We caught up with DJ Flashback a.k.a The Flash Cats about his new LP ‘Groovin’ and other bits. The LP is out now. Buy it here
Thanks for sharing some time with the blog! So, you’ve just released a full LP ‘Groovin’. Tell us abit about the creative process, time and labour that went into this LP
The new album ‘Groovin’ took about a year to complete, and was a project that my studio partner Sparky and I had been talking about doing for a few years. We have both always been heavily influenced by the house and rave sounds that came out of the North of the UK in the late ’80s, early ’90s so it seemed like a good idea to produce an album showcasing this sound. After selecting lots of our favourite tracks from that era, we got together what vocal samples we could and Sparky got everything down in the studio including re-writing all the drums and music. After much listening, tweaking, replacing tracks etc we settled on the 15 tracks that are on the album.
Previously, you produced other different aliases like The Flashback Project, you played a huge role in the NuRave/Rave Breaks/Future Jungle scene of the mid 00’s up to now. How did you get into this sound and start making tracks?
I mainly release as ‘The Flashback Project, also I’ve used ‘Scientists’ (for DNB), ‘Dub Heroes’ with Sparky (for Fidget House) and more recently ‘Flash Cats’. I got into the sound initially through DJ’ing hardcore since around 1990, but didn’t get into a studio with any serious intentions until I hooked up with the extremely talented production duo Stu and Nee, resulting in my first vinyl release ‘Hands In The Air, on Mertwax (big up Mert!). I also been lucky enough to work with other amazing producers like King Yoof (Sunz Of Mecha), Hattrixx, D’Silva and Sparky who have all helped me to develop my sound, and I released on Junki Munki Records, Firewall Records, Uplifting Rhythm, Tornado Records, Uppacutz Records, Can You Feel It Media and Downbeat Productions. DJs Slipmatt and Billy Daniel Bunter helped me a great deal in the early years signing my first 2 tracks Love Commandments and Ease The Pressure, the latter being then licensed to their with platinum selling ‘Rave Nation’ album, released on Ministry Of Sound Recordings. Also, I was very lucky to have the support and encouragement of the legendary DJ Kutski (BBC Radio 1), as well as a whole host of other DJs and radio stations who helped me immeasurably with support and airplay. I set up my own label Propaganda Music in 2013 and along with releasing my own music I try to discover and push emerging talent as much as I can. To date we’ve had 12 releases on the label, the latest being the brand new FLASH CATS album – GROOVIN
In general, the breaks sound is very popular over in Spain, what do you think is the appeal of that particular sound over there?
There is definitely a growing demand for breaks, and the Spanish have been at the forefront for at least 15 years. The appeal is undoubtedly the razor sharp production combined with huge basslines and catchy riffs optimised over the years by the likes of DJ Quest, The Freestylers, The Breakfastaz, Plump DJs, Ed 209, Deekline, Wizard…to name just a few!
The sound that you and others make has its roots in the 90s rave sound. Do you think the new wave of rave-inspired music has suffered a bit from excessive labelling?
No, I don’t think so. There will always be labelling in music – genres, sub genres etc. The crucial thing is the music gets out to the market – how people want to categorise it is up to them
What are the perfect ingredients for a tune in your opinion? What elements of a track get the hairs standing on end?
Crisp beats, heavy basslines, catchy riffs. Easy you’d think…
Where have been your favourite places to DJ over the years?
I’ve been very lucky over the years and have played at some amazing parties all over the UK and Europe, but the one place that was the most special was playing at The Sanctuary in Milton Keynes in the UK – now sadly gone The Sanctuary held so many special memories for me over the last 25 years so having the opportunity to play there before it was closed was very special and something that I won’t forget!
If you could assemble a line up of 5 DJs for an event, any DJ of your choice, who would you pick?
Ha ha, great question….Well for me it would be a mixture of Drum N Bass, Electro House and Old Skool – what a night that would be…
Camo & Krooked
Far Too Loud
DJ Tango B2B DJ Ratty
What’s coming up in 2017 for Flash Cats and your label, Propaganda Music?
Lots of things are happening at the moment! As I mentioned earlier we’ve just released PROPS012: FLASH CATS – GROOVIN. I’ve also been busy in the studio and have a brand new bass and breaks mix to put out including lots of new Propaganda Music exclusives! Also, I’m in the process of having most of my back catalogue re-mastered and I plan to release a 100+ track album of all my work over the years. All proceeds from sales of that album will be donated to charity as a mark of gratitude and respect to family and dear friends that I have tragically lost over recent years, so please watch this space for news on that.
Shouts to Jackski, Mark, Allan and everyone worldwide supporting the sounds! x