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Retrospective: DJ Trax "High Time"

Interview
Alexander
dj_trax_high_time

In the first of a new series of features, we step back in time to look at a classic track from way back when. In this edition, we speak to DJ Trax about his 93' classic "High Time" and Nookie's 94' remix.

Release Info:
Artist: DJ Trax
Track: "High Time"
Label: Moving Shadow – SHADOW 38
Format: Vinyl, 12", Promo, 33 ⅓ RPM, Stamped
Country: UK
Released: November 1993
Genre: Electronic
Style: Hardcore, Jungle

Studio Gear Used:
S950
S1000
Juno 106
Korg M1
Vintage Keys
Atari Running Cubase
Various fx units and outboard

"High Time" landed in November 1993, at the time where hardcore was still a relevant term and jungle had become a common buzz word. As a result there are elements of both sounds in the track. Moving Shadow was operating as a label out of Stevenage, England and the helium vocals of hardcore were making way for the deep basslines of jungle drum & bass... DJ Trax picks up the story here...

I brought Kaotic Chemistry's first 12" along with the first 2 Bad Mice 12", myself and Dev (Paradox) loved them. We also loved the Logo for Moving Shadow and so we posted them a Casette with the first Mixrace tracks on (With Dev rapping and me on the production and scratching.) Rob (Playford) called us in for a meeting and whilst there we saw a tape on the side saying Hyper On Experience and asked what it was. We had a listen to the first demos from Hyper On Experience and were blown away. Rob had just signed them.

I used to go to Rob's in Stevenage every Thursday to record Trax material and on Tuesday with Dev to record for Mixrace. I sketched out a lot of the ideas for tunes at home and would bring them in on a cassette and we would try to recreate that in Rob's far superior studio.

"High Time" was my third released (second solo) on Moving Shadow. I found an acapella (with no catalogue number) at a boot sale and had written some beats, chords and bass around it. Around that time (1992), due to the speed of the music compared with the sample sources, vocals tended to be sound a bit chipmunkish! However samplers were
improving and it was now possible to timestretch(which lead to much abuse in 93/94). I suggested pitching and stretching the whole acapella. Rob wasn't sure if the Akai had enough memory to deal with it and I remember going down for tea whilst the machine wrestled with it!

"I suggested pitching and stretching the whole acapella. Rob wasn't sure if the Akai had enough memory to deal with it and I remember going down for tea whilst the machine wrestled with it!"

Once we were happy with the vocal, we sampled the large pile of hip hop and funk I had with me and began looping up parts. The chords were written using the Korg M1 and the Bass was written on the Juno 106. Even though the track ended up being released in 1993 (due to the backed up Schedule) it was written in 1992 which was very much a hands in the air era. However I wrote the darker string sections as I wanted the track to also have a bit of an edge and to not be an out and out cheese fest.

The flip side was written after "High Time" and had a darker edge (snowballs ha). The track was titled "Blackmore" and was named after a place in Essex where a mates parents (who was often away) owned a cottage. We often went back there after Raves and spent many weekends there getting out of it and playing tunes (Good times!).

"A Moving Shadow Jacket, some baggy jeans and a graffiti top."

I loved Gavin`s (Nookie) early work and so was really happy to hear that Nookie was going to remix "High Times". To be honest when I first heard it, I was not as into it as i hoped. It was a lot more minimal than the original (my early productions had far to much going on in them ha ha.) However when i heard it played out It sounded amazing.

In a lot of ways the remix is a more mature production and has stood the test of time. Music was progressing so fast back then, and in the year between writing the original and hearing the remix, drum and bass as we now know it was taking shape.

What's going on with the picture on the back of the sleeve?

The guy on the back is me. I have no idea what possessed me to use that photo. I look like a crackhead! ha ha. What was I wearing? Often a Moving Shadow Jacket, some baggy jeans and a graffiti top (but I did have other clothes!) I've never done any radiation suits or anything mad like that. I wasn't a white glove raver. If you had seen me out I wouldn't have treid to cover your face in tigerbarm and vics ha ha. I was and still am first and foremost a hip hop head but at that point like many other I was a deadly combo of Hip hop head and long haired raver!

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