DJ Friction Q&A


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DOA: It's been a bit since we've heard a new mix CD from you. When did you first think about doing a new mix CD for Shogun?

DJ Friction: I've done loads of mix CDs for different projects over the years. I done one for DJ Zinc for his Bingo Sessions, I did one for DNBA and also for Valve among others. I wanted to start my own mix CD series for Shogun, something I could go completely across the board really. I wanted to do something that really represents the label, and the full spectrum of Drum & Bass.

DOA: Is there going to be any running theme or vibes through what could amount to an ongoing series of mixes from you?

DJ Friction: The series can go for as long as it's successful, really; I will maybe do one once a year. I'm chuffed with the reception with this one. I've been receiving good feedback so far! The theme is like I said in the previous question - it will basically be a reflection of the current state of the scene and the direction Shogun Audio is going.

DOA: Are there any differences between the mixing on this CD and what heads might hear from you live?

DJ Friction: The difference between the mix CD and playing live is that the CD represents a proper journey across the DnB spectrum. Playing live varies on the venue really, if I were to be playing a Shogun night I would play really deep, old tunes, with a bit of an older style. If I was playing a rave-type event, I will be playing big tunes with big party vibes! Sometimes it’s difficult to get the whole spectrum of DnB in a set because usually I'm playing for 1 or 2 hours, and I will be watching the crowd, listening to their reaction and judging what I play on that. The CD is different, it is a full representation of what I would play.

DOA: We asked the DOA members if they had some questions for you, and picked some of our favourites out of that lot. You ready for these?

DJ Friction: Of course go ahead!

DOA: Speaking of production, djcable on twitter asked what software and/or hardware do you use when producing?

DJ Friction: I use Logic with a lot of soft synths and plug-ins. I'm really trying to seriously get back into production now. The good thing about technology today is I can start a tune on my laptop somewhere and then take it into the studio to finish.

DOA: You've got a batch of tunes floating about, not only for Shogun Audio, but for labels like Hospital, from what we've heard. Can you break down what's lined up from you, production-wise?

DJ Friction: Production-wise, the track I did for the Hospital LP, "Fired Up" with K-Tee, due out in about 3 weeks, that's going down really well. We made that track with the intention of being designed for a label like Hospital, so it was great when we got it signed, we are really pleased with that one. Aside from that, I've got "Set It Off" with K-Tee, with the flip side "The Bleeps" on Shogun Audio which is due out in about a month. There's more in the pipeline but that's what I've got coming out right now.

DOA: DOA member World Renowned had a few questions for you: do you get more satisfaction out of running your label or from being a DJ?

DJ Friction: Being a DJ is very different form running a label. I'm very proud of running my own label, where we've got it to and how quickly it has risen through the ranks. DJing is an absolute buzz, something I've got to do, and something I can't really live without. I love DJing, mixing, playing music, and creating different vibes out of different tunes. I love playing to a crowd and pleasing them, that's my main thing really, nothing really beats that. I love being a DJ, but I love running my label as well.

DOA: WR also had an interesting two-part question for you; he said that, in the past, you used to run the gamut from the seriously underground tracks to the "most upfront of the upfront", and wondered how you pick your tunes? He also wanted to know if you try to fit lesser-known tunes into your sets, as a way to round out your mixes, or do you select on the basis of what you know will rock the crowd?

DJ Friction: I just work out what I like. I cut tunes, test them out, and see how they mix into sets. Now and again I play tunes that I really like, and sometimes I think about what the crowd would want to hear. I'll try and select tunes for different venues as well, I will look at my schedule for the weekend and a lot of them I'm kind of familiar with most events now, so I know what sort of tunes to play.

DOA: One of the debates, DJ-wise, is the thought of harmonic mixing, mixing in key, etc.; some of the dogs wanted to know your thoughts on the use of software that predetermines the key of a tune.

DJ Friction: I think its definitely an interesting concept, not quite sure how accurate something like that can be, and I'd be interested to find out and see. In my opinion, I don't think there's a better way of knowing how tunes mix together other than mixing them your self and testing how they work together.

DOA: One of our mods, Sable, wanted to know if you found the DnB forums useful for things like feedback, etc., or is it too difficult to filter the praise/critiques from the hate?

DJ Friction: I have looked on forums now and again, often to see what's happening and to see responses to things. I think it's definitely a valuable tool because you get everyone's opinion, people who really know their stuff. Also, I think sometimes people write things to get a reaction, not really giving their opinion, which can cause some controversy! That's what forums are for really, freedom of speech to say what you think. I think for that reason I'm glad that DnB has forums where people can express their thoughts, and it is an important part of music in 2009, I suppose.

DOA: Sable's also interested to find out if there's some piece of art (be it a film, music, painting, etc.) that has inspired you, or just really enjoy? (NOTE this isn't a "what's your favorite tune" kind of thing)

DJ Friction: There are loads of things I enjoy outside of DnB. I love films, I love all types of music, and I don't consider myself to be any different from anyone else in that respect. Funny enough, I was in Bristol the other week and the exhibition from Banksy was on and I phoned Roni Size and asked him if there was a way he could sneak me in, because there huge queue outside!! Had I of given him notice, perhaps I may have gone! I'd have loved to see that.

My big passion outside DnB is my little boy. Something I love to do is watch him play football; even if I've had very little sleep, I will always go and watch him play, whatever the weather.

DOA: Let's get into what Shogun Audio has lined up for the second half of 2009. Alix Perez' 1984 album is on the horizon, right? The last time we spoke, we just got drips and drabs of info. Can we get some idea of what we can expect from what should be one of the more talked about albums within the scene this year?

DJ Friction: The Alix Perez LP, due out in October, is called 1984. I don't want to give too much away; I think people can expect an unbelievable amount of diversity. Some tracks are going to turn heads. I think it's very groundbreaking music, and people will start hearing stuff filtering out from that very soon.

DOA: What was it about Alix' production style or personality that made you get behind the idea of having him do the first artist LP for Shogun Audio?

DJ Friction: The thing with Alix that drew me to his production in the first place was that he had a certain style to him. The main thing is his ability to use samples. It is fair to say that the music he's making now is not as sample-based as when he first made his mark on the scene. The music he's doing now has progressed a lot and is very individual. The thing that really drew me to him is the way he’d use a sample that wasn't the most obvious technique, he'd do something quite different with it. That impressed me a lot.


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DOA: What else is set to drop on Shogun Audio before year's end?

DJ Friction: We've got a busy schedule, so here goes! Next up we have 'Set It Off" b/w "The Bleeps" by myself and K-Tee, which is due for release on 20th July. Following that, we have the Alix Perez remix 12" which features Break"s "Down The Line" remix backed with the Icicle remix of "Stray", due for release early August. After that we have a Break 4 track EP due for end of August, followed by an Icicle EP for September. After that lot is the Alix Perez LP for October.

Beyond that we haven't got firm dates but expect 2010 to be the year of Icicle and Shogun new signings, Spectrasoul!

DOA: Now we have to assume that Friction isn't just going from listening to tunes to signing and spinning them. Can you give us a peek into what a typical day in your shoes is like?

DJ Friction: My days can vary really, weekdays I'm in the Shogun office trying to get into the studio, having a mix, practising, listening to new tracks and conferring with the artists and all that kind of stuff. I go from days like this to manic days like this coming Thursday, where I will be playing at the Shogun night at Innovation In The Sun in Barcelona, coming straight from the decks to fly to London, from London to Miami, and from Miami to Puerto Rico.

The next morning I will fly to LA to do a little tour of America, and then onto Japan straight from there. It goes from normality to complete opposite! One week I'm in the office, picking up my son from school to the next having mad plane journeys. It really does go from one extreme to the other!

DOA: Tom at OsmosisBeats wanted to know what it was like playing back at home in Brighton? How's the reception when you touch the decks?

DJ Friction: Playing in Brighton is such a big thing for me. Every time I play here, I always look forward to it. I love it here. I will never move away from Brighton, I've got a lot of friends here, real true close friends that I've had for years. When I play back in town it is such a great feeling, it's brilliant! I've played in some crazy places in my time, but I always love playing back at home. The reception I get is always really good. I think it's a hometown thing, it gives people an extra vibe knowing that I'm from the city.

DOA: Do you have a preference between vinyl and devices like Serato?

DJ Friction: Everyone knows I play all vinyl. I only ever drop in a CD if I literally don't have time to cut a new tune, but the Serato thing does interest me to a certain degree as I'm sure I've ruined my back from carrying so many dubplates around! It would be great for going on tour, but I just can't get into clicking on a computer when I play, I just love getting out a vinyl and slamming it on the decks. When I first got into DJing, that's when I saw people like Randall and Carl Cox doing it, that's what I wanted to do.

DOA: What keeps you going... is it a genuine love for the scene? The thought of bringing quality music to the people?

DJ Friction: I genuinely love Drum & Bass. I really am obsessed by it. I love the way everyone has so much passion for it and that keeps me going. Going back to the point I made earlier, I can't really explain, I look forward to every weekend and I love playing and doing my thing.

DOA: This might be an odd question, but I'm intrigued to find out the answer: do you have a least favorite release on Shogun Audio? If so, which was it and why?

DJ Friction: I don't have a least favourite release on Shogun, every track I have put out has been part of the journey and the development of it. Some of my favourites are "Let It Happen" by Break, the "Back To Your Roots" remix (which was a big track), and "Think" by Subwave was such a great piece of music, but basically no least favourites - only plenty of favourites !

DOA: Can the Dogs get a current top 10 from you?

DJ Friction:

1. Down The Line (Break Remix) - Alix Perez (Shogun Audio)
2. The Cause - Icicle (Shogun Audio)
3. Get Low - Interface (Audio Zoo)
4. Let It Happen VIP - Break (Shogun Audio)
5. Front To Back - Sigma (Life)
6. Fantasia - DJ Fresh (Digital Soundboy)
7. Set It Off - Friction & K-Tee (Shogun Audio)
8. Riff Raff - Marky & SPY (Digital Soundboy)
9. My World - Noisia (Ram)
10. Now Its Going - Break (Shogun Audio)

DOA: You're going to be touring in support of the mix CD, right? Are there any dates in particular that you can’t wait to get to?

DJ Friction: Yes I will be touring for the CD, I've got loads of UK and European gigs forthcoming plus I will be going to Japan on tour in a few weeks, following that I'm off to LA for the Electric Daisy Carnival (which is amazing) and not to mention all the summer festivals! Can't wait!

DOA: What are some of your long-term goals with Shogun Audio?

DJ Friction: I just want to make it a label that people, not just in DnB, but in dance music circles will say it's a great label. I’m very proud of it. We've got some great projects coming up including the Alix Perez album, an Icicle album and a Spectrasoul album. We've got the Assassin mix CD series now underway, the new website coming very soon and our London & Brighton club nights are now in place, so there's plenty going on. I just want it to be recognized as one of the best and historic labels out there known primarily for quality music. The label has come so far in such a short space of time, just under 4 years now, and I feel really positive that we can establish ourselves at that level.

DOA: Do you have any final thoughts or parting shots before we wrap this up?

DJ Friction: Assassin Vol 1 CD is out now. Our first London event since the End closed is now confirmed - Shogun Audio at the Lightbox in London (22 August 2009), which is guaranteed to be absolutely massive! Myself, Alix Perez, dBridge B2B with Instrumental, Break and Icicle - that's going to be very big indeed! Also, keep your eyes peeled for our new website, which should be online shortly after you read this. And to all the dogs... thanks for all your continued support!!


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see he's much better than andy c. not only does he do all the same things as andy c i.e running a label, mix cds, playing out etc but he produces tracks as well and hes a better dj.