Société Perrier DJ Mix: DJ Q
DJ Q has been a key figure of the UK garage scene for a number of years, from its initial rise to popularity through to the revival sounds currently bubbling all through the UK underground and further afield. But DJ Q’s musical proficiencies spread far wider than ‘just’ garage, as evidenced by an acclaimed back catalogue of productions and remixes taking in grime, bassline and much more, and a six-year stint hosting a show on BBC Radio 1Xtra, which showcased all manner of underground urban artists. He provides Société Perrier with a bassy behemoth — his Out of the Box mix, which takes in tracks by a choice selection of sharp contemporary producers, as well as dipping into some classic sounds along the way. We caught up with DJ Q for a chat about all things musical.
Tell us about your mix.
DJ Q: With this mix I’ve gone 4x4 all the way. It features tracks from all the hot producers at the moment – Disclosure, Mosca, Lil Silva, Todd Edwards, Julio Bashmore and Mak & Pasteman. It also features a few exclusive tracks by myself. There’s also tracks by Medlar, Classified and L Phonix & Yllavation — producers you will no doubt be hearing a lot more of.
Do you have a set idea of how you want a mix to sound before you start it?
I like every mix of mine to be different. I try not to stick to one formula if I’m honest. I never really plan the actual tunes I’m going to play and which order I play them in. I mix them there and then on the spot, just like I would in a club. I find it hard to make a set playlist and stick to that exact playlist. Sometimes the vibe just takes you in a different direction totally.
Tell us about your musical background and how/when you started DJing and producing:
I guess I’ve always been around music and I’ve always been into music. My dad used to sing, my uncle was an MC in a reggae soundsystem back in the day, my cousin was a DJ/producer. I’ve always been interested in DJing. In 1997/1998 I started buying garage vinyls of tracks I couldn’t get hold of on CD at the time. I was around 15 by the time I eventually got a pair of turntables, and I had enough vinyls to record mixtapes and play sets at parties.
My first taste of production was probably GCSE music in school, where we used to use Cubase on a black and white Atari. Away from school, I used to produce music so I would have something different to play in my sets, and that grew from there.
What tracks/artists have been grabbing your attention recently?
Disclosure’s mix of Artful Dodger’s “Please Don’t Turn Me On” is a huge track for me at the moment. There’s also Lil Silva’s remix of AlunaGeorge’s “Your Drums, Your Love,” which is smashing the club scene. You’ll hear both of those tracks in the mix. There’s a few tracks that aren’t in the mix. Roses Gabor’s next single, “Stars,” on Toddla T’s label Girls Music is a banger; it’s produced by Redlight. Speaking of Redlight, his track “Basscone” is still up there! I could go on for hours and list all the tracks which have grabbed my attention in recent months!
Do you think there’s a garage revival going on at the moment?
Yeah, 100 percent I agree there’s a garage revival. It’s not just 2-step garage, it’s garage how I remember it being back in the day, loads of different styles and formulas. There’s big 2-step tunes and big 4x4 tunes. The major labels seem to be taking a chance on UK garage again, which means it must be the in-thing. UK garage is a massive genre and has had so many hits and successes in the past, I think it was only a matter of time before it came back to the forefront.
How has UK garage changed over the years?
UKG has changed a lot in the last ten years. I think at one point the scene may have been a bit too separated. Loads of sub-genres have spawned from UKG. There was grime, dubstep, bassline and UK funky, to an extent. Although these sub-genres came from UKG, there weren’t many DJs playing these styles together. What I’ve noticed now, though, is that more and more people aren’t really watching separation anymore. I think garage is very similar to how it was back in the day. All the producers are sounding like individuals rather than all trying to sound like one person.
What do you have planned for the coming months and beyond?
I’m working very closely with the label Local Action. I’m releasing a single with them, which is called “Trust Again” and features a singer called Louise Williams. I’ve also got something else lined up with the label, but I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet.
I’m releasing a joint EP with an up-and-coming producer called Classified, through the label Unknown To The Unknown. As well as working with those two labels I will also be releasing music on my own imprint, Q Recordings. The next release will be a track called “Party Time”, produced by me and featuring MC Bonez and Robbie Rue. There’s a few other things coming up which I’m sure you will hear all about very soon!
Société Perrier DJ Mix: DJ Q's Out of the Box Mix
1. DJ Q - "Close"
2. Rosie Gains - "Closer Than Close" (Acapella)
3. Donkie Punch - "Snapbacks and Tattoos"
4. Artful Dodger - "Please Don’t Turn Me On" (Disclosure Remix)
5. Medlar - "Onwards"
6. George FitzGerald - "Child"
7. AlunaGeorge - "Your Drums, Your Love" (Lil Silva Remix)
8. El-B feat. Juiceman - "Buck & Bury" (Caski Remix)
9. Julio Bashmore - "Au Seve"
10. Kcat - "Broken" (Acapella)
11. Tyler James - "Single Tear" (Mak & Pasteman Remix)
12. DJ Q - "Ordinary People"
13. Artifact - "Worn"
14. Mosca - "What You Came For"
15. Hostage - "Tunnels"
16. Tom Shorterz - "BenZallin" (Two Thirty One Fix)
17. TS7 - "Polygon"
18. Queenie - "And Every"
19. Monsta Boy - "Sweet Dreams"
20. Cause & Affect - "Snatch Ma Crops"
21. Shadow Child - "So High"
22. Azealia Banks - "1991" (Instrumental)
23. Steve Aoki feat. Iggy Azalea - "Beat Down" (Acapella)
24. Vince Kid - "Sick Love" (Woz Remix)
25. Leona Lewis - "Trouble" (L Phoniz & Yllavatin Remix)
26. Ejeca - "Horizon"
27. Lorenzo - "People Of The Night"
28. DJ Q feat. MC Bonez and Robbie Rue - "Party Time" (Acapella)
29. Toxic Avenger - "Toxic Is Dead" (Todd Edwards Remix)
30. Pride feat. Stac & Savvy - "The Right Idea" (DJ Q’s ‘Brand New Day’ Remix)
31. DJ Haus and Matrixxman - "Tales From The Darkside"
32. Classified - "Rendez-Vu"
33. Disclosure feat. Wiley and J2K - "Tenderly"
34. LOL Boys - "Changes" (Todd Edwards Remix)