungle’ track! An amazing tune which is sounding so new and fresh but still incorporating all the elements of classic jungle tunes – definitely jungle evolved.”
What’s your thoughts on genre definitions? Do you agree that a jungle tune should be just that or is it all in the eye of the beholder? What’s drum and bass to one man is jungle to another kind of thing?
“Jungle to me is reggae basslines with classic speeded up funk breaks at 160 plus bpm. Drum and bass is an evolution of jungle music! Drum and bass beats are more steppy, less breaks and gives you the freedom to bring any other musical genre into the mix such as funk, hip-hop, disco, house, rave and do your thing!”
Talking of change, what’s made the biggest progression since the days of original jungle?
“All dance music genres and subgenres have all come from hip hop which led into house music which led to rave music and breakbeat hardcore which then led to jungle then dnb then garage to dubstep! For me it’s all the same really, fundamentals like music content and basslines are much the same and it’s just the tempo which signifies the genre it is!”
You’re planning Dope Ammo Live events this year, what’s the score? A live tour? Club nights?
“Later this year we will be mainly touring the new Dope Ammo album ‘Influence’. Myself and the legend that is Kathy Brown will be performing a few tracks live like, ‘Wishing on a Star (Jungle Evolution)’ as well as other big tunes from the album! The plan is to bring in some session musicians on top – a bass player, keys, horns etc. We will also be touring and doing a few club nights along the way alongside my good mate Benny Page who will be joining us on a few dates.”
What else do you have in store this year? Is the original label getting a relaunch?
“We have few singles dropping before the the release of the album ‘Influence’ this year. We will also be touring and promoting the album everywhere in the UK and Europe with plans to tour in Australia, Canada, US and potentially South America next year!
In terms of the label, after the success of ‘Bullets Reloaded’ we want to continue by letting the more young and up and coming producers get their hands on DA classics and give them a new lease of life and we’ve decided to call it ‘Bullets Remixed’ This will give new producers a chance to remix Dope Ammo classic back cat and put a new twist on them.”
Will you be following the USB trend and offering fans some exclusive content?
“We already have done this as part of Bullets Reloaded promotion with unreleased DA content! You can check them out right here.”
“I just want to shout all the Dope Ammo crew, both old and new! A Special thanks to Tracey at Power, all the Dope Ammo fans, ravers and DJs worldwide who have supported, played, downloaded and streamed our music! Big up.”
Grab a copy of ‘Wishin On A Star’ here.