The Guv’nor: DJ EZ Talks
Hold up. Before we start, you need to watch this video of EZ. Just watch it, then tell me he isn’t one of the greatest DJs playing in the universe today:
Good eh? We’ve been trying to track EZ down for an interview for a long time – he’s not big on doing press (admittedly with deck skills like those he doesn’t really need to) so it’s taken a lot of persuading but, in the end, we managed to get the Godfather of Garage to sit down and give us some answers. Here we have his first influences, his thoughts on the garage scene past and present, his favourite deck tricks, and just who is banging the box right now…
Who were your DJing heroes?
Being quite a technical DJ, I’m a big fan of Carl Cox, DJ Craze for his mad skills & the Legendary Karl ‘Tuff Enuff’ Brown of Tuff Jam fame..
What were you DJing before you played garage?
Well, in the early days of my DJ career I started off playing Detroit techno, Chicago and Acid house then moved on to Hardcore/Rave before making the final switch to UK Garage.
Did you feel there was a big difference between speed garage and 2 step, and can you pin point a tune where the scene changed?
There was a big change with tracks such as Double 99’s – RIP Groove which was a 4×4 bass heavy track which was more relevant to the guys in comparison to Tina Moore’s Never Gonna Let You Go which was a hit for girls and both are still aired across commercial and pirate radio to this day.
What was the first great garage club you played at?
There are too many to mention but the ones that spring to mind instantly are the Gass Club, Club Koo, Camden Palace & Club Coliseum.
Can you remember any particularly immense line ups/events you played at in the late 90s?
Back then, the line ups were pretty similar so whoever I played alongside were massive headliners such as Tuff Jam, MJ Cole, The Dreem Team, Norris The Boss Windross, Mike Ruff Cut Lloyd.
The events carried the same vibe and atmosphere whether it was Exposure at the Gass Club which was 400-500 capacity venue or Lords of the Underground at The Camden Palace where the capacity was over 1500. So I can’t pinpoint I’m afraid.
Do you think the scene’s reputation for trouble around the start of the 00s was justified or just media hype?
To be honest, it was a bit of both. There was a period where there was trouble at Garage events and with that came the media which resulted in bad press for Garage music and its events. I am happy to say that the days of trouble at events is a thing of the past and ravers now go out to enjoy themselves and the music which is what it’s about right?
Which tracks really ushered in the darker, bassier sound you became known for in the early 00s?
Azzido Da Bass – Dooms Night (Timo Maas Remix).
DJ Narrows – Saved Soul
Reach & Spin
G.O.D – Unlimited (Todd Terry Acid Dub)
Where did you get your dubplates cut at?
Mainly at Heathmans Mastering where I recorded most of the mixes for the Pure Garage albums but I was also a regular at JTS in East London & Music House in North London. (Damn I miss cutting dubs!)
Are there any dubs you’ve got that are real classics that never got released?
My very own self produced Intro #6 has been sought after for many years and still goes down well in the clubs, I also did a 4×4 remix of Daniel Beddingfield’s ‘Gotta Get Thru This‘ which is another one that we get emails about on a regular basis…
Which producers had the most influence over the scene?
In the early days Tuff Jam, MJ Cole, Todd Edwards, Jeremy Sylvester, Anthill Mob, M.A.W, MK were producing beats regularly and I’m happy to say that most of them are still going strong today.
How would you define what you play now?
UK Garage and all it’s sub genres merged with today’s Bass Music with a slice of H&G (House N Garage) from the past and present.
There was a lull in the scene in the mid 00s – what bought it back?
The UK Funky scene was born and everyone jumped on it but unfortunately it was short-lived which was mainly down to the fact that there was not much variation in the tracks. UK Garage was still alive and bubbling under this funky scene but with the amount of classics, new artists, new tracks, DJ support and events it was only a matter of time that the UKG got a second wind and set sail once again!
Who do you rate at the moment production wise?
Cause and Affect, Chris Lorenzo, Flava D, Preditah, Tuff Culture and of course Todd Edwards, I’m a long time fan of his.
What’s your favourite trick on the turntables?
I’m known for live remixing on the CDJ’s where I fast cue button trigger samples and cue points over tracks, play live drum patterns on the CDJs and chop/cut mixes with the crossfader on the mixer. However, I do feel it’s time for some new magic so watch this space!
Can you tell us 5 tunes that are out right now that kill it.
Tee Vish – Can’t Tek This
Cause & Effect – Get To The Chopper