ADSR Mix 003: Special Ed
July. 11. 2014
English born, Scottish raised, and now making waves in South Korea… get inside as we welcome Special Ed to this weeks edition of the “Weekend Warmup.” With 10+ years in the game, as a DJ, producer, and promoter, Ed’s experience and positivity are both undeniable and infectious. Have a read as we catch up with the man, and be sure to have a listen to the mix he’s left for us: Drum and Basses aplenty.
What was it like growing up in the UK? When did you get into DJing and production?
Well, I’m from Birmigham (in England) and I lived in Scotland for 12 years before coming out to Korea.
Birmingham was a cool place to grow up, not the most beautiful city in the world but it had a great music scene. Drum & Bass and garage were both very popular there. But I didn’t get into DJing until I went to uni, around 2000/2001. Before that I’d played guitar in bands. And I’ve been playing around with production since about 2008 but only taking it seriously for a couple of years.
Nice one, so how was the music mix in Edinborough? A healthy electronic scene?
Yeah very much so! Although in recent years a lot of the best venues in Edinburgh have closed down… But the people have a healthy love of electronic music and it was a great place to be a DJ.
In what ways were you involved in the scene? DJing, promoting?
All of the above! I started a night called Pangea with 4 friends (another DJ, an emcee, and two graffiti artists) back in 2004, and it ran for 5 years all over Scotland and was very popular. Then when Pangea finished in 2009, I held down 2 or 3 residencies in Edinburgh until I left for Korea in 2012.
What was the focus of the Pangea nights? All dnb?
Yeah man, all D&B. We booked guests who were residents at the other Scottish D&B nights as opposed to bringing up big names, and also encouraged new blood to get into the scene by running DJ competitions and giving opening slots to newcomer DJs.
Nice one man, sounds real positive. Finding the same support in Korea?
Yeah those were great times! As for Korea, I think the scene here is in its infancy. Before Josh Helix and I started our night, there were no club nights in Korea that catered exclusively for D&B, and the numbers of people who go out specifically to listen to D&B are still small.
However there’s a lot of club nights here that cater to a broader spectrum of bass music, and those guys have been great to me in terms of giving me support and gigs since the moment I got here - notably Bass Attack, Filthy Friday and Low End Theory. Big shout out to all those guys.
It’s an exciting time to be pushing D&B in Korea, precisely because it is a small but growing scene.
Sounds like there’s tight little community for sure. Are you finding there’s much growth and collaborations going on within the electronic music production scene as well?
I think so, increasingly. I’ve got production collaborations with several folks out here in the pipeline, and it’s nice to see the club nights out here working together to build the scene too in various ways - giving DJs from other club nights gigs, making sure not to book nights on conflicting dates, etc… And yeah there’s a tight community for sure, a hard core group of faces who show up at every gig, which is nice. We’re all pals!
Heh awesome, so you mentioned being in a number of bands before getting into production. How did you find this transition?
Great! I’d played in punk bands since I was 16 and I loved playing out fast music that made people dance… but equipment and rehearsing was so expensive, and we were lucky if we’d get “paid” a few beers for a gig. It was so much hassle! When I discovered DJing I loved it… being the only person on stage means that you’re solely responsible for your set, be it good or bad, and there’s no feeling quite like rocking a crowd. And as a DJ, the pay is better… although buying all that wax means I was probably worse off in the end! A vinyl addiction is expensive!
Talk to us a bit more about your latest project: “Shudder”. Many of the tunes sound to be vocal focused dnb. Where is this project heading?
In answer to your question, yeah, the Shudder thing is a new direction for me so I thought I’d give it a different name and keep it separate. I was making some tunes on a more minimal / vocal oriented tip than usual so I thought I’d give them an identity of their own. I’ll still be producing dubwise and D&B tunes as Special Ed, but I’ll also be putting some energy into the Shudder stuff and see where it goes!
Give us one funny gig story ?
funny gig stories: Too many to mention over the last 12 years, none of them really suitable for putting on the internet, you know! But DJing and D&B has given me so many amazing times with amazing people, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like without it.
What’s in store for 2014?
As for 2014, I’m looking forward to playing out a lot more in Korea, and making a lot more tunes! I’m also branching out a bit here, playing speed garage and jackin house sets, so watch out for some of that!
And lastly, where can people find your music?
You can find my music on my 2 soundcloud pages:
http://soundcloud.com/dj-special-ed for the Special Ed stuff, there’s 30+ tunes on there and over 24 hours of DJ mixes spanning 2007 - present.
and http://soundcloud.com/shudder-official for the Shudder stuff.
Thanks again to Ed for popping in, have a listen to the lads mix below!
1. The Clock Ticks - Dub Phizix
2. Baby Grey - Ivy Lab
3. Quarry - Ed:it & Overlook
4. Lines - Shudder
5. Playing Games - Alix Perez & D.Ablo
6. Steeplechase - Royalston
7. Nowadays - Dose
8. Blaze - Agressor Bunx
9. Sniper - Dabs
10. Future Lights - Zombie Cats & Concept Vision
11. Synthetic Man VIP - Borderline
12. Bad Citizen - Judda & Jam Thieves
13. Away - L33 & Cooh
14. Stories Untold - Pennygiles
15. Solar Wind (Kantyze Rmx) - Quadrant & Iris
16. Reflections - Shudder