After taking a break performing live, Tremor is back in full force for 2017 both behind the decks and in the producers chair. He speaks to JDNB and tells us his vision as an artist and about his past experiences in the underground scene.
1. Hi Tremor ! Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. The first thing that I always want to know is about artist name – what was the inspiration for choosing 'Tremor'?
My old DJ name back in the day used to be DJ B&H, I wanted to change it as I started to get into production more and wanted to start with a new name and a new flavour. I used to play alongside DJ Atmosfear, one day I thought to myself ”Atmosfear and Tremor, has a nice ring to it”, I’ve kept the name ever since.
What was the tune you heard that got you wanting to become an artist?
This is a hard one as I’ve grown up around music, from like 9-10yrs old I was really into music and always wanted to play an instrument but never had the chance to. From that young age it was Bob Marley, Gregory Issacs, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd that really used to play a lot. I got into the electronic music in 1989 when someone handed me a mixtape, I started to search around and the ‘The’ One track I could say that made me want to become a producer was ‘Nightmares on Wax – Aftermath’, it’s a killer of a track.
You filled a prime time slot on one of London's top hardcore stations between 1993-1995 – impressive! Can you tell us about one fond memory you have from this time?
One of the best memory’s I had between this time was playing every Saturday afternoon before our listeners were getting ready to go out to the latest and greatest rave and the phone going absolutely mad from people on the road in their cars listening to my set. We had this one phone call and she asks if she can say something live on air, we put the phone to the mic and about 5 people shout out “B&H you are the start of our night out”, it might have been my mates having a laugh, but I was touched nether the less.
So Phil Collins 'In the Air Tonight' was a huge inspiration for you (great choice). What was it about this track the captivated you?
Phil Collins voice is one thing but it was really the way the track harmonized. Starts with some low toms, snares and hats, builds up really nice to the vocals. The captivation for me was this slow build-up track kicked in with an out of the world drum roll and a bass guitar and was all of a sudden upbeat.
You have played on various stations such as Dream, Rage and Supreme. Which did you enjoy playing on the most?
It has to be Dream FM for sure, it was a good little family there, and the Dream Allnighter events were out of this world.
Tell us about your appearance at Labrynth?! How did it feel to be playing prime time at one of the underground scene's most iconic venues?
I used to walk through the doors of Labrynth when I was a young raver, the DJ booth was at the back but could be clearly seen above the stage, at the time it was only a dream to play as a DJ there. I wanted to play there…..badly, I got my confidence up on the decks and got speaking to Joe the owner of Labrynth and to my surprise was happy to give me a shot, I also met MC Ruff who was a really good mentor to me at the time (theres an old mix set of me and Jim on youtube.comtremormusicchannel that you might want to catch as it’s very rare to hear a mixset of MC Ruff.)
You were also picked up by a Russian promotion company too and were interviewed on a Russian radio station, could you tell us more about that?
Yes of course, on my Journey in the 90’s I met Lee from Xenon Promotions who had worldwide hookups. I receive a phone call from him one day and he said “do you want to go to Russia for three days and play at two different venues, all expenses paid and I’ll give you two grand” my jaw dropped to the floor. Now the messed up story is this, because I’d also played at Ministry of Sound they were expecting House music, I wasn’t really a House person but managed to scrape 75% of my record box of House records and the other 25% were records like Ray Keith – Renegade, Foul Play, Deep Blue – Helicopter etc. The first venue flopped big time when I played House; they were not feeling my selection. At the second venue 300Km away I thought to myself “I can’t risk that s**t again. Panicking throughout the day I had a Radio Interview at Radio 5 RU in which I had a translator and a TV interview before the venue. When it came to showtime that night I looked down at the record box and thought “f**k it, I’m playing the 90’s jungle mate and it’s all I got left”. First track was Ray Keith – Renegade, Piano played and then the amen dropped and the crowd went mental, Drum and Bass saved my arse that night, it was the most banging 2hr set and they loved it.
Would you say you've ever reinvented yourself as an artist? If so, what caused you to do this and how did you make your changes?
My Re-invention was around 1997-1998, Drum and Bass had really picked up around this point for me with the likes of Ed Rush and Optical, Twisted Individual etc. When I started to hear the filthy twisted synth’s I went through a phase where I wanted to lay DJ B&H to rest and reform with a harder hitting name and wanted to get into those filthy bass lines, my first track ‘Optiplex’ displays such ‘filth’. I guess the Internet coming into force in the late 90’s enabled me to just start setting everything I did under the name DJ Tremor. The change was hard on me though as it was though I was starting all over again.
What did your work with the American pop group 'Anything But Monday' involve?
They contacted me and wanted me to do a Drum and Bass Remix of one of their tracks. They sent me some of their catalogue and I sifted through for days and days trying to find something that I felt, I said I wasn’t feeling any of them and they sent me ‘He’s my Bitch, the lyrics were “I’m his girl and he’s my bitch” too funny not too do a remix I guess. I sent them the track and they loved it, I had to send it back and forth to Universal Music to get it right just as they wanted it. It was a great experience
What are the latest plans you have in the pipeline?
I have a few tracks in the pipeline, I’m changing the way I work which is a task in itself, but I’m really trying to get Bad Company to have a listen my Reboot of ‘The Nine’. Ray Keith has been rinsing the s**t out of it on his radio show.
What are your goals for the future as an artist?
I would say my main goal as an artist right now is just keep on learning and not to wrap my head around writing music for a release but writing because I want to broaden my abilities.
What would you say is the most notable part of your career so far?
I would say having a release on Sliced Note is a big notable part right now. I’ve always wanted to release on this label but at the time my production wasn’t really cutting it. Last year Miss Represent noticed me from the E.P I was sending around and snapped it up; it’s been a pleasure to work with her.
What release are you most proud of?
I would say ‘Chess Porn’ is a proud moment for me, I based the track off the sample in the intro and the track came out an angry jump up track. But overall I’m really proud of the Bass Beat Repeat releases and the Sliced Note release because I really noticed a change in sound quality with my production, I’d written cleaner and precise tracks with lots of movement.
DAW of choice?
Cubase from day one and till the day I die.
What is your preferred DJ set up?
Preferred is four Technics SL1210’s using vinyl having NI Traktor scratch for easy switching between Vinyl and Digital tracks.
Do you have a top tip for any budding producers?
Take your time, be original, and find YOUR flavor.
If you could collaborate with any producer who would it be?
Thank you for your time! Any shout-outs you would like to make?
You’re very welcome, thank you for your time, I’d just like to shout-out to my family for all their support, Miss Represent, Bass Beat Repeat Crew and mostly the entire Drum and Bass family across the world, I’ve been into this Genre for 25years and without all the producers, independent labels, DJ’s, listeners, ravers, writers, journalists, dancers and general nut jobs that took the risk to follow the best genre………none of this would be alive and possible today in 2017
Find Tremor's latest release here
Interview conducted by Jaymii Holland [Dutchie] October 2017