As a label owner, producer, tour deejay, three-time DMC champion and all round Hip-Hop/Grime/Dubstep selector, it's safe to say DJ Cable is a man with many a string to his bow. Initially earning widespread recognition for his technical ability as a Hip-Hop scratch deejay, Cable has also gone on to establish himself as an innovative, bass-friendly selector too. Now with the confidence to push his own sound, the launch of his new digital label 'Triangulum' has ensured that 2011 promises to be an exciting year. Oh, and he's going on tour with Yasmin too. After once again getting lost on the tube, I managed to catch up with him at The Westbury in Kilburn to chat about everything from 'Butterz' to clapped out turntables and P Money / True Tiger's 'Slang Like This':
"I've carried on getting loads of gigs all over the place and I started doing regular podcasts last year which proved quite popular. I've not stopped putting mixtapes out either and I managed to win the UK DMC title for the third time, it was quite a busy year! I'm now deejaying with Yasmin too which is a big look and I've finally got around to sorting out the label, 'Triangulum' - I'm hoping to have the first release out next month if all goes to plan. Ah and I actually did the scratches on 'Slang Like This' last year too - I just hollered at Stanza on twitter and from there, it went back and forth until it was all done. I didn't have a clue how big it'd be though - I knew it was a good tune but the reception it's had has been unbelievable! I'm actually a bit surprised that nobody's jumped on it in the same way as say, 'Woo Riddim' - I thought there'd at least be a few different versions floating about!"
Despite Hip-Hop arguably being Cable's specialist area, Grime and Dubstep have also started to feature prominently in his sets over the last couple of years, a testament to all those hours spent listening to 'Pulse X':
"I've always liked Grime - when I first started deejaying in like 99-2000, I was doing Drum 'N Bass and a bit of Hip-Hop but it was hard to do much with it at the time. It wasn't until about 2002-2003 that I started getting into Garage and I started to try and spin a few tunes in my sets and from there, I discovered Alias stuff and tunes like 'Pulse X'. I started to play more and more of it and as it progressed I just started to mash it all up. I've kinda been fortunate with Dubstep coming about off the back of Grime because now I'm able to vibe between Grime, Hip-Hop and Dubstep whenever i like! I do like all types of music though to be honest but they tend to be the three I'll try and incorporate to play out.
I guess I got into it all back at University in Bristol, experiencing Hip Hop up close and listening to it all the time. I remember going up to London every weekend and hearing all the new stuff coming out at the 'Black Market' store in Soho too! I actually miss those times - nowadays everything's done on Serato and CDJ's and nobody really gets that physical connection with a record anymore. Nobody understands the whole production side either, from pressing to cutting dubs and actually having to go out to a record shop - all that's chanegd with the digital era. Having said that, I'm kinda guilty using Traktor - all of my music tends to be on MP3 but if there's an opportunity, it's always nice to try and play some vinyl. It's a shame, it's becoming a lost art really."
After I clocked Cable wearing a 'Butterz' tee (he was proudly sporting the new 'Black and Yellow' design at the Westbury) whilst deejaying for Yasmin at the HMV Next Big Thing event in Camden last week, it seemed only right to talk about the label that's pushing Grime in previously unthinkable directions:
"Elijah put it right when he said that he's been able to sell just as many, if not more vinyls than digital versions of the Butterz releases so far. Through his distributor, he can get vinyls all over the shop and it's just been a really, really smart move. He's managed to get the whole 'collector' vibe down to a tee too; small batches of huge, in-demand releases like 'Woo Riddim', clear vinyls, themed releases - its all stuff that people want to buy into. I think the way he releases is different too - he'll release the vinyl a month or two before releasing the MP3 which is naturally going to encourage people to purchase the vinyl.
I'm starting of solely digital with 'Triangulum' but I might do a few small vinyl batches if there's enough demand for it. The thing is, everything's just CDJ's now - back in the day, clubs used to have industry-standard turntables all fully setup and ready to go but now they're lucky to have any and even if they are, they're usually battered and worn out - the majority won't be properly maintained or serviced."
Despite previously shying away from the prospect of releasing, 2011 sees the launch of Cable's own digital label, 'Triangulum', a project he's been planning for almost 18 months:
"I've been planning to start the label for quite a while now, more because I don't want to fall into the trap of just being a scratch deejay or a tour deejay or whatever. I've always thought about setting up a digital label though - I feel a lot of tunes out there deserve to be made releasable and pushed as much as possible. I'm into a whole wide range of stuff so the thinking behind 'Triangulum' was that really - the art and space kinda vibe! My first love's always been Hip-Hop but I love Flying Lotus and I love Instrumental Grime and the darker, purple side to Dubstep - i want to make my label representative of what I listen to and what I want to hear.
I've done quite a bit of work with Fused Forces recently and I've mixed bits for them too- I'm actually releasing our track 'Yoshimitsu' as Triangulum's 001 with the B-side coming courtesy of DCult's 'Drunken Master'. I'll be looking to switch things up every few releases though - 001/002 will be Dubstep-related and 003/004 will hopefully be more Instrumental Grime. I'm looking to sign a few tunes by a guy called ^DMIN (Admin) too - he's a talented guy who makes some sick two steppy kinda tracks so we'll see where that goes. It's just a good outlet for music that i think deserves to be heard really - I'm not hoping to make millions or anything! It's gonna be a big learning curve but one I'm looking forward to."
Due to go on tour with Chase and Status next month supporting the excellent Yasmin, Cable's reputation as a tour deejay also continues to grow:
"I actually met her in Camden through a deejay friend of mine, DJ B - he was playing at her 'Bad Intentions' night and I just went along to show face. I got chatting to her there and she needed a deejay for her next event and DJ B said I should go along and play so I did! It kinda just spiraled from there really - we're like minded musically and that so when I got the call about needing a scratch deejay for her tour, I jumped on it and here we are! It's all about networking really, i guess you make your own luck."
With so much in the pipeline, 2011 promises to be a very busy year:
"I'm gonna be on tour with Chase and Status supporting Yasmin first off and then it'll be just a case of pushing the label, continuing to put out mixtapes and podcasts and obviously deejaying as much as I can. I've got a few festivals lined up too - think I'm definitely at Glastonbury and Wireless so far. Ah and I've got a project coming out with Dream McLean in the not too distant future but I can't say much about it yet - hopefully get a bit of hype off the back off that though! I'm just gonna make sure I'm always busy really and when I'm not, I'll just play video games - standard."
CHASE AND STATUS TOUR: http://www.ents24.com/web/artist/89717/Chase_%26_Status_Live.html