DJ Frost has been putting in the work for years as part of London Zoo, we caught up with him to discuss his origins in music as well as forthcoming projects that he's working on...
Taking it back; how did you get did you get into DJing in the first place?
I reckon the same way a lot of people do, having an older brother and three sisters going to illegal warehouse parties every weekend and the sounds of pirates like Don and Kool blasting from every room in the house you kinda get it rammed down your throat!
I remember being eight-years-old and just finding the whole thing fascinating. I'd steal my brother's rave tapes, record radio shows and funny film samples on my tape deck and make little mixtapes.
But for me the thing that just blew my mind was scratching and the whole idea of manipulating sound effects and voices over tunes. When I was 11 I finally raised the money to buy myself some Soundlab DLP 1s and got myself a studio tan!
You DJ for London Zoo, how did you come to work with those guys in the first place?
We've all grown up together, all of us done music in one way or another and I suppose we all became good mates through it. London Zoo was formed by Pierre green and Dabbla back in the late ‘90s.
They used to put on parties around Manchester and London and we'd all play under the name as a crew but all DJing different styles from broken beat to drum & bass to hip hop. Around this time Pierre and Sumgii started making beats, Dabbla was writing loads so we thought we'd stick a mixtape together which ended up as 'Living Long Ting' so I guess I've been a part of it since the very start.
Name three DJs that influenced you to start DJing yourself...
I think the first DJs that really influenced me were Mickey Finn, DJ Hype and Danny Breaks. One of my first tapes was of Mickey and GQ live at some warehouse party which I actually broke from playing too much!
Hype is an obvious choice for someone into hardcore / jungle and scratching, he was a huge influence definitely.
Danny Breaks also for his scratching but he came with a different vibe and used to put out tunes with downtempo B-sides which I used to practice over.
You said three DJs but I have to also mention the guys that influenced me a little later on like DJ Yoda, Craze, Klever, Andy Smith from Portishead, D Styles and The Gaslamp Killer.
What music are you currently listening to, any recommendations?
I'm finding new artists every day! Soundcloud for me is the best thing on the net, so many unheard producers coming with the goods.
But I always check for people like Shlohmo, Samiyam, Termite, Onra, Madlib, Insightful, Jon Wayne, Flying Lotus, Flako, Naive, Kidkanevil to name a few as well as UK hip hop stuff from the likes of Jam Baxter, Dike, Fliptrix, Stig, The Eatgood lot and Dubbledge.
Away from what I DJ I listen to a lot of dub and downtempo stuff and still check for new drum & bass; I'm a big fan of people like Calibre, Alix Perez and dBridge.
What's your opinion on the current state of Hip Hop in the UK?
From where I'm sitting the scene looks healthy and vibrant. This year saw the very first all UK Hip hop festival BOOMBAP take place which I think just shows how strong the scene is.
There are some dope new acts coming through as well as us old boys still doing our thing and plenty of hip hop nights happening up n down the country every week. I'm currently working on my first proper mixtape! It's two years in the making! I started putting together a bunch of 10 minute mash ups including all sorts of tunes, stupid samples and cuts.
Now I'm up to six mixes so I'm looking to take the best bits from each , throw in a load more , remaster and get some guests to feature . I'm over the moon to have some of my favourite DJs on there. Pencilled in so far dudes like DMC world champ DJ Switch, DMC supremacy champ Deceptakut, Foreign Beggars' DJ Nonames, Jazz T, Sammy B side, Jabba the Kut and Manipulate will all have a one minute skit on the final tape which will be called 'FROST BYTES'.
Aside from that recently I've done some cuts for SonnyJim and Kosyne, one beat from Kelakovski and the other from Dag Nabit featuring Orifice . I'm up to my eyebrows in cuts to do for Dabbla's solo stuff as well as new Zoo material. I've just finished lacing cuts on a Philly B beat which features Dabbla, Dubbledge and Son of light plus I've just finished some cuts for rock/indie band '12 dirty bullets' for their new album.
Also I got stuff to do for Harry the bastard and Formula under the guise Rockformz and have got some cuts on the latest Piff Gang mixtape too.
What projects are you currently working on?
Zoo wise we got a new mixtape in the oven which I believe I'm gluing together! It will feature a lot of unheard stuff we've been sitting on as well as some new bits.
There are a lot of side projects going on too, Sumgii , Dabbla & Dubbledge have started a new project under the name PROBLEM CHILD and have got an album coming very soon.
First single 'Fully Fledged' has a video that's just dropped so check that out. Dabbla, Jam Baxter & Ghost town have got an LP coming soon under the name 'DEAD PLAYERS CLUB' which I think is coming on High Focus plus Dabbla and Stig have nearly finished their album under the name 'BARZINI BROTHERS'.
Also loads of new bits coming from Pierre Green and Harry the Bastard and even Zoo vet Pringle is now making beats under the name 'BELLY NUFF MATES' so there's plenty going on Production wise I'm useless! I go and check Pierre, Sumgii and Harry and end up just sitting there lean and baffled!
I remember Chase & Status years ago saying 'come studio with us' and still never went! That said, I'm going to start knuckling down next year and hopefully get some bits together.
What are some of your favourite memories from playing live? Have there been any gigs that stand out in particular?
I'd have to say playing in Switzerland is always a pleasure, we've got some good friends there who put on dope bass music nights and I reckon my best memory of playing out there was a two hour drum & bass set with Harry Shottah, the crowd was crazy , great vibe and you could blaze in the club.
Warming up for people you looked up to growing up is always special so playing on the same bill as Marcus Intalex and DJ Lee would have to be up there too.
With London Zoo I reckon it would have to be an Asbo disco party we played in Bristol last year, the crowd up there are always nuts.
This year I'd have to say I really enjoyed playing In the Suspect Packages tent at Boombap festival with Dabbla and Stig on No Sleep!!!
Where can people find you online?
Finally, any shout outs you may have?
Everyone at the Zoo, Eatgood and High Focus, Foreign Beggars, Formz, Stig, Tyni, Philly B, Dubbledge, Triggah, George, Hoolio @ Drumstepuk, Jay Jay, Corrina, Termite, all the DJs featuring on my mixtape , JMR, DJ Pleasure, Longlegs, Jammin and all Swiss crew, 12 dirty bullets, Saul, Will, Sam and all @ MTA, Atom, Mova , Sparky mark and everyone supporting us... much love
Words: Aaron Jackson
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