Pick any prominent DJ from Drum & Bass’s inception to now and you can guarantee they have a host of Digital Records in their bag.
Kicking off his career in 1994, Ipswich based Digital has played a pivotal role in both Jungle and Drum & Bass with classic releases on Metalheadz, Creative Source, 31, C.I.A. and his own ‘Function’.
With a New EP recently released on Metalheadz and a performance for us on the 5th May we sat down for 5 minutes with…... Digital.
LTJ: You're just about to drop your new release 'In The Lurch' on Metalheadz on the 14th April, we've been particularly feeling the collab with Villem, have you had any particular inspiration behind this release?
Digital: No not really Villem and I were just vibing like we did on 'Bug Eye' the other track we did on my album Synthesis which has a completely different vibe... Sun Bites is named after the tasty sweet chilli snacks I was eating in the studio at the time and as the tune is smooth and sunny we thought it suited well.
LTJ: You've played a prominent role in Jungle & DnB for over 20 years now and can trace your roots back to the beginning, from then to now, how do you feel the scene is progressing in your eyes?
Digital: the scene is strong worldwide due to the underground Djs, producers and record labels keeping their presence strong in clubs worldwide. We have artists like Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Chase & Status, Matrix & Future Bound and Andy C who keep in touch with the masses at the big festivals. So DNB has all angles covered.
LTJ: There seems to be a huge trend in artists moving away from releasing on the more major labels and establishing their own instead, you kicked off Function back in 99' as a sub-label of Timeless, what prompted this and do you see this as a continuing trend?
Digital: Yes it's definitely a trend because an established artist's label can do just as good for them as long as they have their business and online game correct. It's great to centralize everything to yourself to build your own brand.
LTJ: A personal favourite of mine from recent years would be your collab 'The Mosquito' with regular production partner Spirit, can we expect any more collaborations from the pair of you?
Digital: Yes we're working on 4/5 tracks now which includes Phantom 2017 and a Deadline v Dial Up Mash Up. We have 3/4 tracks on the go with Total Science to release on our CIA v Phantom Audio label.
LTJ: Do you have any producers you've been following lately? Any names we need to be aware of?
Digital: I always follow these 3 artists... Response, Spirit & Marcus Intalex. These producers get the blend of filth and music spot on for me. Tracks to look out for, Response – Only You – Commercial Suicide and there's Spirit & Marcus Intalex 12 going around on Spirit's label Inneractive Music
LTJ: Any more plans for another LP? 'Synthesis' last year was an absolute killer.
Digital: Thanks! No plans yet but I have 3 or 4 12's on Function Records ready to go including Spirit's 12, Stalker EP forthcoming May 26th.
LTJ: We've seen you joining Nomine on one of his producer feedback sessions, we think it's really good to see artists giving feedback to producers this way, do you plan to do anymore of these?
Digital: Yes it's a monthly thing. I love the way Nomine chooses to help artists in this way. I fully understand when he says, 'The feedback I got back in the day helped me so much whether it was good or bad.' He likes to remind me that for years I bigged up everything in his tracks apart from his basslines! Years later he has his own signature bass so there you go, truth and constructive feedback works haha!
LTJ: Finally, after 20 years in the game - What's the main element that still makes you tick in the world of Jungle & DnB?
Digital: I love the power and energy of a DNB track in a club whether it's Liquid, Dubby or Techy. I enjoy the challenge of trying to stay current after 23 years plus.
Furthermore, I've always been in to music so it's not a fashion statement or something like that plus I enjoy producing and djing more than ever so I feel I have plenty more to give to the scene otherwise I wouldn't bother..
Many thanks to Digital for taking the time out to talk to us, you can catch him this Friday at The Old Red Bus Station for License To Jungle!