For session 11 we caught up with dubstep, jungle, and general all-things-bass selector Djinn!
Hi Djinn, thanks for taking time out to talk to us. First up, where are you from and where are you at now? Easy, I’m in Manchester – was born here, & lived here for a bit, had a spell over in the US before moving back living in Lancaster in my younger days, then ended up living in Manc again.
How did you first get involved with DJing? Were you strictly a Dubstep selector first or were you always into jungle / D&B? I was actually playing breaks initially, but that was like, towards the end good era of breaks before it went nuskool and a bit wack haha.
Back in my Lancaster days I started getting into the partying circuit when I was 16/17; went to a few mad house parties & made friends with some older music heads that were DJ’ing & going to nights and stuff. A mate of mine showed me a few things & I started off having a little go with his tunes some daft time in the morning when everybody had been up all night & nobody that actually DJ’d could be bothered to mix anymore – no doubt doing everybody’s heads in haha!
I loved it though. Carried on stealing a few goes here and there, bought a few of my first 12’s – I’d turn up with a puny handful of records in my bag…. forever waiting to jump on!
Few months after, I started playing out at some of the Illegal raves in the Lake District that we all used to reach on the regular, some mad local nights, Korners (RIP!) and got my first club set in another city playing at Tangled, the Phoenix, Manchester….. I wasn’t even old enough to get in the club, that was a blag!
Nearly a year after I started, I finally got my own set of 1210’s – I’d always liked raving to dnb but at this stage was getting introduced to mixing it by another group of DJ friends & getting into it more. Breaks was becoming really dry at this point; I liked the earlier tracks but I just wasn’t feeling the new stuff coming out and it didn’t really go dark enough so it was a good time to get into mixing drum & bass, mainly Metalheadz – it’s all I really used to play at first.
From there I kind of found my own dnb sound & started working backwards; getting my hands on 91+ era oldskool hardcore / jungle bits where I could; a lot of it tied in with the whole Reinforced/Headz kinda sound, it’s always been a style I’ve gravitated towards more over others. A few of my friends were older & had been part of the whole oldskool rave scene that went down so I picked up a bit of knowledge off them here & there too.
After I’d been playing mainly dnb for most of the time I’d been mixing, around ’07 I was hearing this weird dark bass heavy 140 stuff about…. First time I heard it in a club I remember I turned to my mate like, “WTF is this>!!?” it was big haha….later I found out it was dubstep.
Shortly after, I met my then bf at the time who was DJ’ing dubstep/grime and moved to Manchester, so after being around it more I started wanting to playing it more & more and eventually sussed out my own kinda 140 style that I was running with.
You have played both dubstep and D&B extensively at gigs around Europe, any particular nights that stand out? I’ve had a wicked time at all my European gigs to be honest, they’re always mad fun and it’s great to have had opportunities to reach out & play a little further afield; Top Ranking @ Le Zoo, Geneva is up there with my faves.
UK events too like Beat-Herder Festival, VW Xtra Festival, too many club nights to mention and loads of free parties that have been rude as well – dropped a set at a WWII Bunker Illegal to a few thousand in MCR years ago – that was crazy haha.
Being a fan of both dubstep and jungle, what do you think of the 140bpm-ish jungle sound that’s being doing the rounds recently (the likes of Paul Woolford / Tessela etc), any recommendations? I love it! Jungle’s been influencing dubstep for time though, if you look at tunes like 6blocc – Babylonia, Tes La Rok – Hot Jam etc. There’s varying degrees of it though really, you can get tunes that are more dubstep but with a jungle influence; like Innasekt – Static or Boxcutter – Brood. Then you got your minimal vibe like Pearson Sound’s ‘Blanked’, up to heavier tracks that are more like actual oldskool jungle – Cluekid – Ninety Threeis a good example.
You have also turned your hand to production in-between DJ’ing – Can we expect to see any new releases on the horizon from yourself? Will “Red Rain” be hitting the shops anytime soon? Red Rain has had a few talks, it should hopefully be getting a release, TBC at the moment…..
I have a debut dubstep EP which I’ve been working on, for like, forever!! That’s pretty much signed, it should be coming out on Mindstep once it’s been fully finalised – I’m still doing a few tweaks & sorting vocals for one of the tracks at the moment.
Drum & Bass wise I have another EP due on NB Audio sometime, which will be featuring ‘Rule of Three’, the rest of the TL is currently in progress. I’ve been making a few more bits of a similar nature to this recently; I’m usually dropping this kind of dark, half-time style with a few amen tracks & rollers thrown in my 170 sets these days.
Let’s talk jungle. A tough one to answer but if you could only play out 5 jungle tracks for the rest of time, what would you choose? Five for the rest of time out of 20 years worth…. Are you mad?!! Haha.
And a question you were probably expecting…. Jungle or dubstep? Aaaaaargh you can’t ask that! Last question was too hard already hahahaha. You missed off drum & bass too? I consider them all separate so I can’t really give you one answer, I love all three equally but for different reasons. Like they give me different feelings. If I had to pick for deepness & emotion I would say 140/ dubstep, If I had to pick for militant moodiness it would be drum & bass, and for menacing vibe & rhythm, jungle.
Tell us a bit about the selection for your Drumtrip Sessions mix. The selection is a full vinyl mix featuring a few favourite ’93 to ’97 jungle tracks from my collection; a few forgotten classics, some sentimental tunes etc. Basically a bunch of tracks I’m into from some amazing artists that I think just work well with each other in content as well as structure, and that represent the varying styles of that era, both dark as well as deep/nice.
Finally, any shouts, links, gig info you want to list? I’m back at Beat Herder Festival this year on the 19th July! Looking forward to dropping a drum & bass set on Stumblefunk’s stage on the Saturday night 1am til 2:30 …. come check if you’re reaching 😉
Couple of other things coming up soon too, info on my fb page.
Gotta shout Mindstep & NB Audio for backing my production, any promoters that booked me, people that play my tunes / mixes. Makka (yes G!), past & present Lanc/Manny DJ family and my boy Ste for his continuing support. Oh and out to our current neighbours for not giving me a noise ASBO! ….. shit was about to get real with the last ones HA
[With thanks to Gary Brown (GB Multimedia) for the image]
Drumtrip Sessions #11 – Djinn
Source Direct – Stone Killer (Metalheadz)
Photek – Hybrid (Science)
Rufige Kru – T3 (Metalheadz)
Rogue Unit – Nocturnal (Labello Blanco)
Mickey James – Nice n’ Deep [Exclusive remix] (Suburban Base / Moving Shadow)
Source Direct – Snake Style (Source Direct Recordings)
Nookie – A Drum, A Bass, A Piano [Origin Unknown remix] (Reinforced)
Bizzy B & Dextrous D – Come on People [amen mix] (Brain Records)
DJ Crystl – Warp Drive (Dee Jay Recordings)
Hyper on Experience – Lord of The Null Lines [Foul Play remix](Moving Shadow)
Digital – Down Under (Metalheadz)
Source Direct – Shimmer (Odysee Records)
Sounds of Life – Hidden Rooms (Certificate 18)
Paradox – A Certain Sound (Renegade Hardware)
Foul Play – Being With You [remix] (Moving Shadow)
Rogue Unit – Luv Dub [VIP] (Labello Blanco)
Q Project – Champion Sound [Doc Scott remix] (Legend Records)
The Sentinel – Heavy Vibes (Basement Records)
Skanna – Find Me (Skanna)
Sounds of Life – Currents [remix] (Certificate 18)