Having shot straight into the scene with his debut release, ‘Tekno Bass,’ in 2007, J:Kenzo has left his mark on imprints across the industry. Releasing on pioneering labels like Tempa, a label J states first got him hooked on the low end sound, Dub Police, Argon, 2nd Drop and his own Soul Shakerz he’s become a regular name appearing on highly regarded club night rosters, including the seminal FWD>> night, J:Kenzo’s powerful basslines and twisted textures have become unavoidable. Now with his recent releases on Roska’s Kicks & Snares, J:Kenzo begins to blur the lines between dubstep and UK funky, bringing his textured bass-heavy style, adopted whilst releasing heavy-weight material on Tempa, fusing it with house tempoed drum patterns, creating something new and guttural for himself.
Ahead of his London show here at in Room Three alongside Roska & Jamie George, Champion, MA1 and Shox, we took the opportunity to ask the reputable producer a few questions.
You released your debut, ‘Tekno Bass,’ back in 2007. You’re now putting material out on Roska’s ever growing Kicks & Snares imprint. How would you say your productions have evolved?
Quite a bit, I've been spending more time working on productions and mix downs. Most of my original equipment and software has still stayed the same from when I started producing; I have just learned how to use it to its full potential.
If you listen to my tracks from 2006 right through to 2011 you will hear my style hasn't changed, it has just evolved, keeping it dark and dubwise but also dancefloor.
‘The Roteks’ caused mayhem on dance floors worldwide. Since then you’ve released ‘Fibreoptickz’ under new alias, Guttershake. What made you decide to release this EP under a new moniker?
The Guttershake alias was started to represent what I do on a house/electro/techno tip. I didn't want to confuse the dubstep listeners and people who follow the name J:Kenzo. With the Guttershake productions and sets you know what you are getting, that raw, dirty and bumping sound.
Is there a sense of freedom when putting out tunes under a different name?
Yeah definitely; it gives me a chance to experiment with different tempos and not be pigeonholed.
If you listen to the Guttershake tracks they are hard to fit into a certain ‘genre’ as they can crossover, with a wide selection of house, funky, techno and electro DJ's playing them.
Who would you say is currently influencing your sound?
Producers such as Distance, The Others, Icicle, Boddika, Loefah, D-Bridge, Benga, Kromestar. I also draw a lot of influences from a mixture of 80's hip hop and 90's jungle and techno.
In 2010 you were picked out by Dubstep veteran, Youngsta, who backed your ‘The Roteks’ EP release. Is there anyone we should be looking out for at the moment? Any up and comers?
I've been blessed to be sent some amazing music recently from a great deal of new producers. Look out for Mosaix, Killawatt, Kahn, Subreachers and Perverse.
You’re playing in Room 3, hosted by Roska’s Kicks & Snares, this October 7th. How does playing amongst artists such as Roska, Jamie George and MA1 differ to playing alongside the likes of Youngsta, Distance and Grooverider? Does it affect what you spin on the night?
I love being able to have the chance to perform on the same line ups with all these great acts. Some of them are good friends I have known in the scene for a long time, which makes it all the more enjoyable and feedbacks and hypes the crowd too. With the Kicks & Snares night on October 7th I will playing a full on Guttershake set representing all the sounds I’m into on that axis.
What can we expect from you in the next coming months?
My next dubstep release is ‘Ruff House’ (ft. Rod Azlan) b/w ‘Therapy’ which is forthcoming very soon on Tempa. I am also working on a larger project for Tempa in 2012 with all details to be revealed in the next few months... Hopefully there’ll be some more Guttershake material for Mr Roska and the Kicks and Snares camp coming too...