Current Location :: London, UK
Music Genres :: Rave & Hardcore
I was sent on a mission to investigate a possible case of paranormal possession. Reports had reached Mission Control to suggest Scorpio’s mind had been taken over by a twisted race of aliens. Having personal experience of his awesome sets we concurred that this was more than a possibility. Setting off for a secret rendezvous in Bristol under the pretence of ‘interviewing’, I tailed him for the weekend. What follows is a report on our findings: make up your own minds!! After meeting Scorpio and Squidgy B in Bristol, we commenced on a whistle stop tour of three different clubs over the next 30 hours. Our first stop was at Deathrow Techno (Bristol), followed by Diehard (Leicester) and lastly on the Saturday night: Steam at Rhyl. During the course of our journey we got about two hours sleep in a lay-by and two hours in Rhyl, so needless to say the life of a DJ is not all it’s cracked up to be. Even with the lack of sleep and long distance travelling, Scorpio churned out three wicked sets to eager crowds in all three clubs. With all of this work done and dusted it was time for us to go to work on him. Out came the huge needle of full Sodium Pentothal to aid us in obtaining the truth, the whole truth, etc..... A man of a respectable age (29) we were interested to discover his early musical tastes.
"I’ve always been really into music. I’d rather listen to music than watch TV. I don’t even need to sleep, sometimes I can chill just listening to some music. The first stuff I can remember as any sort of influence was ‘Scar and the Specials’, UB40, some Reggae and then I really got into New Order, then dance music as a whole, listening to anything from Soul through to Hip Hop. I was buying early Joey Beltram stuff on R & S, System 7, all the early Belgium stuff. Belgium as a whole kicked off in my opinion with some good sounds, it was away from the piano situation". Obviously our tried and tested methods were working well, the Sodium Pentothal looked to have kicked in and the subject was reeling off valuable data like there was no tomorrow. "In the early days I used to go to a club called ‘Zena’s’ in Plymouth, but my first break as a DJ came with a booking for Oxygen in Torquay. When I first started I was part of a duo known as Scorpio, the name comes from the fact that we were both of the same birth sign, being the common link it seemed the obvious name. We went our separate ways and I continued to use the name".
Scorpio established himself in the South West with a scene that was pushing forward the barriers with different music policies, going more towards the Techno end of the spectrum. "The South West had a fresh scene with promoters like Universe doing events in Bath and Obsession in Plymouth. Then it really started to kick when Omnitech and Enjoy Project came along, they were two companies looking more towards Techno as a main room option, they went from strength to strength. I went through a period of about 16 months at Plymouth Warehouse and only failed to be booked for one event there, I reckon that was a fucking good run, basically I know the crowd as I’ve now been playing that area for six years". Needless to say, after rocking the South West as he had, it was only a matter of time before the name Scorpio got around, bookings started rolling in. Now he was established it was time for the world to cop a load of his inimitable style. "I think the style I play is like watching a horror movie or really good thriller. I don’t know where my sets are going, and that’s half the fun. I’ll take the crowd to a point and then BANG, change direction. That way I think it’s good for your audience because they never know what’s coming next".
Mokum is one of the most influential labels that Scorpio has ever bought. With the tunes being as hard as they were it would sometimes be up to four months before he could play certain tracks as they were so ahead of their time. Scorpio insists that he won’t even play a track until he’s got his head around it. "It’s not just a case of wacking it on and saying ‘Oh year that’s a good riff there’. I try not to play anything with squeaky vocal lyrics anymore. I try and inject a bit more thought into it. If it’s got a sample then listen to what the sample says ‘cause it usually either makes you laugh or say something serious or thought provoking. Like ‘why are you asking me?’". Scorpio believes that you must have a bit of humour with what you’re playing..... "It’s like the Rap samples, it goes on the half-time it’s sort of laid back on the skunky vibe. It sets the rhythm up then you can go off on the hard tip. It breaks up the tracks in a more interesting way, it’s street level music. Lofty calls it Scare-core, but to me it’s just ‘music with attitude’". Gabba is not a word that Scorpio particularly likes to use as he feels it does not describe the English Techno scene. ‘Hardcore’ seems to be his preference. He presently works three days a week in a record shop, ‘Blackmail Records’, which obviously gives him a slight edge when obtaining up front tune. Unless you’ve had your head up your arse you’ll have probably heard one of the incredible back to back sets with DJ Producer. "I’ve known DJ Producer for years, I like doing sets with him as we don’t try to stitch each other up. We try to get our two styles together to create a different buzz. Our sets together should be at least two or three hours long, not just one Hour
Although we are sometimes billed together as (vs) we always work together, that’s more promoter hype than anything. We get a good buzz together, it’s friendly". The friendliness is brilliant as far as he’s concerned, socialising together at events and talking to each other can only be good for all involved. Getting recommendations from other and for other DJs is also something Scorpio would like to see more of.
We hesitantly asked about MCs (we remembered the last time). "MCs I like include Jack Horner, Sharkey (he’s using some fresh lyrics), Easy at Steam, Ribbs and of course Squidgy B who MCs for me quite a lot. Basically any MC who thinks about what he is saying. I don’t like noisy MCs. Squidgy works well with me ‘cause he knows my tunes inside out and he knows how to play. I like to think of it like a mystery tour with the DJ as the driver and the MC as the courier, giving pointers along the way". Escapism and getting away from it all is the description he uses for a night out. Getting away from the dreary shit we put up with all week. "Journey’s and mindscapes is what it’s all about, it’s like going on a mad ride and when it stops you think, SHIT, that was the maddest ride man!’". He prefers to play two maybe three events per weekend so that he has time to get a feel for each event before playing, this gives him a good indication of what each crowd is up for. He likes to continue the journey from where the previous DJ departs.
He gets peeved when there is a lack of thought on the side of the promoters when organising line ups. Chopping and changing styles instead of letting them flow, not giving the night any direction. As with most DJs these days, Scorpio had done a fair bit of producing. The label his efforts are released on is none other than Semtex. He works very well with Steve at Semtex who he rates as an excellent engineer. Releases so far include: Plastic Explosive EP, Bod Journey - Mindtrip, Producer vs Scorpio (Insidious Techno part 2), Guess My Religion remix. As far as places to go, he would like to play in Australia and Paris. No longer wanting to go to Holland as he feels it’s lost its direction slightly. Only one club was mentioned that he would really like to play at, Kinetic. We’d like to see him there as well, hopefully soon eh, Kinetic crew?!