What was your first experience with Jungle / DNB?
NinjaKid: 1992, freshman year, there was a rave at the cafeteria at my university. I walked in and fell in love . . . here's the flyer:
Enkognito: Wish party and I found out about the side room....i was like Whoa!
D-Lemma: I was 14 when I first started djing, and everything for me was hip hop motivated. I didn't even know about electronic music really, except hearing house music. It wasn't until I was 16 and my friend invited me to a rave that was happening at a club called Lorettas in Atlanta. So equipped with another friends ID so I could sneak in to the club, I encountered my first rave experience. The first room was house music, and I really wasn't feeling it, so I kept it moving. I walked into the next area and it was breakbeats playing, so I stood there for a while to enjoy, it reminded me of Miami bass music. After a little bit, I saw people walking into this dark hallway, heading to this small room. Of course I followed, and that's where I found it. It was a style of music I had never heard before. It was like a double time hip hop with dirty drums and a smooth bassline accompanied by hip hop vocals samples. THIS WAS DRUM N BASS!! I found it!! I started asking people who this guy djing was. Slender white dude with crazy hair and glasses on, just murdering the mix. His name was Roger. I listened to his whole set and fell in love with the type of music being played, and from that moment, I was hooked.
Tell us about the early rave / jungle scene in ATL or ATH?
Enkognito: It was great! The biggest DnB scene in Atlanta. Hazues and Roger were my Favorite locals!
NinjaKid: Oh man. Going to Wish, and down the stairs to Satellite and buying ALL the records. Hazeus was the GOD, he really was my main Atlanta inspiration. I had been in the scene in Pittsburgh, so I had to do my research when I moved here and Wish/Satellite were my saviors. UFOs everywhere, and I used to drive up to Athens every week to go to Boneshakers. You can't talk about the early rave/jungle scene in Atlanta without the chant "WHAT! WHAT! WHAT! WHAT!" . . .
Roger: The scene was really small. 20hz cartel. Bobble.Hazeus. Little Jen. It was always in the back rooms and on any kind of system someone could throw together. We played on whatever we could. we had so much fun being loud. That's why we got into djing, to hear our records loud!
We played in Birmingham a lot and playhouse kids was our first gig. In a warehouse in the basement. In atl it was pleasure, liquid groove, starchildren, permagrin, iris/esp 101 at the pyramid and then the church. Lots of little one offs. If I left out anyone from the early days please forgive me! We played at after hours a lot. This place called the ruins we basically lived at and that's where I really got my chops and comfortable on a big sound system. As a dj i think if you can play on a hodge podge system then you can play on a true sound system.
D-Lemma: The early days of the Atlanta scene was GREAT!!! You had so many quality choices, in some of the strangest places. You had liquified at a few venues, Pleasure always had a dope venue, iris was located at the pyramid at the time, but all promoters big and small had dope talent. The coolest thing about back then was that the music was the forefront of the show. You would have a headliner, but no one ever cared if you could see them or not, you just wanted to hear a great set with enough lighting to see where you could dance. Music was first, talent was second, and vibe of party was third. It was just cool to get lost in a new environment while an amazing soundtrack was being played to your night. Not too many people chose to come out because so and so was playing, people came out because they knew it. Would be an experience every time.
How have you grown and stayed connected to this music for 20+ years?
D-Lemma: All good things must come to and end, or at least a long pause. I stayed busy throughout these days keeping a very loyal residency, and that filled me with a certain kind of pride being accepted into the culture I fell in love with. I would carry 6 crates up flights of stairs to play 8 hour sets in the damn freezing weather on top of a church in downtown Atlanta for $20 from the promoter because I LOVED IT. But soon things came to a grinding halt, and the scene slowly drifted away. I had to find another option to stay busy with music. This is when I opened a studio and made my living off of music. Even though I couldn't be out, I was still practicing my craft and diving into so many genres. This was years of turning down venues because my loyalty lied within my former promoters. So years later when they started back, even though I was not on anyone's minds, I did get invited to come back for a reunion with them. Now that was a change. Dubstep was the new king, but I was still repping drum n bass and hip hop, and I damn sure packed out that patio hahahaha. That sparked back my interest in playing live again. That was 4 years ago, and I'm still trying to go strong with my crew 1200 HUSTLE.
Enkognito: Online podcast, love for DNB, Torch and when i visit L.A. i hit dragon fly on thursdays for Respect DnB
NinjaKid: Atlanta has always had a very rich music scene, and as far as the rave/jungle scene goes, sites like Lunar Magazine and 404 Audio really helped support that. The internet in general has been huge in making it possible to keep in touch/up to date with the scene, even as I started to move towards playing different genres of music.
Give us a few favorite Jungle records from the early days? How about a few from recent years?
Doughboy: Some of my favorite tunes from back in the day consist of all the old Aphrodite remixes and originals like "I Got 5 On It" and "I Can't Stand The Rain" (tunes my wife says made her fall in love with me) as well as Squarepusher's "Do You Know Squarepusher" and Photek's Modus Operandi album. These artists led the way to the wide variety we have in the drum and bass genre today and their experimentation inspired so many up and coming producers to step beyond the typical production methods and seek out new ways of incorporating unique sounds and techniques in their productions. As for now, a few of my favorite tunes of the last year are "Stranger Things" by Complex and "Sierra Mist" by Heist. I think these tunes embody the essence of quality drum and bass. They take you on a journey from start to finish all while making you want to groove and have that feel of a song with soul unlike so much other music out today.
What is your take on Jungle / DNB these days?
Enkoginto: Sad that the new breed of edm kids dont support DNB. Which makes it hard to throw great DNB parties like in the early 2000s
NinjaKid: You know, I was talking to someone just the other day, and they were like "Jungle? Does anybody even do that anymore?" I replied that it's just like breakdancing - people will say "Oh wow, nobody does that", but they don't understand that WE WILL ALWAYS BE HERE. You may not see us - but that's because you're not looking!
D-Lemma: Drum n bass has changed but not that much in my opinion. It's been more attention to a new reinvention of older genres. Dubstep took the focus away from dnb in my opinion. House heads have always been house heads, breakers have always loved breaks, but I saw people who used to drift towards the energy of drum n bass now finding that energy in what is the new dubstep. These days dnb seems a little harder in energy of the instruments and synths, but it still has that flow to it. There is now so many sub genres of it though, and honestly I can't keep up with em hahaha. The genre still makes me feel good every time I hear it, as long as it is mixed well. Seriously it's the expectation of the scene that has changed a lot more than the music. In my opinion, put the damn dj's back behind the curtain or the camo cargo net, and let people feel the vibe of drum n bass again.
Tell us about your experience playing at last years 100 Years of Jungle show?
Doughboy: Last year was awesome from my standpoint. However quite the many folks were not that happy with my set because I teased them for half of it. Hahah. It truly ended up being one of my favorite drum and bass sets I have ever played. And it was great being able to share the night with fellow artists and friends who I came up as well as all of the love we all received from our drum and bass community.
What is a tip you can give us about your dj'ing experience over the past 20 years?
D-Lemma: If I had any advice for a new dj after all this time it would be, love the music, not anything else. Fans, bookings, genres, environments, phases come and go. If you always just love the music, it doesn't matter if your on mainstage or in your house playing, the love for it will stay. This is a hard road, and it is not made for someone without the passion. Be thankful for any opportunity and love what your doing.
Doughboy: What is a tip you can give us about your dj'ing experience over the past 20 years? Practice, practice, practice! Lol. But seriously, never stop trying to grow as an artist. Always be your harshest critic and strive with every set to be better than the last. Try new things, be it ways of mixing, tricks, or just simply being a bit out of your comfort zone. Experiment! You never know what new goodies you may find!
NinjaKid: The advice I always give to new DJs: DO NOT go out and buy 100 tracks and try and mix them. Start with 3 or 4, shoot even 2, and learn mixing them like the back of your hand. Then start expanding. You have to make the tracks talk to each other and take the listener on a journey!
Enkognito: Stay passionate about what you do. Dont be scared to take chances. Stay current but dont forget about the roots.