Monday, February 15, 2010


CULT where extra privileged to get 10 minutes to chat with "The Doctor" after his 2 hours of future beats for us the other week.

You’ve just played two hours for us at our first event at the Market Bar. A nice varied set, all sorts of new stuff, were there a few old bits too?

I get sent so many tunes that it’s quite easy to get self indulgent and just play what you want to hear yourself. I’m in a very lucky position that I get so much stuff sent to me that tunes that maybe are old to me might not have even been released yet. I’m not even aware what’s been released and what hasn’t, and I’m not really that bothered or interested; a good tune is a good tune. So I like to mix it up, old stuff, new stuff, just good stuff!

You’re obviously one of the long serving D&B legends, you’ve been around since day one. You’ve probably seen a lot of things develop over quite a few years. What would you say in your opinion has been the biggest change in the scene since drum and bass started?

That’s a big question! From a personal point of view, not a lot has changed. I’m still looking for the same kind of music that is interesting and progressive. If I take a step back and look at the whole thing then obviously drum and bass has become a lot more fractured, and you have a lot more sub-genres and people who specifically want to listen to one kind of style, which is a good and a bad thing. I’m nearly 40 years old; things that are going to appeal to me might not appeal to an 18 year old and vice versa. There’s a big enough market out there for everybody to do their own thing. From my perspective I’m just doing what I’ve always done, looking for good tunes, trying to play the best, forward looking music I can.

On the subject of forward looking music, your label 31 Records had been quiet for a couple of years and then this year you’ve released the Quality Not Quantity EP’s. The music on that series has been seriously high quality - is that something that’s been in the pipeline for a while?

I go through spells where I pay a lot of attention to the label and then spells when I don’t. If I had more time then maybe the label would be more productive, but as it is I’m happy. When I’m inspired to put stuff out then I will, I don’t want to put stuff out for the sake of it. The last couple of years, I’ve been getting sent so much amazing music, so on these EP’s I’ve had stuff from well-established producers, but also from some new guys.
Again I’m in a lucky position that if Calibre or Commix say “Here’s this tune, do you want to release it” of course I’m going to say yes! But I’m always excited by, and looking for new artists. Week in week out I’m getting stuff sent to me by people I’ve never heard of! It’s very interesting to track them down and find out where they’re from and say “This is a great tune, what are you doing with this?”
So there’s a whole series of 12’s coming out this year, where a lot of people aren’t going to recognise the names. One thing that 31 has always done and something I’m proud of is that we’ve put out releases by artists in their early years who have then gone on to do bigger things. I like to think I’ve got a good eye for spotting people who write good music, and it’s great to see them go on and become really established artists and make some amazing music.

Well I suppose the obvious example of that would be Pendulum with “Vault” - I’m sure that’s one you hear a lot! You said you have some 12”s out this year, who should we look out for? Who’s destined for great things in 2010?

Next release is from Nymfo, who a lot of people know already. One after that is from a guy called Nether who’s from Australia; he’s making wicked dub techno type stuff. After that S.P.Y, and obviously S.P.Y’s very big at the moment. After that a guy called Method 1 who’s from the States, there’s a 12” from Seba and stuff from Zero T and Mosus. There’s a lot to come out man, it’s a busy year!

This is obviously a spell where you’re paying the label attention!

I’m paying it attention because I’m getting sent so much amazing music! I always try to give feedback to people; if they take the time to send me stuff then I try to take time to get back to them. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult because some weeks I’m literally getting sent 150 - 200 tracks. But you know it’s not a chore just to send an email back and say “who are you?” and they’ll tell me they’re from St Petersburg or San Francisco or wherever and that’s the global nature of Drum and Bass now.
I can remember when I picked up Vault and was giving it out to a few people and they where asking “who’s done this tune?” “Who are Pendulum?” And I was saying “three guys from Australia” and people wouldn’t have it, they where like “no way, who is it really?!”
I think the point is, you have to listen to everything because you never know where the next big tune is gonna come from or the next big artist will be from.
Going through my inbox is never a chore, because I’m always getting so much amazing music, that’s why it’s so nice to play a two hour set like tonight. When I’m abroad I can play four or five hous sets, but it’s a different culture than in the UK.

You’ve always said you’re a DJ first and foremost. And right now it’s no secret in Drum & Bass that if you want to make it as a DJ, you’ve got to produce. What’s your opinion on that? Because I know you hold some very strong opinions when it comes to DJ’ing in particular.

I grew up in a different generation where it was your DJ skills that got you to where you are. I completely appreciate that now to get noticed you’ve got to make tunes. The last guy that I can think of that totally did it on his skills as a DJ alone was possibly Friction, and how long ago was that?
I find it amusing when promoters will book certain people and then they’ll find out that they can’t DJ, well what did you expect? It has no influence on me really but if people ask my opinion: if you can’t DJ, don’t go out there. And promoters, book people who can DJ rather than people who’ve made two hit singles! Because then they turn up, and the promoters are in a state of shock because they can’t DJ!

Over the last twelve months you’ve put out a series of mixes, and the last part went out at the end of the year. In those mixes you’ve been pushing a sound that you’ve described as “Future Beats”. Also the Autonomic series of Podcasts have been very popular this year, do you think that this new minimal type sound is going to bring a big change to the genre?

To me it’s just music I find interesting, and if you speak to Darren (D Bridge) then he’ll say the same thing. One of the things that was difficult at first, was that we were being sent this really amazing but quite different music, and I had to think “how can I get it in to my sets?” and that was a challenge, but an interesting one. Rather than go out and play a straight bog standard Drum and Bass set, you could really switch it up a bit, take it up and down, go half-tempo. I’ve always tried to do that anyway, but now you’re given all these new tools to do it with.
I just look for music that’s interesting, you know, and music on that mix series and the stuff that Darren’s been putting out on the Autonomic series is just seriously amazing music. Good music is good music to me, I really try not to categorise as much as possible. Lots of people like to pigeon hole things. “Minimal” was a term that was explained to me, but it’s always been there, I’ve always liked stripped down stuff of all genres, but by the same token, I like stuff that’s really highly produced and has got a lot going on.
I really try to stay away from these labels, I understand people like to label stuff to try and describe it and create all these sub-genres. I play at events and sometimes there are three drum and bass rooms! It’s all the same tempo! Sometimes promoters should give punters more credit than they do!

Words: Niddle
Photos: Tom Johnson

1 comment:

kemistry said...

doc scott is a legend his music is the reason i got into the scene in the first place way back in the day,his just a genius