You are here
Suv, Jaxx & Natty Dub
Exclusive Interview for DNB Muzik - Read Here
Suv & Jaxx have their first release on Natty Dub Recordings 2016. The first track is a reggae-influenced roller entitled ‘If You Know’ which contains a vocal hook from Suv. The second track "Aura" is under Suv's Dope Dragon alias Bigga Star, and a new guise for Jaxx by the name of ‘Spreda’. A relative newcomer to the Drum & Bass scene, Hemel Hempstead DJ/Producer and Label owner Jack Rance aka “Jaxx” is catching people’s attention with his full impact dance floor music.
Jaxx teams up with Suv, a crucial member of the respected Full Cycle and Reprazent stables. Suv has undoubtedly contributed his fair share to the development of Drum n Bass and definitely to the sound of Bristol. If you don't know who he is you only have to google his discography to know. Both tracks will be released on the 4th of April exclusively to Juno. Thanks for taking time out! 1) Can you start off on how your careers kick started with jungle dnb?
Suv: Growing up I was heavily influenced by Street cultures ,The Music , Dance & arts and Films like Wild Styles had a big impact on me. At the time the Americans had the hip hop movement that come from the streets, every one dressed and looked as if they were from the same place, meaning they had very little and creating something they loved doing. The first time I remember seeing Grandmaster Flash scratch 2 records together I was hooked. I really wanted to be a part of this movement and creative energy, so I started to scratch and produce myself.
In the 80’s I was part of a group from Bristol called The Fresh Four (Krust / Flynn / Judge / Liz E & Myself ) and with the help of Smith n Mighty, produced our first record called “Wishing On A Star”, a cover of the classic Rose Royce song, which charted into the top 10 in the UK National charts. The scene was developing and changing at a rapid rate at the time and although we were widely known as a trip hop act, all around us the free party scene was taking off in Bristol and UK (early rave) which I explored. In the early 90”s things were a bit different and going to Raves and Free parties up and down the UK was the thing. It was noticeable a new sound was forming, leaving the rave sound and moving in to what was called jungle techno / jungle music which later developed into drum & bass. Some of these tracks would incorporate the Dibby Dibby rave stabs and then drop with heavy sub bass. I would go away and make my own version of the music without the Dibby Dibby sounds but maintaining the big heavy drops. Working with the old soul and funk breaks I collected from my hip hop days was at a huge advantage at the time, as those break beats over the years have became the fundamental breaks for drum & bass .
Going all the way back to the year 2000 when I was 12 and in year 7 at school, my Dad bought me a electro acoustic guitar which I still own and play to this day. I also learned how to play bass and piano during my school years, when I was about 14-15 me and my good friend Mythz started to listen to his brothers tape packs when we could get the chance. It was shortly after this at around 16 that I purchased my first tape pack which was "One Nation - 1993 - 2003 - A decade in Drum & Bass". Skip forward to the age of 18, I was hooked on the sound of D&B, and went to my first rave on New years eve 07 in Milton Keynes, (Unity NYE @ The Beacon). It was shortly after this and being inspired by the likes of Mampi Swift, Hype, Hazard, Full Cycle, Swan E, Bryan G, Brockie, Twisted Individual, Generation Dub, to name some, I started buying vinyl & promo's with my friend Syndicat & a my own set of technics 1210 Mk3's, within 6 months of beat matching & mixing practice we both had secured a weekly radio slot on PhatBeats where we did are show for around a year or 2, whilst I was also DJ'ing at regular local events like "Contagious" in Herts/Beds. The aim was to always have a my own set up to produce music on and in 2009/2010 I brought a Mac Mini and Logic Pro 9 which I still produce most of my music on to this day. For the next 2 - 3 years it was a matter of getting to grips with my chosen DAW. In December 2012 I had my first 5 track e.p release on Berlin based d rum & bass label - SRBE (Silba Rucken Beatz Entertainment) which is owned & run by Semtex MC. " Jaxx & Mythz - Rainy Daze e.p" - which featured 2 solo tracks and 3 colabs by me and Mythz, 2 of the tracks (Jah Gyal & Rainy Daze) gained some good support from DJ's like Logan D, Complex, Bassface Sascha, Phantom Warrior & more, around this time and with more releases behind my belt is when I started getting booked more in countries like UK, Germany, Belgium, Sweden etc. Berlin, Germany, @ Club Rosi's for Semtex MC's birthday bash 2013, being my first ever paid show abroad. I'll never forget that.
My own label "Train Recordings" had its first release in March 2013. I started a residency at Rough Tempo which lasted around 3 years and I just left in May 2015. You can now catch me fortnightly Sundays on Cre8DnB Radio 6.30pm-8pm, where I do my show from my studio.
2) What music did you listen to growing up?
Coming from a mixed race family I grew up with a wide variety of musical styles being played in our household; David Bowie, Tom Jones, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, James Brown and The Special’s were all regular features amongst others. Each of these artists and styles have had a definitive contribution to the way I hear and make music today.
Before I ever heard D&B/Jungle I had been into a lot of genre's of music from my early years through my teen years, artists like :- Jimi Hendrix , Mobb Deep, Biggie Smalls, Oasis , Snoop Doog , Dr Dre , Eminem, the Streets, Limp Bizkit , Bob Marley, Blink 182, Alexisonfire , The Strokes, Incubus , The Eagles, Led Zeppelin & many more.
3) Can you tell us how you both met each other, Jaxx being from Hemel Hempstead and Suv in Bristol?
Suv: I met Jaxx online a few years back when he sent me some of his music. I really loved what he was doing so we started speaking from there. He later sent me a track called Royal Run that he produced with Mythz that I wanted to sign to my label Playside. Jaxx & Mythz both agreed, which I was very happy with as for me it was a perfect fit for my Playside imprint. From there on me and Jaxx met up and started to work on music of our own and the rest is all soon to be revealed. Watch this space!!! Jaxx: Me and Suv met through social media, Facebook, in 2013. Suv had sent me a message as he heard & liked my music and was interested to hear more.. he signed a track from Me & Mythz called "Royale Run" which is forthcoming this year on his imprint. Playside Records. It was an honour for me and Mythz that Dj Suv wanted to sign a track for his label.
4) Suv, can you tell us what strengths Jaxx has as a newcomer and why you enjoy working with him?
Before meeting Jaxx I was going through a period were I felt drum n bass was turning into a chainsawing competition and I nearly lost my love for making it. Jaxx helped me to rekindle my love of drum & bass. His fresh look on production and what he was making was exciting to me. His ability to produce a hard sound but not to hard that it would make your ears bleed. Jaxx is from a newer digital generation of producer where every things is made in the computer. When I started to make music its was with a Atari ST computer with midi, Cubase, Roland Sampler, Drum Machines and Analogue out boards. The sounds we were using were sounds we sampled or sounds we made ourselves with filters in the samplers. We had to make the first wobble bass sounds and sample breaks directly from our old soul records. Now days you can get sample packs with these sounds in, already boosted, processed and ready to go in your libraries, so working in the studio with Jaxx has been good for me, we help each other as we both come from different generations and sides of each spectrum. Jaxx is like a machine, he has strength’s in areas whether it’s his knowledge of processing kick drums and snares or his understanding of spreading the sound hence the name Spreda. Bouncing of each other is exciting and brings the best out of me. Collaborating brings something out in yourself that you may not normally do. For instance I can send Jaxx an idea that I'm working on, he will listen to it with a fresh set of ears and give me his feed back or have a idea that I may have not heard whilst making the tune myself and vice versa. Working and listening to a track for hours your ears tend to lose the ability to hear things. You can sometimes feel that you could scrap the project when in hind sight all it might have needed is just a different set of ears and perspective on the project.
5) Jaxx, can you expand a little on what it feels like to be working with such a historical member of Full Cycle, a Mercury Music Prize recipient and a Mobo Award winner?
Jaxx: I was genuinely honoured & it is still quite surreal to this day that an artist with so much history behind him and who was a founding member of a label that I look up to so much (Full Cycle) would want to work with me. I never would of thought this would happen when I first started producing my own music. We sit down and work in the studio when we can and over the internet with stems as well. It's been inspiring working with Suv. It's just pure fun when we're working on tunes together and incorporating both of are sounds into the vibe, and we both work in Logic so there's a lot of techniques we can learn from each other. He is one of the most humble guys I know and has become a great friend. That's one of the things I love with music, every artist has there own journey, and along the way I've met some quality people.
6) What DAW are you working on at the moment and any favourite plug ins?
Over the years its changed but I now use logic . No favourite plug ins but I still enjoy the hands on approach using out boards and making one off sounds.
Currently working in Logic Pro 9, I make a lot of sounds from my M-Audio Virtual Analog Synth. There's 2 plugins which I've really rated since the beginning for me, and that come with Logic as standard:- ES2, EXS24. This year I'm currently planning quite a few studio upgrades.
7) How do you feel about the transition of analogue music to digital music?
Suv: Being from a analogue generation where it was a completely different process to make music and you had to have a lot more equipment to do so, I know and love the fact I can reach back to those old methods, my record collection, drum machines or live instruments and bring those techniques and sounds forward into the digital world. I work a lot with real instrumentation, vocalists and session musicians, so coming from this era it sometimes gives my sound a real human analogue feel instead of the so called digital metronome sound.
8) What has been your favourite and most memorable moment in your music career so far?
I’ve have had many memorable moments in my music career over the years so I'll mention some things that have and will stick with me forever. Performing on Top Of The Pops. Having my photo taken by Herb Britz and Gap. Snowboarding in the Swiss Alp’s with Singer Finley Quaye. Playing live on the BBC with UB40 on the Jules Holland Show. Playing live on the Trevor Nelson show to Performing a Flamenco show in the hills of Hollywood. Playing the Film festival at Cannes with Patife. Performing with Reprazent at Glastonbury Festival. Playing at Burning man Festival. Playing in Tokyo, Malaysia, New Zealand, Chile, Brazil, Canada & Honk Kong. But there is one night that stands out from all for me and that was a New Years eve in Exeter in the Cavern, I was playing the Millennium midnight set and dropping Prince’s track “1999”. For me playing to a more intimate close crowd is better than being protected away from the crowd by barriers at festivals where you can't touch fist or come close to the people.
On the DJ side of things.. 3 gigs spring to mind.. my first ever booking in Belgium in 2013 @ Skank N Bass, Petrol club, played to 1500 people, Invaderz on the Beach in Belgium played to 3000 people in 2014, and Wobble Trouble Invites Train Recordings in Belgium @ JCC Zappa. On the production side.. I would say with the track support/feedback I've been receiving from 2013 to 2016 its really hard for me to pinpoint a specific moment, but having artists like : DJ Hype, Logan Dee, Brockie, Ray Keith, Marky, Suv, Bladerunner, Roni Size, Cabin Fever, Voltage, Saxxon, Macky Gee, Levela, Blackley, Semtex MC, Coda and many more showing club & radio support. As a producer, this means so much to me and gives me a buzz like no other.
9) What have been your biggest releases to date for those that don't know?
Here's some of the biggest tracks I’ve produced or collaborated on from over the years:
1989 To 2000
Fresh Four – Wishing On A Star – No10 Uk Chart – Virgin Records
Do You Remember Me Feat Tali – Fullcycle – Blacktambour – V Recordings – Dmc .
Freebeat E.P – Fullcycle
War And Peace With Die – V Recordings
Mine As Reel Time – Fullcycle
Raid As Bigga Star – Dopedragon
More As Realtime – V Recordings
February With Max De Castro – Trama Music (Brazil)
Closer : V Recordings
New Forms Album – Reprazent – Mercury Records
Out Put – Fullcycle
Ready Or Not – Dope Dragon
Parklands – Fullcycle
Man Kind With Die – V Recordings
Desert Rose Album – Fullcycle
Saxy Girl – Playside Records
Soul Power With Roni – V Recordings
Stand By On Stage – Fullcycle
Music First With Die – V Recordings
Making Waves With Patricia Marx – Trama Music (Brazil)
V Classics Album – V Recordings
Dark Angel – Fullcycle
Invaders – V Recordings
Second Nature With Die – Irma Records
Get On Down With Die – V Recordings
2000 To 2010
Inta Outa With Patife – V Recordings – Black Tambour
Continuum – Fullcycle
Feel The Underground With Surge – Playside Records
Rip Curl – Fullcycle
Ghost – Bigga Star – Dopedragon
Bragga Funk – V Recordings
No Holding Back – Wayne Wonder Remix With Surge – Greensleeves – Playside Records
V Beat .E.P – V Recordings
Follow The Sun Album – Black Tambour (France) – Free Beat Records – Playside
Essential – Reeltime & Darrison – Fullcycle
Drum N Bass Fiesta Album With Patife – V Recordings
In The Mode – Reprazent – Mercury Records
Don’t Know Why – With Spoon Face – Playside Records
Slow With Don.E – Playside Records
Alfombra Magica Feat Marta De Pablos – Fullcycle – Black Tambour (France)
Make A Difference With Don.E – Tribe Records
Suenos Diferente – V Recordings
Planet V Album – V Recordings
A Live Drum N Bass Mix – Dmc
Do You Remember Me Remixes – Playside Records
Sahara – Playside Records
Stumbling Block – With Big Bud – Playside Records
Alhambra – Playside Records
Give It To Me Now With Darrison – Fullcycle
Drop The Picture With Patife – Black Tambour (France)
Survive With Big Bud – Sound Trax Records
Sunu Tabla With Surge – Black Tambour – Freebeat Records – Playside
First Verse With Mc Verse – Black Tambour
Rhythm N Bass Album With Don.E – Playside Records
2010 0n ……
Dem N Those Remix – Rockers 175
In My Room Remix – Chinese Man – Chinese Man Records
Retrospect Albums – V Recordings
Ska N Bass – Rokers 175 – Playside Records
Suenos Different – Comix Remix – V Recordings
Whether these are my biggest tunes is up to the listener to decide but If I had to pick a bunch of my own “released” tunes in no particular order.
Jaxx & Mythz – Rainy Daze (SRBE)
Jaxx – Jah Gyal (SRBE)
Jaxx – Born in 88’/Realist – (Train Recordings)
Jaxx – Droppin’ Gems/Wishing Well (Shiftin Beatz)
Cabin Fever – Make Your move (Jaxx & illphaze , remix)
Jaxx – Persepolis (Natty Dub Recordings)
Cabin fever & Jaxx – Numbered (Natty Dub Recordings)
Jaxx – Keep On Rollin’/Mutants/Tropical Storm/Custard Cream (Switch recordings)
Jaxx – Twisted Tones (Cre8Dnb Music)
Jaxx & Syndicat – Humanity/ Couldn’t Harm a fly (Train Recordings)
Jaxx Ft. Semtex Mc – Smoke Sumffin (Katana Audio)
Haj i Ji – Above & below – ( Suv & Jaxx , remix) (OnThePerch Recs)
Jaxx & illphaze – Deadly Dance e.p – (MultiFunction recs)
10) And your favourite?
It really depends on the day and the mood I’m in.
Hard choice as it depends how i'm feeling, but I would say "Persepolis" This track came out in 2015 on "Rise of the Soldiers" album on Natty Dub Recordings, It was the first track that I made in my new studio in 2014, I randomly sent it to Hype one friday night before it had even been signed by Natty Dub. and heard it later that night in his set @ Fabric. Was one crazy feeling being with my girlfriend and friends raving and hearing my tune go off in fabric. I'll never forget that . 1
1) How did you team up with Natty Dub Recordings?
If it wasn't for Jaxx I would not have had the opportunity to link with Natty dub. Alongside his label Train recordings he has been dropping dubs on Natty Dub for a while now. After meeting the Natty dub owners (Cabin Fever & Patman) and listening to their back catalogue it was clear they were a label that was right up my street. After being tired of hearing the chainsaw noise that has been hitting the drum n bass scene for years it was a breath of fresh air to know that there was a label out there that was not only influenced strongly by the Full Cycle & Dope Dragon Bristol drum n bass sound, but who valued what Suv is about and are dedicated to what they do. They are a great bunch of guys and they have allowed me to be as expressive as I choose. They have some great artist on their label and I am honoured to be a part of them.
Me and Sam (Cabin Fever) have been talking since December 2012. I messaged him because I loved the Pure Acid e.p on Grid Recordings and wanted to tell him and also find out the purchase link. I had been sending Sam my music for a while, and was really digging the Cabin Fever/Malachai/Natty Dub sound. It was a really original raw D&B Jungle sound,Full Cycle/Dope Dragon kind of vibes with a nu-skool twist. I didn't ever think it would be possible to release on there as they were primarily releasing there own material on the imprint. Until they done a remix comp for "Cabin Fever - Make your move" - me and my friend, Illphaze, a dj/producer from Milton Keynes, decided we would co-lab on the remix and give it our best shot and a few months later to our delightful surprise we won the comp! Along with another sick producer Version, and the 2 winners remixes were released on Natty Dub.
12) Can you tell people a little bit about the label Natty Dub for those that don't know?
Suv & Jaxx:
Natty Dub Recordings is drum & bass / jungle label run by Sam Cabin Fever & Patman. It's a label with Traditional sounding drum and bass brought forward to this era. They really have an ear for that original sounding D&B Jungle & are a great team and both our sounds fit perfectly in to the mould.
13) There are also some other projects happening with Jaxx that are in the pipeline for Natty Dub, can you expand on those?
Jaxx and myself have been working non stop in the studio collecting and bagging up tracks with some of them tracks made especially for Natty dub, including a track with vocalist Regina Rae for her forthcoming album, but some of the tracks are being held back for WolfClan. You will have to wait and see. Also keep an eye out for a Suv E.P on Natty dub entitled NATTY BY NATURE that will be forth coming later in the year.
This year should hopefully see my 5 track e.p on Natty. I'm working hard in the studio on it at the moment. Suv & myself are doing a track for Regina Rae's album which she will be doing the vocals on the track, also expect more co-labs from Suv & Myself in the future on Natty Dub.
14) When you DJ, do you stick to one sound or do you like to mix it up?
Its very important that when I Dj, I play all aspects of drum n bass. Genres and sub genres mean nothing to me. For me a Dj that play’s one style of drum n bass is limited, and to me it's damaging to the scene. As the music has got harder and noisier due to these kinds of white washed follow fashion Djs, it has also got very masculine and with less girls on the dance floor. If there are girls at your gigs then men will follow. No girls no scene. There are many new comers to drum n bass every year and it's down to the promoter to select the right Dj that will educate the dance floor to many styles of drum n bass, not just one. If the promoter can be brave enough to book what he really feels and likes instead of what he thinks he should book because its trendy we wouldn't have this problem .
For me I really read the crowd whilst performing my live sets. I like to play across the board. I've got d&b for every occasion but generally my sets are more on the heavier side of things. Rollers, jump up, jungle, steppers, dancefloor, but in my head its all drum & bass to me as it was when I first got the bug all those years ago. It's all about the funk! I don't pigeon hole nothing… if it sounds good its good.
15) Can you list your top 5 tracks right now?
Spirit - Spreda And Bigga Star Out Put Vip - Cabin Fever Aura - Bigga Star And Spreda Rise Up The Banner - Jaxx And Syndicat Break Dance - Winga
In no particular order here's 5 favourite tracks of other artists that are doing the rounds in my sets at the moment: Heist Flick - Kabuki & Serum Wake up - Cabin Fever & In:Fo Bigga Star Ft. Suv - Underdog Krusty Dub - Coda Weapon - Saxxon In no order my 5 favourite own unreleased works: 1. No Discrimination - Suv & Jaxx 2. Where the root is - Jaxx & Mythz Ft. Golden 3. Tell Me - Jaxx 4. Input - Suv & Jaxx 5. Combinations - Jaxx
16) Where are your favourite places to DJ in Europe?
Mafia club Italy, Rockstar France, Roxy Prague, Anonimo ™ Timisoara Romania, Mocca Switzerland, Twist Madrid. All amazing clubs
Berlin, Germany (Subland) & (Club Rosi's), Antwerp, Belgium (Petrol) & Ghent, (ArtCube), my hometown Hemel Hempstead @ Club Underground.
17) And at home in the UK?
Cavern Exeter, St Paul's Carnival Bristol, Leadmill Sheffield, Glastonbury, Depth Charge Oxford and when it was running Bar Rumba in London. Jaxx: I would say London & Bristol (Motion) for my favourite UK cities, but for me nothing beats a rare booking in my hometown Hemel Hempstead. It's not often I get to play to my home crowd.
18) Wolf Clan Records, can you tell us about this?
Suv & Jaxx:
After working side by side, we have been planning and working towards starting a label together called Wolf Clan. This label will be different from our personal labels Train recordings and Playside records. Run by Bigga star and Spreda. It will be a new label that we can dedicate a type of sound that Playside and Train may not be able to fit to. We have many new artists already wanting to work with us and we are placing dubs in a bag getting them stacked and ready to launch when the time is right. Keep locked to our social networks for news on this
19) What advice do you have for up and coming producers?
Your expression is yours and don't be afraid to try new things no matter what people say. New paths create progression and progress is what may save our human race. There are no rules to making music, the music will tell you which way to go. If your stuck on a track, put it down for a while and come back to it. Strip it back, as less is sometimes more and with less going on its easier to see what to use and what not to use. There are no right pieces of equipment to buy that is going to make your tunes sound better. Having the most expensive speakers will not mean your track will sound expensive. The music is inside you and no amount of money or what people tell you to buy will bring it out, only what you have inside. Jaxx: Take your time working on your sound, compare your own music to artists you aspire to. This can help you massively when trying to achieve a decent mix down. If people give you constructive criticism don't take it to heart, use it to your advantage. There's no "correct" way of producing you just have to develop your style over time. If it works it works.
20) If I see you out, what are you drinking from the bar?
Orange juice, freshly squeezed, shaken not stirred.
I hardly drink but I do like the occasional Desperado's, don't forget the lime!
21) What is your favourite quote?
Here's two quotes: "You can fool some people some times, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time" ( Bob Marley)
"We take to have more but its all just greed. It's not about the more we have but the less that we need" (Suv)
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are"
22) Can you let us know the gigs you have coming up this summer?
Look out for the massive Natty dub event coming this year where many of the Natty dub producers will be playing along side each other, really looking forward to that. April / May planning an Asia tour - Japan / Malaysia / Hong kong / Thailand. June - Switzerland. July / August - Spain tour. Winter 2016 South America Tour - Chile / Brazil / Argentina / Mexico and Puerto Rico.
I will have some summer dates to announce soon, In April you can catch me: 8th @ Drum Factory, Corboda Spain w/ Suv 9th & Tbc , Spain w/Suv 16th @ Azza & Grima's Afterparty @ Fire ,London 22nd @ Contagious, Hemel Hempstead
23) Any shouts and thanks?
Big shout to the Jaxx the whole of the Natty dub team, DNB muzik for this opportunity and everyone who has supported the Suv sound for years and days.
Jaxx: Just want to say a huge BIG UP! to my friends and family who believe in my musical dream, any DJ/supporter/fan who ever played/bought/streamed/raved to my music or sets, any promoter who ever booked me since I began my career, my train recordings crew, the radio stations I've been on past & present for providing me a platform to have my show, the Drum&Bass labels I'm working with. Special Big up goes out to Sam & Pat (Cabin fever & Patman) @ Natty Dub, & DNB Muzik for the opportunity, Suv, Respect Guys.
Please connect with us at
Follow Suv @ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/suvmusic
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/djsuv
Twitter - https://twitter.com/SuvMusic
Follow Jaxx @ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Jaxx.Dnb
Soundcloud - https://soundcloud.com/jaxxdnb
Twitter - https://twitter.com/deejayjaxx
Follow Natty Dub @ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/NattyDubRecordings
Twitter - https://twitter.com/NATTYDUBRECS
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/nattydubrecordings
Interview by Aliina Atkinson (Missrepresent)