Jamie’s Jungle Book Roulette – Part Seven
Jamie links up with DJ Red-I prior to the launch of his highly anticipated EP ‘Shots Fired’, releasing soon on Audio Danger. The Jungle Roulette is in play but this time it’s going at hyper speed… Check it!
The title track from the EP ‘Shots Fired’ makes me think of either an indirect insult to somebody or an addiction to online gaming. Is it one or the other?
“Ha Ha! I feel like you know me too well already. The reason for the title track ‘Shots Fired’ is I felt like I was at a place in music where I felt confident in what I was making and it was my indirect way of saying – warning, shots I coming.”
The arrangement on this one and in fact the whole EP is very much in keeping with the current trend of ‘96 jump up for 2017. Was this your intention?
“This was my intention. I was born in 1993 so my music has a very post millennium jump up flavour. I am gutted I missed the golden era of jungle and never got the chance to go raving at The Sanctuary as a lot of my friends still go on about the crazy parties from the 90’s were. I try to recreate music produced by people I look up to in the drum and bass scene but in my own distinctive way.”
When putting together an EP or even a single, where do you take inspiration from track name wise?
“It’s quite funny as in my spare time I don’t really listen to drum and bass as I am really into 70’s and 80’s soul and motown as my father is a soul DJ, I suppose that is where a lot of my influences come from.
Getting back to the question, track names are inspired from UK hip hop artists lyrics mainly. I feel they are incredibly clever with the wordplay they use.”
We previously talked about trends and I wanted to pick your brains about crafting your own individual sound as a producer. Is this as important now than ever in today’s crowded market?
“You really have to create your own sound because there are so many artist out there these days and if we all made the same music it wouldn’t be much fun for the ravers. I think creating your own sound breaks you through as an artist as I feel I know by listening to a tune I can automatically recognize the artist that has made it. I hope with time people will hear a tune and automatically know I produced it.”
What makes an individual producer stand out and have that unmistakable sound? With that in mind, what makes someone know it’s that key Red-I sound?
“As I touched on earlier, creating your own sound and having your own interpretation of drum and bass makes you stand out as you’re not afraid to show how you feel.
It’s a massive learning curve making bass, however this is something that will come in time as I have only been producing for the last year or so. I am predominantly a DJ but sadly the years of just being just a DJ are over for most of us.”
Rewinds and lighters, a big thing of the 90’s. Were they as important to you growing up raving post millennium?
I would have been 7 around this time. I wasn’t doing much raving, just drinking my Capri-Sun and watching Fireman Sam.
Rewinds still play a massive part in drum and bass culture. I hope this will never die out as there is no better feeling than dropping a brand new dance floor stomper and the crowd go crazy!
I had never experienced lighters in a rave until I played at switch Vienna with my good friend Jimmy Danger on the microphone and we had 1,000 people with lighters in the air. It is a memory I will never forget.”
The scene’s pretty healthy right now, do you feel it’s missing an extra injection of something?
“In the last two years drum and bass has been given a new lease of energy and it is very reassuring to see. I suppose it is one of those things that nobody really knows what the scene needs till it’s there.
With the likes of SASASAS, Azza, Grima etc bringing drum and bass to mainstream radio it can only do wonders for the industry and build a bigger audience for people coming through like myself.”
As a young raver who was your go to artist on flyers back then? Was it a DJ, MC or both?
“For me Majistrate & Eksman were my go to artist when looking at a flyer. It was just the energy they brought to the table. Still to this day they remain my favourite DJ and MC combination.”
And now? Who’s in your top 3 producers?
“In no particular order the guys that are doing for me at the moment are T/I, Dominator and
Turno. The hard hitting bass they make is something I try to recreate when making my music. (I fail misally!)
It still amazes me how T/I can make the best bass tunes with the most perfect and simple drums, It’s just a combination of ear ecstasy. Dominator should be called ‘doninator’ as in my eyes, he is the don of making drum and bass. Turno makes the best scratchy bass lines and it frustrate me that I will never come close to making a bass like that.”
We can’t always bring in the old school for every Jungle Roulette feature so rather than miss out on the opportunity this time around it’s being slightly switched up. Keeping the jungle vibe in respect of the labels or artists in question but bringing a different selection to the velvet table..
Ganja Records, known for their huge jungle releases in the 90’s switched to True Playaz and then Playaz Recordings in 2007. In 2010 Hazard released ‘All I Can Say’ which was part of ‘The Platinum Shadows EP’. Do you remember this weighty dancefloor smasher? Does it stand the test of time?
“Yes it certainly does stands the test of time, as does every Hazard tune. He releases music so rarely so when there is no new Hazard tunes his back catalogue is going off in a rave. I actually still play ‘Psychedelic’ from the EP in my set even to today.”
Serial Killaz have been around longer than most and it was no surprise that in 2011 they released the monster that was ‘Authentic’. It’s certainly got that ‘96 crossover vibe that seems to have done numerous 360 spins since. Do you agree? What’s your thoughts on the development of this sound into 2017?
“It’s played a massive part in the sound of 2017 that we are all making. With any music it works on a 10 year cycle. So we will see this back in years to come.”
Shy FX, master of both jungle and drum and bass returned to the commercial charts with his relick of ‘Who Knows’ by Protoje in 2016 and instantly made the BBC Radio 1Xtra playlist. What do you think makes a perfect crossover track and how do you think an artist can maintain credibility during this process.
“The combination of catchy a vocal track and a drop you can hum along to helps. I actually watched Shy FX play in Norwich recently and was amazed by the amount of underground drum and bass he dropped. This plays a massive part in keeping credible for me.”
The classic Alex Reece tune ‘Pulp Fiction’ got the remix treatment in 2011 by Lynx and was generally well received. What makes a good remix of a classic? Would you play either the original or the remix in a set today? Any memories of this one?
“Pulp Fiction is an absolute timeless banger and I actually heard T/I play his 2017 remix of it last week out in Vienna, he did it justice and I am very jealous I don’t have this in my record bag.”
Lastly, if you could choose a classic from any era of drum and bass or jungle to remix what would it be and why?
“My favourite tune might come as surprise but Logistics ‘City Life’ is my all time favourite tune and If I ever had the chance to remix it I would jump at it.
I was actually on a plane sitting next to Zinc and Nu tune (Logistics brother) and they must have been pissed off with me as I was more obsessed with talking to them about Logistics music!”
“Thank you to Drum&BassArena for this interview. If I was to look back when I first started and say Drum&BassArena will interview me one day I could only have dreamed. I hope to speak to you again in a couple of years for an update.
Look out for loads of music coming from me in the future. I recently built a new studio so I am ready to commit all my time to this music we love. Next week I have a brand new studio mix dropping alongside Impact MC for Audio Danger Records, check their SoundCloud. If you know about this guy, you know it’s that time when he jumps on the microphone!
Don’t forget my new EP ‘Shots Fired’ is out on 24th April exclusive to Juno.
Big up Johnny Kash, this guy is a legend in Cambridge and really believed in. Bringing me to radio shows and pushing to get me a set at Warning. Massive shouts to Jimmy Danger and all the Audio Danger camp who have had my back me from day one. Shout to Switch Vienna and all the gang involved for having me out on a regular basis. Same for Warning Cambridge and everyone involved.
If it was not for these people would have never believe in myself.”