As far as MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire features go, it’s been pretty quietly recently. But if you’ve noticed what number today’s is, you’ll understand why – yes, the next one to get the upload will be the first #100. And let’s just say the two mixes/ interviews are going to blow you away!
But before we celebrate reaching #100, we’ve got the very awesome Red J involved for a feature. In the past two years while I’ve been running FKOF, I’ve made some seriously amazing friends – and met some extremely passionate and talented people along the way. Lancashire’s Jonathan is one of those people. It’s hard to find a more enthusiastic supporter of the sound that I’ve been pushing here on FKOF, and Red J’s mix (which you’ll find after the interview) is testament to the talent he’s got on the decks…
Who is Red J? Music grabbed me from an early age. I grew up listening to punk, soul, reggae (courtesy of the great On the Wire show, with Lee Perry and Steve Barker, on Radio Lancashire), and got into the dance thing through my brother, who would bring back mad mixtapes from wherever he’d been.
I started collecting and mixing jungle in about ’95/ ’96 when I was 13, and went from there. I discovered a love of sound system through the massive Shaka sessions, back in about 1999. I’m part of the mighty Underground Roots Sound System, Trailer Trash Collective and the Subversion crew. ??You can find me most weekends making some speaker or other vibrate!
What got you into mixing dubstep? What’s your style – big, dark basslines or as filthy as possible? I went to play at a dance in Sheffield in 2006, ran by the R8 Records crew (big up lads!), and was amazed by this music, which seemed to transfer all the atmosphere and intensity of the music I loved into a slower, “lurchier” tempo… And it all went from there!
Musically, I try to play music that I really enjoy and try to read the crowd (I also like mixing between styles), to keep the crowd on their feet.. I’ll try to drop some older tunes as well, as too many people can seem to get lost in the whole “entirely brand new fresh tune” ethic a bit too much. You have to remember the classics, you know? I like to try and keep it rolling along – and try to have a bit of contrast in the mixes…
What software do you use to produce your tracks? I’ve only just started producing at the moment, but am using FruityLoops and Ableton. We’ll see how that goes! The only track I’ve ever really finished (with my man Deadcode) opens my mix for MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire.
Turntables or CDJs? Both. I love my vinyl, and try to get as much of it as possible, and play it out. But sometimes, it’s digital only – or you can’t get it to plate for either time or money reasons. I have no problem with digital or CD, though the warmth of analogue always seems to win through for me.
How long have you been DJing for? Since I was 18 I suppose, so about 11 years on and off. Been a music lover all my life though. The anticipation when you hear that run-in groove…!
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be? Best gig would have to be Notting Hill carnival with Positive Sound System in 2002… Thousands of people, an amazing intense atmosphere, a huge sound system and jerk chicken! Dubstep-wise, it would have to be Silkie and Razor Rekta back at POWAH in Huddersfield (alongside Formless and NoMan). Amazing lads, and both of ’em so talented yet humble… Big things always from the AntiSocial crew!
Dream gig? Would be great to play alongside some of my heroes. Distance, Mala, Cyrus, Youngsta (again), Author. On a separate note looking forward to hosting Ghost Note and Perverse (amongst others!) later this year. And would love to play with Vex’d sometime, he’s a genius!
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why?
- My Nu Leng – Fresh productions, amazing vibe to all their tunes.. Their time!
- Distance – No explanation needed.
- Reaction – Big things from this lad, get to know if you don’t already
- Ghost Note – Massive, massive basslines, proper vibe; always rocks it on a big system. Seriously looking forward to meeting this guy!
- Surva – the alter ego of a certain well-known producer, sick riddims…
Too many more to mention, obviously! Mala, Cyrus, RSD, Quest/ Silkie, Killawatt, Thelem, Pistonsbeneath etc., the scene is about to blow up!
What’s the future of dubstep – where do you see the genre going? Everywhere! The scope of what’s coming through at the moment is truly great. From the proper darkness to the new garage sound; Mala’s more latin-driven things, from the ”filth” (i.e. Coki, Goth Trad, Demon kind of filth!) to the sublime melodic stuff (Phaeleh, Forensics, J=One); it’s all going OFF! And that’s not to mention the more tech driven stuff (Boddika, Scuba etc).
I‘m excited, really excited about where it’s all going to go… Dubstep, in my opinion, is getting better and better.
Any forthcoming releases/upcoming shows we can look forward to?
- – The Subversion nights in Lancashire
- – Monthly resident at Ring The Alarm
- – Watch out for the return of Mystikal (Huddersfield)
- – Celt Islam tomorrow at Musiquarium in Leeds
- – Beatherder Festival (Trailer Trash hosting an arena)
- – Impfest 2012 (details TBC)
- – Dublab
- – Irie Vibes in York, date TBC!
- – Also look out for my name on various free party flyers and nights around the North West area! And the start of a night called Familia…
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers? Be polite and be patient. Always believe in the records you play, don’t play something because you think it will move a crowd. A good track is still a good track, regardless of age! Listen to your beats on as large a system as you can before passing a beat out. And try not to give it to everyone…
And the best way to get a gig? Put on a night yourself!
Any shoutouts? Yes yes! Out to all the Subversion crew, the Beatherders massive, all the fam at Irie Vibes, Ring The Alarm, Trailer Trash, Bushrocker, Stumblefunk, Herbal sessions, Wax (out to Brunks, Compa, Persia and Domino), all the Shotta massive.
Out to Konflict Kartel, out to Daddy Jaytee, the IMPs, all the Hudds massive (out to City Skank, NoMan, Formless, Mutiny, Rush, Lazarus, Venuq, Ras Sis, Iko, Daddy Ken, and anyone I forget)!
Massive shout to Ghost Note, Perverse, Tallan, Tellez, Arkotypes, Reaction, Neon, Surva, Anex, G-a, Congi, Zerg, Nanobytes, Epoxy and Matrix, Edd Legg, Domb and all the Accrington massive; Trubble, Bong.
Finally out to anyone I’ve forgotten (sorry), and to all the promoters, fans, DJs and producers who make what I do so enjoyable… oh and out to MakeItGood and FKOF [thanks man]!
Red J didn’t hang about in his hour long mix, you’ll find a solid selection of unreleased material from some of my favourite artists – as well as a range of tunes that have been on solid rotation for a while now. Hit the play button, grab the free download and let us know what you think!
Click to DOWNLOAD
- Red J + Dedacode – Tokyo [dub]
- Perverse – Skylark
- NoMan – Engulf
- Compa – Cold Weather (forthcoming Area Recordings)
- Reaction – Untitled [dub]
- Anex – Formlessness [dub]
- Cauze – Untitled
- Epoxy – Choices [dub]
- Formless – Paradox
- SkinE – Reveal (Compa refix)
- Eleven8 – Catch Your Breath [dub]
- Domb – Sub Love [dub]
- John Matrix – Cyclops [dub]
- Perverse – Tepidus
- Ghost Note – Frequencies [dub]
- Coki – Serious (Trubble vocal edit) [dub]
- My Nu Leng – Fireflies
- Aliens – Go In Hard (Zerg Refix) [dub]
- Surva – End Run [dub]
- Congi – Cryptic
- G-a – Instantaneous
- Nanobyte – Wrong Path
- Tallan – Before You Speak [dub]
If you have any thoughts on what Red J has to say, or anything else you’ve seen – maybe you’ve got someone to recommend to FKOF or seen something you think we’d like? Get in touch via email, Twitter, Facebook or the FKOF TakesQuestions page.