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Total Recall Interview 2016
At only 25 years old, Birmingham’s Total Recall leads the new generation of dancefloor / jump up artists. With high profile releases on DJ Hype’s Playaz Recordings, DJ Marky’s Innerground Records, DJ Hazard’s Radius Recordings, Bryan G’s Chronic Records, DJ Ruffstuff’s Real-igion Records and Roni Size & DJ Krust’s newly-relaunched Full Cycle Records, Total Recall’s devastating production and DJ skills are constantly in demand, seeing him regularly perform at some of the UK & Europe’s biggest Drum & Bass events.
First off congrats on your ever expanding list of labels you're signed to!
Thank you it's like a dream come true to me.
Q. Can you tell us how your name Total Recall came about?
A. Well it was actually a promoter named Magika who helped come up with my name and basically it was chosen because of the meaning of the saying "Total Recall" which is basically an item, event or person or something that is so unique and different that it will be real hard to forget about after your first time seeing it.
Q. You haven't let your disability get in the way and you're an inspiration to a lot of people. How does that make you feel and have you got any words for people who might find things more challenging, and how music has helped?
A. I was born without my right arm from the elbow down so I guess with being born the way I am I don't know any different, when growing up only until a few years back I was very conscious of my disability but eventually overcame it so I basically went from wearing a long sleeve jumper in the summer heat to hide it to wearing a t-shirt performing in front of thousands at events all over the place. It makes me feel amazing to think that people see it as an inspiration. I will say to anyone that finds having a disability challenging "it's ability not disability that matters" and that if you didn't have your disability you would not be you, show your disability off to the world and always remain confident.
Music helped me in many ways as I just said I took the transition of being conscious of my arm and now I show it off while dj'ing all over the place and me having that transitional moment to overcome my fears was all thanks to music.
Q. Have you always listened to drum and bass?
A. Yeah ever since I was about 6-7 years of age I've loved drum & bass I grew up listening to the amazing genre which I instantly fell in love with.
Q. You're on a lot of the top labels. Can you tell us which is your favourite to work with and why?
A. To be honest I can't really pick a favourite so lets just say it's a real pleasure to be working with the labels that I have been fortunate enough to work with but I'll give gladly give you the top 5 labels I've worked with which are:
1. Full Cycle
Q. And what has been your favourite release?
A. I'm not one to pick favourites as every track is different and all appeal to me in different ways but I'd say the track I've enjoyed making the most is definitely Repeating History that has just came out on Full Cycle.
Q.Which one would you say is the most successful?
A.In regards to most successful id have to say my track snowflake it received huge support from right across the scene and went off on the dancefloor every time without fail.
Q.What DAW are you on and any favourite VSTs?
A. I'm on reason and studio one with one or two pieces of hardware, a good magician never reveals his tricks haha.
Q. You have just had Repeating History & Planet Earth drop... on Roni Size & Dj Krust's Full Cycle Records and it's doing really well... how do you structure your tracks when you produce, do you start with drums or a bassline?
A. Yeah I'm chuffed to bits about that release I've always been a huge Full Cycle Records follower and the same goes for Roni Size & Krust, so when I got the call you can imagine it was a very exciting and special moment for me. To be fair I try to make the structure as different as possible every track as each different track has a different feel, but in regards to starting with drums or a bass line I mostly start building drums first until I've got a nice flow moving then get working on the riffs and melodies for it.
Q.You're from Birmingham... nights come and go but who is your favorite promoter and any others you would like to give a shout out to?
A. In Birmingham it has to be HighGrade that is ran by Darka MC, and also MC Magika's events are sick as well he was the first promoter to give me a real platform in my hometown.
Q. Your favourite hometown club?
A. Favourite hometown club I have a few those being The Rainbow Warehouse, The O2 Institute, Alfie Birds (The Med Bar) which is sadly no longer open and also Air Superclub which is also sadly no longer open but they definitely needed a mention as some of my best hometown dj'ing moments were in those 2 clubs
Q.Where is the best place you have played abroad?
A. I'd have to say Belgium for the raves and party's but for the scenery and experience it has to be Switzerland when I played in Geneva on a boat on the Lake Geneva and also a rave in the woods in the Swiss Alps that was one almighty experience.
Q. What with such a busy schedule, what do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I like to go mountain biking, play some PlayStation and enjoy time with my family.
Q. If I see you out, what are you drinking from the bar?
A. Definitely a brandy and Coca Cola.
Q.What are your top 5 tracks that you can drop that you know go off right now?
A. Top 5 tracks at the mo that go off in my sets are :
1. Guv - Warning
2. Hazard - Bricks Don't Roll
3. Total Recall - Repeating History
4. Tyke - Blessings ft Daddy Earl
5. Need For Mirrors - Rough Trade
Q. And your top 5 all time favourites?
1. Clipz & Surge - No Tomorrow
2. D Bridge - True Romance
3. Roni Size - Brown Paper Bag
4. Krust - Snapped it
5. Hazard - Selector
Q. What MCS do you rate?
When it comes to mc's I rate it's hard to choose as they are all amazing in their own right but if I was to give a top 5 it would be
4. Harry Shotta
Q. Have you any advice to up and coming DJs and producers?
A.Just stick at it always stay persistent and push hard, also always try to better your knowledge of music theory and do things different.
Well big up and keep up the good work!!
Interview by Aliina Atkinson (Missrepresent) 2016