Right hand man to DJ Hype and label manager for Playaz, Pascal has been in drum & bass since long before we even knew what to call it. We talk Fabric, changing times and the nature of the music.
Few people can boast the years Pascal can in being an active participant within jungle and drum & bass. He is the original Johnny Jungle and founding member of the Ganja Crew, the man behind countless anthems over the last two decades. As label manager behind DJ Hype's Playaz imprint it is probably fair to say that nothing passes the mark without his stamp of approval. So what's on Pascals mind approaching this month's Playaz event at London's Fabric night club?
Playaz has been a residency at Fabric for 14 years now, what do you think has given you such longevity?
From our part I honestly think it’s down to keeping true to our music and true to the scene. We have always had Playaz artists DJ each month but we like to bring in guests DJs to cover the spectrum of drum & bass. But without the great support from Fabric and the job that they do it wouldn’t of been possible. I think it’s a winning combination!
Having been involved in the music since its inception you are perfectly placed to see the bigger picture, what have been the key changes in the music since Playaz (as Real Playaz) first set foot in Fabric?
For me the only things that have changed is the way people access and purchase their music nowadays. Gone are the days of having to hunt down the latest test presses/promos at your favourite record shops and spending hours listening to the latest releases. People now demand immediate and easy access to the tracks.
Also main stream radio stations seem to be showing drum & bass some love but this is leading to a lot of what I call pop n Bass. Each to their own and all that but thats not what Playaz is about.
We've seen people like Marvelous Cain and DJ Monk re-emerge after years outside the music, jungle seems to be making a comeback, stylistically akin to the '94/'95 era that people most associate it with. Is it healthy to dip back into yesteryears music? Or is it just nostalgia?
Music tends to go round in circles, as Jumping Jack Frost used to say, "its the full circumference". The scene is constantly seeing an influx of new young drum & bass heads and a lot of them missed out on that era and the history. It’s just the old cronies like me that have seen it all and live to tell the tales.
You recently dropped releases from Original Sin and Tyke, what is behind the Playaz A&R process? How much music do you get sent and how do you spot people like Annix early on? What's up next for Playaz and its associated labels?
Hype deals with the A&R process, I like to keep well out of that. We now have a large selection of exclusive artists which is keeping Playaz busy this year as we seem to have to many releases and not enough time but I guess that’s a good position to be in.
As he is out DJing all the time Hype gets to see what tracks are dropping and what artists he thinks he should keep an eye on. Once he feels they’re ready we have a chat and then approach the artist in the hope of signing them.
As I said our release schedule for 2014 is already congested but we have the following releases dropping along with the launch of our new label ‘New Playaz’. The reason for another outlet is to showcase and develop up and coming artists that we hope one day will be able to make the move onto the Playaz roster.
Original Sin ‘Running Man EP’ - 21st April
Heist & Pleasure ‘Freedom EP’ - May
Sub Zero & Majistrate ‘Under Pressure EP' - May
Various Artists ‘The Flavours EP, Vol 7’ - June
Bass Brothers ‘A Little Mad EP’ - June
DJ Hazard EP
Annix EP and album (Inceptions 2)
Potential Badboy album
We're coming to Playaz at Fabric on 25th April, what can we expect?
You can expect great vibes, sweaty people, a lot of shapes, some heavy drums and some deep bass.
FRIDAY 25TH APRIL: PLAYAZ
Original Sin B2B Taxman
Potential Bad Boy
MCs: IC3, Evil B, AD, Felon, Junior Dangerous
MCs: Stamina, Ragga Twins, Funsta
MCs: Justyce, Bassline
TICKETS AND INFO: http://www.fabriclondon.com/club/listing/896