By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – Halloween is a special and wildly anticipated time for all show-going peoples; it’s a chance to see multiple great shows at your favourite venues that have been transformed into essentially high-wattage haunted houses. For the raving community, and perhaps the drum and bass community doubly so, it is truly something to celebrate. Promoters pull out all the stops and you get a chance to don your freakiest festival garb and unleash yourselves in full festival mode on to the city streets.
Fright Night is one example of a show that embodies that amazing Halloween/rave hybrid. Now celebrating a remarkable 22 years running, it has become the subject of legend within the electronic community of Calgary. The 403DNB team brought Mob Tactics and The Prototypes for the 2016 rendition; this year they’ve booked two heavy hitters with Dieselboy and London’s Heist. BeatRoute caught up with the former in advance of this massive occasion.
Drum and bass, especially in Calgary and certainly less so in the U.K. where Heist calls home, would arguably be viewed as less accessible than some of EDM’s slower, less intense sub-genres. Going even further down that rabbit hole, it could also be said that within drum’n’bass, jump-up is the least accessible sub-genre, with its ruthlessly high tempos and unrelenting, abrasive bass-lines. However, Heist, a.k.a. Jim Muir, says that simply isn’t the case.
“Less accessible isn’t really a [phrase] I’d use to describe ‘jump-up’ at all to be honest,” says Muir.
“In London, jump-up parties have some of the biggest raves and attendances, very accessible and really, very embraced. Not just London either: Bristol, Birmingham, Southampton, Brighton, Bournemouth — that’s just off the top of my head. I love how jump-up is just what it is and doesn’t care. The people who listen to it don’t care if you like it or not either! It is like any sub genre, a good track is a good track.”
And Muir knows a thing or two about good tracks. In addition to being one of the most in-demand jump-up DJs, Heist also celebrates nearly 20 years of music production, and was a sound engineer even before that. In fact, he worked as sound engineer for Goldie, one of the genres most important figures, for almost a decade.
He also has his hands in three different record labels.
“Co-Lab, Calypso and Sumo Beatz all have their path and there is plenty going on with all three,” says Muir. “For instance in 2018 we already have nine projects ready to go across all three labels from artists like: T>I, Aweminus, Ceph, OZ, Spaow, Jinx, Simula, Nepo and some other people too.”
He also mentioned a new Heist EP that is in the works for this fall with another big name, Serum. Despite this hefty C.V. and extensive back catalogue, Muir says that he is continuing to learn new things about production and anyone who says they aren’t, “are full of shit!”
“I learn new things all the time,” he says. “I have a very open mind about more knowledge and I know I can always gain on it. I am always looking to improve and make it better when it comes to my music and the production behind it.”
In terms of preparing for his DJ sets, Muir says that while he doesn’t necessarily practice differently for different settings, like a Canadian Halloween gig versus a European festival stop, he is constantly updating his collection of music and trying to bring something within his performance you won’t hear again for the whole night.
In terms of what you can expect from what he deems the perfect drum’n’bass set and what you can likely anticipate from him at Fright Night, Muir says, “Variety, surprises, a heavy sound system and a crowd that is really up for it!”
I’m sure the Calgary drum and bass massive can provide the latter.
Jump-up master Heist performs October 28 at The Nite Owl for Fright Night XXII (Calgary).Aweminus, Ceph, Fright Night XXII, Heist, Jinx, Nepo, OZ, Simula, Spaow, T>I, The Nite Owl