Between 1999 and 2007 I released two albums: 'Keep It Unreal' (1999) and 'Trouser Jazz’ (2002), and rereleased my first album ‘Mr. Scruff’ as ‘Mrs. Cruff’ in 2007. I also released a 'Keep It Solid Steel' mix CD in 2004. This was originally planned to be the first in a series of mix CD releases, but it took a ridiculous 18 months to license all of the tracks, and re-record parts where we couldn't license the tracks that we wanted, so I am yet to mix a second volume.
The release of my Ninja album 'Keep it Unreal' kick-started my Manchester club night of the same name, borne of a desire to play exactly what I wanted, rather than having to fit in with the music policies of other club nights. After a short stint at Planet K, the night moved to the Music Box, where it remained for the next ten years, before relocating to its current home, Band on the Wall. The success of this night inspired me to take the idea on tour, so that instead of turning up with my records and playing the standard two hour guest DJ slot, I would recreate 'Keep it Unreal' in different venues, and play for the whole night.
As a DJ, I was now in a position where I could play a lot of esoteric and unusual music. Playing for the duration of the night enables me to create a very relaxed atmosphere, before increasing the energy levels at my own pace and taking in many kinds of music along the way. Over the course of a night the music can include blues, jazz, soul, funk, 60s R&B, disco, boogie, deep house, reggae, ska, rocksteady, dancehall, electronica, electro, hip hop, African, Latin, drum & bass, breakbeat, and any combination of the above. The only real criteria is that the music has to have soul!
Although I am a fairly technical DJ, it is vital to remember that the most important skill for a DJ is to play great records in the right order. Each record must complement the one before, and introduce the one that follows. Beatmatching is an obvious way of linking records, but there are other common factors, such as lyrical themes & complimentary keys that a DJ can use to aid the transition. Each piece of music has a mood and an energy level, and orchestrated carefully, you can create an atmosphere where every record that comes in is precisely right for that moment.
One very important aspect of my gigs is the control I have over the club environment, especially the sound system, visuals and lighting. The sound system is especially important, and we spend many hours setting up and soundchecking for each gig. You can find full details of my DJ set up in the FAQ section of this site, and a short geeky YouTube run through my DJ kit here.