Dynamite MC – “Here We GO!”
Jamie S23 hooks up with Dynamite MC to chat about his history within the scene, his spot on Pyro Radio and plenty of things inbetween. Check it here, only on Drum&BassArena.
Taking it way back to the early days of Pure X alongside Roni Size, this was around 1995 and one of the first times I came across your style and technique. This was also around the time that true Bristol sound was born. A distinctive Dope Dragon flavour hit raves up and down the UK. How do you feel now to look back and still be part of that movement?
“This was pretty much at the start of my career as an MC, as a crew we were trying to get people to feel what we were doing and what we were representing. Don’t forget though, we were the new kids on the block so to speak so we had to prove ourself and at the time, we certainly wasn’t thinking about how influential we were being. This was still a long time coming!
Roni Size, Die, Krust, Suv, Bryan G and Jumping Jack Frost all had a great catalogue of music to play, Dope Dragon was certainly an essential part of it and really carried that Bristol sound. Even back in 1995, my outlook on being an MC was to support the show and to make sure people in the dance were having a good time.
I will always remember that sense of nervousness, especially the first time I was introduced to the likes of a Grooverider or a DJ Hype.”
With the recent resurgence of 90’s influenced drum and bass and more importantly jungle, how do you feel about how this new music represents the past? Are producers doing a good job?
“Everything moves in cycles and music is certainly no exception. Take the recent resurgence of UK garage for example.
The thing about drum and bass in that it became very technologically advanced, tunes got busier and busier and to a degree, faster and faster. You have to strip this back and revert to simple production, not cramming tons of effects and sounds in. Jungle in 2016 sounds great as producers have remembered this from the original movement although with advances in technology, they can potentially have the best of both worlds.
It’s still our music, still our scene and still drum and bass – it’s just twisted and turned many times since birth.”
The original hardcore movement is 30 plus years old but is very fondly spoken of. Do you have any favourite moments from the original scene that have yet to be documented?
“Tons of memories that I will never forget – sitting in a car waiting for further instructions, illegal events, massive warehouses, the likes of DJ Easygroove and MC Robbie D smashing raves to bits. These type of events were my first clubbing experiences.
I don’t know if attending the early events and being part of the culture helped me as an MC but it certainly solidified the culture in me. The excitement and element of freedom was key to me, as was the certain amount of rebelling against the system.
Rory from Stone Love was certainly a key figure to me, he was a mic man from early and had the best voice. And from Gloucester, Donovan ‘Bad Boy’ Smith Kiss FM tapes, they were inspirational.”
Switching from jungle to drum and bass and then UK garage was a big movement for you, how did you remain so versatile and maintain credibility within all genres?
“I’ve always been interested in all types of music. I didn’t MC in a UK garage events, even though i had a big record in that scene. I was, at the time, doing my jungle thing. My culture and sound will always be drum and bass, I’m a vocalist, a musician and a proud MC.
I’ve never jumped on the next sound or whatever is popular at the time just because. Being versatile and adapting to change is the key here. I’ve not done enough hip hop or garage tracks to say I’m a crossover artist in that respect but one thing I can say is that I’m an MC – a master of ceremonies.”
What’s the story behind the ‘Rush the DJ’ lyrics? Was this a personal dig at DJ buggers, biddy biddy MCs and rubbish pirate radio stations or just a fun track that didn’t take itself too seriously? Whatever the motive, it was certainly a big tune!
“It wasn’t anything serious in some respects although even to this day when I’m working on stage I will still experience people coming up to me and asking to ‘have a go’ on the mic. My response to that is simple – it’s not a roller coaster or something to take turns on.
I’m working and when I’m working that’s what I’m being paid to do. I respect up and coming MCs trying to get a break, but they have to respect me. And that’s what I’m saying in the track.
Rather than trying to make my microphone, rush the DJ!
TNT aka DJ Trend produced the beat, he also worked with me on ‘What’ and ‘Over Here Now’. He was a very talented, versatile producer and left us far too early in life. RIP.”
‘Big Man Talk’ released in 2006 was the follow up to ‘World of Dynamite’ and was given away for free via the Strong Records website. This was your first hip-hop album and certainly diverse in it’s content. What made you decide to give this away for free? Was it to obtain more relevance in respect of the hip-hop community?
“I wanted to promote myself but also have some fun with the music. It certainly wasn’t a really serious album, more of a creative path that I wanted to follow. I gave away parts 1 to 3 via the Strong Records website for free, they are all still up for download so please do check them out.”
‘Word of Dynamite’ (The deluxe edition) was released at the end of 2015. The original version was released in 2004 so providing the huge time gap between versions, what made you release a second edition with some extra content?
“The original release didn’t set the world on fire in regards of sales, although I think the people that picked it up appreciated it. It was multi genre. It featured a mix of really talented producers including Roni Size, Andy C, High Contrast, Zinc, TNT not forgetting artists like Elephant Man and MC Skibadee. ‘Word of Dynamite’ was also Touch magazine’s album of the year in 2004.
I wanted to share it with the new generation of ravers, plus 14 additional tracks all remastered. I really feel like it had so much more to offer, hence the release in 2015.”
How do you even contemplate producing your own album, especially in 2004 when the drum and bass scene seems ever so slightly lost in it’s place. Remember, this was at a time when Clipz ruled the Full Cycle rosta, Zinc was bringing fresh styles in abundance but everything and everyone had changed significantly since the 90’s. Were some finding it hard to find their place and relevance or did this come later on?
“Not really because I’ve always stayed versatile. I’ve dipped in and out of the drum and bass scene momentarily at times, but always came back fresh to catch a vibe. I’ve worked alongside Caspa, Krafty Kuts, The Scratch Perverts, The Nextmen. I also think labels like Hospital, Ram, Exit, Virus, V, Shogun etc all helped the scene grow further afield. International acts such as DJ Marky helped spread the sound”
Talking of the scene finding it’s way, around this time you featured at a whole host of raves up and down the UK. In some respects you were one of the only MCs during this transition period to really inject some passion into their lyrics and flow. Would you agree with that statement? Did you find the general increase in BPM somewhat of a challenge?
“My favorite tempo is always around 100 beats per minute – hip hop. breaks 130, 140. Dubstep was an interesting movement. DJs that mix genres during their set is always enjoyable, it’s a challenge and certainly a test. I treat it like a Range Rover – good offroad and great on the motorway!”
2007 saw the smasher ‘Creeper’ relick alongside DJ Zinc. What made you guys redo this track considering the original came out on Zinc’s ‘Drop Beats Not Bombs’ EP in 2005. It’s certainly one that’s been beefed up and notably sped up to suit the change in dynamics in drum and bass.
“I have worked with Zinc on many projects, this one was put together quite spontaneously from what I can remember. The lyrics were not pre written for anything else, we just got together in the studio and ‘Creeper’ was the outcome. I really can’t remember the reason behind the remix.”
Onwards from 2007 and in 2015 Roni Size Reprezents performed at many music festivals performing plenty of classics live plus new material. How does it feel to adapt legendary tunes such as ‘It’s Jazzy’ and ‘Trust Me’ for a live audience? Does the reaction to the tracks change depending on where they are performed and the difference in demographics?
“The crowd reaction is always going to be better if they know the song, if they don’t you just have to work harder. The thing is, every performer wants to go on stage and perform hit after hit but that’s simply not always the case. If you play a new tune and someone is feeling it, that’s a good thing but it’s also sometimes a case of stepping your game up and pushing those vibes from the stage.”
Pyro Radio relaunched in April this year, what’s the story behind this?
“I had originally met Rich at a PR course I attended, he were discussing radio and mentioned he was launching Pyro Radio. We linked up soon after and the rest, as they say, is history. I previously hosted my own show on Kiss FM for 3 years so I’ve had quite a bit of experience on the radio although every show is very different!
I love working with Pyro because it’s a great chance to showcase new artists and talent. My show’s are rarely planned, I like to mix things up a bit and if I’m feeling a tune and it flows with the set – I’ll stick it in on the fly.
If you’re up for sending me tracks then feel free – Facebook is the best way to get in contact.”
Big up Dynamite – much respect!