martes, abril 16, 2024

How Bulletproof has been documenting New Zealand’s drum & bass historical past

What began off as a undertaking to maintain cabin fever at bay throughout lockdown has now turn out to be probably the most constant and largest D&B historical past podcasts of all time… The Historical past Of New Zealand Drum & Bass is now 30 episodes deep, has a listenership of over 60,000 D&B followers and options a number of the most revered artists from each hemispheres.

dBridge, Doc Scott, Bailey, Want For Mirrors, Klute, Digital, FIERCE, MC Tali, Emma G, A-Sides, Harmony Daybreak and lots of, many extra have contributed to the sequence to this point. Talking at size and candidly, the sequence doesn’t simply seize Kiwi D&B historical past however displays on the scene’s international improvement and what was taking place on the identical factors within the UK.

The person behind the podcasts is Jay Monds AKA Bulletproof. A licensed OG of the Aotearoa drum & bass scene, Jay helped dig the foundations in Auckland and Christchurch within the mid to late 90s and was a part of the primary era of drum & bass producer exports from the nation alongside Harmony Daybreak, Shapeshifter, The Upbeats and State Of Thoughts.

Switching to dubstep and 140 within the early 2010s, then taking a break from music altogether to concentrate on his broadcasting profession, Jay’s historic investigations have introduced him full circle to a ardour and craft that’s he’s been a part of for the reason that very starting. Take a look at his podcasts on Spotify for some deep historical past and views on New Zealand drum & bass, and browse on for some deep historical past on the person himself…

You return to the very begin of the New Zealand D&B scene… 

Yeah, because it’s been mentioned all through the podcast, The 90s was one thing particular, no matter what D&B was as much as; Skateboarding, graffiti and that entire way of life I used to be dwelling was particular. I had this dialog with Mo from Want For Mirrors; you don’t realise how particular and vital the stuff you’re doing are on the time, it’s solely while you look again 20 or 30 years down the observe that you simply realise how vital all of it was on a scene degree.

Yeah completely. I’ve spoken to Joe many instances and I additionally love his tales about coming over right here and just about knocking on Krust’s entrance door. Tali’s acquired nice tales of her first UK journey, too.

All of us have. Us Kiwis aren’t shy of wanting a present horse within the mouth. Any time a kind of early pioneers came visiting and gave us their quantity or intention deal with it was absolute gold and we’d at all times actually attempt to capitalize on any alternative if we came visiting to the UK. I bear in mind coming over and chopping dubs with Storm at Music Home and gaining access to all the brand new Headz DATs. Going out for dinner with a few of my heroes like Jayne and Keaton and being like, ‘What am I doing right here? That is unreal!’

Yeah completely however promoters and representers in faraway territories turn out to be like prolonged household for touring artists…

And there’s no scarcity of UK guys who’ve determined to spend so much of time on the market. They’ve made New Zealand a base for just a few months at a time and actually turned a part of the group right here and made very deep connections and friendships. At first it was like, ‘Wow these dons are coming over.’ But it surely developed into being as blasé as, ‘Oh Tom’s over quickly, or Steve’s on his approach…’

Superior. Who was the primary individual you personally introduced over?

For me and Josh who I began Bulletproof with it was Kemal and Rob Information, Konflict. They came visiting for the 99/2000 NYE they usually performed on the competition referred to as The Gathering. They headlined and caught round for some time to play a few facet exhibits. That for us was enormous. They have been our heroes and inspirations and the rationale we knuckled down and began producing correctly. They’d turn out to be our mates and it acquired the purpose the place Kemal would play me DATS on the cellphone and ask me which of them I needed him to chop at music home after which he’d publish them to me.


Yeah loopy proper? I realise how fortunate I used to be once I inform that story. For them, they have been buzzing to have their music supported so far-off from the UK. We’d be enjoying their dubs and getting their music on scholar radio over right here so, by the point they came visiting to tour, folks can be dying to listen to their new stuff. That NYE was the primary time we heard Messiah, The Hypnotist, Star Trails, Obsidian and all these different groundbreaking tunes. It helped push the manufacturing scene over right here in addition to the music scene.

Completely. Harmony Daybreak have been the earliest protagonists within the New Zealand producer scene, proper?

Just about! These lads will declare that we (Bulletproof) have been the primary to introduce the world to New Zealand drum & bass manufacturing however Harmony Daybreak have been the primary to explode domestically, then internationally and turn out to be a family identify for D&B over right here – earlier than Shapeshifter and The Upbeats. I’d come again after months away on tour they usually have been everywhere in the radio and these huge line ups. It was like, ‘What the hell?’ However we have been all mates and that gave us a whole lot of inspiration and a push. Any publicity and promotion certainly one of us acquired, we’d all rejoice and profit from. The power behind that was inspiring.

I really like how interconnected every thing is in New Zealand. Like listening to about MC Slave being one of many first MCs on drum & bass within the mid 90s and he’s a part of Fats Freddy’s Drop. Or like Tiki Taane whose fingerprints are throughout all digital music from Aotearoa.

That’s all small nation vibes although, you understand? Again then the inhabitants was round 3.5 million and the scenes have been so small, so we have been very protecting over what we had. We needed to maintain issues underground so we’d gravitate in the direction of one another. And in addition earlier than the web we’d get excited if we heard an English accent. Like, ‘Oh wow you’re from the UK, what are you aware about drum & bass?’ Any sort of tapes folks would have we’d report them and treasure them.

However then have been additionally factors the place we’d understand we’re a part of a worldwide group. I bear in mind DJing grime for Wiley in Christchurch in 2018 and a man comes as much as me and he knew about my music and had seen me play at The Finish for Renegade {Hardware} in 2008. In order that connectivity and tightness went a lot additional than New Zealand, proper?

Yeah! And now throughout extra a number of generations. What’s the connection like between the New Zealand pioneers and the brand new era of artists killing it there now?

It’s nice. I really like how appreciative they’re of the scene’s historical past right here. There’s a starvation to find out about their previous and the place issues come from. It’s turn out to be a a lot larger beast now with so many alternative types and subgenres and audiences – the mainstream competition audiences, the underground nights and the way they feed into one another. It will get massive, it goes again underground; It’s this cycle that’s gone on for the reason that early days but it surely’s on a a lot larger scale now. The primary sound for 16/17 yr olds now could be mainstream drum & bass – your Dimensions, Frictions, Netskys, Wilkinsons and Lee Mvtthews and many others

New Zealand was international D&B HQ for a bit throughout lockdown instances…

It actually was. I produce and host one other podcast sequence for Mitch and the crew at Audiology Touring referred to as VISIONZ, which focuses on the brand new era of artists. Lots of people like Hybrid Minds, Koven, Pendulum, Camo, Krooked, Mefjus and Delta heavy have all mentioned New Zealand was probably the most vital locations for D&B as a result of, for some time, it was the one place they may check out productions and issues like that.

Yeah I spoke to Wilkinson and most of his album was first roadtested in New Zealand! 

Similar with Friction. He was testing out a whole lot of Shogun stuff over right here. I take my hat off to Ed. He’s actually invested in Kiwi artists and has been since his first Harmony Daybreak collaboration. I really like how he’s investing in Flowidus now too. When that occurs for Kiwi artists it’s so superior to see and all of us get behind it.

Lee Mvtthews too…

Oh completely. These boys are crushing it. I sat down with them in 2017 once I was working at George FM to principally work out how I might assist them break the scene. They have been making lure and 140 sort stuff so we made a industrial observe and that went enormous over right here and was certainly one of their first breakthrough singles. That was their foot within the door in Aotearoa music and since they’ve upped the tempo to 174 they’ve simply blown up and are constantly within the charts. It’s very inspiring.

George FM is a giant driver for D&B in New Zealand isn’t it? 

Completely. George is a good place to begin for brand spanking new followers of the music. I left George FM again in 2018 earlier than this present explosion in D&B recognition out right here, however in 2016 I used to be initially introduced in to re-brand, host and curate the night time exhibits. The Station Supervisor on the time had a saying – daytime for rankings, night time time for popularity. I took that actually and acquired a number of the prime international home, bass and D&B labels doing exhibits. I gave The Upbeats their very own summer time residency, had Trei and Harmony Daybreak developing for normal exhibits plus worldwide names rolling via after they have been on the town. The most effective half was having the ability to platform a brand new period of up and coming Kiwi artists who at the moment are international names, Montell 2099, Quix, Lee Matthews and Flowidus for example.

Was broadcasting the factor that took you out of the studio?

In a approach yeah. In 2010 I used to be nonetheless making D&B however started dabbling within the 140 tempo vary, I used to be searching for one thing new and was impressed by Reality and Optimus Grime. My first 140-based album gained an AMA (Aotearoa Music Award) for Finest Digital Album – It’s the New Zealand model of a Grammy and never lengthy after I signed to EMI for a 3 album deal. In 2014 I’d come off the again of some actually scorching albums, however was in a unique place musically and made a laid again jazzy idea album. After all, It didn’t promote and I used to be just about dropped from EMI/Common in a single day. That left a nasty style in my mouth. I used to be fascinated about what I’d do subsequent. I at all times cherished being on the radio and breaking new music, so when the chance to be on the frontline and assist different folks be heard happened, I used to be offered. It was such an thrilling and rewarding factor to do.

And a rewarding a part of telling tales through the podcast and getting the historical past on the market…

It’s. It occurred accidentally. There was a 20 minute historical past of D&B story on RNZ (Radio New Zealand) again in 2019 and I assumed, ‘Man somebody ought to do a correct podcast in regards to the historical past of D&B over right here.’ I didn’t give it some thought till the august 2021 lockdowns occurred right here, however I knew I’d go stir loopy if I didn’t do one thing, so I began the podcast.

The primary 10 episodes have been simply me chatting to mates and recording them – speaking about drum & bass and shit again within the day. Since then it’s turn out to be rather more structured. Now issues are taking a unique path and I’m very targeted on sure elements of total D&B historical past. Over 60,000 folks use the platform now, which is wonderful, and lots of people get in contact and wish to know sure issues. Or they get in contact to say that I’ve requested the questions they at all times needed to know the solutions to. So the viewers could be very concerned within the podcast which makes it much more particular.

That’s good. There are such a lot of nice tales within the sequence. The quantity of instances so many individuals have virtually died in dodgy journeys to and from occasions…

Oh bruv! On a number of events. Primarily from one social gathering. A few of the drivers who have been of the mindset of, ‘Yeah I can look forward to three days straight and drive a number of the world’s most vital D&B artists on dodgy mountain roads and never go to sleep on the wheel, no worries mate she’ll be proper!’ Hahaha.

Haha. Inform us some extra tales…

One which’s popped up just a few instances within the historical past podcast from the early period are Goldie’s first visits. Again then he was…effectively…Goldie! He was the celebrity of the scene and it felt like he didn’t give a fuck. Correct B-boy vibes. For individuals who have been witnessing the don in motion for the primary time, he might come throughout as slightly bit harmful… D-Rve and Geoff Presha from Subtronix would assign him bouncers and he’d be like, ‘Why would I would like bouncers?’ They usually have been like, ‘No mate, they’re not right here to guard you , they’re right here to guard the gang!’ Regardless, G would at all times crush it and find yourself in the course of the ground raving with kiwi followers with a bottle of vodka and sweat dripping from the roof, and people have been some historic scenes. However many of the actually fascinating issues for me come from the Kiwi artists – seminal events we did and definitive moments for our personal scene and tradition.

What was a definitive second for you personally?

For me that was when Grooverider first got here out in 1995. He began with the DJ Hint remix of Mutant Jazz and have been all standing there like ‘Wow’ It was my first time taking a capsule and simply a kind of magical nights once I found how deep and futuristic this music is. Nick D sums it up completely in Episode 017 – “it’s that realisation about dubplate tradition like, ‘Oh my god, in London they’re dancing to music from the long run!’ And we’d really feel like that for one night time solely. Grooverider, SS and Warren G, Bryan Gee and Moose, Doc Scott and Justyce – these guys came visiting and formed the way forward for our scene. We’d be prepare recognizing each tune and infrequently would (illegally) report the DJs mixes and examine them. These tapes would flow into the nation and scenes would develop. There are too many moments like that.

Ah wow. Do you will have any of these mixes archived? 

Yeah a whole lot of these tapes do exist and there’s a complete motion of individuals archiving and digitising them. I’ve simply uploaded “Misplaced” mixes from Fierce & Nico, and DJ Hint, and Ed Rush all from the 90’s to It’s superior. I’m hoping to get my palms on extra and use them in podcasts. There’s one particularly… A Dom & Roland combine which the gang screamed so loud on the noise went via the needle and you’ll hear it within the recording.

Wow. No approach!

Loopy, proper? We thought that was a forgotten a part of New Zealand drum & bass historical past so it’s nice to know there are folks on the market who cared as a lot as we did and stored maintain of these tapes.

Sensible. I believe drum & bass and jungle has reached a sure stage in its maturity and it echoes via the generations. Like how 60s rock did within the 90s. 

Completely. I believe the brand new era have additionally impressed the previous era too. The best way the heads are having homage paid to them. The respect from youthful artists and followers and the way in which they’re referencing the old-fashioned is essential in that approach. The best way they’re doing it’s thrilling too – it’s not nostalgic or copying the old-fashioned. It’s finished in a really artistic approach.

Undoubtedly! So that you’re neck deep into season three. How will the podcast develop?

I’ve truly completed recording the third season. For the long run, I can’t say too a lot, however the plan is to tie all these interviews collectively and report much more. I wish to create a documentary podcast that basically paperwork the historical past of the scene right here and within the UK, with every episode specializing in particular years going from the early 90’s roots to the current day.

That sounds wonderful. Might this convey you again into the studio as effectively musically?

Kinda. I’m already again! I’ve actually simply dropped my first launch in years on the Optiv album. Idiom. Optiv was a really pricey buddy and vastly vital to Bulletproof making a reputation in D&B. He used to joke that he’d discover a approach of creating me come again to drum & bass. It’s the primary D&B tune I wrote since 2010. We usurped his samples when he first came visiting right here 20 years in the past, and I used them in Idiom, so to me the entire observe is mostly a celebration of Optiv and Trigger 4 Concern and sounds quite a bit totally different to what I used to make.

Wonderful you’ve stored his samples. Nice archiving!

Hell yeah man, I’m not letting these samples go. They’re gold! I’ve taken care of that folder like my life is price it, and gave them to just about all of the OG NZ D&B heads hahah. So yeah, I’m again within the studio and it’s all the way down to the podcast – returning to drum & bass has completely impressed me and that’s solely going to develop extra, all issues in keeping with plan.

That’s wonderful. What’s subsequent?

Full weekly episodes from Season Three drop on Spotify, Apple Music and all main platforms from October 4, and advance entry with unique content material and audio is offered now through I’ve been exploring how issues advanced through the late 80s and early 90s acid home and rave scenes within the UK and communicate to individuals who have been there as jungle exploded and this factor we name drum & bass emerged. Guys like Fierce, Klute, Digital and Bailey. Domestically, I communicate with guys like Want for Mirrors and Agent Alvin who have been enormous a part of the early NZ scene. Optimus Grime is a Kiwi artist who got here from D&B and went on to assist spearhead the dubstep motion over right here, and has some fascinating chat in regards to the impact dubstep had on D&B in New Zealand. I additionally shine mild on Emma G, and B-Line – two of NZ’s first feminine DJs who have been vastly instrumental within the early days of Kiwi Drum & Bass from 97’ onwards. All these episodes can be found now for the Patreon subscribers and will probably be obtainable in full very quickly on Spotify and all main podcast platforms.

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