K Jah – Street Trends
Jamie S23 links up with K Jah to discuss his recent E.P ‘Street Trends’ released by Natty Dub Recordings. If you’re a die hard junglist or just keen to get to grips with something a bit different then this one is most definitely for you!
Your new Street Trends EP has just landed on Natty Dub Recordings. How did the link up take place?
“I’ve known the Natty Dub Recordings crew for sometime and have already released my work on their label. One on the tunes was a collaboration with Jinx and Dawn Raid called ‘Still a Soldier’ and the other was a remix of ‘Regret It’ by Cabin Fever.”
To produce an E.P of my own for them felt like a natural progression. Natty Dub crew is all about the party rollers which fits the production I’ve been exploring recently in the studio.”
The EP sounds very influenced by the mid 90s jump-up era, is this due to following current trends in drum & bass or was this the intended direction you wanted to go?
“This is down to my influences and memories of that era; in my opinion there was a lot more funk and fun in the music back then. I always try to encapsulate these feelings in my tracks and I like to take influence from all over and not just stick to one era or musical genre.”
How important is it to you to maintain a sense of individuality in the world of drum & bass production? How do you craft a unique sound in 2015?
“It’s more important than ever in this day and age, and yet it’s a very difficult thing to do. I think every conceivable sound has been created at some point in our music. For me, it’s a case of how you blend the elements together and the vibe and flow of the track, not what you start with. That is always the key for me.”
When Jungle was relatively new, it was very easy to distinguish who was responsible for the production of tunes, how do you feel this relates today?
“It’s as important now as it was back then because it helps a producer to get noticed and stand out amongst the tidal wave of music that is released now. You have to come with an angle that is different yet consistent and recognisable, it’s why producers such as Dillinja, Mampi Swift, Bladerunner, Marcus Intalex, Calibre, and Serum are highly rated in drum & bass.”
The scene has seen some pretty dramatic changes this year, in your opinion what’s next for 2016?
“For the scene as a whole, it depends. There is this big commercial sound going on at the moment with many of the major radio stations backing it. For me, this is diluting our music and turning it into something it is not – manely pop music. I feel the whole spectrum of drum & bass needs to be properly represented by musical unity.
By that I mean the underground sounds are represented fairly and pushed by major labels and radio stations, obviously not forgetting the more commercial sounding drum and bass.
I suppose the music is in a cycle again and in a few years people will be requesting more drum and bass shows on the major radio stations. The more people that hear the full spectrum of drum and bass the better””
What labels and producers do you think have had the most influence on your production career?
“My main influences in terms of production are Danny Breaks, Roni Size, DJ Die, Marcus Intalex, Doc Scott, Dillinja, Bladerunner, Ray Keith, Nookie, M Beat, Ed Rush & Optical, Total Science, Basement Phil, Wax Doctor, Dave Charlesworth, Paul Ibiza, Serum, and Aries.
As for labels, I’m influenced by Droppin’ Science, V, Dope Dragon, Basement, Ibiza, Reinforced, Ruffneck Ting, Metalheadz, Trouble On Vinyl, Chronic, Formation, C.I.A., Solution, 31, and Renegade Hardware.
But, as you can tell, I take in influence from a lot of places– if the music inspires me then I go with it.”
Production wise, what do you currently use in the studio? Do you have a favourite piece of hardware or software?
“I use Cubase and the usual assortment of software plugins. I’m very fond of my Alesis M1 Active MK2 monitors, I highly recommend them!”
No doubt some of our readers are dying to know how you make those wicked 90s basslines, can you break it down for us?
“It’s all about the riffs and how you arrange and structure them. There needs to be originality, space, and repetition in a good riff.”
How does 2016 shape up for you music-wise?
“2016 is shaping up nicely for me with lots of releases in the pipeline for Natty Dub Recordings, Ruffneck Ting, Hocus Pocus, Advisory and a couple of other labels including some collaborations I’ve been working on along with a few remixes for Chopstick Dubplate, Navigator, and the mighty Top Cat!”
Catch up with K Jah and the Natty Dub Recordings using the following online networks: