In the summer of 1995 a teenage Ant D-RINK, sick of being force fed a diet of watery dutch trance being played by the likes of Judge Jules on Radio 1, decided to scan the airwaves of South London for a more underground sound. Somewhere near the end of the dial in the midst of white noise and inane radio banter, he chanced upon a pirate station playing a type of music he’d soon find out, was known as happy hardcore. This station was the legendary Dream FM. For a short time he was fascinated by the uptempo kicks and cheesy vocals but a few of the DJs on the station were playing a different sound. Slower, with darker melodies and more Breakbeat. Hearing these sounds for the first time struck a chord in Ant’s brain and his passion for Oldskool rave sounds really exploded when he joined ‘the Oldskool mailing list’ where he gained a lot of knowledge and friends who’d been ravers back in the day. This lead to the scanning of many online lists of Oldskool records, before the days of Discogs and Broadband that let you could listen to things online and Ant would phone up the online sellers and ask them to play track after track on down the phone line, much to their annoyance and over a few of years he amassed a decent collection of tunes from 88-95, all at prices which seem like a bargain in comparison to the inflated prices of today.
Having learnt to mix on a pair of belt drive Sound Labs turntables, Ant got his first gig playing Oldskool at the Kingston Mill pub in 1999. This was also the year he started going to Oldskool nights at the infamous Camden Palace and various others such as Raindance. In 2004 and wanting more DJ gigs, Ant took things into his own hands by started a night called Snaffle, playing a mixture of Oldskool and Nu-skool breaks. In 2006 he hooked up with the encyclopaedic DJ YT to do Gutter Monkey, which mixed up Oldskool alongside disco and darker electro and techno as well as some DnB. Having started with a bang both of these nights fizzled out due to the respective venues going out of business. A long break from promotion followed but Ant kept partying. Not having been to an Oldskool night for some time because he was sick of hearing the same tunes again and again, one day he went to his first Oldskool all-dayer, which was at the Tuffnell Park Dome. This was Distant Planet. Appreciating their ‘all killer, no filler’ approach to playing Oldskool, Ant became a devotee of their events and endeared himself to to the crew with his ‘not giving a sh*t’ approach to dressing up and getting a full face paint of the Distant Planet logo at their Twickenham event. In 2012 the opportunity to put on a party in a local venue fell into Ant’s lap and renewed his enthusiasm for putting on parties. In one week with the help of some equally passionate mates, ‘KLARTBEAT’ was conceived and a great party was had at a local venue in Hackney. ‘KLARTBEAT’ moved to a bigger better venue and hosted The Ragga Twins alongside Jerome Hill, a night which Distant Planet’s Hughesee described as ‘quite some achievement’. Further parties were had with Shades of Rhythm and Daddy Freddy taking to the stage but inevitably the venue shut it’s doors permanently, leaving KLARTBEAT in limbo. Ant can be found out and about dancing on one side of the decks or other playing a mixture of styles but mainly Oldskool. Why is he called D-RINK? You’ll have to check him and find out!
Dj Steph will be playing at the next Distant Planet on 26th March at Bar 512 in Hackney. He will also be playing at Rupture at London’s Corsica studios on 18th March. Steph has is an originator and has been playing since the early 90s.
Check out more of his mixes here.
Hue Jah Fink, a.k.a. Richy Hughes earned his first production stripes using an Amiga with the OctaMED software in 1991 where his interests in computer programming and music collided creatively. Set amongst a backdrop of mixtapes, CDs and vinyl from the burgeoning underground, it was often the darker breakbeat sounds from the raves as well as the depth and hypnosis of ambient music that really caught his ear as he developed his sample editing and sequencing skills.
He soon began to DJ in various venues and outdoor raves across the south west of England, culminating in a residency at the legendary ‘Brunel Rooms’ Swindon where he would win over a steady following of eclectic music lovers with his uniquely varied selection of beats and guest DJs.
In 1999 he began his voyage to the capital city, and began working closely with London sound-systems ‘Headfuk’ and ‘Unsound’ as a DJ and also a producer releasing and performing music both solo and collaboratively. Purely from being spotted scratching and blending unlikely selections at underground events, Richy has been asked to DJ for Raindance, numerous guest spots for arts station Resonance FM and more recently a residency at ‘The London Underground’ venue in Block 9 Glastonbury performing alongside reknowned acts such as Nicky Blackmarket, Hyper-On-Experience, 2 Bad Mice, Youngsta and Blawan.
It was his great experiences at Block 9 that drove him to direct and manage his own venue at Glastonbury 2015. ‘Brainwash’ in Shangri-la featured political cinema, music and games during the daytime hours, and at night a rave with 360 degree original projections and music from DJ Flight, EZ Rollers, Emika, Scanone, Distant Planet’s own Louise+1 and Hughesee and many more.
Constantly pushing the possibilities of computer based audio production across multiple genres and under various aliases, he rapidly became known on the London scene as a respected source of technical advice and assistance to producers, teaching music production to children and adults alike and eventually establishing Binary Feedback Digital Audio in 2008. Here he offers professional services to app developers, film makers, creative events companies as well as the working with many of the UK’s respected underground electronic labels such as Yellow Machines, Combat Recordings, Rag And Bone, Boka, Frijsfo Beats, Senseless, and the stateside Section8 / Plush Recordings group.
He would later be introduced to Rob Booth of Electronic Explorations to master his flagship 61 track compilation. It was here he impressed Emika with his skills, who asked him to master her second album project for Ninja Tune and has kept him on board for all her work since starting her own label. When a backstreet Hackney guy can compete with the big studios engineering for artists like Emika, Plaid / Black Dog, Kirsty Hawkshaw, Marcus Intalex, Milanese, King Cannibal, Machinedrum, DjRum, Boxcutter and Aaron Spectre, he must be doing consistently high quality work.
On his own musical productions he’s been no slouch, most notably working with the legendary vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw in 2009 when launching his own DIY digital imprint Binary Feedback Music. He has attracted DJ support and praise from the likes of The DJ Producer, Freq Nasty, Starkey, Jerome Hill, Warlock, Xhin, DJ Phantasy, Kissy Sell Out, Laurent Garnier, Danny Breaks and many more taste-makers across the globe.
Despite having progressed far from slicing up 8-bit breakbeats and atmospherics back at the birth of the 90s to the seemingly distant world of professional audio engineering and venue programming, the sounds of darkside rave, jungle and deep DNB have always been in his heart.
You can hear him revisit his roots and take you on heartfelt, progressive journeys through the vinyl crates live on Distant Planet TV.
Growing up listening to Rare Groove, Gospel, Roots, Ska and Hip-Hop, Threshold was never far from production. His sister being a singer/ ballet dancer, father a Reggae enthusiast, with not a lot but prime cuts of Old Skool 7″ records from Blue Beat to Al Green, to Trojan, he quickly gravitated towards the turntables after seeing his brothers decks, saving money. Bunking school was an important part for his development, taking many day trips to Dollis Hill station to see his then Idols Manix and 4hero from the seminal Reinforced label and to Elephant & Castle to Music Madness, here he really discovered Hardcore, moving on after to playing on stations such as Storm FM, Upfront and Flex FM where he started meeting many other like-minded DJ’s along the way.
This had led him to engineering and production, here is when he met pals with the same drive, Brian and Matthew. Brian was already in the throes of organising his own events Garrison with DJ Flight (1xtra/Rinse) and booked Threshold. The 1st time they DJ’d together they had the freaky situation where Threshold plays and Brian finds himself opening his bag to reveal the he was about to play the same 1st 6 tracks in the same order! This as they say, is where it began.
They started buying equipment each person chipping in then started producing music be it Jungle or Down-Tempo but really Jungle was where the heart lied, being inspired from everything from Johnny Clarke to Johnny Jungle and during this period, Threshold had started working as an engineer for the legendary Eskimo Noise company which led on to working with the top promoters in the scene and outside on corporate events.
While under the watchful eyes of his then manager Troy and guidance from another engineer Bevin he was chosen to be in the elite team to work in the legendary Metalheadz sessions; together Threshold, Brian and Matthew formed Special Branch with their 1st 3 releases being on Ray Keith’s Penny Black imprint coming in with the classic Dub Transmission E.P. which had strong support from the likes of Doc Scott/ Storm/ Bailey/ Goldie. Leading to a release on Reinforced Records under the alias Espionage with a track called Futuroid. Fabio and Grooverider the top DJ’s at the time did a whole 8 months playing it as did High Contrast as well.
After more releases and taking on more engineering he takes a break from his studio where he encounters another young artist with massive potential and starts to help him through. This artist later on was named Breakage co-producing a few of his early tracks and exchanging techniques in production, leading to another release on Reinforced. Moving on he come across a night, Rupture where he meets Double O and Mantra, who help show him he’s not the only one who misses the depth of sub bass in the music and a friendship grew, Threshold soon becoming a popular DJ on the Rupture camp and 6 years on, still very close with a strong release on their imprint Rupture LDN label with a track called Sweat Rice! (Do not ask about the name…..)
Fast forward he has a concept of depth and soul with a roots ethos. Drums & sub bass something that seemed to be missing amongst the noisy synths. A close friend introduces him to Jamma and Dub Clinique was born.
Dave Faze has been Dj’ing Jungle, Hardcore and DnB since the mid 90’s and has played numerous gigs across Scotland, London and Italy over the years supporting artists such as Brockie, Uncle Dugs, FBD Project, Threshold, Equinox and Bizzy B to name but a few. Dave has played at various club nights such as Rupture, Time Rewind and was also part of the Interlight Crew at The Castle where he held down a residency rinsing the sounds of old skool hardcore and jungle.
You can catch Dave Faze’s bi-weekly show on OriginUK.net Saturdays from 12-2pm and also on Jungletrain.net once a month on Saturday’s from 12:30 – 2:30pm. Dave loves to dig deep in his selection, not drawing for the obvious tracks but will always bring the vibes to the party!
Dextrous has been producing as well as DJing for over 2 decades. Starting his career in the late ‘80s, as Dextrous he cut his teeth making Hardcore / Jungle as it was then known. His first release was on ‘Shut Up and Dance Records’ sister label Ruff Quality Recordings with a track entitled Ruffneck Bizznizz back in 1992. From there he started his own label King of the Jungle Records in 1993, where he enjoyed much success with his then partner Rude Boy Keith, flying around the globe DJing and PA’ing. His DJing has taken him to countries such as: Austria, Germany, Canada, America, Holland, Latvia, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland and Italy to name but a few, as well as many locations in his native U.K.
As King of the Jungle was already establishing a particular sound Dextrous decided to start another label where he could concentrate on his own projects. This was the birth of Subliminal Records, (which in December 1994 became Subversive Recordings due to an imprint called Subliminal already being in existence).
By late 1994 Dextrous hooked up with 2 other guys, Paul Brown and Jon Stewart (who then went by the names of Phaze 3 and Klass A respectively) whom he had met whilst DJing on the London pirate station Kool FM. They all shared the same artistic ideas and the frustrations with the way the scene appeared to overlook a more musical approach in Drum & Bass production. So Dextrous decided to start State of the Art Recordings, as a vehicle to release music that wasn’t confined to the ubiquitous styles that club DJs were playing at that time, to allow a little more freedom of expression, and with that, reach a whole new audience. The three of them recorded together under the name Solid State and christened their sound Urban Fusion, which encompassed many elements i.e., Funk, Jazz, Techno, Dub…as well as Drum & Bass. Solid State became known as the one of the pioneers of Drum & Bass Funk Fusion and paved the way for more musical producers such as Calibre and High Contrast, amongst others.
Well as they say “all good things come to an end!”, and by the summer of 2000 the three guys parted company. Their last project together was the album entitled ‘Point of No Return’ (pretty fitting!) on the Renegade Recordings label, which included their most popular track to date: “Just a Vision” featuring Zoe H.
Since then, Dextrous has become heavily involved in composing music for library companies and has had many of his recordings featured on adverts and TV programmes such as Footballer’s wives, The Stepfather, Driven, Trisha, Doctors, London Today, Sky Travel, to name but a few. He was also commissioned to compose the theme tune to ITV’s “The LADS” which was a men’s magazine programme aired a few years back on Friday nights.
In addition to his production of Drum & Bass, Dextrous is slowing down the BPMs from time to time and experimenting in other areas. As ‘Transcendent Minds’ (a project started on Dynamite Joint Recordings and continued on Karma Giraffe) Dextrous has been able to progress with the Urban Fusion sound (also known today as Broken Beats, Electric Soul, Future Jazz) where Solid State left off. Once again highlighting Dextrous musical versatility, as he is always seeking new sounds to fuse together in order to form hybrid genres, which is also evident in his DJ sets as he loves to mix things up!
With this wealth of experience Dextrous was a great choice for scoring the BAFTA winning “Feltham Sings” documentary shown on Channel 4 in 2002. Having a diverse musical background and a passion for working with & being a positive role model for inner city youth, undertaking this project made perfect sense. It was a huge challenge as Dextrous was brought on to the project pretty late on, so was only given 3 months at most to get the whole project completed. But…all was not lost, so successful was Dextrous’ input to this project, that he won a coveted Ivor Novello Award (2002) in the category ‘Best original music for TV’, in addition to the entire team behind “Feltham Sings” winning a BAFTA for Best Documentary (2002). The documentary also received a nomination for The Greison Documentary Award, and Dextrous was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for his musical efforts.
More recently, Dextrous has also been involved with youth work. Together with ‘Stage One’ he has devised a ‘Youth Music Workshop Program’ that has been a success so far. He has helped develop the talents of young people in under privileged areas and those that have criminal backgrounds or have been socially excluded. These programs include basic music technology tuition together with vocal training, song writing, choreography, graphic design, make-up and tutorials on the legal side of the music industry. He has since worked in conjunction with the following organizations: Connexions, Youth Music, Befrienders (Barking and Dagenham), Ladders, Community Links, Crime Concern, Breaking Through, as well as many schools in Waltham Forest freelance. He has also worked for many years with Irish Travellers doing more generic youth work.
Right now his main goals are to get back in the studio to work on some new productions and return to DJing on a more frequent basis. He also plans to continue developing his skills as a photographer, a lifelong passion that he has given much more attention to in recent years.