In the first of a series of entries charting the rise and rise of our peers, Dash & Verve catch up with bass music heavyweight and all round nice guy Brackles.
It’s been five years since Dash & Verve last saw you. What have you been up to since then?
After uni, I started getting into writing music properly, initially for Appleblim who put me in touch with Rinse. That led me to playing at FWD and things kicked off from there: I got a show on Rinse and it’s snowballed from there.
We’ve seen you on the rosta for some big Rinse fm nights and tune into the radio show on Thursdays. How did you get involved with Rinse?
Because I was sending stuff to Appleblim, he suggested I send a mix CD to them and they gave me a set at FWD. I asked the guys at Rinse if I could do a podcast for them and they said ‘you may as well come down and do a cover show instead’. From there I started doing cover shows once a month and when I quit my job I was ready to start doing a proper show [Brackles’ show is on every week, Thursday 3-5pm].
When we used to get you on D&V, you were more juice DJ champ than producer. When did you start producing in earnest and how did you get your foot in the door to produce for labels like Berkane Sol, Pollen, Planet Mu and Apple Pips?
I started taking producing seriously towards the back end of uni. I always knew if you wanted to get anywhere [in the music scene] you had to produce your own music. It’s really hard to break through if you’re just a DJ – there are only a few people who have done that such as Ben UFO, ONEMAN and Jackmaster but even they’re involved with labels so you’ve got to be doing something beyond DJing usually. [Laughing] It’s probably the wrong kind of answer – usually people say I had this great artistic vision – but it was probably because I wanted to get more DJ bookings really.
How did your early DJ career and winning the Juice DJ competition give you more opportunities further down the line?
I was playing student nights at uni. The Juice DJ stuff and playing those gigs was good experience for reading the crowd. Although it was just Hip Hop and R&B…
You used to play a lovely selection of R&B back in the day! What styles do you tend to drop in your sets these days?
When I play out I probably play a bit of house, garage, UK Funky and a bit of grime at the end and maybe some Dub Step. I listen to a lot more than that like jazz, soul and folk – all sorts. I still buy a lot of that on vinyl but it’s not the sort of thing I play out.
Once upon a time, you were after me to buy MF Doom’s Doomsday lp off me on vinyl. Are you still in the market for that?
I think they re-pressed it didn’t they? How much was I offering you then? I’ve got that one now anyway!
Oh well…I should’ve cashed in at the time. What’s in the record box right now?
Anything by Funky Step who’s just had a bit out on Hyperdub. Really feeling Champion and DJ Naughty. Playing quite a lot of stuff on the Eglo label like Fatima and Floating Points. Alex Nut has got another small label called Ho Tep which is putting out some really good stuff.
Have you got any projects on the go at the moment?
I’ve just had a 12” out for Rinse which is a sampler for a producer album I’m doing with them. It’ll be 10 of my tracks so I’m just working towards that at the minute. It should be out in 2012.
Looking back at your time in Notts, what do you remember most fondly about uni days?
I look back on the Lizard Lounge nights really – they were a lot of fun. I went on a bit of a Neptunes binge the other day. Their old productions probably made up about 50% of the sets then…that and Timberland stuff!
Finally, where are you headed next?
We’re building towards the Rinse CD – it’ll be a clean slate for me once that’s out and I’ll be starting on a new project then. I’m playing at the Rinse night on Boxing Day too; they’ve got every DJ playing on the station at that.
So there you have it. Keep your ear firmly pressed to the tinterweb for more on Brackles at the following places: