Ahead of the 180 Degrees Reunion @ Torch DNB, we got the gang together to dive into the history of the crew!
1. How did the 180 degrees project come together?
Ideal: The DJs of 180 Degrees met up at the notorious club Twinz night, Versus. 180 Degrees radio started as rowdy Junglist neighbors and coworkers hosting a weekly radio show every Friday night for Drumnbass.tv, presenting the full gamut of Atlanta DNB DJ talent as well as occasional headlining producer/DJs in town for a show. Residents shuffled and eventually forged into the regular team of Kujo, Ideal, Nano, Disciple13, Enexgee, and Kakarot M.C., who each had different, yet complementary styles of DNB to play with. The radio show was the anchor and ran for 6 good years (2004-2010) It served as an incubator for bigger things to come. 180 crew went on to host and collaborate on countless club events from supporting f'king locals, to hosting top names like Andy C., Goldie, LTJ Bukem, and Evol Intent's Live P.A. At it's peak around 2008, 180 was hosting free biweeklys, big name shows, burner theme camps, netradio, and Ideal was in charge of legendary 88.5 f/m DNB radio show Subterranean.
2. Can you each tell us about your dj name and what it means?
Kujo: I grew up a huge horror movie fan, and one of my favorites was the movie Cujo. My drum & bass tastes early on were super dark and heavy so I decided to take on this name. The only problem was there was already a dnb artist across the pond that had put out of few things under the name Cujo, so I got lazy and changed the spelling.
Nano: I actually struggled with this a bit when time came to put a moniker on paper. I think that was back in 2000? I wanted it to reflect the futuristic and synthetic vibes of of techstep and neurofunk at the time - something that I'm still very passionate about, and precision which I tried to infuse into my music and my sets. I thought "Nano" captured that, despite being a bit random and somewhat of a contrast to my appearance
Ideal: In 2000, I was a dj in training with no name, opening my mind to be inspired. I was riding to college classes on MARTA and a construction worker on board had a metal device on his toolbelt that said "Ideal" in big bright silver embossed print. I juggled the word about and liked it. Ideal, as in idealistic, holding my art to a high standard. I deal, as in, "shit happens, and I deal with it. I cope." And then there's the 3rd Eye deal. A metaphysical I/eye opening experience of cosmic consciousness.
3. What was your favorite event that 180 did during its time as a dnb promoter in Atlanta?
Kujo: This is such a hard question. We had so many great events (not to toot our own horn). Spor’s debut in Atlanta was one of them. He played to a jam packed purgatory crowd that went absolutely insane. He ended up setting a speaker on fire. Raiden on 3 decks was one of my favorite DJ sets. Hardly anyone came to that one. If I had to pick an event as my favorite, it would have to be our hometown heroes: Evol Intent (Live).. I’d never seen an entire drum & bass set played on actual instruments. Drum & bass fans that missed that show may never see anything like it again. It was truly a legendary performance.
Ideal: My favorite event had to be the Evol Intent live show. It really was the most creative use of computers, samples, live instruments, and pure energy I have ever seen and heard. Honorable mentions to LTJ Bukem and Conrad, who I had the pleasure of driving around and getting to know, and open for twice.
Nano: That would be the Evol Intent Live show, hands down. It was a good bit of work to prepare for, but it went off smoothly, and the vibe was thick enough to cut with a knife! I hadn't seen anything like that before or since, and to me it's still one of the most memorable events I've ever seen!
4. In getting prepped for the reuinion show @ Torch, what sort of newer dnb have you discovered?
Nano: I definitely found artists I was unfamiliar with before - Neonlight, Signal, Mizo. I'm not sure I discovered any new subgeanres, but I did notice some changes in general. Since I shop online for digital stuff (Beatport, as I guess most do now), I see the volume of releases is definitely increasing, while the overall quality is decreasing. It's unfortunate, but I think it's just a mathematical inevitability. I noticed that neurofunk is still alive if you look hard enough, liquid is doing very well, and techstep/hardstyle (or whatever it's called now, haha) has a lot more distorted bass than ever before. I guess that's the also inevitable evolution of sound for you, and you gotta roll with the punches.
Kujo: I’m digging the stuff coming out on Viper. ShockOne, The Prototypes, etc. Being a vinyl junkie, there aren’t a lot of options out there right now besides Jungle, that’s about all that’s being pressed. In that arena, Jungle Cakes is putting out some great stuff.