October 31, 2013

Interview with Cotterell, Bass Blog Special Mix

"Turn that noise down boy" was heard by Cotterell in his parents house (in Cotterell Close - hence the name) in 1989 on a daily basis as he put down break beat and house platters on his belt drive DLP1 turntables at the tender age of 14 in his bedroom. He was introduced to the DJ scene by his friend and still active DJ, Chubbs and has never looked back.

Throughout the naughties Cotterell has had the pleasure of DJ'ing breaks and dnb all over the UK, and had one off events in Europe, the Middle East, and the East Coast of the US.

As technology evolved so did Cotterell's approach to playing and the studio he uses runs all media, Vinyl, CD, and Digital - you wont find him hating on any of them, you will hear him saying "its all about getting good music out, I don't care what format its released on".

Nowadays Cotterell can be found every week DJ'ing DnB only shows with insane energy on the prime Friday night 8pm slot on Bass Beats Radio called Sub Club with a truly global audience and a real focus on getting airplay to up and coming independent producers who are unsigned and have something to give to the bass scene. 

On Saturday night Cotterell has the prime 8pm slot on Urban Beatz TV the revolutionary FM, Internet Radio, mobile app and TV radio station with a show called The Shakedown a high energy high audience participation feel where the journey through the dnb genres is totally unrestricted and fed by listener energy. You can still see Cotterell out at events run by The White House, Sub Syndicate, and Rave Crew.

What country are you from and tell me a few word's about yourself?

I'm of hybrid origins, half UK half Portugal, but I now live in the UK having lived in 4 other countries so far in my life. I'm a family man, every bit of graft is for my family. By day and to pay the bills I work in London designing software products, by night and at the weekends its all about the music. I'm a music lover who is relaxed about what everyone else wants to be into and what the world thinks is the coolest genre one minute to the next. One of the greatest things about music is there is something for everyone. Though I will listen to anything well produced with invention and innovation, my entire attention as a DJ is on the DnB scene.

When did you first listen to drum and bass music and how many hours do you listen to the genre per day now?

Damn, showing my age here...I cut my teeth back in the 90's, Ray Keith, Bukem, Origin Unknown, all artists and tracks I still play on occasion so we're talking 15 odd years ago now! Depressing! In terms of listening time, I could probably make up full time working hours listening to all the tracks I get sent on Twitter and SoundCloud, this is in part due to the platform I have on Fridays with my show on Bass Beats Radio that deliberately gives airtime to unsigned artists. My commutes 2 hrs each way and i spend a lot of time on aircraft so I would say no less than 4 hrs sometimes more than 10 hrs per day just on dnb! I think I have an addiction!

When you did first visit drum & bass rave and how were you feeling?

First dnb rave I ever went to was a warehouse party in Oxfordshire of all places back in 1999. It was a weird experience around that time dnb had a bit of an edge to the scene in the UK and not the greatest reputation for safe clean nights focused on the music but - like with all raves - it was down to the promoters this was put on by some of the team that now run Random Concept and it was an amazing night, big names, two arenas, safe and well organised and everything was about the tunes! How raves should be!

I know you're playing twice a week on two different drum&bass radio stations when did you start doing these shows and what are the differences between them?

I started work on Bass Beats Radio first, coming up to a year ago now. It was a start up brand new station, run by a friend of mine DJ APB and he just wanted to pull in as many mates as possible to get going. This has snowballed really quickly and the station right now is in a real period of extreme growth both in listeners and DJ's. The key identity difference with Bass Beats Radio is the real push to help new and exciting producers which comes from the APB's desire to give music a platform and the deliberate drive for an International audience with DJ's and shows across the continents and time zones all in the grand plan as well as LIVE events coming very soon mixing the radio and live performance together - with some radical concepts! I started with UrbanBeatzTV back in March last year, originally I had the Sunday lunchtime slot and did a really great show called Liquid Lunch, 2 hrs of nothing but Liquid Drum & Bass and then through a combination of opportunity and epic support of the stations owners I worked my way up through the slots and now run on the Saturday night, its a real bass music family feel on UrbanBeatzTV a great community feel in its own right with a big attentive fan base and a huge rosta of talent. The great thing about both stations is that they're not actually DnB stations, their dance music stations so I get to fly the flag of DnB high and loud!

Tell me about your favourite record labels and genres in drum&bass

Wow that's tough for me as in the sub-genres of DnB I get something from every one of them, I don't so much have a favourite as have the right genre for the right mood I'm in or level of inspiration/motivation I need at the time. My sets are very high energy so I tend to touch all the sub genres every time I play out and on my shows...if I had to, it would be liquid dnb...I never get bored of the creativity in its sound design and even in the foulest of moods it lifts me. I love a lot of unsigned artists, and back loads of them on my Bass Beats Radio show, but I do have a great love for the work that comes out on MTA, Liquid Tones, Dread, New State, Liquicity, and the big boys like Hospital, RAM, and VIPER

Do you dj only or do you produce some sounds too?

I do produce from time to time. I'd love to be one of those guys who production comes naturally to, but I am not. I find the whole process really hard work and it can take me literally months to be happy with a track. I have had a few good runs though, on some break beat tracks I have done in the last year which have charted me and got me Top Ten on Reverb Nation. My DnB production is in a good place at the moment though, working on some tracks right now after a blast of inspiration that's come from the full refitting of my studio and getting DLs of my original materials out of the hundreds and into the low thousands!

What are your plans for the dnb scene for the next year?

I intend to strive and drive even harder for the new and unsigned producers, and also have some plans to bring in some young crews to do Guest mixes on my shows when they have performance elements either live instruments or vocalists and of course MCs to make sure the real privilege I have on the radio platform is used to everyone's benefits and the health of the DnB scene as a whole. Its all about exposure. I am also in talks with a major Rave promo organisation about a London Tour and a University Tour as part of the Dirty Dozen sound system, if we can work the logistics out I will be all over that and that will run all next year every single week!

How do you see a future of dnb culture?

The identity of our scene has much improved, and that's thanks to a few key personalities breaking through and there hasn't been too much of the nastiness you see in other genres where people turn when people start making major bank. What do I mean, look at Wiley in the UK Grime scene he's the godfather of that, but he steps up his game commercially and he's labelled a sell out. Whereas in our genre you have the likes of Fresh, Rudimental, and Wilkinson all going stella and the haters haven't come knocking, and that's a real positive. I also think that commercial breakthrough has improved visibility of the genre, its not electronic head banging people think it is, there is a lot of amazing advanced production and real musicality in our scene, and not several international top ten hits! I would like to see the promoters of the bigger raves taking more risks with some of the youth they put on bills to help keep our scene growing. We're in rude health in dnb but we can do better as long as we all keep our ears on the music and our brains on the point of it all, entertaining other music lovers!

[128 kbps] beats!

download mix


01 // Metrik - Distant Shores
02 // Kove - Night Thoughts
03 // Linky - Be There
04 // K Jah - Turbo Royale
05 // Optiv & CZA - Back to the Future
06 // DJ Vapour - Dont Wanna See
07 // Usual Suspects - Killa Bees
08 // London Elektricity - Just One Second (APEX Remix)
09 // Brookes Brothers ft Danny Dyrd - Paperchase
10 // Roller - Saturday Night
11 // Origin Unknown - Valley of the Shadows
12 // Utah Saints - What Can You Do For Me (Drumsound & Bassline Smith Remix)
13 // Modulate - Dagger
14 // ShockOne - Harmonize
15 // Severity Zero - Metamorphosis
16 // Bustin & Skampy - Ascension


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