TiD&B: The Conversion ConversationPosted by Lady V on Thursday, October 27th, 2011
With so much talent reinforcing the scene year in and year out, continuing to develop the sound and pushing the genre forward, the focus is often on the new and the fresh, rather than taking a moment to step back, reminisce and remember why, how, when and where one’s love affair with D&B began. So today we launch a brand new weekly feature where we explore just that and delve a little bit deeper, giving you an insight into some of your favourite artists’ most memorable moments, and more importantly, that moment; when they got hooked on the beats, and their lives were to change forever. We present TiD&B’s The Conversion Conversation.
Whether veterens of the scene or newcomers, we’ll find out what their inspirations, motivations and feelings were when they first heard drum and bass. We’ll ask them about the tunes that were key to their appreciation and understanding of the music, with the priority of sharing their stories, music and highlighting just how the sound we champion today has developed over the past two decades.
Kicking things off, we keep things close to home, and reveal a bit more about our very own Lady V and features contributor Gideon Thomas; they step up to deliver their Conversion Conversation…
“Mine happened a little ‘late’ I guess. I’d been to a few D&B parties, often hung out in the second room at garage nights, heard the crossover tracks like Marky’s ‘LK’ and Jenna G’s ‘Midnight’, but had never really paid that much attention to drum and bass. I liked it, but didn’t know anything about it and wasn’t rolling with people who knew either, so I had no interest to specifically find out more.
But that all changed in my second year of uni. After living in Leeds for a couple of months, having transferred university half way through my first year, a friend gave me a ticket for Transmission at the West Indian Center, suggesting we try something different to our usual cheap student nights in the city center, something new. That night changed my life, as I left the dance, overcome with a wealth of emotions which completely transformed my understanding of dance music.
Headlining the main room was Andy C and he played 2 hours on decks set up on a couple of foldable tables surrounded with just a couple of lamps for light. Within minutes, I rushed to the front and stood watching him, mesmerised – I was completely blown away. Firstly, I was gobsmacked by his mixing, and completely baffled by how he was doing it all so seamlessly, so quick, and secondly, the combination of such a powerful, crisp soundsystem making the room shake with every bass note (thanks to Iration Steppas), as well as being surrounded by a crowd dancing manically and certainly not caring about the kind of shapes they were throwing – I was completely in my element. After that, the West Indian Center and Sub Dub in particular, became a regular haunt for me, as I was so desperate to feel that energy again and get that natural buzz from the music alone. I also got my Google on, trying to download as much drum and bass as possible…I wanted to know more, fascinated and intrigued by the different styles I’d found and how they made me feel.
A couple of weeks later, I was talking with a friend who had heard that same set. I remember explaining how there was a tune Andy had played which I just couldn’t get out of my head. It’s intro was creepy and sinister, even though it sounded like monks chanting, and the drums sounded tribal, with a horrid bass capable of encouraging only the foulest of screw faces…it was Konflict’s Messiah, a truly mindblowing track, still one of my favourites to date.” – Lady V
“I remember my intial conversion very well. I was 16, and listening to hip hop, in the main. I was at college at the time, and had a mate who listened to rave music. I knew a little about it, but one day he played me a tape. I think it was probably a Dreamscape tape, but I can’t be certain. One thing I am certain of is that it was DJ Dougal and MC Majika. I’d never heard anything like it, but I was instantly hooked. It was 1995, and from that moment on, I started to listen to, and get into, hardcore and jungle. The scenes had definitely split by then, but we had no trouble listening to both. Musically, I grew up, and both hardcore and jungle/D&B have stayed with me ever since. I couldn’t tell you what was on that tape, but other tapes I had at the time were DJ Sy Kings Of The Jungle, and DJ Hype at World Dance from ’94. A tune from each, both of which I still hear and get chills, and have influenced me ever since:
Omni Trio ‘Thru The Vibe’
Q Project ‘Champion Sound’ (Alliance remix)
I have been into other musical styles along the road, but nothing can replace the spirit of these times to me, and these tunes exemplify everything I love about drum and bass, from 1995 to now.” – GideonAndy C photo by Sam Austin