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TAYO interview


  TAYO

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South London, many years ago... three relatively unknown producers/DJs named Tayo, Rennie Pilgrem and Adam Freeland, join together to share their love of beats with their friends, throw a weekly party at Friction, "which not only put breakbeat on the map but also gave it a home."

Tayo continues to breaks beats and barriers, proving that he cannot be branded with or simplified by one musical genre - not in his radio shows on Kiss100 and the BBC, nor in his club sets or releases. On his Fabriclive 32 mix CD, Tayo flexes his sharp taste in music to show how, in one way or another, every track is laid out on a common ground and stamped with derivatives. Ride the rhythms as he fuses the gutter flavor of Mad Decent, the low-end shudder of Skream and Digital Mystikz and the breakbeat swagger of Deekline and even Tayo's own productions. Tayo stands proudly in the middle of contemporary bass culture and connects the dots – dubstep, baile funk, breakbeat and electro - to form the upfront sound of London's underground!

How was 2006 for you?

2006 was a big year both personally and professionally – I've enjoyed a lot of new music, endured footballing heartache for Arsenal, enjoyed some really good gigs, really good trainers and really good wine! So, hopefully more of the same for 2007.

Having played all over the world, what makes fabric a special place to play?

The good thing about playing at fabric, for me anyway, is the family vibe. I've known all the staff there from when the club started; from Keith the owner, to the promoters (the current promoters are really good friends of mine) through to the door staff, so its always been a pleasure going there to play and its always been a pleasure going there when I'm not working. As far as DJing is concerned, it's the biggest place I can play precisely what I want. There's an underground vibe with a massive crowd here that appreciate what you're trying to do.

What did you aim to do on your fabric CD?

I'm sort of known for a specific kind of breakbeat but on the CD I wanted to show there's a lot more to the sound – breakbeat and breakbeat culture is a really broad term – from dubstep to Baltimore Breaks to Drum and Bass to Hip Hop – that's all breaks – so what I've tried to do on the CD is show what I'm known for but also make some other styles fit in around that tempo – just to try and give a bit of a broader picture. It's all syncopation and a celebration of bass culture basically. That's what I want to hear in the music and its I've tried to do with the CD.

How would you describe a typical Tayo DJ set?

See above really! Bass culture, a lot of dub in there, a lot of energy, a lot of hip hop vocals - just try to keep it moving – always try and make sure the bassline's rolling. That's what gets my feet moving and got me interested in music. I love a breakbeat! I love an old skool break, a Lynn Collins break, I love a James Brown break - I love to hear an amen break in drum and bass. I try to distil all my clubbing experiences into my sets when I go out and play and hopefully get it right.

How much vinyl are you using in sets with other formats readily available now?

I'm still using quite a lot of vinyl, just because I like the feel of it. Obviously you can't ignore the technology that's there and the amount of tracks that I get sent during the week – I can't go and press up dubplates of all of them! MP3s or Wavs on CD mixers give you a lot more flexibility and it would be stupid to ignore the progression in technology but really and truly there's nothing that feels better than the vinyl. There's also nothing worse than hearing a CD skip in a club – it makes me think of a mobile disco! So, up on the technology because it means you can do more with your set, but still vinyl is king!

Please signpost some of your key productions/mix albums/remixes.

My first productions came out on my own Mob label. With Precision Kurtz called "Fire Good. I've recorded a couple of well known singles on the breaks scene for Skint called "Wicked Dub" and "Bloodline Dub" with Acid Rockers – I also record for a label called Mantra breaks in Italy and I've remixed Plastic Dreams, Disco Babes from Outer Space, Rob Smith and a guitar band called Radar. Always dub inflected remixes and dub inflected productions. As far as mix albums go I've done two Y4K albums for a label called Distinctive, done a mix album for DMC called "These Are The Breaks" and my favourite one for a label called Functional called "Beats and Bobs." This is my fifth mix album, and hopefully my best.

Tell us a bit about your show on BBC…

I started doing radio for Kiss. I did 3 years on Kiss 100 every week and at the start of 2006 I moved over to BBC Radio 1 for a show called In New DJs We Trust. It started off as the Residency then became In new DJs we trust. I'm actually about to stop doing that but will be covering more shows for Annie Mac and Annie Nightingale who are on there too. Hopefully I'll be hanging around the BBC for a lot longer!

How is Mob Records going? What are you working on at the moment?

I don't actually run Mob records anymore – I left a couple of years ago. I'm holding back from starting a new label – it seems so fraught with so many difficulties at the moment and I'm trying to concentrate more on my own productions and finishing the long-awaited first album.

How would you describe the state of the British breaks scene?

I think the breaks scene has become a little bit narrow. That's a personal opinion (and more and more people seem to be enjoying it than ever) I just think its gone down a bit of a cul de sac – there's so much music out there but people seem to be focusing specifically on one strain of it. There's loads of good producers coming through and producers that were making it before – I just think people need to open their ears more.

When I was doing tracks for the mix album and I do stuff for radio I hear so much stuff that's supposed to be from outside the breakbeat scene that fits into sets if people open their ears more. So, personally I hope people look further a field rather than just in the obvious places because there's so much good music coming from around the world at the moment and it shouldn't be ignored.

In particular what new scenes or artists are inspiring you right now? Dub/Dubstep?

In the last 18 months or so I've been pretty taken by the dubstep scene – it features a lot of the things I look for in all my music which is a heavy beat a massive bassline and there's a very big reggae influence – its another mutation of the garage sound and that's really opened my ears. Going down to places like FWD, going to DMZ – I'm a massive fan of Digital Mystikz, the Techtonics label, Oris Jay and Tempa. My favourite club anyway is the University of Dub so just going down there and hearing how the bass works with the beats, listening to people like Iration Steppas, Abba Shanti and Channel One has really done it for me. Labels like Rhythm and Sound, new artists like Andy Stott that I've heard on Mary Anne Hobb's show – its been really really exciting. Out of New York there's a label called Drop the Lime – just people are turning up in any genre they feel like and mashing beats up – DJs like Sinden and the "whatever goes" attitude of Diplo has been really inspiring for me and hopefully I'm doing that when I DJ or do my radio shows.

What's next for Tayo, plans for 2007?

The album – the artist album. Everyone always says it - I don't feel too bad as the first album always takes ages! Instead of thinking about it more, I'm gonna get the thing finished. Some really inspiring people have said they'll do tracks on the album, or help me finish it so I'm not going to waste that good will, so hopefully 2007 will see the completed LP. Also in 2007, a lot more broadcasting stuff – I really enjoy it and am looking forward to setting up my own podcast. I do a night called "Cool and Deadly" which is a lot more dub-based and I'm doing a lot more parties and festivals along that line next year so I'm looking forward to that. And – yeah, less talk and lists and more action! That should do for 2007!

Thanks to Mori for this syndicated interview!

:: www.fabriclondon.com ::

:: www.myspace.com/djtayo3000 ::

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