Friday 11 February 2011

Byte presents B-Mix 006:
'A Mixed Up Kid'
(Byte, 2011)

After a good few years of bringing you the best of Bristol talent, B365 is closing it's doors for good this month. It's been an amazing privilege to showcase the artists we have, all of whom continue to make incredible music and deserve your support; a massive thank you to all of those who contributed to the blog over the years. You can continue to follow the adventures of some of these artists over at Slime Recordings who are celebrating local talent as well as from around the world. Much love to you all.

That being said, we couldn't leave you without something truly awesome to be going on with. So for the final post we bring you a mammoth 80+ track mix from one of Bristol's most legendary sons, the man like Cridge. An old skool hero if ever there was one, Cridge's ascent through the underground ranks in the 1990s has seen him tour the world, be signed to arguably the best record label in the world, release multiple albums, run his own influential labels, and still continue to rock shows with as much passion as ever. We spoke to Cridge many moons ago about hitting us up with a mix for our Lifetracks series and he hasn't disappointed, delivering a tour de force of old skool classics which will have you dizzy on the dancefloor and shouting for more! We caught up with Cridge recently to chat about the mix and his career to date. Enjoy!

B: Evening to you good sir, how are you and where are you?

C: I'm very well indeed, a little tired but that is a common occurrence! I'm in a hotel room in Moscow getting some rest before the promoter collects me for dinner, and then onto the show at a new club opening. I find myself in some of the most diverse places around the world and over the years I have learnt to experience and enjoy everywhere I am lucky enough to to go.

B: First up a massive thank you for putting this mix together for B365. Was it a bit of a mammoth undertaking to assemble so many classic tracks together?

C: As you know, I promised a mix since you started the series. At first it was daunting as I was changing my mind on the track listing and getting more and more confused! In the end I decided to stick to this selection as I wanted it to include both my diverse tastes and all the styles I have been involved with throughout my musical career. After trying to record the mix at home in the end I thought sod it and decided to do it live, I ended up recording this at Champion Sound at Lakota with two turntables and a CD deck. It was great as the crowd was up for the variety and they sure got that! I usually mix it up when I DJ but never to this extent, as your mix series is called Lifetracks I wanted to capture the twenty years or so I have been involved either making or DJ'ing music.

I have played out at a high level playing various genres including Rave, Drum and Bass, Techno, Hip Hop/Funk/Reggae and Dubstep, so I think I could have gone on forever picking tracks but had to stop somewhere! Some of the tracks are mixed in, some are just thrown in to catch the vibe alongside a few scratches here and there, as it's live some of the levels are a bit up and down but in truth I am very pleased with the end result and hope everyone enjoys listening to it and hopefully keep it in their collection for years to come!

B: Let's take it back to the old school...growing up what were your musical influences?

C: As a young un' I was into all kinds of music, at the time my favourite bands were The Specials, Adam & the Ants and Iron Maiden... A crazy mix that would continue into adulthood! When I was at Monks Park school I used to record and mix the Tristan B show on two cassette decks and take it into Art class as we were allowed to play music, that was a mix of early house music like Steve 'Silk' Hurley and Marshall Jefferson and Hip Hop like The Beastie Boys and Ultramagnetic MCs. I could never exactly categorise my tastes as I was into everything from Acid House, Rave, Hip Hop, American Techno, Reggae Dub and Dancehall. I'm proud of this as it has given me the best ever melting pot of musical knowledge I could have ever dreamed of.

B: Did you have any influence from your friends or family growing up with regards to your musical tastes?

C: I was born and bred in Southmead and went to Monks Park School in Bristol, music has always been a big part of my life and we used to have house parties where a few of us would always get on our BMXs and take along the 1210's etc in back packs and played mostly Hip Hop, we had the Lino out in the garden trying our best at Breakdancing get tied up in knots! Aside from Funk and Disco, all the dance music was fresh and brand new sounds. It was an exciting time, in my bedroom I had a massive Wild Style Graff piece on the wall and a full size mobile disco, my mum and dad never told me turn the music down, my mum would often say turn it up... she loves the Bass!!

B: What was Bristol like back in the heyday of rave?

C: It was full on! I ate, drank and slept Rave when working at Replay Records, as it was the Mecca of Dance in Bristol. Regularly we used to have queues of people outside waiting for us to open up! Myself and people like Jody & Die, Easygroove, Vinyl Junkie & Bunjy were right in the middle of it playing out anywhere we could, either at free parties or club nights at Macolm X centre and The Lochiel boat. As we built our names up, we all started playing at larger raves like Universe, Dreamscape & Obsession. I used to promote parties a lot back then, bringing in DJs like Carl Cox, Bukem and Peshay when they were giving out demo tapes to get gigs.You could mix it all up and I did nights where I would have Choci, Bukem and Kenny Larkin all in the same room together. It was all fresh and Acid House led into Hardcore into Jungle, everyone wanted to go to a rave! I had many highlights back then including supporting The Prodigy tours and later on promoting and DJing at Progression Sessions, Bugged Out & The Boutique with Charlotte Hazelby.

B: What have been some of your favourite gigs over the years?

C: I enjoy gigging as a whole and don't take it for granted, I've had a career that's as seen over twenty years of dance music, as I started off in the early rave scene some of the memorable ones were Castle Morton playing on the Circus Warp system, being the tour DJ for dates on The Prodigy's Experience Tour and playing at a free party in Somerset and getting arrested, I was the first DJ in the UK to be charged under the new laws for groups of people listening and playing repetitive beats - something that I am quite proud of nowadays!!

Other rave/drum & bass sets over the years that hold good memories are Universe Tribal Gathering, Bristol Exposures, Bukem's Logical Progression, Obsession and Hysteria. I still love to do Old Skool rave/jungle promoters get in touch! On the flip of this, I have played all over doing the Up Bustle & Out stuff at UK clubs like Ministry of Sound, The End, Bed in Sheffield, and The Boutique in Brighton as well as all over the world in every continent with the memorable ones being tours of Japan, Russia and Canada. I still go all over the UK and the world, so I hope my best gigs are still in front of me.

B: How do you find playing in different countries compares to shows back in the UK?

C: In mainland Europe it's kind of the same, but the further afield you go it seems the more effort and energy the clubs have. The rest of the world is catching up fast and you often find that they are listening and want to hear the same music as what is in the UK at the moment. I used to see a big difference when visiting the Eastern Bloc countries in the late 1990's, as they went wild for a party due the state of the nations back then, sometimes in the UK we take this whole scene for granted and that's a danger that could come back and bite us at a later date.

B: Any interesting stories from your time spent touring?

C: Over the years we have missed flights and have been refused entry to countries, but one time I flew into Italy but my record box didn't arrive so the promoter contacted the airline to get it sorted, the gig was later that evening but about three hours drive so we carried on as normal on the way to the club. There was no sign of the records all night and then through the stage door came this old taxi driver guy with my record box...the airline had put it on the next flight and put the box in a taxi to the club, arriving 5 mins before my set was due to start! That was logistics at its best!!

B: How did your involvement with Up, Bustle & Out come about?

C: Back in the early 1990's I worked at Replay Records in Bristol. Rudy from Up Bustle & Out used to come into the shop and buy records. At that point UBO were a full band set up, and he asked if I would go on a mini UK tour as the warm up DJ. As a result of that and the difficulties of touring with a large band, it was decided that UBO would start touring as both a soundsystem using dubplates played and mixed by me, with just the Spanish guitarist (Cuffy) and Percussionist (Eugenia) with Rudy on Flute and vocals and also a DJ set up with Rudy and I mixing it up. Since then we still tour and do shows around the world, and have released 12 LPs all with various tastes of the world but keeping the well-routed UBO production.

B: What appealed to you the most to get involved with UBO?

C: Rudy from UBO used to come into Replay and ask to listen to the new breakbeat music that was starting to be released, we soon discovered we both loved 60's and 70's Funk and Reggae Dub. The first few tours UBO did in the early days involved a whole live band that was very hard to travel with so we came up with the idea to start doing shows as DJs and a soundsystem similar to the way Smith & Mighty were doing things at the time. I suppose it was the love of different cultures and music it also helped that we all got on really well and have remained good friends over the years.

B: Which of the UBO LPs are you proudest of?

C: The vibes have changed over the years whilst taking in the sounds from around the world, so I like them all - but if I had to choose favourites it would be The Cuban Master Session 1 & 2 on Ninja Tune, we have personal ties to Cuba and UBO have funded a radio station there. All the instruments are recorded at sessions within the country and programmed in Bristol with Ein. I actually like all the LPs as they don't seem to age, taking in the authentic sounds from India, Mexico, Cuba and Eastern Europe amongst others but all keeping the unique UBO beats. Rudy makes sure every release is well packaged with amazing artwork and photography, that's why we appeal to a large audience as its not just the music people buy into but rather the whole package.

B: What was it like working with a seminal label like Ninja Tune?

C: I don't get involved with the dealings of the record labels, but being on Ninja Tune was a massive platform as along with Mo' Wax they were the biggest underground labels on the planet at the time. Also being one of the boom artists at the time of Trip Hop and the Bristol scene things took off in a big way, as well as our own shows we regularly toured around the world on Ninja Tune nights alongside Coldcut, DJ Food, and Funki Porcini.

B: Do you feel looking back Trip Hop was a blessing or a curse for Bristol?

C: For us, artists like Massive Attack, Smith & Mighty and so on have been a blessing as it has made our music global, it was a term in the music press at the time when they focused away from the Madchester scene and onto Bristol. All new genres get a nickname and Trip Hop fitted well. It sent the music of Bristol global and has helped the city become a cultural capitol that people into art and music flock to visit and gain inspiration. It was the foundation for what is now a city full of producers and DJs doing well in Beakbeat, Drum & Bass and Dubstep.

B: You've also diversified into music for film and TV since then...

C: It all started when I was an extra in BBC's Casualty as a rave DJ, it was filmed at the skate park which is now Motion in Bristol. I've also licensed music to the Human Traffic and Trainspotting movies and cinema trailers. The UBO tracks have featured in The Hustle, Numb3rs and world cinema classics like Volveras and Raising Victor Vargas amongst others. The Brazilian football team also chose a track as their official piece of music for the 2006 World Cup, which was great as we are football mad!!

B: You also run your own record labels too...

C: Alongside my producing I have ran a few labels since the mid 1990s. The main label is Tribe which is a Drum & Bass label. I also run Playside with Suv from the Full Cycle stable, both of which have regular releases and do pretty good. Over the years I have released tracks and remixes from Aquasky, J Raq, Krust, Ray Keith, Mulder, Drumsound and Danny Byrd. It has been a good stepping stone for some producers who are making big waves within the scene today. In the past few years with the Dubstep sound becoming very big I started Tribe Steppaz signing 6Blocc and Prime Mover who consists of myself and Tasha from Los Angeles, That's how technology has helped, as we produce and share tracks over the internet all the time. As Prime Mover we DJ both sides of the Atlantic going down a treat! I also release a very popular bootleg label called Bootshake with dubstep/drum & bass remixes of Collie Budz, Big Daddy Kane and Star Wars etc. Having a lightsaber battle in the middle of a sharp beat and a deep deep sub is what I would call Gurt Lush in deep and dark Brizzle!!

B: Out of the last few years what new music has been exciting you?

C: To be honest over the past few year a lot of the new music is very throwaway with it only having a very limited shelf life, if you think how many classic tracks have came out of the 70's, 80's and 90's, it's hard to compare anything nowadays and say that a track will be around in over ten years time and still go down well. If I had to choose I would say over the past five years artists that I have enjoyed listening to are Bachelors of Science, Arctic Monkeys, 6 Blocc and most recently James Blake. Saying that I still get sent a lot of promo material, and although not everything floats my boat the production over the years has got better and better, the main ingredients for me is a heavy bassline and a sturdy breakbeat.

B: As you worked in the legendary Replay Records, what's your take on the closure of most of the shops from that time?

C: It's a sad time, working in Replay for five years was the best thing that could have happened for me, I got to know everyone in the scene from promoters, DJs, producers and created a good fan base. It was the centre of the South West's dance scene, we would sell hundreds of records, tape packs and tickets, everyone came to Replay. That and other focal points where you could meet and create the scene have now been lost, and it's now a faceless Internet scene. In theory I welcome the whole Internet and MP3 thing, but the soul has been ripped from the centre making it a lot less exciting and creative.

B: How do you feel about dance music culture shifting from vinyl to digital?

C: It's progress and there is no going back, that's a shame but myself and everyone involved in the whole dance scene over he past 25 years have written history. I have Serato, but so far have always ended up taking vinyl to DJ, this will change in time as I'm finding that more and more clubs don't have turntables with only CD decks. Vinyl will always have that special place in my heart but I'm not going to let it hold me back.

B: What advice would you give to those trying to break into the music industry now?

C: In a nutshell I would say to get into music because you love it and first off treat it as a hobby aside from your school work or regular job. You will know if things take off as you will be getting paid for what your doing! Remember it's not just about DJing etc, you can also get your music published for use in TV and Film, I've provided tracks for both movies and tv all of which provide a regular income. Above all if things dont go to plan you can stil say you have the best hobby in the world...Music.

Byte presents B-MIX 06
'A Mixed Up Kid'
(Byte, 2011)

1. Obi Wan Kenobi – If You Strike Me Down
2. Awsome 3 - Dont Go (Intro)
3. Masters at Work – Jus a Lil Dope
4. Home T, Cocoa Tea and Shabba Ranks – Going is Rough
5. Cutty Ranks – Retreat Soundboy
6. Pinchers – Bandelero
7. Massive Attack – Five Man Army
8. Art of Noise – Beat Box
9. Wild Bunch – The Look of Love
10. Beats and Scratch Sequence
11. DJ Hype – I Can’t Understand It
12. Up Bustle & Out Scratch Sequence
13. Land of the Happy Monsters – Speech
14. Dee Patten – Who’s the Badman
15. Undercut – Both Ends
16. Psyche – Andromeda
17. Maurizio – Ploy (Underground Resistance Mix)
18. Source Direct – Secret Liason
19. DJ Crystal – Warpdrive
20.Krome & Time - The Licence
21.Krome & Time - Roughneck Scout
22.Prisoners of Technology - Trick of Technology
24. Scratch Sequence
25. World Class Wreckin Crew – The Roof is on Fire
26. Scratch Sequence
27. Success in Effect – Roll it Up
28. Demon Boyz – Dett
29. Disco Biscuits – Echo 1000
30. 4 Hero – Cookin up ya Brain (Remix)
31. Beatfreaks – Bass Test
32. Depth Charge – Bounty Hunter
33. Dj Rap & Aston – Vertigo
34. Edge 1 – Compound
35. Tango – Can't Stop The Bumrush
36. Edge 1 – Compound
37. House Crew – All we wanna do is Dance (Accapella)
38. Egyption Lover – What is a DJ if he can’t Scratch
39. Mystery Man – DJ Business
40. Blame – Music Takes You
41. Sub Love – Maniac Music
42. Sonz of a Loop da Loop Era – Far Out
43. Dj Taktix – The Way
44. The Prodigy – Weather Experience (Top Buzz Remix)
45. Nueromancer – Pennywise (Micky Finn Remix)
46. The Brothers Grimm – Exodus (The Lion Awakes)
47. Tango & Ratty – Tales from the Darkside
48. Criminal Minds – Baptised by Dub
49. Slayer – Raining Blood
50. Breaks Montage
51. Jimi Hendrix
52. Melvin Van Peeble
53. Pucho
54. The Meters
55. Jorge Ben – Carolina Bela
56. New Birth – Got to get a Knut
57. DJ Milo – Return of the Original Artform
58. Fix – Flash
59. Bunjy & Cridge – Hard never Soft
60. Aphrohead – In the Dark we Live
61. Wink – Higher State of Conciousness
62. Waldorf and Statler (Muppet Speech)
63. Robin Wants Revenge – Robin Wants Revenge
64. Subject 13 – Eternity
65. DJ Mink – Hey Hey Can you Relate
66. Young MC – Know How
67. King Bee – Back by Dope Demand
68. Roxanne Shante – Go on Girl
69. Big Daddy Kane – Wrath of Kane
70. Hashim – Al Naayfiysh
71. Mantronix – King of the Beats
72. Pumpkin and the All stars – Here comes that Beat
73. Wild Bunch – Friends and Countrymen (Intro)
74. Darth and Obi – Lightsaber Duel
75. Beastie Boys – Hold it Now it It
76. Uptown – Dope on Plastic
77. SL2 – DJ’s Take Control
78. Ultramagnetic MC’s – Critical Beatdown
79. The Prodigy – Out of Space
80. Tribe Steppaz Soundsystem – Dubstep Chillers
81. Tribe Steppaz Soundsystem – Dubstep Terrorist
82. Star wars Imperial March Scratch Sequence
83. Yoda end speech
84. The crowd goes wild

DOWNLOAD : Byte presents Cridge 'A Mixed Up Kid'

FFI: Cridge Soundcloud
FFI: Cridge Facebook
FFI: Warehouse Dayz Facebook

For all enquires including DJ bookings for:

Up Bustle & Out (Cridge & Rudy)
Cridge (Oldskool Rave/Jungle set)
Tribe Steppaz Soundsystem
Prime Mover

Contact Cridge:


Ben S said...

That looks like a wicked tracklist - love it. Thanks to Cridge for this mix, and to Byte for all the good mixes over the last few years (the Wacal Lifetracks one is still on heavy rotation in my house...)

Good luck with whatever comnes next - onwards and upwards!