Structure Interview

Hey Robin, thanks for taking time out to chat! So let’s start at the beginning, how did you get into mixing and DJing?

Hey man, thanks for having me! Well I got into DnB around 2004/5 (Pendulum/Mr Happy era don’t laugh) and was instantly hooked. Some of my friends had been getting into DJing at the time and naturally I kind of latched on as I wanted to do something similar. Would make infinite playlists for parties until I got my first pair of decks at 18 (Gemini 203s…dear lord..they were so fucked I used to have to tilt them upside down so the laser would read the cd..) and taught myself how to mix. Took me absolutely ages but when I got back from Uni, something just clicked, I was at it again and finally around 2014 I got my first gig. It was a residency at The Horse & Groom in Shoreditch and, I won’t lie, I kind of blagged my way to that gig haha. But if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Massive shout to Uno and James for giving me that opportunity. It all started from there so I thank them for everything.

Ahhh man not often anyone comes straight into the underground scene . . . Someone recently said to me “it’s not the music that changes… Its you who changes. Agreed? 

Oh yea I definitely agree with that. I fall out of love with DnB sometimes but it’s not because of the music, it’s just how I’m receiving it and taking it all in. I mean ye sure, sometimes what’s popular in the scene can be mindboggling as to why people are listening to this (Macky Gee ahem..), but you can’t hate on it and just remember that’s why the underground is there. Just need some different inspiration sometimes. Take a break and listen to non DnB music.

How about practicing mixing! You touched on it just previously, how much were you practicing and were did you get tips? 

Ah mate I was an animal haha. Once I figured out when to actually drop tracks in it was like a proper lightbulb moment. At least 5 hours a day sometimes pushing to 8 just mixing EVERYTHING haha. I had absolutely no tips or help, I mean it took me over a year to realize what the jog wheel was actually for and that you can use it! I was pitching everything! So yeah it took me a while. But thats just how it is. I’m sure many DJs will say the same thing when they started about the marathon mixes, you just can’t stop!

And how about the name “Structure”? Were did that come from? 

I got the name Structure just because I was feeling journey vibes for my mixes. Would get annoyed when songs seemed out of place so yeah maybe I took it a bit too literal haha.

So you are mostly known for representing  Jungle/DnB so is that the genre you most enjoy mixing?

Yes Jungle and Drumfunk definitely get me going the most. Drums send me into a frenzy so obviously I love chopping up some amens and really hearing the hits. Mixing soulful/ jazzy Liquid actually makes me happiest and you can really create some great mixes with the stuff and make something completely new. Then 170/ Tribal/ Techno vibes for when I want to get trippy and hypnotic. 

So give us a few percy’s of each of sub genres mentioned above, I’m intrigued ! 
Well for Drumfunk, Fracture & Neptune-Too Doggone Funky is my absolute favourite. Also Dgohn-Fire Buggy is an absolute must. You get so much energy from Drumfunk because it feels like a live performance that you feel shattered after listening to one of those tracks. My go to tune for Liquid last year was MSDOS-Bull It. The horns at the 4:00 min mark oh my days.. Swinging off the lampshades. And of course Calibre-Mystic is pretty much my blueprint. As for tribal, Out Of Fuel-Ghosts (Resound’s Rhytual Remix) is an absolute stomper and the Earthbound EP by Es.tereo is unbelievable also. Great release.
In regards to format of music, which is it you prefer… digital or vinyl? 
100% strictly vinyl *strokes chin. Kidding, I am firmly a believer of both. I love collecting and everything about vinyl but you really do need both these days. Why limit yourself and what you want to show to people? You know? Never made sense to me when you get purists. I can respect it but at the end of the day you are limited.
You have a regular slot on Life FM, can you talk us through exactly what the readers can expect if they listen in?
If you’re listening to my show for the first time then expect some darkness haha. The main ethos is just good music and vibes on a Friday night. There’s no other stations or shows on a Friday (that I know of) that will showcase the deeper side of DnB and hopefully I get that across with the show. Usually its Jungle with plenty of breaks, theres tribal 170 vibes and rollers as well all chucked in. Basically, no jump up and no Benny L haha.
When exactly did the Life FM slot begin? Also how did you come about joining their roster?
So, May this year will actually be my 5th year at Life FM. This all goes back to The Horse & Groom in Shoreditch which is why I owe a lot to those guys. One of the other residents there liked my sound and invited me down as a guest for his slot on Life FM. I met the management (big up the Roasty), they also liked my style and so asked if I fancied some slots. I started on Saturdays and now I’m holding down a prime 8-10 slot on a Friday night. So massive thanks to Dino for that one, wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.
Quite often on the your shows you choose to go b2b with any guests you have on, can you talk us through why you prefer to do that rather than just playing individual sets? 
Well after doing so many shows on my own I think I just got bored and wanted to do something new (nothing to do with the crippling isolation…). Plus, around that time I was going through a phase where the music wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Everyone gets moments when they fall out of love with Drum & Bass or things just aren’t clicking. I needed some fresh ears. When you go B2B it’s always going to be new and something fresh. You can’t plan it, it just happens or it doesn’t. I guess I just loved that feeling of not knowing how or where the set is going to go, but most importantly, it’s something new for the listener. Love me a curveball haha.
One thing I enjoy about your Life FM show is that you represent the spectrum of dnb, varying guests who specialise in different styles and selecting to match them! Which style of dnb that is it that personally resonates the most with you? 
Thanks man I’m glad it’s noticeable and yeah I love trying to match people haha. It’s super weird but I just love the payoff when a great combo comes together. I had a great time with one of my recent guests, Uneven, who would throw in a cheeky footwork, 20/20 style beat and I would have to dig a bit deeper to find something to match it. Great fun. Personally though, I would say that Jungle and 170 sounds resonate the most. I love Techno so when you’re deep in a 170 mix it really is some hypnotizing shit. And then Jungle for those journey sounds and because a lot of tracks force you to just sit back and take the whole thing in.
How about scheduling for the shows… How far in advance do you plan the shows? 
I try and keep so I know at least a month in advance who my guests will be. Obviously sometimes it’s not as smooth and I’m running around like a lunatic trying to find cover. But recently it’s been much different. I’ll have people messaging me for shows! Makes life a little easier.
You seem to pretty much have a guest on every show SO if you could pick ANYONE to guest on a future show who would it be? 
DJ Flight. Hands down. She is literally my idol. Absolutely bottled it when I met her though. Just stood there with a slack-jawed gaze unable to get any words out haha. Fucking hell, I’m not expecting a call any time soon!
Ahhhh DJ Flight also one of my favourites too!!  She’s an AMAZING selector! Can you explain from your point of view what it is about her as a DJ that makes her your favourite? 
Like everything! I just love her selections. Always goes the right amount of deep, but nothing alienating. She keeps it listener friendly yet draws for the headz along the way and will you hit you with a classic when you least expect. And she’s such a presence man, dropping serious heavyweight business but then with the calmest expression giving absolutely zero fucks. She’s one of those DJs that makes it look effortless.
So Life FM is streamed live (for anyone who’s not aware) how do you find being on camera when you are on your show? 
Oh God it was horrible at the start. I would just stand there like a statue looking so pissed off. I wasn’t actually pissed off that`s just my normal expression haha. Need to work on it. But yeah, you get used it and you learn to make the whole thing an interactive experience for the listeners because you NEED to involve them.
One highlight beside the mean track selection on your shows and cool guests for me are your WORLD FAMOUS bass face! Do you practice it or does it come natural??? 
Hahaha mate. It haunts me! I think it just followed me from my Neurofunk days. Thats some squelchy beats which always force you to put the meanest bassface. Like someone took a shit in the room. You don’t know where it is. But it’s there.
Talking of highlights of your Life FM show… Mr Johnny 5, the man, the legend, the Host!
How did you guys come about linking up?
Johnny!! Mans a legend. We met when a group of us went out to see the Rupture crew in Timisoara, Romania. We both sang You Got The Love full volume in the street and yeah, instant bond haha. He came on as a guest soon after for a b2b and once he took the mic it was whaaa this guy is sick! So natural. Turns out he has a lot of history in the scene, likes of Kool FM, and has MC’d for some big names in the past. He offered to host my show as he saw I struggled with the talking part. I was like hells yeah! Hate my radio voice. He’s amazing man, really completes the whole show and just brings great vibes to the place because he’s such a don. Big love Johnny 5. 
Can you talk us through your home DJ set up?
At home it’s simple as hell. I have 2 CDJ 350 with a 350 mixer to record my mixes. I also have an Audio Technica LP120. Definitely needs some sprucing up so hopefully one day I can splash out on some new gear! Drool…
In the last few years I’ve seen you played fairly regular at events across the U.K. and Europe, is there any memorable/ fave dj sets that stand out for you?
Yeah 2018 was a crazy year, literally had to pinch myself half the time. Being flown out to play to hundreds of people at an abandoned school ground in Romania was definitely the highlight. Insane visuals and such a great party. Proper festival vibes. Then having to take over from Equinox, the God of amens, at Tech Itch was easily the most terrified I’ve ever been. It’s all a bit of a blur after I went on but apparently I smashed it haha (don’t kill my dreams…). Also playing Inperspective was an honour, just too many mate, such a great year.
Where is the best venue you’ve played at? 
Has to be The Steelyard. Dear lord that soundsystem is a BEAST. Felt great dropping some amens on that one. Really loved The Black Swan in Bristol also.
From the stance of someone who’s been a regular on the DJ circuit for a while is is doing good things for the scene with your activities tell us what advice would you give to anybody youngster wanting to get into DJing?
Honestly just don’t be afraid of rejection. You got to put yourself out there and ask. Go to local nights, do your homework, talk to the promoter/ owner. Message the radio stations or maybe DJs on the station who you think would dig your stuff. It can be nerve racking but the truth is no one is going to find you. You have to get in their face.
The DnB/ Jungle scene currently is and has been in a good place for a while, always a night to attend and loads of exciting music coming out whatever you like! Where do you see things going within the next few years? Think the scene can maintain this consistency? 
Yeah the scene is in a great place at the moment! My only concern is the clique mentality from some groups. You’ll see the same line ups over and over that it has started to lose that freshness. There needs to be more opportunity to push the next generation of Junglists through because lets face it, they’re the future of the scene. Once it’s more inclusive then I think you can maintain some consistency. 
So away from DnB and the madness, tell me about other types of music you are digging? 
I’m actually quite rubbish with new music haha. If I do listen to non DnB it tends to be much older music or classics. Funk/Soul/Blues/Classic Rock you know. I tend to revisit my old Metal albums (Ministry!!). But if I listen to new stuff then it will most likely be Techno. Big fan of Manni Dee. Likes of Lucy, Headless Horseman, Rrose, Ansome, Rraph. Anything on Stroboscopic Artifacts, MORD. Heavy shit that sounds like a blacksmith hammer haha. Also I’m a huge fan of Hip-Hop but it’s hard to impress me with the new stuff. 90’s all the way! Although that Harvs Le Toad (which you brought to my attention actually) guy is sick and Ocean Wisdom is a beast. UK Hip-Hop coming back in style. I hope. . .
I know I seem to find it funny (yes I’m pathetic) but it’s so random! So you are from Argentinian heritage right? (I just always remember thinking you were shitting me when you told me, haha) 
Hahaha fucksake. I really wish I wasn’t now, would make this hilarious. But yes, I’m adopted from Argentina so a full Argie. It is pretty random when you think of the switch from Buenos Aires to then playing angry Jungle music in a basement club in Brighton…
Another random… You are a Fulham fan too yea? I don’t follow football as much as I used, but I know it’s not been a great time for you this season right?
Oh God, dreadful season, so happy it’s over. I gave up months ago and just wanted to enjoy the Premiership while we could. Not going to be seeing the likes of Aguero or Mo Salah at the cottage anytime soon! And to be honest, as soon as we got relegated you could see the relief. We just wanted it to be over! The players relaxed more and now we’ve won 3 on the trot and kept clean sheets!! Definition of Fulhamish.
Going back to music! Can you give the readers any ideas of what the rest of 2019 has from you? 
Well next gig is June 1st, Dirty Dozen 3 at The Castle (Big up Monita), going b2b with brother in arms Mindset. Can’t wait for that, we go really well together and are going to absolutely terrorize those poor people. There’s some really interesting stuff coming up with Tech Itch Recordings and Danger Chamber Digital regarding events so keep your eyes peeled! But yeah apart from that just focusing on producing more and trying to source some amazing guests for you lovely lot! 😉
Anybody you wanna shout you before we wrap this up man? 
Just a big up to my Life FM (Roasty & Lioness), Tech Itch, Glastonbury and Rude FM (Fugee & Flava) family. Thanks to all the listeners and everyone for supporting! 

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