Metalheadz are a label that need no introduction. As of late the D&B heavyweights have been rummaging through a box of tapes in Goldie’s house to remaster some of their back catalogue — never before made available digital releases from the ‘90s. In honour of this, they’ve got Randall on the case to construct a ‘History of Metalheadz’ mix, which rolls through some of the finest ‘Headz tracks to bring back a few memories, and which you can listen to exclusively below...
We pinned the D&B legend down for a set of quickfire questions:
Can you first remember meeting Goldie?
"The first time I met Goldie was at an event - Roller Express warehouse in the early ‘90s and a dubplate was given to me to play. It turned out to be one of his tracks. We hit it off from there, really, there’s not many people that I can say I’d warmed to in a rave for sure. Before I knew it he was everywhere - clubbing with us, going from gig to gig… There was a lot of funny times on the road back then!"
What was it like playing at Blue Note?
"Bluenote was like AWOL to me, it was the perfect testing ground for future music to be played. As it was such a small venue, the people that attended were 100% music lovers and looking to there to hear some future drum ‘n’ bass from the likes of Dillinja, Ed Rush & Optical, Alex Reese, Lemon D and J Majik, to name a few. Future music was basically what Metalheadz was about."
Why was the Blue Note so important to the development of the culture?
"Blue Note was a special place to hear music. It was also like an artist meeting point much like Music House was back in the day. Sunday vibes after all the weekend events had finished… a lot of notable people passed through to experience what was cooking in the D&B scene. DJs like myself, Grooverider, Fabio, Doc Scott, Goldie Kemistry (R.I.P) & Storm loved to play somewhere where we could test out tunes on people as it was such a testing ground for music, but with our own judges on the dancefloor. Even the security used to ask for recordings of the night - that was a standard thing! The club was without doubt a spot where it was all about the music."
You were regularly one of the first to get 'Headz plates, right?
"Yeah, I was actually one of a few guys besides the artists that would have Metalheadz plates and Reinforced plates. I was truly blessed."
What was it like mixing this comp for Metalheadz?
"It was an honour to be asked… There have been so many good tunes from this label. I was like a kid in a sweet shop to be honest... even after I finished the 90-minute mix there were still tunes I’d forgotten to put on. Just too many tunes. Might have to do a part two!"
Did it bring back memories?
"It always brings back memories playing the tunes by artists you respect and to see what they’ve gone on to do after they blessed Headz with their music."
Why do you think the 'Headz movement blew up so much?
"I think it blew up because the music the guys were bringing to the label. It was obvious it was going to blow up, with Goldie doing his thing and the team he had around him supporting the label. It was one hell of a movement to be part of."
What are your personal favourite 'Headz tracks from the first wave?
"It’s got to be a few from J Majik — ‘Your Sound’, Dillinja - ‘Deadly Deep Subs VIP’, Adam F ‘Metropolis’, Doc Scott ‘Swarm’, ‘Drumz VIP’ — this list could take up a few lines!"
As a DJ did you know what you were doing was having such an impact on things or were you just getting on with business?
"At the time I was just living in the moment of playing out to the masses of music lovers that were on the same page as me. I just loved playing music to people, connecting with them in a club environment, via what we did on the decks. I just felt I could express myself better with two decks and a mixer."
You're known as the DJs DJ - can you remember any particular gigs that you really enjoyed playing?
"Living Dream in the early ‘90s, East London Easyway speedway stadium playing to 10,000 people for two hours straight really stands out."
Shop the remasters here: https://shop.metalheadz.co.uk/group/2015-remasters