Interview with THE DJ PRODUCER
Luke McMillan aka The DJ Producer over the last 15 years has become a household name with UK rave music. From his early releases on Storm, Skrewface and the immortal Deathchant right up to this year's releases on The Third Movement and his own Rebelscum, you know a Producer track is always going to be special. Previous collaborations include tracks with Manu Le Malin, Hellfish and more, a tribute to his varied musical production. Over the years he's played everything from hard techno to drum & bass, Dutch new style to Deathchant and speedcore to Mongolian flute music (ok the last one isnít true). A true rave legend and a pleasure to watch on the decks, itís the west country superstar The DJ Producer. DJ Thumpa kindly took the time to ask him some questions for scottishhardcore.co.uk
First of all thanks for doing this interview. Over the last few months youíve had a lot more exposure with releases on Killing Sheep and The Third Movement etc. How far away is The Producerís world domination?
I am not sure I can answer the World Domination Bit, but I have had a string of quite big releases recentaly after a quiet spell and now I seem to have gotten back into the swing of things again, I'm definitely gonna be putting it about a bit again. I Already have another 2 EPs along the way soon with Third Movement and I am on the brink of doing a brand new Deathchant EP as well.
Your track on Killing Sheep is a step in a new direction. Is there more hard D&B to come? Is this a scene that youíd like to get more gigs in or is it all hardcore?
As I see it, "Obituary" was not a new direction, but just a return to roots. I've always been a fan of D&B, I did a few records in the late nineties under the Pseudonym of Suspicious Circumstances (High Octane Recordings) + The Coalition (Hard Leaders). As I've really been re-studying D&B over the last 4 years and have really gotten big kicks out of the new super hard side of Drum and Bass and I thought it fitting that I do something on one of the more underground labels. And Killing Sheep also has deep connections to the old Newcastle Hardcore scene so it seemed relevant that I put something out with a crew who really understand "core" mentality. Dont get me wrong though-- I did this for Music's sake-- Not to gain gigs or respect from within other genres, just because I Like what I like and sometimes you just have to break away from what you usually do.
Your bookings have taken you all over the world. Where have you been in 2007 and what has been your favourite gig this year?
I've done so many gigs this year it's hard to pick one favourite. I've done Montagood festival in Spain, Festival Electro-Clique in France, Defqon Festival in Holland, but I think stand out moments have to be the live sets I played at Astropolis Festival in Brittany and the awesome Glade Festival in UK -- Glade was so awesome because it tested the Human Spirit by ways of the biggest storm in the history of the world falling on us, gig almost cancelled then at the last minute everything was back on - Reconfirmed - and I proceeded to rock the house like I haven't anywhere else for a long time -- Totally awesome
The techno rooms at big English raves like Uproar & HTID are getting more rammed each event with harder and harder DJs like Akira, The Outside Agency and loads more. Do you think the harder sound has finally found its place in the UK rave scene? What kind of style do you prefer when you play to these crowds?
yeah -- Finally -- I have been pushing records by these artists and more for many years so it's good that UK is finally waking up to what has been going on across Europe for the past 10 years and finally bringing some of these dudes over. As for style I simply do what I like, where I like, and just keep it paletable unless its seriously going off-- Then I'll start pulling out the harder stuff : )
It's been another good year for Rebelscum with tracks from yourself and Torsion & Fear Engineer. Whatís next and what happened to the Ltd Edition duffle bags?
Who Knows what's going to be next ????? Until I hear that dynamite EP from whoever it may be- the plan is - There is no Plan : ) We have some new stuff -- Don't you worry -- The bags are on Ice - Change The Subject.
Matt Green and Deathmachine have been dabbling with dubstep. Any plans for this kind of stuff from yourself?
No... I Like it as a genre to a degree... But ive recentaly discovered that if I listen to more than an hour of it my Brain starts to switch off. I like fuking drumz man.. Loud and proud... But Dubstep just aint got enough Drumz.
Deathchant Records had a massive impact worldwide on hardcore techno. 10 years on it is a legendary label, did you know at the time what it would do for this music?
I knew we were doing something different for sure, but I wasn't really aware the Impact it would have globally. I think being unaware of creating something went off the way it did was pretty cool. All me and Hellfish were doing was just battling each other. He would put a record out an I would be like "yeah, that's cool" and then I would go back to the studio and just try to better it. It was B Boy battle-pure and simple, so with each release it slowly got more edited and technical. And its these basic elements that formed the sound of the label. Period.
How do you go about constructing a remix? Your remixes on labels like Genosha, Mokum and Industrial Strength have been well received, what do you look for when doing a remix
I Just concentrate on the elements that I like in a track and try to embellish on them--- I will always get rid of what I don't like and normal practice will be to add breakbeats and stuff just to give it a touch of my identity. I think if your gonna do a remix, you gotta let people know It's you, and this is what I try to do.
It seems that, unlike UK hardcore, most Djs prefer vinyl or playing off laptop. At North in September you played a set off Ableton, can we expect any more laptop sets from you?
Like I said at the start, some of my most enjoyable sets this year have been with Ableton Live.. It's just so amazing. A friend of mine recentaly said I would be better off learning something like that because he thought that there was not much left for me to simply mix 2 records together. (Which I seem to have mastered many years ago :-) With Live you can play any track, with any other track regardless of BPM and also the inclusion of being able to mix vocals, loops and one shot hits while your mixing maybe 2 or 3 tracks together almost puts you in the realm of a live remix which is very exciting to me.
Hardcore techno is truly worldwide these days. Which producers do you look out for when buying/receiving new material? Do you still buy records?
Sorry mate - Hardcore Techno has been worldwide for 15 years - It's just the UK have now finally woken up to its Europe / Worldwide Influence -- Yes I still buy records - but only the ones that I didn't already receive on CD from the producer themselves!!!! I'll keep my favourites close to my chest though -- Don;t wanna bust out too many trade secrets- Do we????
Is there anywhere in the world you would like to play and haven't had the chance yet?
No--- I'm back off to Australia at the end of November to do gigs in Melbourne and Sydney--- And I come just in time to play on the Thunderdome 15 year anniversary party which is almost a bigger deal than going to Australia!!!!! So with things like that going on, I honestly want for nothing.
Youíre playing at Twisted & Brainfireís Birthday Bash on 31st August alongside Mindustries and DJ Mad Dog. Do you play any different for the Scottish crowd? The Scottish ravers are known for liking it harder, is this still true?
NO--- I Play what I Play Yes - Scotland did fall of the scale big style for a bit, but it hasn't taken them long to get back into the swing of things. .. and as my set consists of virtually all styles of Hardcore from Slow Industrial 140bpm all the way up to 250bpm mindrot, I think if you're gonna truly represent hardcore Techno then as a DJ I love to find space to play it all-- and this also gives way to the Dj being able to create a journey from the slow dark depths all the way up to floor smashing Insanity.. and not many musical genres will let you do that any more.
Lastly, will you still be banging out the hardcore in 10 years time and will Scorpio still be wearing that cap?
I've been hard to the core for 17 years now. I guess another 10 won't kill me. As for Scorps- You'll have to ask him that.
Interview courtesy of DJ Thumpa
© August 2007 scottishhardcore.co.uk - No un-authorized nicking
For all things to do with The Dj Producer check out www.myspace.com/thedjproducer