Two DnB veterans talk shop.
A fixture on two of Drum n’ Bass’ most seminal labels in Renegade Hardware and Metalheadz for many years, Loxy is an amabassador for the genre all around the world. Involved from the start, he’s constantly sought to push the sound forward whilst always maintaining a key sense of history. Either with regular collaborators such as Ink and Keaton, or by himself, Loxy has continued to drop dancefloor artillery on labels from the full spread of the DnB spectrum. Also in charge of two labels, Cylon Recordings and X-Tinction Agenda, Loxy has an appetite for DnB that’s simply insatiable.
Affectionately dubbed ‘The First Lady of Drum n’ Bass’, Storm was instrumental in establishing Metalheadz as the scene’s leading label. Alongside close friend Kemistry and Goldie, she recruited artists, promoted the label and oversaw the legendary Sunday session at Hoxton’s Blue Note, all whilst developing a reputation as a highly skilled DJ alongside Kemistry. The paid would go on to tour the world, and in 1998 they submitted a highly acclaimed mix as part of !K7’s ‘DJ-Kicks’ series. Then less than a year later – at the high point of both of their careers, Kemistry was tragically killed in a freak accident. Eventually finding strength in DnB, Storm pushed on – intent on spreading the legacy her and Kemistry had worked hard to build. Now with a show on Rinse FM as well as a steady stream of gigs globally, she continues to represent the music that she loves.
Before they play back to back tomorrow evening as part of S.P.Y’s Room 1 take over at fabric we got together with these two soldiers of the scene to see what they had to ask each other. Read on for a discussion of where Drum n’ Bass is at right now, marathon sets at Blue Note, and memories of Kemistry 15 years on.
Storm Interviews Loxy
Storm: Why Drum n’ Bass?
Loxy: (hesitates then laughs) The way it started it wasn’t Drum n’ Bass when I got into it, it was like Acid House. So its was kind of a progression more than anything. It kind of stormed into Drum n’ Bass and I just went along with it.
Storm: Now through many evolutions of different music – Dubstep, Grime and all that, what do you think it is that’s made you hang in there with DnB?
Loxy: For me personally it seems the foundation of all those styles. The room that I have to be creative within Drum n’ Bass is very vast, whereas I feel other genres are a bit constrictive with where they can go. Drum n’ Bass though has got all kind of influence, its endless.
Storm: Its like you say – coming from the first DJ’s mixing House with Acid and Techno, I think it did form that kind of thing where you could put anything you wanted in to Drum n’ Bass.
Loxy: Exactly, and for me the freedom of being able to do that meant I could sit down and watch a movie and get inspired to make a track, or hear some old Funk and Motown or whatever, so I can just draw different things from different areas.
Storm: How did you feel the first time you played at Bluenote?
Loxy: Really good, because for me it was a dream to be part of the crew and everything. Playing there it just felt great to be involved and it was something that I’d worked up to. It was like I’d found my home because obviously the way I played was a little different from what you would hear in clubs at the time.
Storm: When I was with your friend Ink at Rinse FM a few weeks back he spoke about the time you had to play all night at Bluenote – how was that?
Loxy: (laughs) Unexpected, but its always something I can bring back up and say, ‘I’m the only person that played the whole night’. Every time someone would come up to me and say, “the next DJ has car trouble, I don’t think they’re going to make it”. I had a lot of tunes in my bag and it was like someone had just given me a Christmas present and said, ‘here you go, just go for it’. It was a great experience.
Storm: Another question along those lines – scariest set you’ve ever had to play where you felt nervous?
Loxy: I’m pretty much nervous everytime I play. I don’t know why but I get anxiety before playing – all the time.
Storm: I think you’re a little bit like me in that way – I see your DJ face before you play, you don’t want anyone to talk to you. Its about ten minutes before when you see me huffing and puffing and if anyone tries to talk to me I give them the most blank expression like, ‘don’t talk to me, I’m thinking about my first two mixes’.
Loxy: Some people mistake it for being rude, but its not. Its just that the anxiety comes and you’ve got to just put yourself into that zone. It means you’re taking it seriously.
Storm: My last question to you then is what can S.P.Y and the rest of us expect from you on August 1st? Because I’m scared (laughs)
Loxy: Some classics I guess! Some nostalgia and some tunes that people will definitely be excited to hear again.
Storm: And are you excited to be playing?
Loxy: Of course, and I’m playing back to back with you – I think its the first time we’ve ever played back to back.
Storm: I think it is and I really have big up S.P.Y for booking us. Its been great to watch him grow to this point and him booking us now is really quite exciting. He’s turned out to be the genius I think we all thought he would be.
Loxy Interviews Storm
Loxy: Alright, so you’ve been into the music for a long time like myself – what do you think of the current wave in comparison to how it used to be?
Storm: Well I have to say recently in maybe about the last three months, we’ve seen quite an exciting time. I think for the last couple of years there’s been a lot of mid range bass going on and tunes that sounds quite similar to each other. You’re like me, you come from time where you could put together pretty much anything that you wanted – and that created quite a lot of drama and it had a lot of character.
In order for me to do a set in the last three or four years I’ve had to really hunt down a lot of different types of Drum n Bass to make the Storm light and shade, the rough with the smooth, which was one tag that people always gave Kemistry and Storm. I found that really quite hard to do, I think now that kind of sound has had its day. Unfortunately, as you and I know Loxy, when a sound comes along people tend to follow it. For the last few years new producers have been kind of swayed by that and they think its the way to go. We’ve had it with Pendulum, Bad Company, Ed Rush and Optical – people try to be them.
Loxy: Right this a question that gets asked a lot, but what is your favourite place to play besides Blue Note and Leisure Lounge – basically your ideal place to play that can be anywhere around the world?
Storm: I love everywhere I play but I have to say Pressure in Tubingen, Germany and Hardedged and Recycle in Berlin. I have been playing in both these places for 17 years firstly alongside Kemistry and then by myself. So not only do I feel comfortable but also I have always had the joy of playing long sets and the DnB crowds that come along have never let me down and vice versa.
The promoters and crews in each place have become part of my DnB family. They are my friends and they supported me and believed in me through my tough times after Kemistry passed, they experienced my journey with Kemistry and without, and all these facts equal a freedom when I play which is a DJ’s dream which has a parallel with the Blue Note.
Loxy: The music right now seems to be heading back into a very healthy phase what do you think about the musics future and where it will go?
Storm: DnB will always be a roller coaster as its DnB music, but that’s what keeps it exciting. the believers as you and I are, stay with it whatever state it is. DnB is still here and surviving very well and each year a new set of producers and DJ’s come along and we embrace the new change as the scene evolves. Sometimes it’s a bumpy ride but we love it.
Loxy: Ok so I know you and Kemi dabbled production wise with the Reinforced guys on ‘Enforcers (Volume Seven’, with the track ‘Signature’- do you have any plans to step back into the arena of production to dabble a little more?
Storm: Never say never…
Loxy: Right for this final question, I would like to know as someone from the world of Drum n’ Bass who has an extensive knowledge of the music, what would you say your 5 most influential Drum n’ Bass tracks are for you personally and why?
Storm: Phew you threw the tough one at me! So this year being 15 years since Kemistry passed I am going to twist this slightly to 5 tracks that make me think of Kemistry.
Tim Taylor – ‘The Horn Track’ (FFRR)
Goldie – ‘Kemistry’ (Doc Scott Remix) (FFRR)
Photek (Studio Pressure) – ‘Fusion’ (Photek Productions)
Capone – ‘Paradise’ (Hardleaders)
Storm and Loxy go back to back tomorrow night at Fabric as part of S.P.Y’s take over Room 2. Buy tickets here.