By: James Murray
It doesn’t matter how much you know about bass music, chances are DJ Fresh is a name you’re familiar with. The release of Kryptonite mid-2010 gave the profile of DJ Fresh a huge boost, as Gold Dust and Lassitude made an impact on worldwide music charts. More recently, Louder made history as the first dubstep track to ever reach the #1 spot in the UK – and as a follow-up release and celebration of his beloved record label Breakbeat Kaos are set to release the first in a series of compilations; Bass Music 1.
Dubstep has been on the rise in the UK for several years now, and Breakbeat Kaos remains at the forefront of both the drum & bass and dubstep scenes. Following the labels success, who could be a more fitting interviewee than Daniel Stein AKA DJ Fresh, chart topper and innovator of bass music.
Breakbeat Kaos is without a doubt one of the leading drum and bass record labels, and the tracklist for Bass Music 1 showcases that -what does it mean to you to be a major part of Breakbeat Kaos at this time?
Fresh: If you’re part of Breakbeat Kaos you’re part of a revolution. Virtually all our artists have gone on to become the top names in UK urban music. A BBK release is like earning your stripes.
Breakbeat Kaos has hosted many names in the past that have gone on to reshape bass music and truly expose bass music to the rest of the world – do you still plan on signing the smaller, budding artists as well as supporting the bigger names?
Fresh: We always have, Chase and Status were budding artists when we signed Duppy Man! As were Nero when we signed Act Like You Know. Now we’re working with new artists like Kamuki and Pixel Fist.
Getting a dubstep track to the UK number 1 spot with Louder is perhaps the most important milestone for the genre so far. As you’re heavily involved with both the drum & bass and dubstep scenes with both your label and productions this must’ve been a great achievement on a personal level?
Fresh: Definitely; I think it’s a signpost for UK music, as have been the recent success of Chase and Status Nero flux Pavillion etc. The thing I’m most proud of is the role the label has played in helping build that platform for bass music.
Following the success of Kryptonite, what’s now planned for DJ Fresh?
Fresh: I’m working on a new album at the moment and full live show in November, FRESH / LIVE.. Really excited about that. Tickets are on sale at http://www.gigsandtours.com (wink wink)
Do you intend to stick to the dubstep orientated sounds of Louder or the older Fresh styles such as that of Heavyweight in future productions?
As Kryptonite has been such a commercial success you’ve played to some audiences, for example at large-scale festivals, which you perhaps wouldn’t have played to so much in the past. Do you have to adapt your DJ sets depending on the crowd?
Fresh: My sets have changed alot over the past couple of years. I’ve been playing bits of breaks and electro for a while as I was making stuff with Deekline and Wizard etc. But with the opening up of the music and the type of gigs I’ve been playing it’s really given me a platform to go anywhere with my sets… And I feel more at home djing now than ever before, it feels like I’ve found myself as a DJ.