I am a South London based amateur producer and DJ with 20+ years’ experience. I’ve played parties in London, Kent, and Essex.
I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember and my brother and sister, as well as my folks, were a big influence. There was always music being played in my house when I grew up. It would range from metal, to house, to rock, to jazz, to pop. My sister bought me a ‘Rave Classics’ tape when I was 12 or 13 and this cemented my love of what’s now known as oldskool. The tape featured tracks by Acen, The Prodigy, and Altern8 to name a few. I also remember an ‘Essential Hardcore’ album my bro gave me which had SL2’s ‘DJs Take Control’ track on it, which I played non-stop.
I’ve been mixing since I was 14. I saved up for a pair of belt drive SoundLab DLP1s for about 6 months whilst a mate of mine waited patiently before selling them on! I then got a set of Technics a few years later, by which point my love of vinyl and record shopping was already well bedded in. I think the inspiration for getting started was seeing the DMCs and thinking ‘I want to do that’. As soon as jungle music and D&B started bubbling out of the hardcore scene on labels such as Suburban Base, Reinforced, and later Metalheadz and Ram, a lifelong obsession was born. My first D&B nights were at Atomics in Maidstone, Kent, Innovation at Bagley’s, and Valve Soundsystem at Brixton Mass in the late nineties.
D&B is where my heart is and I play everything from techstep to liquid, but I do love music from all genres. I have a reasonable old school hip hop record collection. Recently I’ve also been dabbling in tech and deep house since it’s easy to experiment on digital, and less financial commitment than vinyl. My preference was always to spend my money on D&B vinyl back in the day!
I went to Colchester University in Essex and that was the first time I ever DJed in a club. I also played a lot of free parties out that way, including outdoor efforts where we’d cart the generator, speakers and decks out to the middle of nowhere and hope not to get shut down (which happened a few times). We were sweet with the security at the uni though, so got away with some great parties on campus.
As well as DJing, I love producing. I’ve yet to have any releases but I enjoy doing it regardless and have had a few tunes played on the radio and picked up by bigger DJs. It’s undoubtedly my favourite hobby and I’m always pushing to try and tighten up my production. I make anything from lo fi hip hop, to house, to techno, to drum and bass. It’s all dependent on what I feel like at the time.
Cutters Choice Radio is the only station I’ve DJed on but I’ve played numerous parties, pubs, and clubs over the years. Many of which are sadly no longer with us. In London these include Corsica Studios, Fluid, Annexo (next to Turnmills), Jam in Shoreditch and The Dog Star in Brixton. I’ve played a good few times in the past with Fleabag (fellow CCR DJ) and he’s the one who gave me a shout at the start of lockdown to see if I could do a show which has now become a regular thing. It’s a really good excuse to hunt down the best new music and output it in a considered way as opposed to just ‘having a mix’. It’s also a really nice thing to focus on whilst the world is going crazy with Covid!
My show is called The Shifty Beats Show, and is 6pm til 8pm every other Sunday. It mostly features new D&B releases but I could also do the occasional label or artist special too.