scottish hardcore

Interview with DEVASTATE





You have been responsible for a hell of a lot of tracks in your time either as a producer, engineer or both, how did you first get into making music? And into Hardcore.

Iíve been into music of all forms since I was a young kid really. My mum and dad are quite diverse in musical tastes, so I was brought up listening to motown, heavy metal, 60ís brit rock, jean michel jarre, mike oldfield, faust and holst etc.

Being an old git, I got into acid house toward the end of the eighties and was already a hip hop fanatic since about 82. Iíve been djíing since about 88 and have played most genres of rave.

I got into hardcore at Kinetic when Jay (Frantic) was playing, he was playing a lot of the dutch and Scottish stuff rather than the uk stuff (this never really grabbed me), the bouncy techno scene had a rawer more edgy sound that I could relate to.

Has it always been Hardcore or do you make any other types of music? And what music have you been listening to lately?

At the minute I have REM on, I love all forms of music. As long as itís good I will like it. I can hate a songs lyrics but still like the music. Iím an analyst or anal-ist in my wifes opinion because I break tracks down and say stuff like I Love the reverb heís used on that snare, Iím a bit of a boring geek tbh.

For the last few years Iíve only been engineering and havenít even got round to doing much Devastate stuff but since I started I have made all forms of dance music and even had Erick Morillo caning one of my disco tracks.

Last year you mixed a CD on new compilation ĎHardcore Re-unitedí and this year your set to do a set for volume two with Scotlandís own Marc smith, what can we expect this time round and how does the CD sets compare to what you would play at a rave?

I donít know what weíre doing yet but Iím looking forward to it. Marc is an absolute legend and as we are both scratch djís (when I can be bothered hehe) I think we may cut it up a bit. Hopefully we will have enough party tracks so we can make it fun with some edgy freeform stuff too.

I play anything and everything at a rave, a lot of people specifically book me for the hardedge sound myself, Marc and AMS were doing a few years ago but there isnít much of that about but yeah, I play allsorts.

If you could change anything about hardcore or Ďthe sceneí what would it be?

I would love more diversity on the big event line-ups like the DnB boys have but I canít blame promoters for playing it safe and at least they are putting new talent on, so there is still talent coming through.

Also I would try and re-kindle hope amongst underground artists as a lot of the stuff out there tries to sound like mainstream hardcore and isnít pushing boundaries. It used to, I used to get all sorts of experimental stuff, Recon has helped mix the sound up a bit though, heís tougher but still accessible. Gammer too, that lad is quality.

And what do you think are the best things about hardcore?

The ravers, I love to see people really getting into the night. The music doesnít really matter on that level as long as the people are enjoying themselves.

Which artists, labels etc do you rate at the moment?

Labels Iím not sure really, canít wait for Notorious again but artists Stormtrooperís firing atm, Gammer, Cube:Hard, Scott Brown (I love how many sukkas), the RBC boys production is always quality and they seem to set the trend for a myriad of young producers to copy hehe, I loved Darren Styles ďJealousyĒ it kind of answered all of the RBC slaters in one hit, Fair play Daz.

About a year ago there was talk of you making your releases available from an MP3 shop, is that still on the cards?

Yeah, I actually finished the site, looked at it and thought it looked more like a trip hop site than hardcore, all beiges and dark colours so Iím going back to it and designing another. In the meantime though I will be putting stuff through Higher Orders shop instead, this should happen in the next few weeks.

You have also been producing breaks under the name DíSTATE, can you tell us more about that?

I love the whole Hardcore Breaks scene (135 - 150bpm), itís so much fun to make, itís got and old skool vibe and really gets the bass bins working.

Some of it sounds like it will fit in with the 1992 style sets but the stuff myself and Darkusís boys have been doing feels old but doesnít sound old, i.e. we donít follow the old arrangement styles and we try to get a groove rather than just a riff to pick it out.

What about THE OUTSIDAZ?

Dunno, Brenden (b-one) got a full time job and a nipper so hasnít been in the studio for a couple of years, since Punk. Bri (Topgroove) has Uprising events on his plate, so there is only me left atm, we still dj out but Bren gets most of the Outsidaz bookings as Toppers and myself get bookings as independent artists.

There will be more stuff but not for a little while, shame really.

And last of all When you are not DJ'ing and producing what do you get up to then?

Iím a dad and that takes up all my free time, well worth it though.


Interview by Al Twisted, May 2006
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