Well, well, well! Where do we start? Its amazing to think that as I sit here and write this 10 years after I ‘retired’ from the music industry that people young and old still discuss the music I was involved in! So I will start by saying thank you for taking the time to read this and check out my page.
Anyway, now back to the beginning…
I’m not entirely sure how it all came about, but my love of club music probably stemmed from the crusty old electro and hip hop tapes I used to get from friends in the latter school years. I was fond of them but not to the point of being ecstatic when hearing certain tracks. So it must have been in mid 1990 when someone gave me a copy of my first ‘rave DJ’ tape. When I listened to it the first time on my old spongy Walkman headphones I was stunned. I had never heard anything like it before, it was fast and furious but at the same time deep and groovy. But it was the beats that were really pulling strings for me. I needed more! After much investigating I realised I could not get hardly anything where I lived. Deal in Kent was in the arse end of nowhere as far as cool music was concerned, so began my regular trips to London.
My first couple of trips to London involved me going round record shops like Unity, Blackmarket, Lucky Spin, Section 5, Music Power & Boogie Times. I went with the intention of buying more of these mix tapes, which I did at first. But then I was fascinated with the guys behind the counter in these shops, surrounded by vinyl, playing on turntables. Within a couple of months (and after a lot of overtime at work) I had my own DJ set up – I was hooked…!!!
Trips to London became more and more frequent. I was spending a lot of time there when I was not working. I was buying records and attending the underground nights in London, dancing till I collapsed whilst still making mental notes of the tunes I had heard to try and buy them on my next visit the following weekend.
I basically spent the next 2 or so years making mix tapes of my own, taking them to shops and giving them out to friends and family. I got a few bookings at little events but nothing too major. I was still a raver really. I loved being on that dance floor off and away on the feeling free that only the beats and the bass can.
As late 1993 approached I realised I wanted to take things to the next level, producing. After talking to a few of my friends I had met through the music I managed to get some studio time and came out with 2 tracks. One of these (both were un-named) got a lot of play from one of the biggest DJ’s in the scene, DJ Slipmatt.
I started Corrosive Recordings in early 1994, the first release was the 2 tracks I had made. It sold out, I was so happy to know that people where buying the tracks I had made for fun. It gave me a real drive and determination to make more and more, so that’s what I did.
The first 3 or 4 releases on Corrosive got the legendary Slipmatt to give me some time in his studio. From them sessions came the anthem ’95 Style’ that was released on Slipmatt’s Universal Records. This release would herald a start of a great friendship and business relationship between myself and DJ Slipmatt.
Corrosive Recordings had 9 releases before I killed the label off in 1996 to focus on my next project, around this time interest in me producing was growing and i was approached to original work and remixes on various other labels such as Kniteforce, Fused Up, Next Generation & Just Another Label.
Before I go onto my next project let me tell you my thoughts on the scene back in 1996.
You see, I have always loved my breakbeats. A 4/4 kick drum is fine in a track as long as the breakbeats are louder that it! I faced a real dilemma as the scene had split a couple of years earlier and I was releasing stuff on Corrosive that sat on the fence. I loved the happy sounds as much as I loved my ruff jungle breaks, so it was easy for me to produce a sound that morphed and merged the 2 sounds together.
By late 1996 early 1997 hardcore was purely 4/4 kick based and jungle had changed to drum & bass and for me was boring as hell. It was just a kick and snare programmed in a boring pattern that sounded like a 3 year old on a drum kit, plus it was moody as hell. The whole point of going out to a rave or club was to have a good time, for me drum & bass (LTJ Bukem, Peshay, Doc Scott etc aside) was not the right music for this at the time so I wanted nothing to do with it.
A merge of the 2 sounds was not longer viable so I was left with one option, carry on what I was doing: hardcore with breakbeats which No one else was doing it. All the big names were doing well with their banging euro sounding stuff but I wanted to carry on flying the flag for the breaks! I had to raise the volume on the 4/4 kick a bit though, otherwise nobody would play the tracks!!
Vital Element started in 1997 and was my most successful project. Huge anthems were released on the label featuring obviously myself as well the likes of Sy, Micky Skeedale, Digital Illusion & Kingsize. The success I was having on the project meant that my DJ bookings were going through the roof. I was being asked to do remixes of other artist’s tracks. I was even being asked to make new tracks for other labels. It was a great time where I was very busy and very happy. But all good things come to and end!
1999 into 2000 was a low point for most involved in hardcore. The tunes were poor, I did not enjoy making them anymore and there was frankly no money in it. Vital element shut down after 10 releases. Number 11 was made but never saw the light of day.
I still wanted to make music and tried various avenues through till 2002. I had a trance label going for a bit, got involved in a few house projects. I even had a dabble in the UK garage scene (I know, please shoot me). But I did not have the passion for any of them like I did all those years before with hardcore.
I retired from the music industry in 2002 and started a new business in a completely different field. I am still doing and still enjoying it. But man how I miss those good old days.
Thanks for reading