Monday, 6 April 2009
Hatcha interview & Mix
Pic: Cleveland Aaron
“Sitting there flicking through tunes, picking out ones that were all similar, I started piecing all these together into sets and at the same time, while I’m doing that you’ve got Benga and Skream bringing their own interpretation of it. So yeah, I was piecing together everyone’s stuff and trying to form something.” That ‘something’ turned out to be dubstep.
Hatcha’s story is a classic one: a young gun calls up a pirate and through shear chops gets a set DJ playing garage on south London pirate. A job behind the counter of the legendary Big Apple Record shop in Croydon fuels his obsession for the dark garage coming from the likes of EL-B, Zed Bias, Oris Jay, Arwork and Benny Ill. A flock of local, freakishly in tune, yet brutally raw producers feed their latest creation to him, which he in turn channels through a residency at new underground night Forward, providing the perfect platform to forge the nascent sound of esoteric, no frills garage coined dubstep. Mark Gurney braves the noxious wind of a one-year-old Pitbull called Oscar to catch up with Hatcha, better know to his mum as Terry Leonard, to talk belching, launching his new night and why he thinks dubstep has much more to come.
A lot of importance is placed on the Big Apple record shop as the incubator for dubstep. Do you have any fond memories from the shop?
It’s heartbreaking it’s gone. That shop was so funny. Had some of the best days in my life in that shop. We’d get all the boys in mixing up records. Skream and Benga were like 13 at the time. l think I took Benga to his first party and his first gig, he was still at school at the time.
Your radio career has been a classic tale of from illegal to legal. You were on Upfront first, and then the first dubstep show on Rinse. What attracted you to Kiss FM?
When you aim to be a DJ in life, if you can be a DJ on a Legal station and get paid for it, surely it’s a dream come true. Rather than paying to play on a station, fuck that. But it’s a circle, they’ve got to do it, to help it run, and to help push themselves (as DJ’s).
Whilst researching this interview I stumbled back across a Blackdown blog post which had two photos of the dubstep scene circa 2001 & the class of 2006. You were in both of them. Do you think you will be in the 2011 shoot?
This is me, for life. Forward and upwards man. I’ve got no intentions of fading away. I can only get stronger.
Who do you think is gonna be in the next picture?
Well, you’ve always got the youngers coming through. It’s what makes the scene evolve. It’s still fresh, whoever is here now is still representing. You just have to raise your game.
Skream broke through with Midnight Request Line, Benga & Coki with Night. What do you think is the next thing to blow?
I don’t think these guys have even bust yet. Benga, Skream, Digital Mystikz, Distance, Jakes, these are talented people. And every month I get more tracks from them, they improve. Yeah, Night and MRL laid the foundations, but they have a lot more to come yet.
Do you agree with the view that the sound has essentially polarized into grotty jump up vs techno x?
Yeah, you have got the different sounds, which is good. That’s why it’s always gonna be interesting. You’ve got jump up; you’ve the grotty, hard industrial sound, which is my sound. I’m not really into the jump up stuff, but it works. If we all played the same it would be repetitive, and would end up like every other scene out there. You can have Benga, Caspa, Kode 9, Digital Mystikz, put them on the line and you not gonna hear the same tune twice in one night. It’s good there is a spectrum of sounds within dubstep, that’s why it’s fresh.
Rusko is working with Katy Perry, Benga with Rhianna. Is this dubstep selling out or just realizing its potential?
It’s just about the potential. Without a doubt.
You’ve also recently started up your own night with N-Type called Sin City @ Herbal. How’s that going?
It’s nice to have another dubstep outlet. We wouldn’t be doing it if FWD was still on a Friday. It’s brilliant; we get all our friends down there mixing. Next one is 20th March. Upstairs we have Funky House and old skool and downstairs we have dubstep. Every night we’ve done has been rammed!
What’s coming on the Sin City label?
A new double pack, we’ve got Benga, Chef, Coki & N-Type, Lost, Crazy D, Kutz. I’m waiting for the vinyl to come through now. Should be the next couple of weeks.
Do you have any odd habits?
Every time I burp I say bollocks. How funny is that. It’s terrible. I shouldn’t have told you that. What else? I get up in the middle of the night, every night of the week, I will get up between 2 and 5 in the morning and semi conscious go down to the kitchen and feast. Wake up chocolate all over me and biscuits on the floor. It’s a scary.
For Hatcha DJ bookings contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Catch Hatcha on Kiss FM, Tuesday night/ Wed Morning from 1am-2pm.
Exclusive mix for ATM Magazine by Hatcha.
Download it here: ATM Mag Hatcha Mix *
* important note! You need to enter these 5 digits: 01482
Track by Track - -
Mala - Eyes
Brilliant track. Proper Deep Medi material, you can hear Mala sound in it perfectly. Lazer style synths with plenty of twisted soul; It was the perfect track to set the vibe for the mix.
Skream – Rollin
Brand new Skream biznezz. Not sure when this is coming out on as it’s a freshly cut dubplate. A good bouncy track with plenty of stomp to keep the mix moving.
Kutz – Freak
Right, time to get aggy and rough it up. Kutz brings the ruckus and starts putting on the pressure and heating up the heels.
Jakes – Justice
It’s not all about Croydon on this mix, and Jakes brings his Bristolian touch. This track is doing it for me at the moment.
Distance – Twilight
This is murdering the dancefloor. When I speak to Greg every couple of days and he says he’s gonna throw over another track, I think yes, coz I know it’s gonna be messy.
Jakes – 3K Lane VIP
This one is a nice little special for me. Another twist on a massive track, just giving it a new angle.
Distance – Menace
More Distance pressure with Menace. Distance is getting a lot of feedback right now, and I’m loving his metal sound. A massive dancefloor worker.
Benga – Transform
Stepping up the tempo on this one. Speaks for it self.
Chimpo – Pump Action
Chimpo is from Manchester and we’ve signed this for Sin City Recordings, so expect to see this out soon. Big tune.
Lost – Slaughtered
A Croydon young gun coming through. I met Lost through Kromestar, keep your eye on this guy.
Benga Vs Kutz – I’ll Kut Ya
This one is tearing through the crowds at the moment. Wicked collaboration.
Benga vs Distance – Untitled
Bangin track, I’ve been playing this for months on dubplate. It goes off!
Benga – He He He
Good little bubbler that really comes into it’s own on a big system. You can hear the typical Benga sound on this one.
Coki – The Shizbiz
Coki Madness! Welcome to Coki’s mad little world. You can’t listen to this shit on a walkman!
Skream – Metal Mouth
A nasty, brutal peak time monster that will getting every set of feet moving on any dancefloor, anywhere.
Jakes – Rock The Bells
Again, this one blowing up the dancefloor. Sampling some old hip hop records to maximum effect. Killer.