King Yoof, Ragga Twins & Uncle Dugs – Jungle Smashers Inc.
Jamie S23 catches up with scene legends The Ragga Twins, bad man producer King Yoof and the one and only king of the jungle DJ Uncle Dugs to speak about the forthcoming tune ‘Mi A Raver’.
Combining all of your talents into one musical pot is certainly something to get excited about, how did the link up happen?
“We all know each other but originally I was planning on putting a project together between certain different artists that I know, the first being Yoof and the Twins. We all went to Yoof’s studio a while back and ‘Mi A Raver’ was the result. The original project I had in mind isn’t actually happening now but we have ended up with a nice little banger that’s out on Sub Slayers so its happy days anyway!”
“Uncle Dugs has always supported my sound and we both get on well. From getting me on his Rinse FM show to playing at the infamous RCFF boat parties so I asked Dug’s to come into the studio and just catch a vibe and see what happens.
Im one of those producers who is more into the vibes of people than what technical skills an artist may have to offer and Dug’s brings those vibes! After we wrote a basic riddim we called up The Ragga Twins and they spent a session with us recording vocals.”
The vibes in the studio must be electric, especially considering the classic old hardcore vibe you’re going with on this tune. Does it make you want to lock yourself away for months bashing out anthem after anthem?
“I’m no big producer as most people will already know and I feel much more at home behind the decks than I do a computer but working with Yoof is always a pleasure. He’s a top geeza and his studio knowledge is spot on. As for the twins these guys have had such a great career spanning 30 plus years because they are top level artists that always give 100% whether in studio, on radio or on stage. Its a pleasure to be involved in a project with all of these guys and Im sure this will be the first of a handful of tracks from us all.”
“I pretty much spend most of my time in the studio working on various projects, in this day and age you can’t be held down by one style or genre and I make everything from reggae, dub, jungle and bass music. I get asked all the time what style of music do I play as I play right across the board and switch tempos so my reply is always “its my sound, the King Yoof sound”.
It’s good to hear a slower tempo, especially considering a lot of modern drum & bass is pretty much now the same tempo as 90’s happy hardcore. Do you think slowing down tracks is the way forward or did it just suit the tune in question?
“I think the slower tempo just suited this particular track. Personally I would rather work with a faster bpm cos its easier for me to fit into my sets when playing out but sometimes you have to think beyond your personal play out selection. Marcus Visionary done a blinding job on the remix anyway so it actually ended up in my sets anyway.”
“I’ve always worked at different tempos especially 140 bpm which ‘Mi A Raver’ rolls at. The mid tempos are a bit more universal and suited the style of the tune. I wanted it to have that fun old school vibe plus the reggae skank sat well at that tempo. Like I said before, people are into so much different music now and DJs love mixing things up.”
What does the term ‘raver’ mean to you all in 2015? The same as it did in 1993 or has the tag changed in any respect?
“To me a raver is a raver, we are all from the old school and we are still all relevant in the new school. A raver is someone that goes out to have a good time, no bad attitude or stupid behaviour.”
“Its still the same and it’s a word that unites us all, whether you was out raving in 1989 or 2015 we are all ravers. Its pretty crazy that to think rave music in all its different styles is still as strong as ever 20 odd years later.”
“Raver means someone who’s at a party, club, dance, a rave every weekend, mid week, wherever music is playing the raver will be there raving. It still means the same thing to this day – ravers love to rave.”
Anthems, do they still exist in the same respect of say ‘Valley of the Shadows’ or ‘The Lighter’?
“Yeah I think so but maybe as we get older it’s harder to see them in the same way we all do or did as youngsters. You can’t really say something is an anthem till much further down the line,, for instance I would say that High Contrasts ‘If We Ever’ has now become an anthem, the same could be said for a couple of the tracks from Chase and Status’ album ‘More Than Alot’. Until you can still play these tracks 5 – 10 years after release and get massive crowd reaction then its hard to judge at time of release.
Sometimes tracks just work at the time of release but don’t have the same power years down the line.”
“Yes I do think anthems still exist, maybe not as frequent as back in the day as the music was still very experimental and new but yep, they do exist. An example of this to me would be ‘Worldwide Traveller’ by Topcat & Mr Williams (Chopstick Dubplate), it’s a jungle anthem and as soon as I heard it being recorded at my studio I knew it was going to be big.”
“They still exist, they just don’t hang around as long as they did back in the day. There are so many new good tunes being played in the raves now.”
PA’s played a big part in promotion on stage back in the day, are their any plans to take the tunes into a live performance anytime soon?
“If the promoters and the crowd want PA’s then i’m sure I can speak on behalf of all of us and say we would love to perform the track live anytime.”
“I would love to do a PA it, it’s just difficult as all of us have busy rostas but i’m sure any promoters reading this who want to book us know what to do.”
“Well when we started we used to PA our material every week, so to take our tunes to perform live on stage would be something we would love to do. We still PA so it would be something to consider.”
Did Marcus Visionary step up to do the remix or was this offered out to a selection of your favorite producers?
“I knew Marcus liked the original so I asked if he would be into doing the remix and he came up with the goods, I’ve always rated him for his productions and felt he was the right person for the job and he smashed it with the jungle remix.
Marcus has been pushing the jungle sound for such a long time on an international scale and was pretty much a no brainer for him to be the person to do the remix.”
Remix wise, who would be your ultimate remix choice if your selection was unlimited?
“Personally I would like a Shy FX remix, the man is a genius and always has been.”
“Dreadsquad for a reggae remix, Dj Madd to bring a more dubby mix and maybe Gold Dubz to do a mid tempo jungle mix.”
Dugs, your DNBTV set alongside Ragga Twins and CoGee is somewhat legendary and reintroduced the jungle flavour back into the hearts of Drum&BassArena TV followers. Was this set as memorable for you as it was for the listeners?
“Yeah 100%! I can still pretty much remember the tracklist and the lyrics spat over each ryddim I played. It was a warm up show for a party I was running back then called Revival and at the time NOBODY was running a 100% old school jungle nights with a proper foundation lineup.
A few parties made comebacks not long after Revival but this was the start and I don’t care what anybody says!
I remember this so well because the actual reason me and my Revival partner Gary did these parties was that we couldn’t find any decent old school jungle events to go to. Revival was the start of the Jungle revival I fully believe that.
I know some people reading this will think i’m chatting breeze but I know the truth and I think the first one was Christmas Eve 2007 or 2008. The DNBATV thing fell around the time of one of the parties, I’m not sure if it was the first one but it was a massive help in spreading the word for the event. My set was fire as it always is with the Twins. I been a fan of them since day dot so I always pull out the ryddims they love to spit on when we work together and as Deman says “Solid Gold”
What’s next from the camp? Any collaborations on the cards?
“We are all double busy all the time, Yoof’s locked in his studio pretty much 24/7, the twins vocal about 100 tracks a week and don’t stop running round the globe performing and as for me I hardly ever have an hour off from pushing the music I love through every outlet I have available to me but I’m sure when the time is right we will all get together again and come up with another banger, who knows maybe it’ll be sooner than we think.”
“I would love to make more tunes with Uncle Dugs and the Twins although I know we are all crazy busy now Summer is upon us what with all the festivals and I’m soon to be off to the states for a tour.
Dugs is a good laugh in the studio and we get on well so i think more tunes are gonna be in the pipline.”
“King Yoof & Uncle Dugs are good music people so we would love to go back in the studio with them plus where all good friends so we’ll see if we could get something going in the Autumn. We are so busy at the moment but we’ll be back with another scorcher.”
Out on 10th May 2015, pre order your copy now!