Biggest, baddest and best… Origin UKWritten by Olivia Wilson
Origin UK is one of the biggest underground and commercial drum and bass stations in the country. They’ve been running since the turn of the century, playing the old school classics and the new.
I am truly inspired by Origin and the family there, and I’m honoured to be a guest on the show every Friday. I chat to the guys about the origin of Origin…
LIV: How many years have you been running now?
EZM: We first went live on 31st December at 8pm, four hours before the millennium! It was a real struggle. We tried in November and it just kept failing and failing! On that night I actually gave up and said “You know what, I wanna go out… to World Dance, I wanna go raving!” Tony was like, “I'm gonna keep going.” He kept on going and he got it live at 8pm. I listened to the first show from Tony on the way to World Dance and here we are 12 years on!
LIV: How has Origin progressed over the years?
EZM: It's got stronger; we've had a few lapses in the past but the station is steadily gaining more recognition and more people up and down the country listen in.
LIV: What inspired you to open the station?
EZM: The music, I have so much music. In '89 I had so many tunes I didn't have a chance to play them all...the only logical way of rinsing them out was on radio. It was hard to play them all out because the style kept changed but we had all the tunes. I played them in my bedroom and started thinking these tunes need to get heard!
LIV: Who’ve you had on the station?
EZM: Pendulum, Sub Focus, DJ Marky - an old school legend from Pulse FM, Blame, DJ Die, Alix Perez, Moving Fusion, Simon Bassline Smith, Drum Sound… and loads more. Most people are happy to come and do a guest show. We’re trying to get more permanent shows with current artists though.
LIV: You've got big residents already on there, haven't you?
EZM: Yeah… like Ray Keith, Bryan Gee and Jumping Jack Frost every Wednesday. Paul Ibiza, another legend in the game, he's been around since day one. Shut Up and Dance are true pioneers when it comes to bringing the old school scene from what it was to what it is now in dnb… they are residents here. Potentially Bad Boy and Shabba D are coming on, Krust is coming back… we've got Cabin Fever, Ricochet UK, Rude Kid, Cabbie and Skie, another old school legend from Pulse FM.
LIV: Who would you love to come and play?
EZM: LTJ Bukem: he said he will come down one day. Adam F, Roni Size, would love to have him, Andy C, Dillinja, Lemon D… Funny story, Goldie was supposed to come, he was literally on the way to the studio one time... then someone pulled the wire! [Ed: cut the station so it isn’t live anymore.] We had a countdown on our website, everyone was talking about it, and on the day some jealous person pulled the wire! Half hour before the flippin’ show! We couldn't get back on.
LIV: Where do you see Origin in five years time?
EZM: I see us being one of the main dnb stations if were not already, and worldwide, in audio and video. That’s what I wanna do within five years - top station!
LIV: What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you at a festival?
EZM: Weirdest thing? God! I dunno man, dangerous things have happened. DJ B, my partner who I produced with, was driving us home from the festival, no idea how we done it, we ended up on the other side of the motorway going the wrong way! DJ B went round the roundabout and got on the wrong side, when he realised he hit the breaks and did a 180 degree turn and ended up facing the right way! Luckily old bill didn't see us, they turned around just as they heard a skid, then they ushered us on! Phew!
LIV: That reminds me of my mate Nickname [Ed: watch out for him he's amazing], reversing down the motorway into oncoming traffic after missing a junction and got away with it nicely! So what do you think of the drum and bass industry in 2012 compared to in 1999?
EZM: Dnb only really came about in 1999, 2000… it was much better then. You would have thousands and thousands of people at a rave. As soon as dubstep came on the scene the young crowd got into it. It's thinning out our club capacities for the new generation - we need the new generation back on the dnb! A lot of it is to do with the internet, they get a few drinks and stay in watch it online. People haven't got much money at the moment.
LIV: Do you not think labels like RAM still pack clubs out with the young generation though?
EZM: They are doing it but they could have so much more if dubstep weren't about – it’s unhealthy the scene, its not like it was. 2000 to 2006 the scene was pumping, I used to love going out. At Fabric the parties were rammed. Nowadays it’s hit or miss. Look at Glade that you went to - well empty.
LIV: Favourite tune?
EZM: At the moment, my favourite tune is Music in the Night by Dr Meaker on V Records. I'm doing a top five on my radio show on Fridays (3 – 6pm) - a lot of my favourite tunes are featured on there. It's not to do with any sales or anything, this is my own chart!
LIV: Favourite album/s of all time?
EZM: Grow Your Wings or the Subfocus album or Artificial Intelligence's one. Grow Your Wings is amazing, man. I still play tunes from it. Heavy man.
LIV: Favourite artist/s?
EZM: The Playaz boys; when Pascal sends me new Playaz tracks, that’s when I'm most excited. I can't really pinpoint one particular artist: Hazard, Original Sin, Tax Man, all of those boys, also Bryan Gee and JJ Frost send me exclusives from new artists.
LIV: Up and coming producers to watch?
EZM: Sly - he's making less wobble now, Ricochet UK, Rude Kid, Dr Meaker, Drumatic and DB Audio - all ones to watch out for.
LIV: You guys got a label?
EZM: No, but we’re thinking about setting one up. People ask us to all the time. I haven't got time, trying to juggle family, earning money and running the station. If I had a duplicate of myself then yeah, I could do it. Hopefully when Nu Flo takes over, if he starts managing it then I wouldn't have to take care of so much. Then I can spend more time dealing with the label, merchandise and promotions.
LIV: Everyone would wear the merch! I like the logo a lot... so its not just drum and bass on Origin, what kind of other genres are you playing?
EZM: The reason it's called Origin is because it’s centred around the origin of drum and bass. It’s about the whole rave scene that swept through the UK in 88-89 warehouse parties. We wanted to show our journey through the music: how we walked through it, from hardcore raves to the jungle outdoor marquee raves. That’s why we called the station Origin: it’s about the journey from ’89 until now. If we didn't go to those raves there we wouldn't have started the station.
LIV: Have you done a live stream Origin video?
EZM: We’re in the process of setting that up. With DJ's like Bryan Gee, Ray Keith and Jumpin' Jack Frost, we can now live-stream shows. Now we've got DJs that people wanna see live round the world.
LIV: You DJ too, how long you been doing that?
EZM: I started learning to mix when I was 19 but I didn't play out till later on.
LIV: I've noticed you don't use 'Mixed In Key' - impressive.
EZM: I dunno, I’m alright without it. Helps save time, I guess.
LIV: You producing?
EZM: Nah, not at the moment. I did back in '92, I want to! As soon as my hands are more free, that’s another thing I wanna get back into. Got the mac, wanna make sure I use it!
LIV: Who do you consider is the most inspiring musician in the world?
EZM: Rave music as a whole is inspiring and soul hip hop… not one particular artist as such, the whole scene. Rhythm Section were one of my favourites.
LIV: Why do you think a lot of electronic artists have become more about looking cool than the music?
EZM: Because of their PR companies and their management. They just want money, money, money, they wanna get commercial, get a product. I think the artists are being pressured.
LIV: So are you currently on the FM?
EZM: Some rebels sometimes broadcast our stream on 95.1 fm in London and surrounding counties, but we’re solely an internet station!