Cablecast 003: BUSHWACKA! - Live from Shoom
Well they say it's third time lucky and we're sure we've hit the jackpot! Episode 3 of the Cablecast series features one half of the highly regarded british duo Layo & Bushwacka!. Bushwacka! aka Matthew B, known to his pals as Matt Benjamin, cut his teeth as resident DJ at legendary London club The End and was releasing wax as early as '95 on his own Plank Records imprint. But it was his hook up with The End's co-owner Layo Paskin in the late 90's that really kicked things off for the pair. After a slew of revered releases on several high profile labels such as XL and The End's own 'End Recordings', the duo produced one of the best known house records ever - 'Love Story' back in 2002.
Earlier this year Matt & Layo called curtains on their partnership after the release of their stunning “most grown-up” and “most electronic” LP - 'Rising and Falling', and they will play out their remaining gigs early in 2013. This year also saw Matt unleash his solo project Just Be. Already boasting releases on Crosstown and Get Physical, his sound is certainly on point, harvesting his Acid House influences, dance floor understanding and production prowess.
His year culminated with a highly anticipated appearance at Danny Rampling's infamous Shoom rave which took place here at Cable. The 25th Anniversary of this epic scene-shaping party saw over 1500 people descend upon London Bridge just a stones throw from where the original 1987 gatherings first took place. Bushwacka! performed a peak time set encompassing an evocative and nostalgic sound track, drawing on the strong acid influences that have inspired his career thus far. This podcast is an exclusive recording of his performance at Shoom 25 on Saturday 8th December at Cable. This is RARE!
This mix was recorded live from Cable at Shoom's 25th Anniversary rave. What kit did you use for the performance? I'm sure we can hear some vinyl 'crackles' in there!
I ended up playing with CDJ2000s using tracks from my memory stick. I also copied tracks across from my laptop on the fly. I was intending to use the laptop, Traktor with vinyl, FX etc. but Danny had his computer set up already and I didn't want to complicate the setup so that the changeover would be nice and smooth. I spent a lot of time recording my vinyl and using mastering software to level and EQ a few of them. So yes there are proper 'crackles' in there! On top of that I made 3 brand new edits/remixes of old tracks just for Shoom, and I also played two or three edits I had made previously - exclusives. I only played two new tracks throughout the set - one of my own that will be coming out on Crosstown Rebels next summer as Just Be - "Don't Make Me Wait For You". There's also a rework of Kevin Saunderson’s “The Sound” at the end of my set.
You treated us to a generous helping of acid and there's some 'proper' electro tracks in thrown in too. Tell us how you approached things differently with it being a Shoom gig?
Well firstly, to have been asked to do this gig was such a huge honour. I spent all week going through music. Ironically 95% of my record collection is in storage at the moment but luckily I had a good selection at home as, earlier in the year, I had put on a night called 'The Roots' which was a vinyl only, acid house thing. When I found out my set time I was incredibly excited and nervous as Danny was a long time hero of mine and Shoom was so special! I had considered playing quite a lot more newer music, but when the night came I just played what felt right. I love the old music - it is my upbringing, my roots, and I am very familiar with it. I was playing it all the time so much back in the day. But it was great doing the edits - they brought more magic to the set for me.
It was a pleasure having you down to spin, how was it for you?
It was fantastic!! I enjoyed every second of it. I didn’t stop smiling, before, during, and after and the crowd response was phenomenal... I will never forget the party. Such wonderful people all enjoying themselves to the max.
What are your past experiences of Cable? Did you think about those when you were planning for the set?
Actually, I have played in that room a few times for Jaded and I played there the week before Shoom for the Cocoon after hours as a surprise guest, and that was also amazing. I played 7-10 am to a packed room, playing harder but deep and tribal and house too, but really keeping it pretty techno - and it went off!! I had loads of people coming up asking me where I bought my music from - it was special. I didn’t think about those experiences when I planned my set though, when I play I have no idea what order I am going to play tunes in - the planning ended at the music selection.
Any Bushwacka! releases on the horizon we should know about?
‘Just Be’ is my new solo project and this is where all the new music is being released. I have a new single called "After The Storm" on Get Physical coming out in Jan. That will be with a video made by Luke Bradford at Frogspawn Creative that is really special so this is a big release for me. I also have new singles on Crosstown Rebels and Maison D'etre lined up, and remixes on all three labels all due in the new year too, along with plenty of other 'work in progress' projects. It's exciting times!