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Archive for November, 2008
DJ Fokus is without a doubt one of my favorite of the lesser known 93-95 artists. Originally releasing on the label Blueprint Records, his first release “The Theme” bw “Disengaged” is an in-demand amen smasher, fetching high prices these days. He followed this EP up with a solo outing on the same label, before releasing 2 EPs on his own label Suicide Records. All of these EPs featured heavily cut up beats and deep atmospherics, as well as the engineering talent of the amazing Pete Parsons. Following the Suicide Records releases, he did several more EPs on Dee Jay and Lucky Spin, also engineered by Pete Parsons (who engineered many of those tunes), before disappearing from the dnb world.
Probably my favorite tracks by DJ Fokus is “Brave New World”, off one of his later EPs on Lucky Spin. The other side of this release is probably more well known, having been featured on the popular Promised Land Vol 1 compilation. However, “Brave New World” has some of the sickest drum programming I’ve heard in any tracks from that time.
DJ Fokus – Brave New World
I already did an entry on Mind Therapy, but only scratched the surface w/ the one EP mentioned there (admittedly a great record). Here’s several more bits of their stuff.
Their first EP was on the Jack In The Box label. This label was more of a distributor (I’ve definitely seen a sticker from them on some old records I own).
This EP precedes any of their E3 EPs by 2 years, and is thus a lot slower. However, the production is quality and it’s a decent tune for sure.
Their next record was E3001, a 6 tracker with less-than-stellar production but some excellent tunes. The breaks are really nicely chopped but, because there’s 3 tracks a side and the production is a bit thin to begin with, some of these don’t hold up so well. However, there’s a 4/4 version of the “ecstacy is safe” tune off E3005, already posted in a previous entry.
Mind Therapy – Ecstacey is safe – techno mix
The next EP was a bit of an improvement…. especially of note is the B side, which features a pretty wicked cut up drum-solo in lieu of a regular funk break. Because of this + the really sparse nature of the tune, it could almost be considered “proto-choppage”, alongside the brown + dangerman tracks of the time.
Apologies for the delay in this part, I’ve been on tour / vacation in Europe with spotty internet access.. I’m posting this final portion of the interview comes from Madrid, Spain. Thanks a ton to Mel for doing this interview, anyone interested can reach him at .
Enjoy – Pete
Track You’re Most Proud Of
The track I’m most proud of is a very difficult choice for me…as I’m proud of everything that ive done musically. But if I had to make a top 3 of my own tracks it would probably be…
- If you Believe
- Jungle Warriors, joint 3rd lace with Hello Darkness.
As for what created the most buzz…it was indeed Thunder.
Trouble with uncleared samples
I’ve never really run into trouble as such with uncleared samples except for just one time and that was a tiny vocal sample that said “and it sounds good” which appeared on the Hello Darkness Remix “Rood Darkness”. The vocal in question belonged to one of the most popular mc’s of that time MC GQ, who used to mc at the Paradise Club…but of course it got sorted out and as far as I’m concerned he was trying it on really or to be blunt, takin da piss… And because of that he got AIR-PIE!! lol. Having said that, he still remains as one of my favorite MC’s of all time.
I want to take this opportunity to mention something which I forgot to before, and this should have been in part one of this interview really but somehow slipped my mind at the time so apologies… Anyway what I want to mention is Satin Storm. I’m sure some of you old skool fans will remember that name…well Satin Storm (which was Travis Edwards and his girlfriend) were the owners of the first ever studio that we used back in the Break The Limits days. In fact, we recorded BTL part 1 & 2 entirely at the Satin Storm studios and I want to thank him for all the help he gave us and for trusting us. At that time we were flat broke and had to do a deal with Travis to trust us until we released the BTL part 1 Ep and recouped some money before we could afford to pay him for the studio time. I just want to BIG him up to the MAXIMUM… And yes we did go back as promised and payed him for the studio time plus a little extra for taking that chance to allow us to record in his studio without pay initially.
I also would like to just state that BTL was the inspiration behind the success of Satin Storm and I know that he would agree with that statement without hesitation…we also worked with him again later on during the Nu-Matic period, as both Travis and his girlfriend whose name totally escapes me at this time (sorry) toured with us as our dancers on stage for pa’s. Where-ever you are today, I’m sending you guys a massive Thank You and wish you all the best.
Pennywise was Symphony Sounds, that’s the label and distribution company, and they distributed my tracks for a short while and that’s also how I met Sherry the other half of Rood Project. The reason why it was so different to the original was coz I had nothing to do with the original, and for the remix they wanted it to be totally different.
DJ’ing / Production Collabs
I’ve never dabbled in DJ’ing but did many PA’s all over the UK, including Liverpool University sharing the bill there with The Prodigy. I also played in Warrington, Manchester, Colchester, Anglesey and various other locations around the UK.
I worked with many different producers during my time as a jungle producer, like…
- Mickey Finn
- T Para
- Cool Hand Flex
- Chris Energy
- Darren Jay
- Hopper(of Hopper & Bones)
- Sherry(Rood Project)
- Lee Muspratt(Darkenator)
…and if I’ve forgot anyone which is highly likely I apologize. But my favorite Colaborations were…
- Sherry (Rood Project)
- Mickey Finn
Favorite Jungle Tune of All Time
My favorite Drum & Bass / Jungle Track of all time is, without any hesitation…”Here Come The Drumz” by Doc Scott. For me this track defines what Drum & Bass was all about, and Doc Scott has always been one of my favorite producers. Sadly I never got to work with him. I reckon if we had ever collaborated the result would have been legendary… BIG UP the Doc Scott.
Changes in the Scene From Hardcore to Jungle / the Influence of Ragga
I was involved in the scene from 1991 to 1996 and yes I saw a lot of changes throughout that time in the music…as for my feelings about Hardcore/Rave evolving into Jungle/Drum & Bass, it was an inevitable step forwards as we in the UK are and always have been a very racially mixed and blended society. Although the hardcore sound was by no means a predominantly white/caucasian sound, as more and more people of different colours and backgrounds were joining this underground movement, the flavours of the music evolved to accommodate these changes. As for me, being an immigrant myself (originally from Turkey), I grew up around both black and asian culture and was always into reggae and soul/jazz funk. Therefore it was a step in the right direction as far as I’m concerned.
Yes, I was indeed a big raver in those days… I got mashed up on a regular basis and used to rave till da sun came up. On many occasions we used to head out to secret meeting points and wait for instructions on where this weekends big illegal warehouse rave would be..lolol..those were great times for real.
But my favorite rave was TELEPATHY, which was every saturday at an old warehouse in Marshgate Lane in Stratford E16… I’ll never forget the time I caught a couple having sex inside a bassbin enclosure!!! And the BASS was THUMPING and they were oblivious to anyone or anything except each other and the rhythm.
Disappearance from Jungle
My disappearance from jungle was both sudden and final…
During 1996 things started to change within the jungle scene, both musically and label politics-wise… Sales of jungle tracks were minimal and a lot of small independent labels had already disappeared, and I had already seen the writing on the wall. It had become too risky to release tunes on Ruff Guidance as sales figures were not good enough. On top of that, Whitehouse Records were no longer the “Buzz Central” they once were either, so there was a general slump in the popularity of jungle.
I remember going to see Andy Bailey at Whitehouse and playing him some of my latest tracks, he said “listen m8 i really like these tracks, but the word from upstairs is that we are slowing right down on jungle releases until further notice”… I knew then and there that nothing would ever be the same again, and that the end of an era was just around the corner. In reply to what i had just heard, I thanked Andy for all his help and support and told him that I understood that this was out of his control, that I was probably not gonna be in this game for much longer, and left the building.
I never returned to Whitehouse, and that was the last time i saw or spoke with Andy. But I would like to BIG him up here one last time for everything that he did for me and all the good ideas and the support during my time at Whitehouse, so wherever you are bro BIG RESPECT to you.
Shortly after my final meeting with Whitehouse i decided enough was enough and decided to leave the music scene and move on… But not before i pulled off one last scam!!! Not musically of course but financially.
I went to the bank where my label account had been over the years and gave them a big story about how and why i needed to borrow £15000, and they were only too happy to lend me the money against my studio (which was valued at £50.000) as security…cool!!
I got the money and the next evening cleared my studio and moved to a new house… I think you got the picture by now…lolololol.
So i want 2 take this opportunity to BIGUP the NatWest Bank for their stupidity… lol.
I spent the following year doing pretty much nothing, in fact i felt as though i was in some kind of vacuum…i was lost!!! I eventually snapped out of that trance-like-state and started to mess around with PCs, and never looked back…
I am now an IT professional i have a Bachelors Degree in Information Systems and Computer Science with Honors.
Making Music These Days / Any Unreleased Tracks?
I no longer make music, not professionally or as a hobby. But my daughter who is 9yrs old has a real talent for singing and I’m thinking about going back in the producers chair, maybe for a short period but long enough to produce a good demo for her… I guess time will tell whether I do or not.
I do have a bunch of tunes that never got released on DAT and I would be more than happy to discuss releasing them if an opportunity came about and there was genuine interest.
Unfortunately I no longer have any vinyl of any description, but I have every track i ever produced all on DAT.
When i hear about copies of my releases from back in the day exchanging hands for a lot more money than when they were released, i feel a bit ANTIQUE like!!! lol…Nah seriously though, it kinda makes me feel like i have achieved something and that something has stood the test of time… I feel proud really, coz around 15 years ago I remember paying £100 for an original 7 inch copy of AMEN Brother which is the track that contains the legendary Amen Breakbeat.
Last 3 Albums Bought
The last 3 albums i bought were…
- Ror Shak – Deep (for those that don’t know, Ror Shak is Stakka)
- 2-MOVADO – Anyway
- 3-TI – Paper Trail
Nowadays my taste in music hasn’t really changed too much…having said that, I do like some of the good GRIME artists like Wiley..JME..Roll Deep..N-Dubz to name a few. But my first love music-wise was..is..and always will be hip hop. That will never change. Plus needless to say Drum & Bass. But there isn’t really much d&b coming out these days, but I usually grab anything by Bukem and Good Looking. Also Dillinja who happens to be one of my all time favorites in jungle.
Thoughts on the Current Music Scene
The music scene has gone through many changes since the days when I was producing… some changes I liked and others I loathed. But I guess most people would say the same if asked the same question. On the whole, I’m sad that jungle/D&B hasn’t really survived or rather hasn’t progressed and evolved enough to keep itself alive, but of course this is partly due to the fact that the sound of jungle was never really meant to be commercial. That ironically means that it was always doomed to become extinct some day… especially as that generation who created it gradually grow older and moved on, and so that whole scene which was once very much united and buzzing is no longer there. But I know that we the junglist have made a much loved and respected place four ourselves in history and that will never change, coz it has been carved into TIME 4 EVER.
The End / Shout-outs
Well my friends, the time has come to wrap this up… NO!! not for Christmas..lol but to bring it to a close… Its been great taking this journey back in time and back through the archives of my mind and memory… I want to say a HUMONGOUS Thank You to PETE. Because without him this wouldnt have even existed, plus i wanna BIG him up again for being a good friend even tho weve never met face to face so to speak, but never the less you’re just as much a friend as the guys from around the way in my hood BIGUP! Also i wanna thank all you junglist and junglettes past and present whoever and where-ever you are… BIGUP ALL JUNGLIST MASSIVE!!
And just a few more personal BIGUPS to the following for making a difference within my life…(not including family as they know already theyre BIG!)…
Andy Bailey..Noah Charlery..Mark(Soul Trader).. Matt Edwards..PESHAY..Mickey Finn..LTJ Bukem..Tony Fagan(T-Para)..Chris Energy..SHERRY(Rood Project)..Jah Tubby(JTS)..Terry and Darren (TellTales)..Cool Hand Flex..Dj Randall…and all the people that i came into contact with through jungle… way too many to remember, let alone list here but no less important and no less deserving for a BIGUP!! Love to all music lovers around the globe in every city and every hood…Get rid of the GUNZ and Knives STOP ending lives including your own PEACE..
Continuing with the interview, part 1 is below.
Also, anyone looking to contact Bay B Kane can email him at
I will try to answer the question about all the different aliases which i released tracks under. First of all, lets see how many i can remember…
The reasons behind having all these different names were quite simple really..
- Sometimes it was purely for STEALTH reasons… especially with experimental tracks.
- A way of releasing many tracks without over crowding or overexposing an established artist name.
- Because of certain styles or sounds, which can be associated with a specific name or artist as the case may be.
Have a Break
“Have A Break” was indeed one of the very first strictly jungle breakbeat sample-friendly cd’s. During a conversation with Andy Bailey, who was the label manager at Whitehouse, I was telling him about the time when I encountered Johnny L’s management people running around like headless chickens frantically phoning people up and saying “Johnny needs breaks”… “he needs original breaks can you help?”… hahaha!! And we were cracking up (as you do) and he said that it would be great to do a full length CD of exactly what we were talking about: Breaks, but not just breaks by themselves… variations of breaks, break bounces, chopped up edits, all that type of stuff which I used to spend hours constructing sometimes. I was slightly against it at first, but then Andy said “I dont want you to include anything that you haven’t used before”. That persuaded me to go ahead and compile this breakbeat cd over a period of 4 weeks…
Of course, some people may remember the slogan for that chocolate wafer bar called KitKat which was “Have a Break..Have a KitKat”… so we did the cover and the name like the KitKat wrapper!! Dunno if we were infringing any copyrights there but who cares..lol. And so it was released and (surprisingly) did fairly well. I’ve since heard many tunes that borrowed breaks from “Have a Break” but I’m not gonna mention any names, coz i don’t want to put anyone on da spot… Plus, it was intended exactly for that purpose, so BIGUP everyone who used samples from “Have a Break”.
This is a good question and I’m gonna tell you exactly what kind of setup i had back in 1990 to 1996, studio equipment wise…
My studio was named THE FRIDGE because it was in an old industrial refrigerator which had walls that were 4 feet thick, that consisted of sheet metal brick then sand and brick and sheet metal again!! Amazing soundproofing, very atmospheric… I remember marathon sessions in there with Mickey Finn, T Para and Sherry (my Rood Project partner)…and it’s no exaggeration for me to say that hours and days used to go by without being noticed in there, as you had no concept of time of day or night as it had no windows. It was an amazing place to create music.
note: this was originally posted by will/sublogic – pete
For my first post here, it’s an unknown white label and a plea for any information about this – not one person I’ve played this to has any idea what it is, including the Discogs seller that mis-sold it to me as VR001 – Dr. Skuf – Sensi / The More I Get The More I Want (http://www.discogs.com/release/235173)
The vinyl does indeed have the same etching as Dr. Skuf in the runout – VR001 – and it’s a three track EP, so again just like Dr. Skuf, and this copy I have here has written in biro on one side “VR001 – Dr Skuf” and then, strangely, ” Ruff No. 2″ and “Vibe Records” in biro on the other side.
There’s no Vibe Records on Discogs or Rolldabeats with a matching release, so the only thing that makes any sense is that the VR001 catalogue number implies Vibe Records, release 001.
Anyway, all that boring stuff aside it’s a really good three track EP! But it’s definitely not the Dr. Skuf release. In fact, the three tunes on it are hard to even compare to anything as guesswork. One sounds a bit like a classic mid-’93 Basement Records tune, one sounds similar to a 4 Hero / Tom & Jerry production, and the last one sounds like a typical obscure ’92 or ’93 bedroom white, something like Reckless B – Crackman or some of the earlier Bogwoppa or Vicious Pumping Plastic releases.
Here’s all three tracks as MP3s – can anyone solve this? At the moment it’s a mystery artist on a mystery label, and the only copy I’ve ever seen in many years of buying and selling old skool vinyl. Really curious about this…