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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Funk and Filth File o' Facts : DJ Chamber


DJ Chamber is the funky, filthy alter ego of Bristol boy Theo Cox who, having made a habit of scooping awards in the UK, decided to take his turntable mastery global to spread the good word of bass around the world! With a string of Breakspoll trophies in the last few years, a spot on NSB Radio and the "Head Chef's" hat at the fast-expanding Bass Kitchen club night, Chamber really is one of the hardest working beatsmiths out there! We caught up with him for an Exclusive Funk and Filth Interview, where he tells us about his latest remix project, his future plans and bass culture on the other side of the world!

You won Best New DJ at Breakspoll 2011, can you bring us up to speed on what you’ve been doing since then?

Initially, winning the award allowed me to take my DJing full time when living in England. Towards the end of 2011 I got a residency offer from a club in Taiwan (where I had already toured a few times previously) which was too amazing an opportunity to turn down, so on NYE 2011 I relocated here to escape the British weather, change the music scene and eat noodles.

Tell us a bit about Taiwan, what’s the music scene doing out there?

Taiwan is an amazing place, very nice people, cheap living, good noodles and for the most part lush weather (aside from the odd typhoon/earthquake). Sadly, the music scene is lacking pretty far behind what I'm used to, coming from Bristol. Way too many clubs here just play the same commercial Guetta/Bieber rubbish every night. Friends, family and pasties aside, the vibrant eclectic music scene is the thing I most miss about living in the UK. There are some great venues/event promoters in Taiwan who support more underground styles, but annoyingly they are massively outnumbered. It is slowly but surely improving here though. There's an increasing number of DJs here playing different styles and spreading new music around, which is great to see!

What was the inspiration behind your “Worldwide Remix Tour” and which of your remixes is your personal favourite?

I wanted to try and challenge myself by creating a proper project with a theme and a set time scale, rather than just continuing to release the odd free tune whenever I finished one. My main inspiration came from people like Elite Force, Skeewiff and Philly Blunt who have all undertaken similar projects. After thinking about it for a while, I realized I had never seen the worldwide remixes idea done before so thought it would fit well. So for the past 12 weeks, I have released 12 free remixes of artists from different countries all over the world. I think my personal favorite is 'Rue De Belleville' which represents France and is made from samples of Edith Piaf.

Do you have one tune that you always have in your back pocket for gigs, ready to drop into a set to destroy the dancefloor? How has your choice of killer tune evolved over the years since you started out?

I have a few great old recognizeable remixes I can drop and catch people off guard. One favorite of mine is the Ed Case and Sweetie Irie garage refix of Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood. This usually gets the crowd singing along. I think when I was first starting out, my killer tune was usually either anything by the Chemical Brothers, the Prodigy, the Plump DJs or Fatboy Slim.

Who are your favourite Producers right now? And is there any particular up and coming talent that we might not have heard of yet, that we should look out for? Any predictions for Breakspoll 2013 winners maybe?

I recently came across Jamie Berry, an amazing up and coming electro-swing artist from Leeds who is well worth checking out if you are into that sound.
No specific predictions for Breakspoll spring to mind really, but it looks like the psybreaks sound is gaining popularity fast in the breaks community, so I wouldn't be suprised to see a few new winners coming from that side of things this year.

You can do a back-to-back set with any DJ in the world. Who would you pick?

Hmm tricky. Maybe some 6-8 deck madness with Krafty Kuts and A.Skillz (both in the Top 3 in this year's #FandFHOF!), that would be fun. Krafty came to Taiwan for a gig a few weeks ago and tore down the house, and A-Skillz has made a couple of appearances at my clubnight (Bass Kitchen) in the UK recently, I have massive amounts of respect for both those guys.

This is a big question now . . . not musically related but very very important at Funk and Filth! Footwear. What’s the coolest pair in your footlocker at the moment?

Hahaha, I'm really more of a 'one very cheap pair of trainers at a time until they fall apart' kind of fellow. Right now I'm rocking some red and black obscure Taiwanese brand, and they are on the verge of falling apart...

DJing and Music production isn’t easy and the bar is constantly being raised by the best in the business. If you could give one tip for any aspiring DJs/producers, what would you say is the most important thing to get good at?

There are some obvious things like constantly practicing, spending studio time with other producers, playing many different places to get experience (even if its for little or no money at first) and getting to know plenty of promoters and club owners.
The part that often gets overlooked but is extremely important (especially these days) is the business, marketing and self-promotion side of it. Talent and skill will generally get you pretty far, but to really stick out in an ever increasingly massive crowd of DJs and producers and get recognition internationally, I'd say you need to maintain a decent online presence. It's worth reading up on some basic business and marketing theory stuff if you are at the stage where you have started getting gigs I'd say.

So what can we expect to see from DJ Chamber in 2013? Any big dates on the horizon?

On 20th January I'll be in Thailand on Ko Tao playing a big festival with Orbital, the Dub Pistols and Thomas Gandey. Soon after I'll be going round Malaysia and Shanghai for gigs and undoubtedly some other spots in Asia. In June I'm flying back over for an extended UK/Europe tour. Expect to hear a lot more tunes from me too. I give away loads of stuff over on my Facebook and Soundcloud pages, so check them out if you haven't already!

Listen to all the remixes from DJ Chamber's Worldwide Remix Tour right here, and CLICK HERE to download them all for free!

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