The Future Jungle Blog caught up recently with 2 men behind one of the most prominent labels of 2012 in the scene, with several No1s in the trackitdown.net breaks chart, Bad Habit Digital has taken the world of breakbeat by a storm. 2013 looks to be an even bigger year for Bad Habit, to tell us just exactly why that is, here's Chris Bad Habit and Strange Rollers.
Chris Bad Habit
Thanks for taking the time to speak to Future Jungle Blog, 2012 has been a great year for Bad Habit Digital with several No1s in the trackitdown.net breaks charts, what would you attribute that success to?
The main reason would be down to the Talent we have on board the Label and Agency which has been an important Factor I feel.
Could you tell us a bit more about them?
The Label is built upon close friends and contacts with main man,Strange Rollers being a friend and fellow DJ/producer whom has taken the future Jungle/J-tek scene by storm.
The recent releases on Bad Habit have definitely showcased the diversity within Nu skool breaks from 140 Jungle to faster tempo'd Breakbeat Hardcore and DnB, what has been your personal favourites from those releases?
Mmm that’s a hard one...I think the laid back style of the Jazz Dub E.P form Strange Rollers has shown that the scene is creating music not just for clubs but also for festivals and outdoor events where it has been very successful..
We understand you've had some pretty exciting news recently about some old skool legends featuring on a future releases for Bad Habit?
Yes we are really pleased to have had the opportunity to be able to remix the imperial brothers and Dani B and Lil Rockin G of the Knights of the turntable. Strange Rollers have worked their magic into both tracks and created a real funky and diverse sound to the original, the Strange Rollers have brought the U.K sound of Future Jungle and influenced the USA hip hop sound to fuse together to create a new audience for both genres. We are also very pleased to have the booty of "The Message" endorsed by Grand Master Flash aka Ron Green in a 140 flava..More news to follow
That’s pretty exciting, L.A Hip Hop legends, The Knights of the Turntable getting involved, which tracks are going to be remixed and released?
Freedom is a new release for the KOTTS and we are working on lots of new material with them as there new vocalist and wife of head honcho Gerard, Dani B has an amazing voice straight out of the gospel church..
We hear that you will be releasing a remix of a track by The Imperial brothers which featured on Nu Electro Vol 4 on Street Sounds
Yes, we have courtesy of Strange Rollers created a Funked up beat version of Breathe which we feel, uplifts the original which will give a new audience the chance to hear these Legends in a new light. Very pleased with this mix, Funky and full of UK flavour!
Asides from being a record label, you also have a DJ agency and a studio, can you tell us more about that?
Yes, after the label we have an in-house, full recording studio and mastering service run by Lee Gardner (of Dance Digital) and the DJ agency is designed to push new and oldskool legends not only in the UK but to Europe as well due to our UK/French connections so that we can pioneer artists vice versa to a new crowd..
The whole philosophy behind Bad Habit Muzik is to create a company where we combine the ds with the producers alongside our events showcasing new music in clubs as well as on our radio station to reach a bigger targeted audience all working as one happy family...
Once again, thanks for taking the time, any last words or honourable mentions?
I would like to thank Lee Gardner whom is the Master in the studio. I would also like to thank all the artists whom have let us release there productions
You’re a prolific and renowned DJ and producer with a huge back catalogue of productions that span Deep House to 140bpm Future Jungle/Hardcore Breaks and DnB, how did it all begin for you?
My first stab in the producing world was in 1999 / 2000 when I went round a mates house to learn how he produced, I got the bug shortly after and bought an Akai sampler, Bass station Rack, Cubase on the Atari ST and a basic Korg Keyboard, after many attempts and making tracks I produced my first decent Drum & Bass track. Not having a clue who to give it to I decided to release it myself on white label, I released a 2 tracker called 'So Fine' full on Amen track sampling Whitney Houston of all people but it got picked up by DJ Magazine and Knowledge who both gave it an excellent 4* out of 5, this really spurred me on to make more.
I was signed initially to 'Critical' which is now an amazing well established d&b label but...
I was a test press first release for the label and shortly after my Son fell ill and I basically gave up music making for the next 7 years! Until I found a site called 'Back to the Old School'
I met Eddie Voyager though the site, Set up numerous Labels releasing Hardcore Breaks on Vinyl and basically got my grounding and love of music back, I Also met up with DJ Pete (Hardcore Lives Recs)
Always being into early 80's Hip Hop and early House has definitely influenced the way I like to make music, with a love of so many styles / Genres of music I have to mix and match what I make, infuse different styles within a track
Ah Yes, Back To The Old School also known as BV2OS, this site played a huge part in the revival of the early 90s Proto Jungle/DnB sound or 'Old Skool', this scene grew throughout the 00's and is arguably reaching it's peak once again,being very much a part of this scene, what are your feelings about it?
Yes agreed, B2VOS for me started it all off again and really captured a lot of the oldskool ravers love of the music, the problem for the scene back then was it had to be Vinyl or no one was really interested, none of the labels including myself ventured into the new emerging Digital age and until that point when we moved into this market it kept its self a small underground revival and didn’t really venture out into the wider music market. One of the first steps towards this was when DJ Pete and I started the Hardcore Energy CD Series.
Since labels have embraced the digital age we have now picked up a much wider listener base, younger and more diverse mix of listeners which for me is very pleasing because it now doesn’t just mean we're recreating the past but reforming the future, now its digital, the possibilities are much greater and accessible to get a 'worldwide' audience. Vinyl sales dried up towards 2008 time so Digital provided the perfect platform to release music for this to happen.
Nowadays I can browse the digital radio stations and hear our sounds being played very regularly, even the major stations like Radio 1, 1 xtra, XFM play our music, it’s such a good feeling for either your track or fellow producers within the scene to get National radio play. a testament to the scenes dogged approach to never giving up on what we believe we want people to hear.
You mentioned Eddie Voyager, a veteran of the scene; would you say he was a mentor of sorts, when you first got into production? And where there any others who influenced you along the way?
Definitely a big influence, he spent a long long time and with great patience sometimes explaining how to do certain things in production, I even learnt how to organize my studio leads off him, I also have to give props to Lucas (Top Drawer Digital) for his input and determination into the scene for believing in his sound and label, his efforts are really starting to pay off.
As far as other influences they have to come from the music I listen to, if I like a sound or style, I like to incorporate that into my music production. The internet is a great tool to find out how to do something! YouTube especially, many a tutorial video has shown me the way
At this juncture, we come to the present day and the newly established and flourishing sound of future jungle, some see this name as being representative of all the current styles based on the old skool sound, not just big booming basslines but also the older and earlier sound where jungle had big piano leads and techno stabs, would you agree with this?
Well at the end of the day it’s all Bass music, Future Jungle does and has become an umbrella Genre tag for the scene and to be honest, I’m cool with that, you still get you pure Jungle 140 riddims and you get the more Ravey sound of Future Jungle as well as the older 'Hardcore' influenced tracks, if it helps buyers and listeners of the music discover more music it has to be a good thing
Agreed, at Bad Habit Digital, you've had an E.P and 2 tracks released, the E.P did really well and showed yet another aspect of the 140 sound, along with that, you've remixed tracks for Hip Hop and Electro legends as previously mentioned by Chris, that must have been quite a buzz, can you tell us a bit more about that?
Being given the chance by Chris Bad Habit to remix for the Knights of the Turntable and The Imperial brothers was awesome, I listened to these guys back in 1985 off the Streetsounds Electro Albums and to now be remixing for them is amazing, I look forward to doing lots of projects with them in the future and fusing our sounds together
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, to wrap things up, is there anyone you want to mention?, any plugs? Perhaps you could say a few words on 'Change Pace' by yourself on Bad Habit Digital which is out now?
Yeah Change Pace is out now, I hope that track gives the DJ that little something that enables Drum & Bass to be fused with 140 Sets, the speed ups and slowdowns help give that ability, also has a nice pumping riff to get u dancing. I’ve got lots of projects soon to be released or being released that I’m excited about we have the Hardcore Lives Vol1 Album out currently featuring 2 of my new tracks along with 22 others, I’ve got a release out on Definition Breaks 50th release which sees the return on my 'Dark Love' track, releases on Warehouse Wax, an Artist EP on Held 2 Ransom, as you've mentioned my remixes for the KOTTS and Imperials on Bad Habit plus plenty more so lots on the go, just the way I like it, plus constantly updating my soundcloud with free goodies.
‘Change Pace’ by Strange Rollers and ‘Rushin’ by Red Lizard are both out now on all good download stores, Imperial Brothers-‘Breathe(Strange Rollers Funk Attack Remix) will be hitting the stores on the 12th November. Have a listen to all current Bad Habit releases here:
Latest tracks by Bad Habit Digital
You can also hear an exclusive mix courtesy of Bad Habit Muzik and DJ Digitally Mashed Here:
B.O.B. - Raybands - Strange Rollers Sunshine Remix by Strange Rollers