When did you start Djing?
I got a gig DJ-ing there. I wanted to be a DJ because I knew girls liked DJ’s. What I learned, though, was girls only liked DJ’s who played the records that girls wanted to hear. Initially this caused many arguments, because girls wanted to hear soul music and I loved Led Zeppelin. Eventually a compromise was found when T Rex came along, we all loved to Ride A White Swan. (I’m showing my age here aren’t I?)
Later on, I was involved with the people who started the first chill out room in Paul Oakenfold’s Land of Oz. I went down there every week with Dr Alex Paterson (The Orb) and Jimi Cauty (the KLF). I managed The Orb for the first decade of their career and got to work with lots of DJ’s, many of whom went on to become world famous – Andrew Weatherall, 808 State and Coldcut to name but three. So I got a brilliant DJ education, there were always after parties and chill out rooms to play at.
I regularly DJ’d in the upstairs room at Headcharge. I was one of the crew who started Dub Central in The Vine on Cemetry Road, Sheffield. I’ve played at parties all over the country.
I’ve done a number of radio shows. I’ve appeared on Steve Barker’s On the Wire (BBC Lancashire), Jeff Cooper’s Radio 2XS and Sheffield Live. I do regular live internet link ups with Norman Be’s Life Elsewhere show on wmnf radio in Tampa Florida. I used to go drinking with John Peel. So all in all I have had a pretty extensive musical schooling.
What is it about thing the makes it interesting for you?
I’ve worked with a lot of famous DJ’s and the thing they all seem to have in common is that they use music to take you on a journey. I like putting records together that you might not expect to fit and getting them to fit. I’ve been collecting records since forever and am very obsessive about it. I like to try and connect with a crowd, get into their ears and make them jump about a lot. Its a real buzz if you can get a room full of clubbers whooping and hollering.
What makes you decide to play a certain record during one of your sets?
Its instinct really, you have to have a lot of contrast, peaks and troughs, fast and slow. I like to have drama in there and I also like to push things to the limit, see how far I can go before I clear the room (joke). I play what feels good at the time.
What’s your opinion on the importance of roots, traditions, respecting traditions and sources?
A lot of the music I play is called roots (rock reggae) for a reason. It generally has a message and looks forward to a better world order. Harmony in music can take you to a better place. I have always believed it is very important, its like the 6th sense that connects human beings. It crosses the great divides of race creed colour gender age and all of the other things that can divide people and mess them up. You have to respect the traditions and the roots, because ultimately all music comes from the same place, it unites the human race and it is the driving force behind all human art forms.