TF Archives

DJ Ride: UK Garage's Next Contender

Author: Skruff
Sunday, January 14, 2001
Happy Days resident spinner DJ Ride spoke to mezzmusic over the holidays about the state of UK garage and his journey from London pirate radio to becoming one of the hottest garage DJs in the world. A definite name to watch out for in 2001, he's also a genuine Cockney, being born and bred in Leyton.

Mezz: How well has Happy Days done since it opened again last November-

DJ Ride: "I'm not being funny but it seems to be the only club where the age group runs from 25 upwards rather than it being more full of 16 and 17 year olds. It's really good, full of nice, friendly, older people, basically."

Mezz: As a resident DJ, what's your approach-

DJ Ride: "I play at virtually every club around London and everywhere you find DJs playing the same music throughout the night. What we're trying to do here is provide a fusion of music comprising quality UK garage with four to the floor plus a touch of funky US music. We're aiming to give a variety rather than just concentrating on the connoisseur style clubber."

Mezz: UK Garage exploded 12 months ago, 1 year on, how healthy is the scene-

DJ Ride: "I was one of the first 5 DJs to actually produce a so called 'UK garage' track, so I've been in this from the start - I'm not a bandwagon DJ, I've helped build it from the start. I ran my own night, the Vinyl Frontier, which was purely for UK garage, when everybody else was still either into drum & bass or house or US (garage). The music's getting better, it's becoming more commercially successful, which in my eyes is a good thing. Lots of the DJs think about going back underground but all the term 'underground' really means is that not many people like it or know of it. I see this scene growing bigger and better, I think it will last."

Mezz: How important for you is spreading the scene internationally-

DJ Ride: "Very important. I've been going to Ayia Napa for four years now, I've been to Ibiza and will shortly be off to Milan. This scene can break in America in a major, major way. It's exciting, people go on about it being a London thing - it's not. We want to be able to take it abroad through Happy Days too, as far as we can."

Mezz: Are you a natural Londoner-

DJ Ride: "I'm East London, from Leyton; born and bred though I've just bought a house outside, by Thurrock. It's all evolved from London but then you see the likes of the Artful Dodger, who are from Southampton."

Mezz: How did you get into DJing-

DJ Ride: "On or off the record- (Mezz: 'on the record'). Basically, I left school, actually a year before I should have done. I used to go to house parties in 1990 and one day I saw this guy, BabyFace Ragga mixing, who actually later committed suicide. I remember standing there, watching him mix and thinking 'Wow, that's amazing' and I took it from there. I bought myself a set of decks and I lived and died in my bedroom until I was able to use them. I managed to get on Pulse FM in 1991 (famous London pirate station) and it's really all developed from there."

Mezz: Presumably you were playing hardcore back then-

DJ Ride: "Yeah…. I'm not really supposed to use the phrase 'old skool hardcore' so lets call it 'classic dance music with a breakbeat and nasty pianos' then you know what I mean (chuckling). All the music that's happening is a circle - there's nothing really new happening now that didn't happen ten years ago, it's just happening now with a little more quality because the studios and computer technology are so much better. That's why there's so many more producers coming through with good music who wouldn't have had opportunities before."

Mezz: Regarding finding new records, are you on loads of mailing lists-

DJ Ride: "I'm actually the head of garage in a record shop called UDM in Enfield, though I also get sent between 40 and 80 records a week from mailing lis