Sunday, 22 June 2014

Mr Thing Interview With DJ Getz...

G. How did you first get into music,

 I guess my first exposure to music came form my Mum, She was really into Motown. She used to play Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, George Benson, things like that is what she listened to in the car, so we where out in the car when we where young listening to that. My Dad is not a massive music fan but he's into Pink Floyd and things like that, so I kind of get my Soul side from my Mum and my odd side for Music from my Dad so it kind of helps, it meets in the middle! That was what I was exposed to in terms of older Music that I grew up with, in terms of Hip Hop stuff I heard it at school, and my older Cousin basically had money to buy Records. He would lend them to me and I would tape them, he used to buy all the new releases with his money.

G. What sort of era are we talking,

'86 but I knew about stuff from maybe '84, every week he would send me down another album.
I have tapes and tapes of all the albums that I borrowed back then, I actually ended up getting a lot of my Cousin's records and now they are in my collection.
The day I passed my driving test he rung me up and said my mate has just given me a load of disco records do you want them, I went round there this was 1989, Chocolate milk, Bernard Wright he gave them to me for free the day I passed my test. My first drive was to my Cousin's house to pick these records up, it was a good start!

G. So how did the DJ'ing come about,

That was about 87 is when I started messing about with DJ'ing, I had a stack hi-fi at home that I modified so that I could scratch on it. I learnt to scratch on it, then two of my friends in my town got Memorex belt drive turntables with a Tandy Realistic mixer, thats what we learnt to DJ on.
We learnt quickly that the belt drives where no good for scratching as they would drag so we learnt how to cut on 45's.
We would buy hip hop 45's from Woolworth's and we would do the markets and car boots and look for 7's to cut up, we couldn't cut 12's. A bit later on we figured out you could cut up an an inner sleeve and put it under the slip-mat that helped to cut better, I learnt to DJ like that and then when my local youth club got 1210's it was a sinch! We knew what we where doing as we had already practiced on really awful stuff, my friend Phil taught me how to beat match and my other friend who was also called Phil we would mess about learning to scratch!

G. Shouts to the two Phil's,

Always shouts to the two Phil's, one of them has still go some of my records still at his his house somewhere. This time was probably '88-89 and my first proper gig was in '89-90 at Sevenoaks town hall that was my first paid gig

G. What was the doo ?

I don't even know and I don't know how I ended up DJ'ing there either. I didn't send a tape to anyone or anything, I think I just got asked to do it, and it was good I didn’t clear the floor or drop any clangers. I didn't worry about the equipment I just got up and knew what I had to play, was the end of '89 that was the first proper gig prior to that it was at the youth club every Tuesday.
Around '91 I bought some decks off a guy at school who bought them and got bored of them.
I worked at a supermarket on weekends when I was at school and college, and that was paying for the decks basically, and then it was really really on from there!

G. When did you link with First Rate ?

That was about '95-96, he's Kent as well, there was a whole crew of people in Kent that where doing good stuff like Troubled Children (TRC) the graffiti crew, thats First Rate's crew as well.
They all knew each other and I knew them as well, I was doing hip hop parties in Tunbridge Wells and paul (First Rate) came down and battled me as I was on his turf as it was done back then, he kicked my arse! He knew I had all the records but that I didn't do gigs yet, I hadn’t done anything in London yet, he put me on, took me to brighton and London.
We met with the guys that did the original Scratch night and they put us on, then the whole Perverts thing was kind of born out of us going on record buying trips to the west end to Bongo's which is now Viva hair salon, sad times!

G. So that is when you all linked ? how did the format of the Scratch Perverts come about ?

It basically came from discussions about Dj'ing in Bongo's, it just kind of became a crew it was a very loose crew to start with, I remember doing my first showcase in bongos and I had to play in front of DJ Biznizz and Cutmaster Swift, people I hadn't met and that I looked up to massively, I had tapes of them that I studied hard, Pogo and those guys I used to really really study them!

G. Shouts to the Enforcers! So when did it become practising as a crew and getting down to business,

I didn't know that Tony (Vegas) Dj'd then he went off and won the ITF and it was like what!
I didn't even know, then he would show us new scratches that he had learnt and I was like, I thought he was just a guy that wore desert boots and had a pony tail, I had no idea he could cut like that!

G. And then you would all meet up and jam?

Yep we would get up early in the morning, like when we started doing battles and stuff, and we where taking it seriously we would meet up at Joel's (Prime cuts) House in London.
We would have pretty regimented days of just practising we would stop for lunch but otherwise just practise!

G. Did u know then that you where going for the Dmc's

Yep, it was nice we would help each other with routines etc, I mean Paul (First Rate) to give him his credit he really showed me a lot about how to DJ to a crowd, to make it work for a crowd.
I was very shy and to a degree I am quite quiet but he taught me to look up and to interact with people, he really showed me that side of it, he is the king of that!

G. So the whole of 99 it was on as a crew?

The last part of the 90's was crazy, we where really practising, you know Harry (Love) came up with a lot of the ideas for the team routines, he would come in and sit in on practices with us. Renegade as well he was in the crew too and everyone had input!

G. In summer 99 you won the crew DMC's,

yep end of summer 99 in New York we won it,

G. So the whole of 99 was on lockdown practising for that?

We even took, this was in the days before the mad luggage restriction, it went on amount of bags you could take and not the weight. We actually took decks with us and we set them up in our hotel room, we had 4 decks set up in the room we just cleared everything else out, we hooked them up to the input of a tape radio player just to have audio out, and we daisy chained the mixer's together.
We basically said we weren't going to do anything social until after the battle.
we where there for a week so we had a few days, did the show then had another few days and just went digging hard!

G. What was it like to win it?

It was unbelievable, we didn't know we had won it until the next day, the night had over run so much and we where the last ones on, we had to wait until the following night to find out we had won!


 G. Where heads like who are this lot or where you already familiar then?

 We had a nice little buzz from the ITF battles that we had done as well, we had gone up against the Beat Junkies, it was amazing such good times to have met those people that I still know to this day it was great.

 G. A lot of fun but a lot of hard work,

 So much work to get there but so worth it, I wouldn’t change any of it, I enjoyed the practising it make you disciplined it makes you super sharp.

 G. So you still had your eye in for the 2000's,

 After we broke up at the end of '99 I just decided I was going to do it, I had been touring with DJ Vadim for the Russian Percussion tour. Whilst I was on the road I would practise for a couple of hours every night at whatever venue we where at, at the Sound check. I was always thinking about records and what routines to do, thats where the the You Know My Steeze juggle and the Tribe routine, the Kick In The Door routine they where all things that I came up with on that tour, that I learnt.
You can imagine your sat in a van all day going from City to City, and your listening to music and talking about music with everyone and you get there you just want to make something, your hyped up and inspired, that again was a nice creative thing a very different way of Dj'ing that made me sharp.

G. So it was creative differences that split the Scratch perverts up then?

Pretty much, they wanted to do more dance music stuff, thats not any kind of disrespect thats a fair statement. They where edging towards more Drum n Bass and eventually Dub-step stuff.
It's all good but it wasn't what I wanted to do, it wasn't what Harry wanted to do and you know, it just kind of split up and that was that. It was kind of tricky for a little while I think everyone would agree with that, but its all good now.

G. Similar sort of era to that, 98-99 the whole Mark B era, my favourite Uk era, you where doing the cuts for him how did you get together,

I met him at a club night I cant remember who introduced us, then he rung me up and said I wanted some cuts on this record is that cool. He said we where going to record at Vad's (DJ Vadim) house I didn't know Vad then, he was running Jazz Fudge out of his house and K' Boro was part of Jazz Fudge,

G. And that Was Mark B's own label ?

Yep that was his thing, Marks first 2 records where on Jazz Fudge though.

G. What was the first track you did cuts for him on,

That was on a record called It's Impossible with Lewis (Parker) and A-cyde, it was a Delirious record, really good. I remember the session so well with the OC cut, I can't remember what came next I think it was the Mudfam 12'.

G. Rich N switch!

Rich n switch is such a tune!

G. And they where great times?

They where, the sessions where hard work we where recording really late at night, it was all recored at Vad's, the later Mark B and Blade stuff we recorded at Mark's house.

G.What about new mic order?

Mark rang me one day and said I have this thing I'm doing do you want to come and do cuts for this, and maybe you could DJ for them at shows.

G. Had you heard of Chess and Farms before then ?

I had seen them at Scratch I DJ'd a few open mic sessions and them and Skinnyman would come on the mic, I still have the tapes at home of the New Mic Order Demos.

G. The liquidized language track!

Yep only on the deep concentration album 2,

G. We had that on tape and used to rinse it all the time you went to town on the cuts on that,

there was a lot of scratching on that, they actually wanted more I did a version with less cuts than they said they wanted more on it, have 2 versions of that somewhere.
I have boxes of tapes of those days, I have a real killer remix that Mark did for The Creators of a Consequence tune that never came out, that remix is too much. I remember being so excited when we where doing it, the original had no cuts on, on mark's we put loads of cuts on it I got it somewhere. I had it on cassette for years then I managed to get a copy I wished that had come out.


G. That was a great time for UK Hip Hop, Mark B & Blade got signed, it was a productive time, lots of good music, then straight after that it seemed to die down a bit,

It was really nice for a while, wordplay was going on and people where getting signed.
There seemed to be a lot genuine interest in what was going on at that time, a lot of great records where being put out around that era, I remember Klashnekoff doing Daggo Mentality for the first time at Kung Fu and it was absolute pandemonium in there, the days of kung fu and all of that where great times. Your not going to get that again it was just a one off time, great times, you could play Uk and US stuff and as long as it was good the people where where good.
I remember playing Ghostface's Run down there the day I bought it, and I played it, 3 rewinds, brand new record fresh out the box, how the hell did anyone know that, how did people react to it like that. I haven’t had a reaction that like for a long while for a new record, there was so much good stuff going on at that time.

G. We had a mutual friend at that time who knew Life and Nappa, and I remember we went to life's flat and he played us Daggo Mentality before it came out. We where all in the living room like what the fuck was that, everything has just gone up a notch,

I just did a few tracks for Life which will be out soon,

G. Shouts to Life & Nappa!

All day, they where such a big part of that time as well, I became good friends with them while touring with Vadim.

G. The Millennium Metaphors Album so dope,

You know who played me that first Julian of the Creators, played me a tape of them and thats how I knew of them before I met them. Shouts to Nappa 'cos he's such a good guy and such a good producer.

G. One of our finest for sure.

G. How and when did you link with Yungun aka Essa,

Mid 2000's is when we really started to get down, we met through Harry.
We did a demo of Dancing Shoes a completely different vocal take , then we did Reverse Psychology they where the first two tunes that we done. We recorded them at my old house, then I moved and we where working on our album, which was the Grown Man Business album, we recorded that at various different studios, me and Nick have been friends for a long time now, its probably twelve, thirteen years now.

G. And you still get down now?

Yep, I haven’t got anything on the new album though, it will be out soon on First Word.
Its called The Misadventures Of A Middle man, we are doing a launch at jazz Cafe for it.

G. Give us three of your favourite hip hop albums of all time and why,

Illmatic, every time.

G. Cos its a classic ?

I remember buying it, I remember everything about getting it. Basically I went up to the West End as I did after pay day to get it and I bought 5 copies of it because everyone in my town had given me the money to get it. I bought 5 copies in Red Records which then became Major Flavas.
I walked in and they where playing The World Is Yours, it was absolutely rammed in there.
I just stood there in the shop listening to it thinking this is fucking unbelievable.
They had the album on repeat, I knew the guys and I would buy all the new stuff went back to kent and listened to it so much its incredible everything about that album I love.

I would also say Midnight Marauders same kind of thing, sat in the shop all day and waited for the delivery which didn't come until the week after. Again similar thing hearing Electric Relaxation and that for the first time was insane.
Public Enemy's Takes A Nation Of Millions, Similar situation That was youth club days, my friend had given me a tape of Yo Bum Rush The Show and so I was well into Public Enemy at that time. By the time the second album came out it was fever pitch, I remember everything about it, the live show at Hammersmith Odeon with Dave Pierce when he had the hip hop show, they put the whole concert on the radio and I had it on tape.

G. And 3 non hip hop albums,

David Axelrod's Song Of Innocence, I remember hearing Holy thursday for the first time in about 96, couldn't believe a record like that existed. It's one of the best things I have heard, from that day I was a massive Axelrod fan.

Donald Byrd, Places & Spaces the whole album unbelievable, everyone needs a copy of that you can find it its not expensive some of the best music ever. It's untouchable, I cant imagine how that was for people that where into jazz in '75 when that came out its more of soul album, its a jazz fusion album, the production is amazing from start to finish.

G.You make beats as well, have you always produced ?

I have always tinkered with production, again my friend Phil who taught me how to mix taught me how to use samplers as well, his brother had an 808 drum machine. I found my receipt my for s900 the other day I bought that in '96.

G. you have an (MPC) XL as well I know,

I bought the XL the week it came, out I paid for that with some money that I made for a Sugar hill remix. Must have been '99, I bought it the week it came out in Digital Village got it expanded and everything. I have only recently had to have it serviced.

G. Jazzcat?

Yep, big up to Jazzcat he did a real nice job on it cleaned it all up!

I finally bought an SP 1200 as well, I haven’t done anything with it yet but its set up ready to go.

G. What it's just sitting there!

I have had it on and looked at it and tried to work it out, no ones ever showed me how to use one.
I have been at Harry's when he has been making beats, and obviously Mark uses the SP as well and Julian too they use it just for drums. They both had the same set up, SP-1200'S and ASR-10's, all their albums where made on that, The Creators album, the Mark B And Blade album, Task Force's New Mic Order, Hit Men For Hire all of that, the ASR has got such an amazing sound.
The SP just gives it that, makes the drums sound nasty, its fascinating the ASR I have always wanted one of them as well, oh and Braintax had one too a rack mounted one.

G, so the XL is what you use now ?

Yep just get on it, cup of tea, couple of packs of biscuits, I dump everything in logic to mix I have that on my other laptop. I just learnt how to work that way it works for me, I'm not a very technology guy, I'm from an era where you jam a matchstick into something to make it scratch.


G. So what did u think when Serato and traktor came about then,

Very reluctant, but once I had a go on it properly and learnt it I was very convinced.
As record releases started to get less and less, especially on a big level, it became a nessatie and them the whole luggage situation when you are travelling abroad. Its either take a box of records or a bag of clothes for a month what do you do, take the laptop in a backpack and your done!

G. Your Nerd Mixtape's tell us about them,

Basically My inspiration for those tapes where Kon & Amir, Dj Muro, Jake One & Supreme's Con mens tapes. Just classic breaks, some rare some not so rare, you would be surprised how many of the records on Champion Nerd and that are just pound records.
I wanted to do my own version of those tapes basically because I loved them, I did 5 or 6 of them, I did them as CD's which I numbered and gave to people to DJ's that I liked.
Shortee's got them and Big Ted's got them, the first one's called Break Therapy I think.
I did one with first rate as well called Things First, which was a mix CD we split into two, I did a mix of sample's and breaks and he did a mix of party hip hop. I don't know where my copies have gone I have got a lot of stuff I havn't digitized on CD that I need to go through.
I do plan on putting them all on mix cloud, I want to re master them the first few are a bit ramshackle around the edges, I kind of polished them up as I went a long,

G. Shouts to whoever has copies of the CD's,

I don't know who has got them, no ones ever given me one back so they are out there somewhere!

G. You working on a another one yet,

possibly, we will see.

G. And the last one was Nerd is bond ?

Yep that was about a year ago.


G. Best ever gig that you played,

One of my best gigs I ever played at was my first gig in Sydney with Vadim at this massive venue. The Russian Percussion days all pre Serato, and the week before I left I got a test press of Jehst's People Under The Weather like literally before I went, got to give you this before you go.
It was a staple part of my set the whole tour, basically it was the first record I played when I came on in this place in Sydney, and I mean no one in the place would have heard it as it was brand new and the whole place just went bonkers. The vibe in the place was so good and I enjoyed it so much and I love that, I love that whole kind of feeling from DJ'ing when its just that whole energy in the room and everything is good, I enjoyed that gig so much one of the best we did.

G. And the best gig you have been to?

Tribe Called Quest with Pete Rock n Cl Smooth as the surprise support act, at Kentish Town Forum. Just before Midnight Marauders came out, Pete n Cl did tracks from the Main Ingredient that hadn't came out yet. They did I Get physical and I Got Love and things like that, we where just in the audience like what the fuck. That was the show where Q Tip made a beat on the SP on stage, it was an unbelievable gig one of the best I have been to. Recently one of the best was Nice and smooth at the Jazz Cafe last year, such a good show I had so much fun.

G. What have you got going on now, whats going on with The Funhouse and Thing Thursday's,

I don't know whats going on at the minute, we are all really busy at the minute, Chris (P Cuts) is real busy. I really want to get back on it I love doing it every week, it keeps me sharp coming up with a new mix every week. It's a lot of fun we have a good lot of supporters, shouts to Girl Rainbow, Jen and Bigga Man an all the lot are there every time without fail!

I am doing an album with Parky as well, we have done three tracks we are just waiting to get back in the lab, its all my production. We have a nice chemistry between us, we have similar ideas of how we want it to sound, I'm looking forward for people to hear it. I got some really nice beats in the stash for it, that I'm really happy with.

Im doing BoomBap Festival as well this year for the first time so I'm looking forward to doing that!

G.Shouts to the Boom bap crew!

G. What are you feeling that's out there now,

Step Brothers I cant stop listening to, I have probably listened to it two three times a week.
I cant get enough of it got such a vibe to it, I love they have good chemistry going on there between them , its funny and so good. Piñata is really good Freddie Gibbs, really grimy, no comedy RnB chorus's just super grimy,

G. Any Uk Stuff?

The Verb t album I really like very nice the whole album, I really enjoyed it

G. Anything else, what you listening to in the car,

In the car I have been literally listing to Step Brothers and the Pharrell album.
Absolute polar opposites, Pharrell is so shiny and polished but it's good really good music, he knows how to put a song together.

G. any final words shouts,

Always the Extended players, shout to Essa, Parky, mind always goes blank, Strange Breaks Three comes out May 20th on BBE. Also shouts to the Doctors Order's Crew, Spin Doctor, Chris P cuts, Mo Fingaz, Boba Fatt, DJ Lok and Johnny Roast.

Check out his Crate Diggers episode....


No comments:

Post a Comment