DJ Twitch interview – we talk to our DJ Competition winner
We caught up with DJ Twitch just after he won the Junglist Network DJ Competition 2016 with his amazing video mix.
When did you first get into Jungle and Rave music, what got you into it?
I first got into rave music in 2002 when I moved to Bournemouth and got my first flat. My flatmate produced happy hardcore, this was my first real experience of rave music. We used to go to all the local raves and get coaches up to Milton Keyes and London, it was all hi-vis vests and glow sticks at that stage.
I discovered jungle a few years later on a Nicky Blackmarket tape which was knocking about in the flat and that was when I decided to put the glow sticks down.
How long have you been mixing?
I started DJing quite a few years later. I reckon around 2006.
What music did you grow up listening too?
My parents are massive Northern Soul heads so I grew up in a soul house. Then I went through the normal music teenagers did in the 90s: hip hop then indie, brit pop and rock. I still listen to quite a lot of hip hop and bands like the Arctic monkeys and Libertines. Now I listen to a lot of glitch hop and ghetto funk because it’s full of Motown samples so it reminds me of being a kid.
What was the first bit of music you ever brought?
I’m actually pretty proud of this one. It was The Prodigy – Firestarter on cassette tape! The first piece of vinyl I bought was Super Sharp Shooters.
What DJ’s inspire you and why?
I have always admired DJ’s who scratch so the first DJs that really inspired me were DJ Sy and Hype because they would scratch over hardcore and jungle. I grew up in Bournemouth so I got to see them both regularly, I would get right to the front of the dance floor and try to work out what they were doing… Now with the internet you can watch tutorials and study videos of pretty much every DJ/Turntablist in the world!
The DJs that inspire me now are: JFB, Krafty Kuts, A-Skills, Featurecast, Stickybuds, Marky, Craze and a guy from New Zealand called DJ Spell his style is sick.
Back to jungle though, the artists who have inspired me most from the jungle scene are:
Congo Natty, he has been producing classics for as long as I have been listening to music and is still creating fresh sounding UK underground music, I also admire his ability to completely rock a crowd and how he manages to involve the crowd in his shows.
The Serial Killaz, Benny Page, Ed Solo and Jamie Bostron have all had a massive influence on my DJ style. I love the new style jungle they are producing because it goes down well with any audience.
And have to mention Marvellous Cain because he’s an absolute legend!
What is your proudest Dj based achievement to date (not including winning our competition of course)
Ha yeah that’s about right, this has definitely been my proudest achievement to date!
But earlier this year I won another competition to get a spot at the Shindig Weekender festival and I’ve placed top 10 in the DMC online heats for the last 2 years… I’m a bit of a DJ competition slag to be honest J
I also had the honour of warming up for Congo Natty at a festival in Malta. Meeting Rebel MC and him telling me he enjoyed my scratching was big for me.
What do you love about Jungle?
But mostly I love that it doesn’t take itself too seriously like some other genres can.
How did you learn to scratch?
I brought a single turntable and a proper budget mixer in 2007 then spent a few years teaching myself the basics. In 2008 I started working in a record shop called Strictly Beats, the shop was owned by a guy called DJ X-Rated who was a real battle DJ, in fact he won the DMC battle for supremacy this year (big ups). He was paying me mostly in records and scratch lessons, these lessons helped me develop my own style.
This was where I got the name Twitch because I used to turn up to work on Saturdays in some right twitchy states. They were fun times!
Then In 2009 serato came out and that was a game changer for turntablists because we didn’t have to source 2 copies of every tune and mp3s didn’t deteriorate with use. This was where I really learnt to scratch because I was in a shop full of records spanning pretty much every genre imaginable and I could easily rip them and play about with the mp3 on my turntables.
What makes a good mix in your opinion?
For me a mix has to go on a bit of a journey, I also think an hour set should peak a couple of times. Track selection is key but it’s important not to force tracks into a mix, the best mixes come together naturally and every blend just makes sense.