call me big papa
He done it for my blog.


Brackles has the longest arms of any DJ you’ve ever seen. He can tap an incompetent sound engineer on the shoulder from a distance of thirty yards to get the EQ correct. He doesn’t have to go to the bar to retrieve a drink, or go outside to ash a cigarette. And he can dig deeper with those arms, and embrace entire sounds with those arms, that other DJs can’t get their arms, let alone their heads around. Every venue he plays in becomes, by definition, an Arms-House. These arms have legs.

Brackles is one of the few DJs you’ll hear on radio (Rinse FM every Saturday 2-4pm, if you didn’t know) mixing up UKG, Bassline House, Jackin’ House, Grime, UK funky, Deep Tech etcetera all in one show - you name it, and its running, and he’s playing it. Plus he’s mixing it with skill not a million practice sessions away from yer E.Z. type maestros. As for live? FAGGEDABOUTIT. He’ll turn your funeral service into the basement from Sean Paul’s ”Get Busy” in five minutes. Your grand-dad/grand-mum (delete as applicable/dead) will be coming down the stairs screaming "STOP BANGING ON THE CREMATOR!"

Lately one of my favourite bits of Brackles’ Rinse show has been when he rolls out half an hour or so of African house (‘Afrobeats’). This stuff is like a tropical explosion of colour in the otherwise rather grey landscape of dance music in the UK post-Funky, which tends towards either deliberate bleakness or accidental drabness. Afrobeats is full of singing, chanting, humour, exhortations to dance, catchy riffs and and syncopated, physical RIDDIM.

Bracky is by no means the only DJ in the UK on this Afrobeats ting, but he’s the only one I want to do a mix for my humble blog, and he’s only gorn and done it for me. And I LOVE IT. Download it, put it on LOUD and worship Brackles as your new de facto God in an atheistic society (I’m like St Paul or something).

First up, thanks for doing this for me. I suppose now we’re even? This is probably the highlight of your life.

Hah sure

Okay, so tell us where you first found out about this stuff?

I’d heard bits and pieces but it was a Dan Hancox article for the guardian that made me realise there were some tracks that would work in my sets. Funky was dead and a lot of these tracks had what I was looking for.

Can you tell us the names of some of the DJs and producers from this scene that have come to your attention?

I really like DJ Neptizzle’s mixes. Producer wise I like a lot of Killbeatz and Gafacci’s stuff.

Is this stuff big in London at the moment?

Yeah it is but not at the places I play!

People say you’re a garage DJ, which is a bit like saying Jesus was a fish and bread salesman, but really I think in the last few years your focus has been on UK Funky and everything good that came out of it. How do you think this Afrobeats stuff fits into that, and into what you play? It’s the African influence that probably distinguished UK Funky.

Generally I play the stuff around 130bpm when I’m DJing as it fits in with the tempos I play. Rhythmically it’s very similar to Funky but a bit poppier than a lot of that stuff. It’s a bit Marmite for some listeners - some can’t get down with the vocals but I’ve also had people tweet me saying how much they love some of the REALLY poppy stuff (like Sarkodie - Down On One). I reckon if there were instrumentals a lot more people would be playing these beats out.

Lastly just maybe give us a rundown of the mix. My favourite tune is ”Put Down The Panini”.

You mean Sarkodie - Down On One?! That’s mine too. Although Lola Rae - Watch My Ting Go is a close second atm.

The mix is just tunes that works for me in my sets and have a lot of UK Funky crossover - a lot of my favourite tracks from the last years with a few classics in there.


Olamide - First Of All

Lola Rae - Watch My Ting Go

Stay Jay - Format gurlz

Tictac - Pumpum

K9 - Kokoma

Timaya - Ekoloma Demba

Tiffany - Akyee Wo!

May7Ven - Ten Ten

Sarkodie ft Fuse - Down On One

Wande Coal - Rotate

Madtraxx - Ita Waiter

Tiffany - Dance

DJ Malvado - Zenze (Uhuru Remix)

Davido - Dami Duro


call me big papa
Now over 1000 views, thanks for the support (if you have).

Following Brackles's Afrobeats mix I managed to get David M to do an hour long for me of jackin' house, bassline, deep tech and all that other good stuff from the 4x4 spectrum.


Last January DJ David M very generously agreed to do a list of the best UK Funky tunes of 2011 for Dirtnap. You can check out that list here. I asked David to do the list because I knew he was an expert. I had been listening to his Sub FM shows, which were full of the heaviest selection of Funky tunes you could hope to hear in two hours, impeccably mixed. David played a high number of dub-plates by largely unheralded Funky producers like Mad One and Shay and Sinista (this around the time that the music had only supposedly “died”), and personal shout outs from DJs and MCs from the funky scene. And, get this: David lived, and lives, in BARCE-FUCKIN’-LONA.

Of course, its hardly unprecedented for a musical genre to have its overseas enthusiasts (and certainly not in the internet age). After all, funky had one of its biggest (and certainly most eloquent) online champions in Australian writer Tim Finney. And I, a pasty-faced Englander, am evidently a bit of a hip-hop obsessive. Still, for a DJ from Barcelona to know more about funky than most British Djs, and to have made connections with the producers themselves, seemed remarkable to me at the time and still does. More than their slightly unusual origin, though, the sets were just GREAT – filled with those funky bangers that make you want to Rolex Sweep yourself into a state of heat exhaustion, and those girly anthems that you want to sing along to (with a hairbrush/pint glass, delete as appropriate FELLAZ).

I’ve been really out of touch with dance music in recent years ever since rap took over my life, but I knew that when I asked David if he would like to do a mix for Dirtnap he would deliver the goods – and they probably wouldn’t be stale goods, either. Sure enough, his mix is a dance riot from start to finish, flying energetically through Nu-Garage, Deep Tech, Bassline House and Jackin’ house, all bound together by that 4x4 kick but (as Marcus Nasty would shout) “NOT BORING!” Listen to this mix and I can promise you one thing: you’ll never hear ”Murder On The Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis Bextor the same way again. I can’t say you’ll never HEAR IT again, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. The artwork, though, was done in about two minutes (sorry David).

First up, thanks for doing this mix, David.

No problem man, always a pleasure.

I’d like to know a little bit about yourself. Do you DJ full time?

Nah, I have a 9-5 at an office, but luckily it leaves enough free time for me to listen to a lot of music, prepare my radio show and whatever other stuff I need to do to be involved in music to the point I am.

I suppose an intriguing thing for me is finding out how you came to be into all this British dance music, particularly stuff like UK funky and Deep Tech and Bassline? After all, this stuff is niche even in the UK.

I guess it’s quite a classic story. Some 15 years ago, when I was a teenager starting to dj, a friend of mine had a cousin who lived in London and he lent us a crate of records to practice, with a lot of UK garage and some jungle in it. It was completely different to anything I had ever heard and I knew instantly it was gonna be my thing. I remember he let me take home a copy of Mark Ruff Ryder’s “Joy” and I played that for ages. A few years later I got the internet in my house so I was finally able to keep pulling out that thread, and started buying records that never got to local shops. After that, getting more involved and discovering new permutations of that sound was just a natural thing.

Is there an audience for this type of music in Barcelona/Spain? I guess house generally is very popular?

Yeah it works quite well. Obviously the stuff that gets to the general public and the big clubs is usually the more generic “UK bass” stuff that’s heard all over Europe, but in my experience the kind of music I play has always gone down very well. Like you say, house music has always been the main sound of this city, so even though the UK approaches dance music in a different way, people here could always relate to sounds like garage or funky because of that house DNA.

Also, somehow there’s always a bunch of British tourists at any club of the city in any given night.

Tell us about the mix, then. Is this stuff all pretty new/recent?

Yeah most of it is recent, it’s a bunch of the tunes that I currently play out and on radio, some are up to a year old or so, but most of it I discovered recently. Some of the producers included in the mix, like Eastwood, Devine or Tazer, I’ve been playing their tunes for years, but they’ve evolved their sound in a way that fits seamlessly with the kind of music I want to play now.

One more question – how do you go about getting these dubplates and personalised Ids? Are you in communication with producers and Djs in the UK?

Yeah, I guess over the years I’ve been building a relation with a lot of people in the UK, be it Djs, producers, Mcs, or just people who enjoys the music. Some of the stuff I play gets sent to me, some I go ask for it. Some of those are people I’ve met on my trips up there, some have come down here, and some I’ve only had contact with over the phone and the internet. But yeah, mostly it’s relations that have been naturally coming together over the years.


Devine UK - Serious Thugs
X5 Dubs - Makin Love
B15 - Girls Like Us (Agent X 2013 Mix)
Topsee & Preshus - The Riddim
Low Steppa - Dissolve
Dj Eastwood - Sometime
Dj Charmzy - Old Skool
Oliver Rees - We Attack
Alex Deamonds - Through
Nightshift - Made You Look (Hugo Massien Remix)
Distro - City Lights (Hybrid Theory Remix)
Tazer - Childs Play
Tom Garnett & Chris Lorenzo ft Tom Zanetti - P.A.R.T.Y.
RS4 - Walking On
Devine UK - If You Need
Rachel K Collier - Predictions (Dj S.K.T Remix)
Primrose Hill - Candy Rain (Black Ice Ents ‘Citrus’ Mix)
MC Kie- Dubplate Ting (What They Say)
Jack n Danny - Chemistry
Devine UK - Bun That House Down
Mr.Mageeka - Bracka t1o
Luke Burr - Inside You (Mark Radford & False ID Remix)
DJ Champion & Terror Danjah ft Elrae - The Way You Move
DevelopMENT - Last Night
Funkystepz & Lady Ice - Mr.Volvic
Jus Now Vs Kes - Check Your Body Parts
Stylo G - Badd (Friend Within Remix)
Scruffizer - Kick It (Marshall F Remix)
Preditah - Red Bull 2014
Ed Case feat Rony Blue - Tears I Cry
Gorgon City feat MNEK - Ready For Your Love


call me big papa
Should be a mediafire link in the info section.

Hopefully got mixes from mad one and banshee coming up. Trying to get deamonds to do one too.