Artist name – Skool Of Thought
Location – Australia
Label Affiliation – Against The Grain
1) Firstly, welcome back. It’s incredible to see both the Against The Grain label and your Skool Of Thought project active again. I know many breakbeat fans are ecstatic about this. What inspired you to bring them back?
Thank you! We’ve been tempted to bring Against The Grain back for a while but only on the basis we could deliver a sound that helped define a new chapter in breaks, I didn’t want to release tunes that sounded like that were made 15 years ago – we know we have to set the bar high if this genre is to blow up again. Krafty Kuts sent me some of his new tunes about 6 months ago and I was like wow, this is truly next level, he’s making the best tunes he’s ever made so we agreed the time of was right to relaunch our label. We really enjoyed working with each other back in the day and felt like we had some unfinished business. Also labels like Punks and 83 have also been very inspiring.
2) What’s coming up for Skool Of Thought ?
I have 4 singles lined up and ready to roll, the first one entitled ‘Outta Control’ is out on Against The Grain next month. I’m also doing a lot of the artwork and video content for all the music coming our on Against The Grain so that’s keeping me busy.
3) Tell us about the rest of your label roster and what we can expect this year.
At the moment it’s Plump DJs, Krafty Kuts, Matixx, B-Phreak, Lowco and myself. What we have always tried to do is create a sound that is bassline but not tear out, and we are striving for excellent production and song writing standards. We’ve got a fair bit of vocal and deeper stuff coming, We’re also listening out for new artists. Artist that can truly blow us away with some next level music.
4) You recently dropped a history of Breaks dj mix that many have enjoyed listening to, expertly executed I must say. What’s your favourite breakbeat track from over the years? I know it can be hard to pick one so feel free to expand on that number.
If I think back to crowd reactions when tunes first dropped it’s hard to beat Plump DJs remix of Electronaught’s ’Bumper’. I remember when we use to drop that at Supercharged in Brighton and people would rush to the DJ booth asking ‘what the fuck is this’. It caused hysteria in that same way Andy C ‘Body Rock’ did. The other tune would have to be Deekline & Wizard’s remix of Freestylers ‘Boom Blast’ on Against The Grain. I remember when Deekline sent me the remix, I loved it. I nervously sent it on to Aston Freestylers and he called me and said ‘now that’s what you call and fucking remix’. And those who know Aston know he’s hard to please so we knew we were on to a good thing! Great to see it still smashing it in the clubs and festivals, it’s stood the test of time well. Oh, and Beber ‘Juvenile Delinquent’ on Marine Parade, man that tune is over 20 years old and still sounds like it’s from the future. There you go, that’s 3!
5) When did you move to Australia, and what’s your most memorable djing experience there?
Probably being the first international DJ to play at Ambar in Perth which went on to be an institution for breaks, I played there last week and it’s still just as good. That said, earlier in the year I played at Ministry of Sound’s ’Testament’ event in Sydney and it was probably my favourite Australian gig I’ve ever played, I was like wow, 25 years in and I’ve just had one of my career highlights.
6) Shine a light on a dj, producer or promoter that’s not affiliated with your label.
I’ve got to give big props to Yo Speed, I genuinely think he’s the best breaks producer out there. He creates these amazing soundscapes, excellent song writing skills and killer production. I love the way he has slowed the tempo of breaks too. That 126bpm vibe is fucking cool.
7) Proudest moment in your music career so far?
Getting Freestylers ‘Push Up’ into the charts around the world was a big achievement and a lot of work, it feels great to have a genuine gold disc on the wall. But I think I’m most proud of my Random Acts of Kindness album with Ed Solo. That album has a cult like following and Darrison’s lyrics connected with a lot of people and gave them hope in tough times. We’re approaching 4 million plays on Spotify from one of the album tracks called ‘Life Get’s Better’.
8) Breaks bootlegs being released as singles on mainstream websites, is a hot topic within the community right now, what’s your take on it?
Remixes and bootlegs are an important part of the culture but it can’t dominate a genre if you want it to thrive. Right now breaks has an opportunity to shine but it can only progress with exceptional new music. It’s all about integrity. Some of the producers making these bootlegs are actually very talented, their career would benefit from writing original new music. If we as a scene can move past booty bass and rip offs it will be good times ahead. It’s totally achievable.
9) If you could remix any track what would it be?
Tough one, something from Rose Royce or Mini Riperton, something with a killer soulful vocal.
10) What’s your most valued piece of kit in your studio?
I know most people would name a synth or a plugin but I got to say it’s the sub bass speaker that excites me! It’s how our music is supposed to be heard and that bottom end brings so much fun to listening to and writing music. Those vibrations connect with us all on a primitive level. Everyone should have a sub!
11) With such a huge resurgence of this music, where do you see it going in the future?
I think the genre slowing down, being less gimmicky, more moody and melodic. I think the ravey sound will taper off soon and possibly return to being a deeper genre.
Thank you for taking the time to do this, we look forward to what’s next from both you and your label.