MAKING NOISE: DR MEAKER
Interview with the Doctor, plus an exclusive Unreal remix..
Dr Meaker's live drum & bass sound has been making waves for a while now. We grabbed the good Doctor for an interview, and also grabbed an exclusive remix by Unreal for your delight and delectation (below)...
Dr Meaker started off as a drum & bass soundsystem based around DJ/producer Clive Meaker. “But then seeing other live acts at festivals made me realise how expressive you can be playing live, and the effect it has on the audience when a live act are tearing up the stage,” Clive Meaker tells DJ Mag.
He recruited various musicians, and the live drum & bass band started doing live shows in and around Bristol. They were helped in these early days by a BBC Urban Talent Bursary, which allowed them to make their debut album, 'A Lesson From The Speaker'. “We were able to bring in [uber-producer] Howie B and also John Dent, Bob Marley's mastering engineer,” Clive explains, adding how a full professional release spurred them onto win a prime slot in the Dance Village at Glastonbury.
Clive had first been to Glasto aged 15, and witnessing The Prodigy's explosive live show inspired him to do what he does now. Glasto holds a special place in the heart for many musical Bristolians — Roni Size has repeatedly spoken of the musical debt he owes to the festival — but DJ Mag has to ask: What is it about Bristol and drum & bass? “There's definitely something in the water,” says Clive. “People that love bass music are drawn to the city, and it's self-propelling.”
Clive says that he's grown up around Glastonbury Festival, just a few miles down the road from Bristol, and it was here he met Kosheen singer Sian Evans ('Hide U' etc) a few years ago. “We've worked on a few tunes together now, although this is the first one we are putting out there,” Clive says, referring to the new feelgood Dr Meaker d&b cut 'Right Back'. The track is being released on Bryan Gee's ever-excellent V Recordings, and it seems that the whole of the drum & bass scene are supporting it. “Yes, a lot of artists that I really respect are behind it, and that feels really cool,” confirms the Dr Meaker main man.
A bit like Roni Size with Reprazent, Dr Meaker is Clive's band (the name comes from when he was at uni and used to hand in essays as 'Dr Meaker' to take the piss out of lecturers with real doctortaes), he's at the controls, but the collective works hard and shares different duties to make it work. And work they do — Bristol has another firing drum & bass band on the circuit.