Tomorrow, for the 4th edition of our Jungle/Hardcore event series in Manchester, we're welcoming an absolute legend, a man responsible for so much musical history that followed him...DJ Slipmatt!
Ahead of the event, we jumped on the blower and had a quick natter!
What was your first experience of a proper rave?
Probably 1988 at Camden Palace in London. It was a club venue (now called Koko) but one of the first places I remember where the DJ played underground House & Acid House. From there it was London Astoria, Dungeons, Labrynth plus other parties including Raindance in September 1989 where I played my first DJ set at an outdoor illegal Rave.
How have your raving and DJing experiences been in Manchester?
Manchester has always been a great experience for me. My first Manchester gigs were Slipmatt & Lime parties with Clash which was at The Hippodrome in Middleton organised by Jay Wearden & Co. Since then I’ve played many amazing venues and events including Bowlers, Step Back at Music Box and the University, and absolutely tons more over the past, nearly 30 years.
What’s the fondest memory you have from up North?
When I first started travelling up north for gigs it did feel very different in a lot of ways, culturally and especially musically. But as the years have gone on I feel at home up north these days, so my fondest memories are now spread far and wide across the UK, even across the World.
What about the best moment of your entire music career?
A big highlight was in April 1992 sitting in a Hollywood hotel room with the SL2 crew (Lime, Jay J, Kelly & Jo) and getting a call from Nick Halkes at XL Recordings telling us we were the midweek No.1 in UK National Charts! We ended up going to No. 2 and staying there for 3 weeks.
Another great moment was supporting and taking over from The Prodigy minutes after they left the stage on NYE 2013 at O2 London Arena, and finishing the night off with MC Jay J playing to 20,000 people…I also played to 25,000 at Glastonbury back in 2011.
What are your thoughts on the future of rave music and party culture in the UK?
The true Old Skool Rave scene is becoming very niche, however there’s been another huge expansion of late with the rise of Drum & Bass as well as a massive new wave of House and Tech House with an older following who have done the family thing and are out raving again….maybe just not every week. For me, the future Rave scene is very healthy with nearly 100 gigs booked in for 2020 already…
Who are your favourite new age jungle and hardcore producers?
Have always liked Modified Motion, and I maybe hooking up with Zinc in the coming months for a project (probably not D&B though). Hardcore-wise, it’s great to see Dougal, Darren Styles and Gammer all out there making great music, travelling the world still and doing so well.
Favourite Hardcore track from 1992?
Always get asked this and it’s a toughie. Stand out tracks for playing out were:
What do you reckon would win in a fight - Fantazia or Dreamscape?
Both absolute monster raves in their own right.
Dreamscape was more regular with their club night at Milwaukee’s from 89-91 and then filling The Sanctuary with 1,000s of ravers many times over. There were a few big one-offs. Dreamscape’s creator Murray Beetson sadly died in a car crash in March 1996 (Rip). He was such a clever entrepreneur I truly believe if he’d carried on with Dreamscape it would have kept growing in to a huge worldwide organisation.
Fantazia held same huge parties from 1991, not as regular as Dreamscape but definitely bigger, and they kept going for many years with major involvement in the 90s House scene, the dance music business and have held big revival events right up until recently.
SEE YOU FRIDAY!