By MAX WALKER
Unleash the Beast #3
Thursday 1st March 2012
Denney | Pharo | Jamin Nimjah
Sub Club, 22 Jamaica Street
In our next evening of sweaty carnage, we welcome to our leopardskin booththe twisted styles of JAMIN NIMJAH, as true a junglist as ever roamed God’s Earth.
In a world that has seen the unique vitality of the genre continuously sapped by stadium fillers (read: Chase & Status, and sadly, Pendulum), who are happy to rework a new vocal synth over the same amen break and make another £20billion, or by the unspeakable monstrosity that is d*bst*p1, we have a homegrown talent who can produce tracks of such startling ferocity and thunder. For those unfamiliar with his work, JN is an Edinburgh based producer with personal tastes that go from Shy FX to Bjork, via Slayer. He’s played along side the likes of Remarc, Twinhooker & Paulie Walnuts, The Amen-Tal crew and Osci, and soon to support Vandal, a pioneer of the Raggatek scene. Having spent a fair portion of his youth amongst2 the UK free party scene listening to beats far harder than they would ever let you at a venue with a licence, bouncers, roof and reputation to uphold, JN mixes hard curb-stamping 4/4 bass with elegantly mashed up jungle-style breaks, all accented by the choice application of ragga vocals to produce RAGGATEK - a sub-genre of jungle that may just yet restore the scene to its former glory. JN lets drum and bass do what it does best, as dark landscapes abound in a dystopian world of breaks and spleen-grinding bass that never strays from that most important of goals – to get your feet bouncing and head bopping, all the while with the smile of the condemned planted firmly upon your face. Ah, bisto.
We caught up Jamin Nimjah before the event to probe the mind of our new best friend, and to check for any signs of latent communism:
Frogbeats: S’appenin bro?
Jamin: No much. Just getting ma groove on.
Frogbeats: Give us a quick biography of your fine self. You can make it up if you like, I don’t think anyone reads this anyway.
Jamin: Basically got into the scene via free parties round Edinburgh from probably a bit too young an age. I have always had a love for that kind of music (you can blame my dad for that one, playing me Roni Size before I could walk), and the community vibe that came out of 90s rave culture. Its provides a happy beat that you can bounce to, something that everyone can enjoy.
Frogbeats: What are people going to notice about your sound? Big differences from your usual Step-N-Bounce?
Jamin: Mainly the choppiness of the breaks, it’s not clean two step, it plays with the traditional amen break utilizing the space that the standard two-step leaves empty. It also involves the rolling 4x4 bass that we get from hard tekno that carries your feet along, so in effect you get music that is both bass and high heavy.
Frogbeats: Sounds good. Where does that come from?
Jamin: All drum and bass can be identified by the amen break3, the proper name for that characteristic drum beat. It actually came from an American rhythm and blues band from the 1960s. As drum and bass has entered the mainstream consciousness we here this beat all the time, on the radio or on television. So, with Raggatek we go back a stage, we look to the past for authenticity, and Raggatek combines the high quality production of today with the highly mashed styles exhibited in 90s rave music, where all modern dance music owes it lineage, and includes all the reggae inspired hallmarks of jungle music.
Frogbeats: So are you all apocalyptic every day of the week? Or can we expect something a bit lighter?
Jamin: My goodness no!4 In fact, I made a rastamouse remix that bounces and swings like a shaky chandelier, still upbeat but not too harsh on the ears, even got played on the radio. If people check out my Soundcloud page they can hear my good time tunes, some oldies, some newer (dare I say more polished), all fresh out the oven of originality n that. Generally speaking though, I try to give my mixes a narrative, they build up, like a journey through styles and genres, gradually layering up the influences, taking you somewhere where you can still feel the original sound but can also appreciate the new landscape that the mix has delivered you to.
Frogbeats: Any word on current state of UK free party scene?
Jamin: At the moment? Booming! Particularly in Scotland actually. The party scene across UK is experiencing a rebirth, having suffered at the hands of the club scene for so many years. With the conservative government tightening laws on night clubs and cutting all arts funding, plus and all the hikes in entry fees, people are taking things back into their own hands. The scene isn’t just about the music; it’s a community of like minded people who want to show everyone a good time with no authority. There’s more community spirit, with DJs and their crowds becoming indistinguishable, as opposed to what we have now where the ‘talent’ is placed on some ridiculous pedestal.
Jamin: Can I get paid yet?
1. Disclaimer: the author of this article fucking hates d*bst*p, and shall not let the name of the abomination sully his righteous pen.
2. Amongst, in, about, falling over, rolling around in, occasionally pouring all down his trousers etc
3. Search:youtube.com “Amen break” to see what we’re on about
4. Edited for reasons of profanity