Monday, January 12, 2009


Blame AKA Conrad Shafie has been around on the scene for as long as anyone, we where lucky enough to catch up with him for a chat after his Set at CULT last Month.

Good to have you down in Nottingham. How do you think it went tonight?

It was wicked! It was really good to be able to roll it out, play some good musical tunes for two hours. The crowd where receptive, into different sounds, diverse tracks, so it was a lot of fun.

Do you find you play a different set playing to a smaller intimate bar crowd like this, than to playing at a big rave?

Well, sometimes if you’re booked at 4am in the morning between Swift and Hype then you’ve got to get the dance floor going, its expected, but lately I’ve just been enjoying playing these type of sets, pushing the more musical sound, but also keeping the dance floor going as well.

So give us a bit of a Blame history lesson.

Rave music is where it started really, making hardcore, probably about 1991 time. Then I went on some mad musical journey doing the Good Looking thing, what they called the “intelligent sound”. After that I’ve gone down the dancefloor avenue with Swift on Charge. You’ve got to keep moving and evolving, because you can’t make the same music your whole life.

Do you think your own music has changed through personal taste or has it been influenced by what’s working in the clubs as time has gone on?

Well it’s whatever I’ve been feeling to be honest. You know, a few years ago I really got into my DJ’ing and was playing at a lot of bigger events and I was thinking “you know what, I really want to make some ammo for these kinds of nights” and was really enjoying making that and hearing it out on big systems, making the dance floor go off. I think you’ve got to make whatever you’re feeling at the time and not pigeonhole yourself into one bracket.

You’ve been involved in the scene probably as long as anyone. What do you think the major changes have been since you first got involved?

In the early days things changed so quickly, every few months it would evolve, the speed of the tracks, the way that people where producing, the technology. It was so innovative, things were moving forward all the time. Nowadays, things have pretty much set into a pattern, smaller changes, smaller moves within the music rather than big giant leaps like there were before; it’s more subtle.

Where do you see things going in the next few years?

Well I can’t speak for other artists, but for me I feel the music I’m making now is the best I’ve made in my life. I’m getting a lot of radio plays. My production is tighter than it’s ever been. So I’m happy.

How did getting on the Radio 1 daytime playlist come about then?

Really it picked up from Fabio & Groove playing it on their show; they’ve always supported my stuff over the years. Over the last year or so the other daytime DJ’s, your Annie Mac’s or Zane Lowe’s etc… they’ve been feeling their D&B more and more and they’ve picked up on the track. It’s fantastic driving around and hearing drum and bass on the radio in the daytime! That’s what we’ve been trying to do in the scene for all this time man. Its good music so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be out there, and the production is top notch now.

Do you think it has to be a certain type of drum & bass to get that play list attention? Could a purely instrumental track get on there? Or do there have to be vocals?

Well my track “Stay Forever” only had a little vocal hook that came in every minute or so and that made it on there. A day time track has got be catchy. Your mum’s got to want to listen to it on the radio while she’s hovering up! You can’t be lashing out some crazy mentasm sounds, amens and reeces you know!

What have you got planned for the next 12 months? Any new bits coming out?

Yeah, I’ve got a brand new track that’s started to get a bit of radio play recently called “Because of You”. There’s a full vocal on that featuring a wicked new singer I’ve been working with called “Selah” that’s due out in February on 720. And pretty much when I’m not out on the road, I submerge myself in the studio and do what I love doing, making tracks, seven days a week.

Is there anything specific you like about playing in Nottingham?

Nottingham’s always had a good vibe for drum & bass. It’s a really open minded city, lots of students, and a lot of people who want to hear something different.
It was nice to play in a club where the vibe is so relaxed too, chilled out, everyone’s having a good time you know. Yeah I loved it!

WORDS: Lee Heneghen
PICS: My Linh Lee

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