Some people may know Steve Bishop (AKA Oneman) for his harmonious blends of UK garage and dubstep, some for his grime knowledge, and some for his love of UK funky. More than anything though, he’s best known as one of the UK’s best DJs, never falling to the often-restricted boundaries of genres and sub-genre labels. Cutting his teeth at seminal nights like DMZ and the once-pirate radio station Rinse FM, he’s been a frontrunner in a league of selectors who’ve made a name from their skills behind the decks alone. In 2012 we had him bless us with FABRICLIVE 64, a pleasantly juxtaposing journey through classic and contemporary UK underground cuts. His edition in our long-running series reached from the far corners of various interlinking scenes, with standout moments like Fis-T’s Night Hunter and Joy Orbison’s modern classic, The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow. Ahead of his appearance with L U C Y and Sgt. Pokes at Refractions this weekend, he’s hit the decks for a rhythmic mix covering the kind of UK bass-inclined territory he’s made his strong suit.
Mike Millrain – Eyes Open Wide
Aylen – Love Theory
Groove Chronicles – Shattered
Blaze – Lovelee Dae (DJ Tabledance Edit)
Braiden – The Alps
Goldie vs Rabbit In The Moon – Inner City Life
These Machines – Check It
Jazztronik – Samurai
Almaty – Gennaro (Edian Remix)
Arctor – Memory Gene (James Shinra Remix)
Black Loops – Sex (Vinyl Mix)
Giraffi Dog – The Temple of Magatao
You’ve always played across the spectrum of underground music. What was the theme behind this mix in particular?
I wanted to put together a mix that explored rhythm. Rhythm is my favourite part of dance music’s structure and I enjoy the battle of trying to mix two tracks together that you might not think would necessarily work!
One aspect you’re known for in your sets is blending classic and contemporary sounds. Are there any newer producers included in this mix that people should look out for?
Yes. DJ Tabledance from Berlin and also Giraffi Dog, both out of the Warning! camp – one of the most progressive parties in Berlin for me right now. Electro breaks, suspended pads, lovely synth work, deep bass lines. Another producer I’ve included in this mix who I believe will have a great future is James Shinra.
You’ll be going back to back with L U C Y at Refractions with the help of DMZ legend Sgt. Pokes. What can people expect from this combination?
We’ve spoken about the set briefly and I think we have settled on the 130-135BPM range. For myself I’ll most likely play a mix of grooves and palettes from speed garage to jackin’ house and breakbeats. I am really looking forward to what this pair-up can bring to fabric!
Obviously, playing to a crowd is vital, but at a certain level people are paying to see what you are currently feeling. How do you strike this balance?
I tend to attack this with an open mind, and read the crowd as I’m playing. It can be a hard task to strike that balance and pull it off in the moment, but as long as you know your selections on the night, there shouldn’t be too much of an issue. I’m also known for playing a fair amount of old stuff too so it’s nice to surprise the crowd with an old unheard gem.
The Refractions night is focussing on a broad range of music – from the likes of techno, footwork, jungle, garage and beyond. Is the idea of multi-genre nights something you’ve always been able to get behind as a DJ?
Of course. I spent my early days in the clubs mixing dubstep and UK garage together at nights like DMZ, FWD>> and Platform One at Corsica Studios. When I started my Standard Place events in 2007 it was born out of wanting a multi-genre UK-focussed night where on you could find Wiley, Zomby, Lil Silva and myself all playing in the same room on one line-up.
Are there any other genres that you’re currently feeling? Perhaps something a bit further afield from what people know you for?
All these dark clubby breaks tracks coming out of Hamburg and Berlin like the Warning! label, Doom Chakra Tapes, BFDM Records. An amazing range of rave-influenced warehouse sounds.