DJ GROOVERIDER, INTERVIEWED (2000): The doyen of dance

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DJ GROOVERIDER, INTERVIEWED (2000): The doyen of dance
The man whose name is synonymous with drum 'n' bass, London-bred DJ Grooverider, brings his innovative and exciting brand of breakbeats to Auckland tonight.

An inspiration to a generation of drum 'n' bass DJs - as well as being the man who gave Goldie a break when he played some of his tracks at a club - Grooverider can boast 12 years at the turntables.

He's played everywhere from warehouse parties to outdoor festivals.

But it is his London radio shows - with longtime companion Fabio (first for Kiss FM and now Radio One FM) - which really spread the gospel of drum 'n' bass.

These days, Gooverider organises Goldie's Metalheadz club nights, which have bills that read like a who's who of drum 'n' bass.

It was in the mid-80s when Grooverider first ventured behind a pair of Technics at Brixton pirate radio station Phase One.

Back then, before acid house turned music on its head, he'd play anything - from soul, funk and rap to raw early electro, r 'n' b and even punk.

"I used to love all that skinhead music too. I loved the Jam and the Clash. X Ray Spex were my group.

R_115915_1173299848"I couldn't mix or nothing when I started at the station, but it didn't matter because it's not about how well you mix, it's about what music you play.
"A lot of people have forgotten that over the years."

With his first album, Mysteries of Funk, out under his own name - "I'd never done a tune under my own name before. I'd always used aliases" - he discovered the freedom to experiment and push his music beyond the strict confines of the dancefloor.

Mysteries of Funk ambitiously ranges from hardcore (Where Is Jack the Ripper?) to floating vocals (Rainbows of Colour) and the lost-in-space sampladelia of Starbase 23.

But Grooverider points to a consistent thread: funk.

"It's a funk album. Funk is something that's a bit harder than soul. People will say, `How can this be funk?' and I guess that's the mystery.

"Funk is what it's all about. That's where I come from. That's the music that got to me when I was young.

"And now I'm doing my form of funk. Not what everybody else perceives as funk, but what I perceive as funk.

"In another five years maybe I won't be on this funk trip, but this is what I'm doing right now and that's all you can do, dig deep into yourself and say, `This is me, this is what's going on in my head right now.'"

But he also admits he's got into Beck recently - "I wouldn't mind getting my hands on some of his stuff. Drum 'n' bass can really complement rock if it's done right."

And he's looking forward to remixing the Stone Roses' classic Fools Gold - "an original breakbeat tune if ever I heard one".

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