Rodney: Pirate Mixtape 02
In the second episode of the Pirate Mixtape series we are joined by Rodney who takes us on a rip roaring journey through Bass and Breaks.
Life is pretty fast these days – as such so too is the music.
Rodney is a wicked DJ and a self described ‘miniature junglist’.
Rodney plays music quickly, thrashing together tracks and blurring the lines between styles and genres in a chaotic yet amicable fashion which sounds wicked and deadly on the dancefloor.
Having grown up in Miami, the introduction of EDM acted as a gateway to a whole wealth of sounds and experiences which has lead to the present day in which Drum ‘n’ Bass, Jungle and UK Bass reign supreme.
Rodney is a resident at Pirate Studios and has a broad musical background explaining how influences from broader realms have informed their tastes as much as that of the Underground UK sounds.
This is the second mixtape in the Pirate series and wow does it pack a punch, strap in.
Listen and read the interview below:
Who are you and how did you first become interested in (electronic) music?
I’m Jordan aka Rodney, an East London based DJ. I’ve grown up with electronic music – when I was little my dad first introduced me to artists like Kraftwerk, New Order, LCD Soundstystem and The Chemical Brothers. Both my parents made sure I was experiencing live music from a young age, they’d bring me and my sister to gigs and festivals with them when we were super young, so it’s always just been a part of my life. I also grew up in Miami, where EDM was huge (I’d like to pretend that EDM didn’t play a part in my electronic music journey but the 5+ hidden Facebook albums titled “PLUR babies” & “Ultra Music Festival Ravers” would say otherwise…) but it was after moving back to London for uni, where I discovered my passion for underground music and UK dance scenes. I’m so inspired by all the subcultures that start in sweaty basements and dark warehouse raves, and going to uni in London allowed me to fall in love with UK dance music.
Describe your approach as a DJ?
I always say my mixes are an exploration of any and all higher tempo genres. From footwork to jungle, hardcore to DnB – I like to mix old school rave anthems with contemporary breakbeat sounds. I’m constantly searching up new releases from my favourite labels, as well as going back to old mixes from the 90s and 2000s to discover hidden gems from the past. I generally just play what I’m loving at that time – that’s why every mix I do is completely different, it depends on my mood and the day of the week! I just love everything dark, chaotic and super high energy.
What influences you musically?
In general live music – gigs, festivals, club nights, house parties etc. are where I find my biggest inspiration. I’m always the most inspired after seeing a sick DJ on a big night out, and nothing makes me want to record a new mix, or search for new tunes more than an incredible set at a festival. I think seeing other DJs being just generally sick makes me want to be like them – that’s why I’m also so inspired by my friends! I have a lot of friends in the music scene, and seeing them kill it at clubs and festis, or when they release new music always inspires me so, so much.
What challenges have you faced as a musician or artist?
I think the main thing that I struggled/still struggle with is perfectionism. I’m my own biggest critic. I’ll find a fault in every mix I put out, and that’s why I was so hesitant at first at putting myself out there at the beginning of my DJing career. I used to plan my mixes meticulously, practicing so many times before a radio show or gig, but then I realised that I’d lost all the fun of DJing! Of improvising, or playing for fun and playing to a crowd – I’ve become a lot better at going with the flow now, and allowing mistakes to happen.
You are taking part in the Pirate residency, explain what inspired you to become involved in that?
I’m always at Pirate – I don’t have CDJs at home, so being able to go to Pirate and play music as loud as I want, make all the mistakes, and experiment has allowed me to constantly improve. And because I’m there so often, I saw the ads to apply all over the studios. Playing at Boomtown has always been a dream of mine – I never thought I’d actually get chosen to be a resident, let alone play Boomtown!? It was such a good opportunity, I couldn’t not apply.
What do you feel the residency has offered you?
I genuinely wouldn’t be where I am today as a DJ without the Pirate Residency. Not only has it opened so many doors for me, with gigs, radio shows, residencies and general networking, but it’s given me to the confidence to realise that I am actually a sick DJ (not to brag lol….). It’s been the validation that I needed to keep putting myself out there.
Describe the mixtape, which track in the mix is your favourite and why?
The mix is inspired by my recent set at Boomtown. It’s a chaotic, energetic, turbo speed mix of silly, bassy, breaksy, ravey madness. There’s a load of DnB, jungle, footwork, juke and hardcore. It’s been one of my favourite mixes to play, because it genuinely just goes all over the place, which I love! It’s hard to pick a favourite tune. I’d have to say either Ill Disposed by Amen Fathers – cannot stop playing it at the moment! Or Windswept – Sully Fader Remix by Sully & Tim Reaper. I saw Arca drop it at the end of her set at Field Day last weekend and it went off! Such a banger.
As a DJ what would you aspire to achieve through a set in the club or at a festival?
I want people to go feral at my sets – to completely let loose and forget where they are for the 1/2/3 hours they’re there. I want people to have a constant stank face on, to get back pain from skanking so hard, and for their fingers to be in a permanent gun finger. I love to create a silly, fast, hot atmosphere, and for people to come away happy, sweaty and maybe a bit confused <3