I was lucky enough to interview Spinscott, who is in Chicago this weekend for Bass Riot!, the bi-weekly event hosted at Township by the DnBid crew. The Maryland- based DJ, producer, and lifelong drummer combines his advanced mixing skills with classic and original tracks, and loop-free, real-time drum machine action to deliver unique performances. In addition to his YouTube channel, he also plays a weekly radio show on Jungletrain every Monday night from 7-9 PM EST, featuring old-school jungle, original tunes, and his signature live MPC drumsounds.
Check the official Spinscott artist page for exclusive video and audio content. Also check his Soundcloud page for free, downloadable tracks. Some of his recent efforts are available (listed below) via the major digital retailers (Beatport, Juno, TrackItDown, etc.), and more are on the way.
Droopzilla: Do you consider yourself a DJ or Producer?
Spinscott: I tend to consider myself more of a music fanatic & performer than anything else really. I have constantly been exposed to all kinds of music pretty much since I was born, and performing / creating music in one way or another since I was about 5 or 6.
The definitions of “DJ” and “Producer” have become somewhat ambiguous over the years, and although I certainly do both, I get excited about pushing the boundaries and differentiating from the typical interpretation of such terms.
Droopzilla: What got you into DJing, particularly jungle and dnb?
Spinscott: Having a long history with DJing traditional top 40 music, my first introduction into electronic music occurred in the early-mid 1990s. As a lifelong drummer I have always searched for music that had dynamic and complex rhythms that were challenging to both listen to, and fun to drum along to… the first time I ever heard a jungle mixtape (which featured all 1994-1995 jungle) I was instantly obsessed.
I remember playing some of those tapes so much in the car that they would snap… and ultimately my dashboard would wear away from the constant drumming. I can remember times that I would drum along to an intricate and drum heavy track, and would not get out of the car at home until I played every note perfectly… (sometimes an hour in the driveway… but rhythm is quite an obsession!) I began mixing vinyl in late 1998, and put out a mixtape/CD 3 weeks later (under an old alias) that led to bookings along the East Coast.
In 2013 I purchased a drum machine to work on some hip hop projects, and of course the first things that went into it were jungle breaks, which I sliced up and decided to play live. I put up a video two days later and started incorporating it into my DJ sets…. Jungle Plus Drums was born.
Droopzilla: Are you affiliated with any groups, bands, or labels?
Spinscott: In the electronic music realm, I have been part of several crews / limited collaborations over the years, including Neopulse.net, Eastcoasthappy, Junglist Brigade, and a few others that I am excited to announce soon.
Label credits include Dynamix Records, Faction Digital Recordings, Dred Collective, Noisy Meditation, and also some new ones pending. I have also played drums and sang covers for several bands over the years, including groups such as Aerport Rocking Chairs and Broken Solace.
Droopzilla: Where are you based?
Spinscott: I am based on the east coast USA (Maryland), and have been supporting the scene here in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area for a very long time. I must say that this area is FULL of talented DJs, producers, and some of the best promoters in the country. As I travel often for shows, I always encourage people to check out the scene back here at the home base.
Droopzilla: What’s are your plans for the rest of the year?
Spinscott: Lots of things in the works! I plan to continue the production of new drum machine routines, pushing the limits (both rhythmically and physically) utilizing my 100% Certified Organic Loop-Free format. Multiple releases planned for a few different domestic and international labels, and currently entertaining limited booking opportunities in several countries.
Also very excited to have been discovered by some of the artists I have been listening to for over 2 decades, and looking forward to sharing ideas and experiences with them.
Droopzilla: If you had a musical bias, a sound you lean towards at all, what would it be?
Spinscott: I really believe that an art form, there is no such thing as inherently “good” or “bad” music, because it is totally dependent on the listeners/creators interpretation. I respect anyone that creates, listens to, performs, dances to, and enjoys music…. as it is really our first language. If I like something I always share my opinion, and if I don’t like something I am always willing to offer a private opinion and insight if requested.
The barriers to entry in the field have been for the most part eliminated due to virtually unlimited access to music and equipment, which I honestly think is a good thing. I think everyone should have a chance to try DJing or Producing if they want, and it raises the bar for anyone who is dedicated and wants to stand out. The commercialization of certain “underground” styles/genres drives some people to innovate and develop new sounds and ways of doing things.
All that said, I do have my personal favorite styles/genres of music, some of which include Jungle (big surprise there!), Northern Soul (another current obsession), Reggae, Hip Hip, Alternative, Doo Wop, R&B, Early Rockabilly & Rock N’ Roll, Latin Guitar, Classical, House, Baltimore Club, and countless others.