dj raggs

5

SOLO PRODUCTION & SOUND ENGINEERING

I was in my first band at 14, and was introduced to recording studios at that age.  I was also introduced to sequencing and electronic music production at that age, and have spent thousands of hours sat in studios watching learning and eventually co-producing.

The main stay of DAW production was taught to me by Nathan Lockett who is responsible for many huge UK Garage underground hits, and I attended sound engineering/music production courses at Goldsmith’s University, South Essex College, and Sub Bass Academy.

I have had various releases in UKG and dubstep as a co-producer, however it has taken me many years to translate my musical skills into the technical language and physics of sound engineering.  It has also taken me many years to build my studio.

I have always wanted to be a DJ who not only has the skills only hard work and experience can yield, but who also has a raft of independently produced intellectual property under her belt, and I have now (finally) begun to upload some of my solo projects to soundcloud and am really excited about all the music I plan to make!

Many thanks for all the tremendous and enthusiastic support I’ve had from colleagues and listeners with my production work: I hope you enjoy my music.

RAGGS

http://soundcloud.com/raggsmusic

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW - DJ MUGGS – CYPRESS HILL – SOUL ASSASSINS TOUR – LONDON 2011 http://www.soulassassins.com

So I caught up with Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs before the London leg of his Soul Assassins European tour at the Jamm in Brixton, where he was performing a unique dubstep set blended with hip hop and a melange of dance music as part of a dubstep V hip hop night in Brixton. 

 Gresh from Copenhagen and en route to Paris on his twelve country European tour, as a life long hip hop nerd I was fascinated by his interest in dubstep:

“I’ve heard that you’ve turned to dubstep?”

“ I LIKE DUBSTEP!” he grinned! 

Muggs is due to release a bass music album on Soul Assassins in January, and his European tour featured a mash-up set in with as much dubstep as his audience will take:

“… Yeah I think generally they come because they know me for my hip hop and they want to come see what Muggs is doing then I mix in the dubstep. “ 

Muggs recently collaborated with Bambu de Pistola on a dubstep release featuring Dizzee Rascal , Snap Your Neck Back http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51OiSNOv0Sg

 that premiered on BBC Radio 1 with Zane Lowe, and will feature on the Soul Assassins album out in January entitled ‘Bass for Your Face’. 

“ ‘Bass for your Face’ is dubstep/bass music – anything with a lot of bass  - I bring enough hip hop into it so the fans walk away happy!  The stuff that I like with dubstep is the stuff that I know hip hop kids would like- I still bring my hip hop energy into whatever I do.” 

The buzz about Muggs’ London date had been rising steadily over the preceding weeks where key London talent from the worlds of hip hop and dubstep were set to go head to head on 9th November at the Brixton Jamm (Muggs, DJ 279, Sarah Love, Snuff One, Caxton Press VS Chef, El-B, Crazy D, Rod Azlan, Cotti, Enme, Raggs).  Due to technical issues Muggs was unable to appear on Get Darker, about which I quizzed him and it was evident that he fully comprehended the pivotal underground promo offered by GDTV and was genuinely gutted to have missed playing in what he rightly saluted as “the home of dubstep”…  However the crowd in attendance at Jamm was more than ready for his dubstep selection, and they weren’t disappointed.

Muggs’ set had a driving bouncy vibe and his wild skills, switching from the coldest hip hop breaks to the filthiest dubstep beats & bass, to thrash metal, to rowdy ska and back to tropical 4/4 dubstep.  As predicted, dubstep made up most of his selection, and despite having a prevalent set of angry mid-range sounds to suit the crowd, the other frequency ranges were fully on point.  I was pleasantly surprised on more than one occasion during his set to feel drum thuds and bass oscillation wriggle up through my leg bones, and got thumped in the chest repeatedly by some terrifying subs.  The levels on production were hardly a surprise from a living legend of hip hop - the message that his sound is evolving very firmly in the direction of dubstep was delivered like a shot in a face.

 He finished up with an impeccable throw-down of hip hop classics such as Rob Base & Easy E “It Takes Two”, Run DMC “Walk This Way”, Cypress Hill “Insane in the Membrane” and brand new dubstep including his new collaboration with Dizzee Rascal, and Itchy Robot’s remix of “Rock star”. 

 I was curious to see how the hip hop element would respond to the dubstep weight in his set, as the crowd was easily 50/50 hip hop/dubstep fans, however the integration of the genres came off seemlessly, and the subs and aggy energy were clearly more than enough for a heavyweight rap crew!

 Muggs has been working alongside Itchy Robot, 6Blocc and a host of other dubstep artists in addition to his collaboration with Dizzee:

“I do albums for different reasons, but I make sure I do a hip hop album every year and a half – I been doing a lot of underground records lately, and when I do those I use different MC’s and introduce myself to a whole new fan base so there are kids that are sixteen years old who don’t have a clue about the impact I made when I came out with my first record, so it’s cool.”

Muggs’ ethos about his music, about hip hop, and producing dubstep is relaxed and realistic.  He has nothing to prove musically or in terms of success, has a wealth of experience in the music industry and a healthy attitude to progressing his sound:

“So it’s about a sound, it’s more about the kind of energy I’m bringing.  Dubstep is huge in the US – the bass music scene is massive it’s getting bigger than rock, getting bigger than hip hop…  For now it’s all about collaborations – I’d love to collaborate with more dubstep artists - I like simplicity in music – that’s why I like James Brown – you got a groove a break a groove a break – I like songs I like putting vocals on things – things that will stand the test of time are gonna have melodies on them – things that are familiar.”

So watch this space, as well as his usual hip hop output of an album every year and a half, we can now expect to hear cult classic “Insane in the Membrane” getting the dubstep treatment by Muggs and his associates, alongside countless other dubstep creations.

Many thanks to DJ Muggs, Brixton Jamm, and Blitz UK for this interview.

DJ Raggs