Truancy Volume 111: Slimzee

A founding father of Rinse FM, recipient of an ASBO involving a ban from all rooftops and the man behind the decks at some of the scenes most electric moments; the name Slimzee is synonymous with grime. Whilst all of this is common knowledge, what you may not know is that in the early nineties he went by the name DJ Slimfast and predominantly mixed jungle and hardcore. For many of the grime scene’s originators, with some of whom he went on to form the seminal Pay As U Go Cartel, jungle is the foundation. Wiley, Riko & Maxwell D all “emerged out of jungle fever” and the same goes for D Double E and Dizzee Rascal who started off mixing jungle in their bedrooms as youngsters before picking up the mic. From its humble beginnings in London’s tower blocks and basements to NYFW and art galleries on the Queen’s doorstep, everybody wants a piece of grime. For our 111th Truancy Volume, we have the man who has been there from the start in the mix to take us back to his roots. Sixty minutes of Kool cuts, tape pack classics and B-side rollers. No MCs, no rewinds.

With jungle/hardcore being your first love, could you tell us a little about your own musical history with the genre and how you first got into it? I assume Kool FM and DJ Brockie make up a major part? “Yeah, Kool FM, Brockie, Weekend Rush, Red Ant and Brain Killers. I was about thirteen years old at secondary school and a few of the people in school were introduced me to some new stuff so I bought some records. I went on this station called Fusion FM which existed before Pressure. They weren’t even transmitting down the road, they didn’t have a clue what they were doing. My first proper pirate show was Pressure FM 100.4 which was Jamie B’s station. The geezer came round my house and said “Let me see you mix,” so I done a mix and he said I was on the station. I was shitting myself, I can remember it now!”

You were in your early teens at this point but were there any seminal raves/parties that you can remember being put on at the time you and your friends may have gone to or dreamt about being old enough to get in? “I didn’t play at them but I remember Telepathy, Desire, Labyrinth. I was a bit too young to go at the beginning as my dad was a bit funny about it. When I was getting into the music he thought I was taking drugs and that. I think the first one I went to was Labyrinth on Dalston Lane. A club called Four Aces.”

Telepathy is where people like DJ SS got their big break. Could you tell us a little bit about it? “SS, yeah. It was raw in there. It was like an Eskimo Dance, if you know what I mean. The darker side of a rave. Andy C used to play there along with Brockie, MC Det and Red Ant, he was a big DJ.”

Were there any particular MCs at this point that you’d have wanted on a set with you? “Yeah, I liked someone called Rhyme Time who was on Kool FM at the time. I liked MC Det as well and Skibadee, who else? Remedy and Fearless were good. Fearless was on Weekend Rush with Brain Killers. I used to like loads of people.”

Around ’96-97, jungle started to transition into drum and bass. This was also around time you started to play garage. Do the two have something in common or was it something else you felt about jungle that made you switch? “Well, I wanted to get more bookings but I couldn’t get a break, really. I switched a few times then played garage for a bit then I went back to drum and bass. Then I started playing jungle at 33RPM and making it into grimey garage, like the ’98 sort of stuff. I made my own type of garage, ha! After that, people started making garage tunes that were meant to sound like that. I still liked drum and bass but it got a bit technical, if you know what I mean? Jungle was better.”

What can you tell us about the mix you’ve done for us? We’ve noticed a lot of tracks are from around ’94-95. Would you say this was your favourite period in jungle? “Yeah, that was the best bit. I got rid of a load of my garage records but I kept all my jungle. I’ve got a massive cupboard full of it. I didn’t go through everything but I picked out some Ray Keith, some Joker Recordings, MA2, SS. Didn’t plan it, just filled up a bag and went down the Rinse prerecord room and did it. Freestyle like I would on radio back in the day.”

Tracklist:
Dream Team – 10 9 8 7 6 5 4
Marvellous Cain – Hitman
Ill Figure – Run
Dream Team – Stamina
Splash – Babylon
DJ SS – MA2
In Touch – Cool n Flex
Bizzy B – Wicked Man
No Smoking
DJ SS – Black
Teknique
Papa Lover
Ray Keith – Wots My Code
Origin Unknown – Dark Stranger
DJ SS – Rollidge
Ray Keith – Dark Soldier
Andy C – Roll On
Dream Team – Raw Dogs
Give Me a Dub
Harmony & Xtreme – Watch This Dub
Intalex – I Like It
Dream Team – Warriors

Koyejo Oloko

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