Today we have something that seriously doesnt come around very often… the chance for me to interview one of the LEGENDS of Jungle and Drum & Bass !!
APHRODITE has been around since the very beginning in the late 1980/1990s on the House scene as well as Drum and Bass. He has travelled the world multiple times over performing in the USA, UK, Europe, Asia, and has earned his LEGENDARY status as not only a pioneer, but also as one of the most famous multi-genre DJ/Producers there is.
A few weeks ago he released his latest EP called King of the Beats 2016 and has a busy summer performing in Italy, Austria, Russia, Czechia, UK, USA, Spain, Slovakia and Germany.
We managed to catch him for an exclusive interview for the DRUMANDBASSLINES.COM website right here. Click the link below for an insight into the mind of Aphrodite, his past, his present, and his thoughts for the future!
DnBLines : Thanks for being interviewed for the DRUMANDBASSLINES.COM website. Firstly can you give us a brief background to how you got into DnB?
Aphrodite : Natural progression from House music… (yes, from the very beginning, House to Hardcore to Jungle to Drum&Bass ’88 to ’90 to ’94 to ’96
DnBLines : Your new EP King of the Beats 2016 is a bit of a bumper release. Not many EPs have 5 tracks on them. Can you tell us a bit about the release itself, the collaborations and your choices for who would remix it, and your anticipations for how it will be rated by your fans around the world.
Aphrodite : I have always enjoyed a release with a few different versions. With modern DJ-ing the way it is, it also gives the DJ, scope to cut/copy/edit the tracks as they see fit or want to include the different mixes in their sets.
DnBLines : Please correct me if im wrong, but this release is the first Ive heard from you for quite a while now. Did you have a break? Or were simply focussing on events and club nights more?
Aphrodite : I did go very quiet for a few years whilst raising children, but last year I had two new releases APH 61 and APH 62 which were both new tracks. I also did a few remixes, like the one for the Freestylers which hit the number 1 spot in a few D&B charts last year. This release has more eyes because the original track did so well I think.
Here you go … APH 61/62 and the Freestylers remix
DnBLines : Lets stick with your live performances for a sec. As I mentioned earlier, you have performed around the world probably many times over, there must be some nights during that time that will stick with you for ever, for being just amazing, or for being just an unusual venue. Can you tell us about some of the good, and some of the bad and why?
Aphrodite : I still loved performing at Glastonbury, main Dance tent to a huge crowd, the largest marquee in the world at the time with the sides rolled up, a warm night. The last time I was really nervous. ! Also enjoyed the Pirate Station shows in the 2000s, the largest in 2008 I think. But also small shows spinning around 4 hours at Burning Man to a small stage as well as controlling my bass burners at the Opulent temple, in a beach bar on sands of Boracay, La Plage Electronique on the Cannes beach was also a great moment.
DnBLines : Your first release Raw Motion was released back in 1992. Thats probably before some of your fans were even born! Can you tell us your perceptions of how the Drum and Bass scene has evolved during that time?
Aphrodite : That was my first release on Aphrodite Recordings. before that I was producing as Urban Shakedown, which were great times with tracks getting in the charts.
D&B has gone this way and that. I love it at the moment because during a set I can span over 20 years of productions. I’m always remastering or adding production to older classics so that I can include them in modern sets.
DnBLines : When I started listening to Drum and Bass one of the first tracks I think I ever heard of yours was Badass your collaboration with Micky Finn. When I listen back to it now it is still a beast of a track, but in the same way as other tracks of the time, it is clear that production techniques have evolved so much between then and now.
Aphrodite : Tracks today do involve more clarity in their production, heavier drums and much more stereophonic tones (if that’s an expression) but the raw ingredients of a track are the same as they always have been. Some of the older tracks have immense bass lines that can really over-power some of the modern baselines, as there is more going on above the bass in the modern track.
DnBLines : Do you share some peoples view, that the skill of producing has been lost due to too much technology these days? Or do you think it has enhanced and opened up the world of Drum and Bass to more people? What are your thoughts?
Aphrodite : I think that not enough time is spent on tracks. If I find a track I like, I want 6 minutes of it and different mixes, not just a 3.5 minute version where the second drop is exactly the same as the first. You can even hear the copy/paste …
DnBLines : Bringing us back to the here and now, can you tell us what other projects you are working on at the moment?
Aphrodite : Loads… New tracks, new remixes of classics from my catalogue, and re-recording my first 2 albums, then releasing my entire catalogue digitally… Think I will need some help !!!
DnBLines : What other types of music do you listen to?
Aphrodite : Everything from Classical to Rock to Reggae to Pop to Old School…
DnBLines : What are your targets for the next year or 2?
Aphrodite : To actually get some or all of those things I plan in my head..
DnBLines : Who are your favourite DJs and MCs worldwide?
Aphrodite : Too many to mention… Each DJ/MC has a great night and not so good nights, catching performances on the great nights when everything comes together is always enjoyable.
DnBLines : We do like to try and make our interviews a little bit different from others you may have done, so here is the 10second round..
DnBLines : Vinyl or mp3?
Aphrodite : mp3 for performing… Vinyl in my living room
DnBLines : Online record shop or local record shop?
Aphrodite : Online
DnBLines : Promo or Picture disc??
Aphrodite : Promo
DnBLines : Facebook or Twitter?
Aphrodite : Facebook
DnBLines : Rollcage or Rollcage Stage 2?
Aphrodite : Rollcage LOL !!
DnBLines : Haha thought I would throw that last one in there as doing some research (and having played Rollcage 2 back in the day) I spotted that King of the Beats was featured in the soundtrack in the pc game Rollcage. That correct? I hear that there is a new version of Rollcage being developed. Are you involved in that as well?
Aphrodite : No.. But now I know they better include me… I’ll email themm
DnBLines : So whats next on the schedule for Aphrodite? Any more releases planned, or major events you are performing at this year?
Some pieces of music stay with you your whole life. The seminal and iconic King Of The Beats, from musical legend Aphrodite, is one of those. Originally released back in 1999, King… went on to influence countless artists and its shadow has been cast on drum & bass ever since. Now, in 2016, it’s back, in reconditioned form and ready to roll, along with remixes from Aphro himself and Levela.
YouTube (Aphrodite Remix):
Aphrodite’s career stretches all the way back to 1992, and he has had his name on more hits than you’ve had hot dinners. Alongside Mickey Finn as Urban Shakedown, Some Justice and Bass Shake are just two of the tracks to be declared classics, and remixes of the Jungle Brothers and The Luniz swiftly followed. He’s gone on to produce for other artists and bring out his own hit albums, and now returns with something for 2016.
YouTube (Levela Remix):
Aphrodite himself provides the lead remix of the new version, shifting the tempo slightly and bringing in new sounds layered over the familiar backing. Morphing electronic bass backs up the beats, and squelching undertow effects are added in. Managing to sound fresh as well as classic, this is one of the remixes of the year already. Aphro more than shows off his production and remixing skills, reminding anyone who has slept, not to. There’s even a dub version to complete the set. Leveler provides the other remix, turning things on their head to come up with a stompin, jump up version. This one is something very different, showing that the track can do something to what you would expect.
YouTube (Aphro Dub Remix):
The original track has been re-recorded and is included in the new release to set the pattern, and it’s funky samples and beats sound as fresh as ever. But is that immediately-recognisable bass lift which old skool ravers’ll know and love. Get ready to relive the golden days. But it’s not all about reminiscing, as the 2016 version shows. Here, the levels are turned right up, with the new version louder, prouder and bashier. All of the key elements are there, brought slap bang up to date.