Ritual has been one of the hottest DJs in Sydney for a long long time, and has a new single out this week. Dub Skies/Send For The New Gun shows off Ritual's signature techy, dubby sound, and you can check it out below, along with our interview and a mix from the man himself.
Hey Ritual, how’s life? Give us an essence of the d&b scene in Sydney.
Life's great - thanks! Sydney is my home and I’m thankful for all the love that it’s spread over the years. Drum & bass has always been vibin here, with people listening to a lot of different stuff – and giving drum & bass a lot of time as well. As you may know, breaks was huge here and for time d&b and breaks went hand in hand, so there was huge support. With the rise of dubstep and more recently bass music, younger listeners get exposed to d&b through that as well as getting straight in. D&B and jungle are after all name check influences for producers from many different genres today. Although very different to Metalheadz Sunday Sessions, V at Mass or World Dance, we have our own thing going on here. I remember Zinc walking into our shop a while ago and I was playing ‘Free Us’ by Nos which he loved and I was telling him I played it out all the time. He was pleasantly shocked and the proceeded to absolutely annihilate the club with his deepest records that night. We are proud to have a different kinda flex here...
You are dropping your new release, Inna Riddim 013. Tell us about the tracks which are coming out and how they came together.
Yes - lucky 13. In fact the combined age of the 2 tunes on this release is actually 13. Sounds old I know, but these 2 tunes seem just as if not more relevant now than when they were made. The B side, "Send For The New Gun" was inspired by my proverbial big brother, Spikey Tee who lent me an old Jammy's mix tape (yes tape) from around 1983. I had been making a lot of reggae inspired music at the time (think 2004 - 2006 and it was a resurgence for music with that vibe) and started sampling off the tape. I got some great samples off that and the whole vibe of the tape made me want to do something a lot heavier than usual. I played it to Spikey and he loved it, suggested an extra drop of bass (you'll know what I mean when you hear it) and it became a signature record for him on tour for quite a while after that.
"Dub Skies" is more typical Ritual territory as it gets a lot deeper. I'd been making a lot of sample
based music and thought this time I'd just let the Virus do the talking. It came out really naturally and although sonically different to my material at the time, the vibe was there. I had a friend of mine play live drums over the top and so you get nice movement throughout the tune as well. It made all the difference! I have to say, this is actually one of my favourite pieces I've made. It was inspired by a memory of coming back from London in 97, when Blame's Logical Progression had just come out. We used to mostly land in Sydney around 6am, so you'd see the sun come up in the air which to a soundtrack of Blame's epic "Cuban Lynx' is truly inspirational. i can still see that sun rise now...
How would you sum up your sound for the readers?
This is always a tough question. Firstly I’d say the best definition is probably here: http://consciousrebelmusic.com/music/ I have always liked my music a little deeper but like to spring a smasher out every now and then, like you will hear in Send For the New Gun. I guess there’s a lot of reggae influenced music that I’ve made over a few years so many people know me for that, especially for the releases on my Conscious Rebel Music imprint (shouts to Rcola too!), release on Suv’s Playside and my work with Spikey Tee, but I also love to make jazz and soul influenced music as well. I have recently been caught up in the 130bpm 808 steez which I do under the name Tape2Tape and have a hand in Yes Yes Records as well, although that is mainly curated by my long time music buddy Q45 ak Diamond Lights. It’s quite a departure from my drum n bass but I think it’s extremely important to flex your musical brain in every way possible. I’m even doing some trap releases with Sydney boy Pablo Calamari and tech influenced stuff with Kato also, so I gotta give shouts to them. Drum & bass has always absorbed influences from everywhere and I definitely feel that ethos.
Shout out your record store.
Yes! Big ups to The Record Store (www.therecordstore.com.au). The best place to buy d&b in Sydney. We are the Aus distributors for ST Holdings and SRD amongst others, so you know we have the freshness. I've been there in its different guises for over 10 years and I love that place. As much as online give you ease of access, nothing will ever beat going to a record store. I’m really proud of this place as we have been a hub for time and where pretty much every other vinyl shop repping this kind of music has disappeared, we’ve weathered the storm and stood strong. Definitely something to be proud of and why I’m investing even more time there at the moment. If you reach Sydney come down for beats and beers!
What have you got on the mix to celebrate the release?
Well, given that these tunes take us back to '05/'06, I've decided to do a mix of my favourite pieces of wax from that time. All wax, all live. I really enjoyed doing this as it gave me a chance to go back in time and dig out some truly great records. With so much music that is based in the 'now' and the 'future', I wanted to give everyone something different to check out. This was a great era because there was loads of Calibre records, I was DJing a lot and doing radio, so I really just amongst it and the records you hear here represent that. The mix starts off deep, gets a bit rugged in the middle, shares some reggae love and ends on some of my absolute favourites. I really hope you enjoy this...
Thanks to the Knowledge Team for letting me ramble...
Our pleasure. Check out the mix here: http://innariddim.com/mix/ritual-throw-back-mix
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