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..