We were more than happy to recently touch down with drum & bass heavy hitters DJ Ruffstuff and MC Harry Shotta ahead of the release of their exclusive compilation mix 'Space Jump' that is only being made available through us here at Kmag.
The mix includes a stack of fresh bars from one of the game's finest hosts Harry Shotta, effortlessly complimented by the ever consistent, air-tight selections of Ruffstuff.
We had a quick catch up with the boys to look back on 2012 and talk about what they've got planned for the New Year. Be sure to grab your free copy of 'Space Jump' as you simply can't miss this early Christmas gift!
Thanks for taking a minute out to chat to Kmag, How's it going?
Ruffstuff: No problem, all good my end, keeping busy and focused...
Shotta: Yeah bro, all good, been working hard in the studio looking forward to dropping this mixtape...
Are you all sorted for the festive period? Will you be getting much time off over Christmas or will you be busy gigging?
Shotta: Yeah man, I was on the Christmas shopping from early this year so that's nearly a wrap. The Christmas period is always a busy time for bookings and this year is looking as hectic as ever for me and Ruff. I think Christmas Day is the one day off really and then it's back on the road on the Boxing Day.
So onto 'Space Jump', what was the idea behind the mix, how did it come about and has it been a while in the making? Influenced by a mutual respect for Mr Baumgartner's achievements by any chance?
Shotta: Yeah, to be honest, both me and Ruff have wanted to drop a new DNB studio mix for a while now. We were going to a night together in Bristol and we decided that after I drop my hip hop mixtape 'Moonlight Hustle' we would definitely bang something out for the scene.
I think the studio mixes are a great way of promoting yourself but they are also good for giving something back to the supporters who come to the raves week in week out.
Even though I recorded 52 Rap Round Ups for Semtex on 1Xtra and I put out a 20-track hip hop mixtape, I still wanted to make sure every bar on this mixtape was new and relevant to the scene.
A lot of people told me I couldn't do it and it was an impossible task so in that way I was definitely inspired by Baumgartner's space jump as it was such a mad achievement and something some people would say is impossible.
I'd like to think Felix himself is going to get a cop of this mix, Do you reckon he's a closet raver? Have you got any personal desires deep down to give his profession a go one day?
Ruffstuff: Haha! Something for his iPod on the next space jump maybe? To be honest I'm not too keen on throwing myself out of space! So I'll wait until I can do it in a spaceship, it's a little safer I think!
There's a real feeling of spontaneity to the mix, a testament to the standards you guys are setting out there and a great way of keeping the elements of a live performance. Was there much planning or did you just hit record and see what came out the other side?
Shotta: Ruffy smashed the mix. Once I had that I really went in with the planning my end. I literally wrote a lot of bars specifically to the tunes on the mix, rather than just throw random bars I had written on a bunch of beats. Hopefully people can hear that in the way the bars marry up with the music on the mixtape.
Ruffstuff: We spoke about where we wanted to take it musically, and to be honest, we both agreed that we wanted to give it a wide range of styles, not just a full on dancefloor mix. I think there's something for everybody on it, and where Shottz has taken it lyrically is next level.
How important is it, as a DJ, to have a host at the top of his game spitting over your selections? Especially on a live tip, it must be crucial for getting as much out the crowd as possible.
Ruffstuff: I think it's very important to be honest. MCs have pushed themselves into the forefront of the scene nowadays, so the crowd are as in tune to them as much as the music. There are a few MCs I really like to work with; they can bring out different sides to you as a DJ.
Is this a collection of some of your personal favourite tunes that are around at the moment? Are there any standout tracks/record labels that have been particularly big for you in 2012 at the live shows?
Shotta: It's mad for me because I'm out doing the raves every weekend and I hear all the new tunes but I never know the names of them. This mixtape had me searching out who the tunes were made by and there's some big bits on here from Hazard, Majistrate and Tyke. I think one of Ruffy's new tunes is on there too.
I actually asked Ruff to put a particular old track from DJ Die on there as I always wanted to spit to it but other than that I just let Ruff do his thing and he smashed it!
Ruffstuff: I would say so yeah, I wanted to express the versatility of my record box, but to be honest, we haven't touched the sides... watch out for a possible part two next year!
Any hot scoops that you can recommend for the Kmag readers to look out for in the next 12 months?
Shotta: In terms of new music from me, I'm gonna release a new hip hop mixtape in the early part of 2013 but it's more to showcase three artists I've been working with closely. That's pretty much finished.
I'm going to be doing loads of features with rap and grime artists and pushing out visuals for tracks next year. I'm also going to do some DNB vocal tracks but they've got to work as songs that can be played on radio.
Ruffstuff: I've just launched a new label with a good friend of mine - DJ Friller. (REAL-IGION RECORDS) that's going to be a big focus of mine in 2013. I've also been mad busy in the studio working on tracks, also some remix projects, so keep your eyes and ears open!
How will you be seeing in the New Year? Any upcoming events that we can catch you at?
Shotta: I'm gonna be on stage in Birmingham for the midnight set this New Year's Eve at Raveology with Hazard and Evil B, then people can catch me at Random Concept in Northampton and United As One in London.
Ruffstuff: My night starts of in Essex for the Heavy Goods NYE bash then I'm off to United As One in London for a set alongside Shottz.
Words: Eddy Mac
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