Skool of Thought Interview
Author: Jane Stabler
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Recognised as a veritable powerhouse when it comes to producing DJs of an international standard, the tale of the UK DJ moving all his worldly possessions down under in the height of his career is not one you hear particularly often. This is however exactly what dubstep master Skool of Thought has done, and he couldn't be happier about it.
'I love it!' the Brit-turned-Aussie enthuses of our fine country. 'I finally managed to move here. Australia has always been very welcoming to a lot of us UK DJs, and like a lot of English [people] I've always had a fascination with Australia, so it's a lifestyle thing as much as a career thing.
You've good crowds and you understand your music as well. You can get bigger crowds in other countries but they don't get the music. For eg. in Spain I played to massive crowds but you get the feeling people don't understand what it is you're doing.'
What Skool of Thought has been credited as doing is shaking the fun back into beats and breaks, which has long been this DJ's genre of choice. This preference has never been to the exclusion of other variations of dance music, however, although he does admit he loves the risk that comes with dropping a track that may not be what a crowd is used to.
'I always thought house music was just too much of a simple kind of format really,' he explains of his penchant for beats and breaks. 'I do appreciate a good house record, I'm not one of these people who doesn't understand house music and slags it, but when you hear a house track that someone's done a break mix of you think, 'There you go!' There's just so many more things you can do with a beat that are more effective. A whole night of house isn't for me.
'It is a different experience. If you're dropping something new you don't have that security. You feel like you might be putting your reputation on the line. People might not be into it so it's definitely happening to a certain extent with the dubstep. 50 per cent of the crowd love it and will come up after thanking me for playing something new, and half the crowd will not be sure. But it's something you have to do as a DJ. You can't just play the safe tunes, you have to play risky stuff. Years ago people went out to hear new stuff and now people go out to hear the big tunes. I think the music is just as much fun as it has been, but as a theme people are a bit more cynical. Electro house is the new fashionable thing so maybe some people aren't as excited about breaks and stuff, but I'm true to the sounds I've been pioneering. It is fun.'
WHO: Skool of Thought
WHAT: Plays Break-Inn at Chinese Laundry
WHEN: Friday 20 June