The absolute start of my journey is difficult for me to pin down to a date, but my guess it somewhere around early to mid 1998 at work. Tandy, Corporation Street, Birmingham.
My music taste at that point was heavily weighted towards R&B / Soul with a little Garage thrown in. My rock & dance favouring friends would give me a regular ribbing for my taste in sounds. A reaction I was soon to be even more exposed to. I was at work on the first floor chilling to my music on Choice FM (Now known as Galaxy), when a couple of young lads, mid teens I’d guess, came up to my floor. They were checking out the sound systems we had, I just gave a nod their way & left them to it.
They headed to the hi-fi that was playing the radio & changed the station. They didn’t turn the volume up, they didn’t even look back my way or try to see if they’d got any attention. They simply switched the station, walked back downstairs & left the store.
Ah man, I had no plans to move so I slowly walked over to the hi-fi, a good 15-20ft away, to flick Choice FM back on. They had put on Kool FM. I didn’t know this at the time & I’d never even heard of it. I knew of jungle, but never took the time to listen to it. Too noisy.
As I reached up to select my preset again, something about the music stopped me. I stood & listened for a few more seconds transfixed on the beats, turned up the volume a little & walked back to the counter. All day I listened.
Day after day I listened in the car, at work, in the car back & all evening at home. Sometimes the signal was perfect, sometimes not so. I’d got to know the name & over time I got to understand that this was a pirate station that only broadcast on weekends. When I caught it mid-week the first time, this was some sort of bank holiday thing so the station took a few more chances.
Throughout 1998 I developed an interest in the idea of mixing. My first non-mixed DnB CD was Sound in Motion from Origin Unknown, later came the Unified Colours of Drum & Bass & not long after was Jonny L’s Magnetic. I needed to mix these & so with the closure of some Tandy stores the same year, sales began. I bagged a 4 channel mixer for £30 hooked it up to a standard CD player with no fast forward or rewind & about a half second with each button press, this, along with an Amiga CD32 connected to a TV & audio output to my midi hi-fi I started learning to beat match. What a set up!
Fast forward the through 1998 for my first DnB rave where I decided on a set of decks. Definitely.
My mind goes into overdrive when I try to work it out. Did those two random lads really cause everything that has followed or did they simply bring it to the fore?