Interview: N-Type

Prior to his February 24th appearance at Abaton, as part of the Sperm Festival, the British DJ shares his love of dubstep

N-Type has been DJing for a good few years now.

Starting out at the age 14, he's moved from drum and bass, through 2Step garage, to his current style, dubstep.

He's had a DJ set broadcast on BBC Radio 1, is a resident at London's Forward>> night, and recently mixed the fifth volume of the Dubstep Allstars compilation series.

The London-based DJ plays alongside Tempa labelmates Youngsta and Crazy-D at Abaton on Saturday, February 24th, as part of the Sperm Festival's Sperm Show & Sperm Cinema closing party.

Ahead of the show, Machine Funck's Abu dropped him a line...

Abu: How did you find your way to dubstep? Was it a natural process -- some slight changes in your sound over time -- or did you simply hear it and get hooked?

N-Type: I've been in the game scene since the early days. I heard the likes of Horsepower, Zed Bias, Oris Jay, [and] Ghost records making dark garage-style beats and that's what got me into the darker side of garage music, which eventually evolved into dubstep. I love a wide range of music! In my eyes, anything good is good! Devoid of genre!

I started DJing around 1996, playing jungle and drum and bass, but I loved the speed and variety of the garage music. When I heard DJ EZ [of London dance music radio station Kiss 100] for the first time I saw how he created energy and quality vibes, through being creative on the decks, mixing tracks in a certain way to make the crowd go mental! So around 1998 I started buying a few garage bits from the legendary Big Apple Records in Surrey Street, Croydon. (Sadly now closed, but the label is still on fire!). I was never really feeling the cheesy garage much but I loved the way I could mix it, so when a darker dubby side of garage filtered through, it basically merged all my favorite things in one place! As the sound developed and got further away from garage it was named dubstep!

Abu: What does music -- and particularly dubstep -- mean to you?

N-Type: Music is my life! Dubstep is the perfect sound for me! I think it has everything! The right speed so you can either break out on the dance floor and go mental or chill in your living room with a zoot!

There are so many different styles of dubstep coming out of producers. This is the nice thing about dubstep because of its variety! You can find what you like, init, whether it be energetic dance floor madness, reggae bubblers, deep, haunting half-step rinse outs, intricate melodies, progressive in-your-face techno, chilled smoking vibes, right through to vocal skankers -- but the one thing it all has in common is a massive weighty bassline!

Dubstep is my home!

Abu: In which countries is dubstep most popular? Do you know anything about the Czech scene?

N-Type: Europe has embraced dubstep massively! I nearly did the whole of Europe last year! I've played at some amazing parties all over the world. There's a big scene growing in the States! I just got back from San Francisco and they love it out there! I know that there's a lot of stuff happening in New York, Texas and LA too!

I've heard great things about the Czech Republic music scene and I can't wait to see it for myself!

Abu: What other styles do you like?

N-Type: Hip-hop, jungle, drum and bass, reggae, dub, Oriental music, some metal, garage, grime, chill-out music, etc. I'm not a fan of genres! I just like anything good and inspiring!

Abu: You're coming to Prague with Youngsta and MC Crazy D, to showcase the Tempa label. How do you see future of Tempa? What's next?

N-Type: Tempa is the biggest label right now! They have an amazing catalogue of releases heading way back into the early days of dubstep. They also run the Dubstep Allstars CD mix series, which I've had the honor of mixing for. The label is growing by the minute, with singles and albums from artists such as Scream, Benga, Horsepower, Hijak, N-Type, Caspa, D1… The list goes on! Tempa is one of the freshest highly respected labels on the underground right now!

Abu: What's your favorite type of venue for performances? Do you like idea of the Sperm Festival?

N-Type: When I first heard the name I was like, what? Is someone having me on? What's this all about? I thought I was playing at some sex thing! I thought, oh my days, my girl is gonna go nuts! Flying out to Prague for some dirty orgy weekend or some shit! Ha ha! Then I looked into it more and realized it was a quality idea and a great way of pushing new music!

Abu: Mala from DMZ was here two weeks ago and it was quite a breakthrough gig in Prague. Also, other guys like Warlock, Blackmass Plastics and mainly MarkOne with MC Nika D were here last year ago… And the question is: Are you going to beat them with your Sperm Festival performance?

N-Type: LOL! I'm not coming out to the Czech Republic to try and beat them guys at anything. I've never seen what I'm doing as a competition thing, I'm just doing what I've always done, expressing myself through the music I love! I think this show will be something special! Youngsta and I have some sick tunes and Crazy D is the sickest mic man! So ask yourself… Are you really ready to feel the might of Tempa?

N-Type's MySpace PageSperm Festival PreviewSperm Festival Website

Video on YouTube

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