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DJ Calibre - The Highest Calibre

Author: Dominick Martin
Friday, 28 September 2007
Dominick Martin, aka Belfast DJ Calibre, made his reputation bringing warm, natural sounds to the cold, digital-heavy, drum n bass genre. 3D hit up Martin with a few questions.

You studied fine arts at university in Belfast. How did you get involved in drum n bass music-
Well I wouldn’t say I was that studious concerning fine art, but I did use the time I was there to experiment with music. And it was there that I laid some broad philosophies concerning my approach to music, but it was my brother Chris who introduced me to dnb, plus there was a healthy nightlife in clubs at that time in Belfast which gave me the opportunity to see the power of the music in a true sense.

Do you still dabble in fine arts-
I’m not sure I would call it fine art but I do still draw. I actually didn’t for a long time, but I started getting panic attacks on planes so I found it was either get out the sketchbook or have a few double brandies. I do plan to use the collected drawings to form my new album cover which I’ve just finished.

You’ve cited John Cage as an influence. How has he inspired you-
John Cage is an influence on modern music as a whole, not just me. His observations concerning music and the different sense of self in all of this sound was something I was really interested in. It also gave me a place to breath in terms of foundation.

You’ve got a retrospective record out called Shelflife. What does it mean to you to be in the position to release a “best-of”, so to speak-
A lot albums are “best of” a certain time period, this material has maybe taken longer to accumulate, for various reasons, over eight years, so releasing it now, to be honest, is a real relief.

What about other projects- Are you working on any at the moment-
I’ve just finished a new drum n bass album plus I’ve got a lot of material that’s not dnb, so I’m trying to send the tunes out to the right people and then I’ll see what’s next – maybe another album of stuff, I don’t want to keep doing a Shelflife...

Do you adjust your sets when touring- Do you take it as a chance to trial new material or stick to the big guns-
Oh, I always have new material. I specifically try to have new tunes for each set, tours are different, but sometimes people want to hear the old stuff so it’s ok, but I like playing new tunes, so it’s ironic I’m touring an old album, but hopefully time hasn’t killed my babies just yet.

WHO: Calibre
WHAT: Plays Break-Inn at Chinese Laundry
WHEN: Friday 5 October