Jurassik, aka Ben Child, first got into dance music in the late '90s via jungle/drum & bass. “Anything with a skippy sampled break, really,” he tells DJ Mag. “I also loved the dark and rugged vibe of the early breakbeat scene around the same time — Fuel Records, Adam Freeland's Marine Parade Records, the legendary Botchit & Scarper.”
After a spell promoting parties in Reading, which he named Supatronix, he moved the brand and himself up to London and began putting on events in Shoreditch and the East End, booking artists like Tipper, FreQ Nasty, Freeland and breakbeat godfather Rennie Pilgrem. “It was a time when you just had to be a guy with access to a soundsystem and a few hundred mates willing to turn up, and people would come and play for you,” he recalls. “Heady days!”
Ben Jurassik was also a DJ by this point, naming himself after a misspelling of the period in time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. “Who doesn't love dinosaurs?” he smirks. “They're big, bad and generally take no prisoners.”
Supatronix surfed the breakbeat golden era, starting an offshoot label too and consistently being nominated for Best Small Club Night at Breakspoll, but then came the 'breaks is dead' backlash which saw many of the principal breaks artists jumping ship to electro-house. “It's absolutely scandalous that because of a few media dickheads, an entire era of wicked music may never get through to kids checking out beats today,” Jurassik rails. “Go listen to early Plump DJs, BLIM or Kevin Beber and try telling me this music doesn't belong in the grandest pantheon of dance music in the trophy room with the biggest bassbins. Anyone who disagrees can fuck off!”
He's a producer himself now too, methodically teaching himself all the necessary skills to make some banging tracks. Why didn’t he just get someone else to do it for him, like a lot of other people do? “It never occurred to me to get someone to make my beats for me,” he exclaims. “And I would never have had the cash! I guess I'm also a little too obsessed with getting the right sound in the studio, and on the few occasions I've let someone else get involved in the production process it's never turned out as well as I'd hoped.
“At the same time, I'm hardly sitting in the studio trying to recreate a formula from 10 years ago,” he continues. “I'll borrow the best bits, but I'm listening to a lot more grime, jungle, bashment, garage these days. Anything with a vibe that sounds proper on a big soundsystem. I'm a UK producer, and I think if you come from here you need to make music that sounds like it comes from a UK place: for me that means the kind of beats you might hear booming out of a shop-front in Peckham Rye, not 12-minute-long desert-tech or proggy noodle-step or whatever.”
This is evident from his new 'Flame On EP' on Hot Cakes. 'Fyah' is a ragga-tinged breakbeat roller that builds into a heavy bashy electronic piece, while 'Burning' is a floor-igniting breakbeat DJ tool. He's also included a junglistic update of his own 'Hit Dat' that brings it slap-bang up-to-date for 2014's non-4/4 floors.
“I made these tunes to spin at the Hot Cakes parties I run with Deekline in Brixton,” Jurassik says. “The crowd are not head-nodders in three-quarter length trousers, so you need to make sure whatever you play gets straight to the point. I'm trying to write tracks that are big, brash and designed to make you move, not turn the page of Vice magazine and pour yourself another skinny latte. If that makes me old school, then so be it.”
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