Loxy is a name that is rightly synonymous with jungle and drum & bass.
From his recorded output to classic sets, he’s deservedly up there as one of the greats, being there at the very beginning of jungle onwards, through its evolution into drum & bass and beyond, he has constantly made forward-thinking and vibrant music and does so to this day.
We had the privilege of talking to Loxy about his extensive and storied career including what music he has been working on and has coming out next, his approach to making music, working with kindred spirit artists, releasing on much-loved labels, his own Cylon Records label, memories of the past and his love of comics and hip hop in an extensive and informative chat.
You’ve got the re-release of Leagues Deep with Resound coming out very soon. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Well, we released the original, which if I remember correctly was on a various artist album on Absys so I guess they wanted to shine more light on the release by having it on vinyl to give it the attention I think a lot of people thought it deserved with some added remixes as to add something new to the package.
You’ve also got the Spray Trains Of Thought release coming out very soon with Ink and Resound. Can you tell us about that and was it a fun experience making that hard breakbeat driven and hip hop inspired music again?
Spray Train was by myself and Ink and on the flip was a track called Channel by myself, Ink and Resound. To be honest, we are always making hip hop and I’ve always been making those types of throwback beats so for me it’s just what I do so not really a new experience. I guess the new part is the fact we have an outlet to release these tracks on now and show a side to everyone else that they may not have known about previously and R&S have given that freedom to be able to shine a light on some more layers that might have not been so widely known beforehand, and obviously writing lyrics and delivering them is another skillset we get to shed light on, I have so many beats hip hop wise in the archive for any occasion.
What other new material have you got coming out that you can tell us about?
I have a remix for Basic Rhythm coming on Planet Mu, a solo 12 forthcoming on 31 Records and a Loxy/Resound release on Future London Retro for Tim Reaper. A release with Resound forthcoming on Over/Shadow, the New Loxy & Resound EP forthcoming on Dispatch Recordings,Loxy & Ink 12 on Metalheadz and the Loxy & Ink Album project on R&S due this year as well as some other projects slated for the end of the year and 2023, one in particular coming at the end of this year. I won’t say much more but I’m excited for that one!
You released The Harbinger/Moloko with Overlook on Droogs earlier in the year. What has the reaction to those tracks been like?
Definitely good feedback. We have done collabs a few times so people seem to enjoy when we team up. Overlook is crew and we definitely intend on doing more music together as it’s not forced and a natural progression, as is with most of the people I collaborate with, we have a genuine relationship musically and it’s never done just for the sake of doing it or jumping on a bandwagon.
Have you got more material with Overlook planned for the future?
Definitely got more material planned, also with Pessimist & Clarity and that will be coming in the future but we are never in a rush, we all are busy individually with our own lives so when the time is right we will get something done.
Are you working on any new music at the moment that you could tell us about?
I’ve got a few remixes coming out. A follow-up LP with Resound that is almost completed, also a solo LP project I’m working on that’s also close to completion
You’re very prolific with your music, do you like to keep busy when it comes to making it and keep it evolving?
Naturally, you want to evolve but for me it’s natural, my influences I will forever have so it’s always going to be that way from the books and comics I read, the movies I watch, my family and day to day life, it’s always going to result in a natural progression.
Will you get to do another full length album at all? It’s been a while since the Burning Shadows album!
Yes, the Loxy & Resound Album is coming probably beginning of next year. Loxy solo album is also coming with a couple of surprise collabs on there and the Loxy & Ink R&S album will be dropping at some point this year.
You’ve worked closely with Ink, Gremlinz and Resound over the years. Do you prefer to work with like-minded artists when you are creating music?
I’ve worked with a lot of artists that are like-minded and some not so like-minded. I find it interesting to do both as it helps you to work with people who may not be on the exact same vibe as it helps to come with something new.
Have you anything planned with the guys for the future that you can tell us about?
Wrapping up the Loxy & Ink R&S LP which is also pretty much a WRAP!! Some music on the likes of Dispatch, Metalheadz, 31 Records, and Over/Shadow, and also a collab with SPY.
You and D-Bridge have had a close relationship over the years too. How is the experience of working with him and will that happen in the future?
Well, we did the Module Eight LP as a collective which consisted of myself Dbridge, Resound, Kid Drama and Skeptical. We did start doing some new music but got sidelined as everyone is busy with their own lives, kids etc so something will pop up in future I’m sure.
What have been the highlights of running the Cylon label over the years?
Just having the pleasure of hearing and releasing good music that I like, I’ve not been so consistent with it as of late but we are going back to releasing vinyl again so we will be right back in there very soon.
What have been the biggest triumphs and challenges of running a label like Cylon?
Working with some distribution companies, some of which went bankrupt and had business woes, losing money but it’s all learning experiences.
Do you love the feeling of bringing long out of print tunes back on vinyl?
It’s not something I’ve done a lot, maybe the odd tune here and there but I like not releasing everything, as I DJ, I always say not everything needs to be released, some things are just supposed to be artillery for DJing purposes.
You’ve released a lot on Metalheadz. How did your relationship with the label start and what have been some of the highlights for you being on the label?
I met Kemistry (RIP) & Storm on Underground FM and also played gigs like Desire back in 94/95, they actually took a liking to how I played and started giving me music as Metalheadz the label was just starting up and also invited me to be one of the “NEW BREED” DJs to play at the legendary Blue Note. The first EP we released on Metalheadz was the Twisted 3rd Mind EP and this was the first 4 track artist EP on the label if my memory serves me correct.
What are your favourite memories of the Metalheadz nights at the Blue Note?
Every night was, to be honest, it was a major event every week even at the very beginning when there were just 15 of us in there! Stand out would have to be the night I played for the entire night due to other DJs not making it last minute so I held it down from start to finish, that was definitely legendary for me and something no one else did.
You’ve also released music on the likes of Dispatch, Renegade Hardware and Hospital amongst many others. Do you feel proud that you have had so many outlets for your music?
Yes, because people do tend to pigeonhole artists and my resume of work and labels I’ve been on is vast. I’ve managed to release music on all the labels (various styles) I’ve wanted to release on.
Which piece of music that you’ve done have you been the proudest of?
Burning Shadows is a very influential album that is probably one of my favourites as far as a body of work and ideas that definitely was influential on the scene. and another would be the Twisted 3rd Mind Ep by myself and Ink.
You’re playing a number of festivals in the summer like Outlook and One In The Woods. Are you looking forward to festival season?
Very much so. Festivals are definitely fun to do and I look forward to getting on more festivals in future.
Which festivals are your favourites to play at and what makes them so special?
Sun & Bass, Outlook, Dimensions, One In The Woods stand out to me.
What other events have you got coming up?
Dispatch night in Bristol, Metalheadz nights at Fabric Brighton, Membrain launch in Austria, One In The Woods Liverpool to name a few and Rupture which I will be going b2b with Gremlinz so we will have some ammo ready for that one.
What sets that you’ve played over the years have stood out for you and what made them so memorable?
I enjoy DJing as a whole so everything is a standout to me but highlights I can say are from the End Club and definitely Blue Note to this day. I am always grateful for DJing across and around the globe so every moment taken to do what I love is satisfaction.
As a big comic fan, how does that art influence you and the music you make?
It’s the biggest influence for me. It’s definitely my thing and something I have consistently represented throughout my career before it became cool with all the movies. The Horsemen idea was derived from comics and me reading X-factor number 21-38 while in a sampling session with Dylan listening through soundtracks so I came up with the name concept and Dylan assigned who would represent which horsemen. I was death because I was already known as the Grim Reaper! Dylan gave himself pestilence (mainly because the word started with Pest (and he considered himself a pest haha!) Ink was War because of his no-nonsense attitude and Keaton was Famine because he was slim and that was the criteria, it was all fun a light-hearted way to bring something new which also later developed into myself and ink recruiting artists from all over the globe who were like-minded one of the firsts to join the ranks being Gremlinz Friske. The only other person who I speak to regular who is into comics as much as myself is fellow dnb artist Kay from The Untouchables so we are always geeking out about comics and comic related things and movies!
What are some of your favourite ever comics and what is it about them that you love?
X-Men, X-force, Uncanny X-men, Spiderman, Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Daredevil, New Mutants, Avengers. This could go on forever as I collect so many different titles and teams and still currently collect. What I love about them is the imagination, the depth of some of the storylines are the amazing artwork from some amazing artists such as Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane, Jack Kirby, Mike Mayhew, Mike Deadato, Scott Williams to name a few.
You’re known as the Grim Reaper because of the darker music you are known for. Have you always been drawn to that darker sound of music?
That is actually a misconception, I’ve always been a DJ who liked the light melodic side as much as i did the dark side. I have what I call the HOLY TRINITY of influences that result in what my style is made up of and those individuals are LTJ Bukem, Randall and Doc Scott. Those 3 DJs were the most influential to me, many others were also but these 3 DJs are what influenced me to fuse aspects of all their styles into one.
How did you get into electronic music in the first place, coming from more of a hip hop background initially and how did that morph into jungle and drum & bass?
It wasn’t that much of a leap, they both share common ground really, the sense of rebellion and going against the grain and not conforming is something both have in common. Late 80’s early 90s pirate radio started to thrive and the older guys we knew were heavily into the scene and following it from early inception so naturally that got handed down to us.
Can you remember the first rave you ever went to and then played at and what it was like?
The first rave /club I went to I think was the legendary Telepathy which was held at Tara’s nightclub, Marshgate Lane which was life-changing. Rat Pack, Godfather, Jumping Jack Frost, Satin Storm, Grooverider to name a few, bringing next-level vibes that made me instantly realise it was what I wanted to do.The first event I played at were house parties and illegal events that used to be held in north London called Psychotic and I also played at the legendary Dungeons nightclub in east London which I’m glad to have on my CV.
Do you look back on your early years at Eruption FM and Underground FM with fondness?
Most definitely! Major learning experiences and met some great people like DJ Clarky who later on was on the Metalheadz DJ roster alongside myself.
Going back to hip hop for a moment, who are you feeling at the moment?
Relatively new guys Coast Contra are killing it for me right now.
What are your all-time favourite hip hop artists and albums?
Nas – Illmatic
Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full
Mobb Deep – Hell On Earth
Wu-Tang – Enter The 36 Chambers
DITC – D.I.T.C.
The Roots – Illadelphhalflife
Mos Def – Black On Both Sides
Pharoahe Monch – Internal Affairs
Big Pun – Capital Punishment
Klashnekoff- The Sagas Of
Raekwon – Only Built For Cuban Linx
Ghostface Killah – Ironman
Genesis Elijah – Deh Pon Road.
We could be here all day haha!
Which rappers would you love to work with on a track or on one of your sets if you could?
Ghetts, Kano, Genesis Elijah, Scorcher, K-Lash for UK. Nas, Black Thought, Mos Def, Rakim for US.
Which grime MCs would you love to have on one of your tracks?
Ghetts, P Money, Scorcher, Kano, Cristale, FFSYTHO, D DOUBLE E, JME.
I’m a music journalist based in the U.K. with a love for bass music in many forms from drum & bass and dubstep to hip hop and grime. Always looking to check out new music as well as digging back for the classics and attending as many events as possible.