Normski – The ‘Dance Energy Influences’ Ransom Note Mix


When R$N was growing up, and the "doof-doofs" were still too hard to get close enough for bassbins, Normski was one of the few that had that "Yoof TV" tings bang on. With comic chops and an ear on the needle, this gent would easily combine our hip-hop formation with our house sensibility before we even knew the genres. So we are delighted to say that he has crafted us a mixtape, and shared some returns on the raves & rhymes that were rumbling 'round the corner…

Yes Normski! Thanks for the Dance Energy themed mix. Here are some Dance Energy themed Qs. What was the reaction like to Dance Energy when it first broadcast? Was it wholly positive or was there any tabloid spluttering that it glorified rave culture?

As far as I can remember the reaction was super positive to Dance Energy. As there really wasn’t anything on primetime TV that celebrated dance music and promoted much of the UK artists as well as International stars.

Do you have a favourite performance from all the Dance Energy shows?

It’s so difficult to decide on a favourite performance as we had so many moments of now historic dancing joys, but Ragga Twins performing “Spliffhead” was one of the best as the energy amongst the audience was off the hook.

Did you come up with the rhymes on the spot or do you somewhere have a secret book of Normski bars?

I was given the basic info for introductions of artists and all links had to be kept short so I would throw it to the camera with a freestyle vibe. My book of bars comes from my heart always been a bit of a freestyler.

Watching old clips, the show still seems radical even by today’s standards – is there anything you think carries Dance Energy’s torch today?

It wasn’t really that the show was radical, It was a fresh approach to music programmes and I believe it was a true representation of what was going on at the time in the scene. There isn’t anything on prime-time or anywhere else on television now that touches it. I will say that Jamal Edwards SBTV and what Boiler room do online is about as close as it gets.

Watching old Dance Energy episodes, it’s clear there was a closer link between hip hop and house in the late 80s and early 90s – any idea when and why that might have disappeared? Or has it?

Back in the day clubs were more eclectic and DJs and artists were inspired and played music from different genres in their sets. I don’t think the connection with liking different styles of music has changed, but I do think the music that is being made has changed. Always been proud of the constant evolution of dance music trends and genres from the various subcultures especially in the UK.

There’s always so much chaos in the studio – were there ever any really memorable fuck ups?

Haha, it was organised chaos. Health and Safety is above all the most important thing in any TV studio, but I do remember in one of my first studio sessions walking into the weights of the crane camera and being knocked out for a bit. I made a quick recovery and the show did go on. 

Who was the weirdest guest you ever had on the show?

I think Right Said Fred was the weirdest booking as I’m not sure the audience felt they were quite right. A bit too pop for Dance Energy really.

And who was the most ‘refreshed’?

The Prodigy was a mega-moment as the strobe-like editing from new director Hamish Hamilton and the high octane first ever TV appearance from the guys was a refreshing change to what anybody had ever seen on British television.

And onto the mix you’ve recorded for us –

Where was the mix recorded?

This mix I recorded live at the Hoxton FM studio where I do a weekly show every Friday 3-5pm in Hackney.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Anywhere is ideal for listening to this mix, Just make sure you have the volume up loud!

What should we be wearing?

I would suggest any sort of party clothing if you’re in a public place, but for those at home or in private you could rock your undies while you rock your socks off.

Which track in the mix is your current favourite?

“I’ll House you” by the Jungle brothers has and always will be a favourite of mine. A perfect joint of house and rap party vibes that gets everyone jumping a little higher.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

Probably the hardest question you could ever have asked me as I have listened to so many DJ sets in my life. Most recently I really enjoyed the Solomun Mix from Tulum in March this year for Boiler Room.

If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?

There are so many DJs I would like to play b2b with, but one I’d really like to play with is Craig Richards in Fabric room one. Craig is a true connoisseur of all sorts of music and fine character of which whenever I watch him play, I am truly inspired.

What were the first and last records you bought?

The first record I remember buying was the Stranglers “Black and White” Album and the last record is Terry Francis “Gasworks” on Default Position.

Normski plays Eastern Electrics New Year's Eve 2015