This one got started back in November, but I've given up on receiving any further replies, or the exclusive mix I was hoping for. But seeing as he's co-headlining Dubloaded this month, I thought I might as well publish the responses I did receive, for anyone out there who's curious to know a little bit more background on the mighty N-Type. I'll probably have a good-natured moan at him about it when I see him this weekend, but really I'm not too upset - I appreciate he's a busy man and I'm grateful to him for taking the time to answer at least some of my questions.
Earlier today I was listening to one of his old Rinse shows in the car - a cassette recording I made directly from the stream last summer. It reminded me of what an incredibly exciting time it was then. The Rinse stream was really reliable during that period and I was locked practically every other night to the sounds of Youngsta & Task, Distance & Quiet Storm, etc. But if there was anyone who really schooled me on the sheer length and breadth of dubstep innovation, it had to be N-Type. The scene still has much more to give us, but I reckon when I look back on it all in years to come it'll be those Rinse shows from mid-2005 that'll really sum it all up for me.
Anyway, here's the interview...
Gutta: So where you from, bruv?
N-Type: Reigate, Surrey...but known as a Croydon-Dubstep hybrid.
G: Can you tell me how long you've been djing, and some background on your early career?
N-T: I've been djing for nine years. Started mixing Jungle and D'n'B, did loads of minor raves and fings then I got into buying dark speed garage kinda stuff. I loved the speed of garage - the 138bpm kinda movement was so me!! I found jungle really easy to mix, so garage was fun cos it was slower and there was such a variety of different sounds involved in it, whether it be vocal, 4x4, 2step, speed garage, and later on Eski, Grime and Dub. I started buyin' garage at Big Apple Records in Croydon, where I met loads of my mates in da scene now! I owe a lot to John, Hatcha, Arf and da Big Apple fam. They introduced me to Carlton who at the time ran Delight FM. That is where I started my career and started gaining links and recognition in the industry and loads of bookings like Garage Delight, License to Rave, and loads of other stuff. I toured loads of different stations while I was on Delight, I loved radio and put in a lot of hard work.
G: How did the transition to Rinse FM come about?
N-T: I stepped up my game when Delight began getting very unorganised down to DTI hitting them on a regs and lack of commitment from members of the team. I still see the management when I'm out and about and they are safe! They looked after me but I knew towards the end there was only one pirate station to be on: RINSE. So I decided to put in sum hard work and finally got a show on Rinse. I was so happy! Fridays 1-3 I was doin'! This was September 2004 just as my remix "Square Off" got signed. I started gaining loads of links and bookings started comin' in.
G: So you were starting to produce tracks as well around that time?
N-T: I was already starting to produce using Reason 2. I suprisingly got my first four tunes signed as soon as I finished them. This is back in late 2003. I didn't have a clue wot I was doin' then! I began refining my production techniques - but even now I have so much to learn!! I never get enough time, so busy doin' design...but that's another story...
G: What would you say were your main influences, either as a producer or dj?
N-T: I always liked garage tempo, more dark stuff like d'n'b but with jungle vibes! That's why I love dubstep! Hatcha, Benny Ill, Walsh, Benga, Skream, Menta, John, and Chef were sum of the crew who lived near me and all contributed to wot I play now. Influences come from artists such as Andy C, Hype & Zinc, Bad Company, Skream, Benga, Loefah, Mala, Coki, Menta, Brockie, Adam F, Roni Size, Plasticman, Geeneus, EZ, EL-B, Ghost Records, Ganja Cru Recs, Philly Blunt Recs, Congo Natty Recs, Zero 7, Tempa Records...loads and loads...
G: You've become a regular dj at the legendary FWD>> club too, right?
N-T: Yeah, I had always wanted to play there from the days of Velvet Rooms (its first venue). Big up Sarah, Amy, Yungz, Gee, Gary, Dugs, Hatcha, all da crew down there at Plastic People!
G: You play an astonishing amount of exclusive tunes in your sets. When did you start cutting dubs?
N-T: Hatcha was the first one to show me about dubplates! I used to see all his tunes and they all looked the same (cut from the same place, Transition Mastering). I was like, "wot are they?". From that moment onwards I was hooked!! I have been cutting solid for years now.
G: Finally, can you give me a brief summary of your recent activities?
N-T: I got a new show on Rinse, Sat 11-1am, which I'm on now! Then Coki, Mala and Loe brought me in at DMZ, which I was so happy about too, cos that rave is the dog's bollox! Since then I have started playing across all boarders! Subloaded and The Level in Bristol were SICK!!!! Big up all Bristol crew - hold tight Pinch, Appleblim, Wedge, Blazey, and yourself of course Mr Gutta. I got a whole load of releases coming out on different labels, and now I have my own label Terrain Records. The first release by SNO is out in stores now.
----------------------------Update: the next N-Type EP will be released on Dub Police in April, and features one of his biggest tunes to date, "Way Of The Dub". I think the second release from Terrain will be Omen's "Rise", hopefully coming out very soon!