Chloe Mialkowski // Image by Yo Snaps
10 Apr 2018
Meet one of Cardiff’s DnB DJ’s Styx and his preparation for event ‘Got Bass’’ 1st birthday.
Our Native Mix feature this week is focused on the thriving rave culture in Cardiff. ‘Got bass’ is an event that happens every month at various venues around Cardiff including Clwb Ifor Bach and The Vaults. Celebrating in May, a year of event running, it’s set to, as the event page says, ‘This will go nothing but off’.
Native interviewed Styx, who is one of the many DJs featured at this months ‘Got Bass’, to get an exclusive on his views on what the event represents and what the music is all about. With his DJ career starting whilst studying in Cardiff, he has witnessed the rise in raving and discovery of new talent. His latest mix is a taster of what you can expect on the night:
What was the inspiration behind the name and what inspired you to become a DJ?
I wish the name had some sort of hidden meaning to me but it's really not that deep. I didn't want to keep using my name as an alias and just thought STYX was a cool word. I think wanting to DJ was just a natural progression from enjoying the music, really.
I was a drummer growing up so was always interested in being involved in creating and performing music, and it was something that I thought I might be able to pick up quickly on the rhythmic side of things. The thought of selecting the tunes that people will be dancing to all night was a sick thought, and it still gets me excited now.
What would you define your individual preferred genre and style of music?
I try to mix as many different genres and styles as possible. I grew up on my parent’s music tastes, which was heavily influenced by ska and reggae. From there, I started getting more into garage and grime; being drawn to the darker, bass-driven and percussive sounds.
I think the early My Nu Leng releases were what really turned my head towards UK Bass music, which seemed like the love-child of all the elements that I loved from the different genres. I mainly play bassline now because I love the energy that comes with it, but I always try to sneak as much garage and UK Funky into there as possible.
What is it that you love about your music scene and the culture it has created?
The bass-music scene at the moment is thriving, it’s great to see DJ’s from the whole spectrum of bass music coming together to put nights on, it keeps the scene diverse and refreshing. All the DJs support each other and we’re having just as good a time as the ravers at the nights we play at, especially when tequila is involved.
The people that come to the nights really make it what it is, there are familiar faces at every event and the energy is next level; it’s great to see people from all walks of life getting involved. For me, the best part is has been getting to play alongside and party with some of the pioneers of the scene.
How do you prepare for a set? What’s the one song to get you hyped for a set?
Most DJ’s will tell you that any preparations you make for a set usually go straight out the window once you’ve started playing. I’ll usually have a playlist of a few songs I definitely want to give a spin and see where the set goes. If I want to get gassed for a set, I’ll usually stick on an old set from one of the heavyweights.
DJ Q’s boiler room is historic, and it’s good to see the crowd of a boiler room properly ‘aving it for a full hour.
You’ve recently released a mix in preparation for Got Bass' First Birthday event, is there some criteria a song has to go though in order to make it into a mix?
I wanted to record something which is as close to the sort of set I'd play at Got Bass as possible, so anything high-energy, vibrant and bass-driven which has potential to damage the dance. It's mainly tunes that have been getting the best reactions from my sets at Got Bass or Wile Out, two bassline nights in Cardiff that I get to spin at.
I always try to blend the classics from the pioneers of the scene with some of the more underground, upcoming producers who are really driving it forward at the moment. Producers like mAngo, Burt Cope, Higgo and Mindstate and too many other names to mention are stamping their names on the scene and bringing a forward-thinking, refreshing sound in a market which is becoming increasingly saturated.
Finally, What do you personally think about the future of Cardiff’s bass music and overall up and coming music scene?
I've not been part of Cardiff's scene for long enough to make comments on it's past, but it's definitely the most healthy I've seen it since starting uni here in 2012. Got Bass is cementing itself as one of the powerhouses that's here to stay, and a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to keep bringing some of the biggest names in the bass music scene to each dance.
As a resident, I've been lucky enough to support some of the DJ's and producers that really got me into the scene, and witness some of the best nights I've been to. The dnb scene seems to be growing each day with nights such as Flatline, Canopy and XL presents taking centre-stage, and the work-rate of the promoters behind these nights ensures that ravers are getting to see some of the biggest names week-in, week-out.
Smaller, resident-based nights such as Wile-Out, Skank-Ground and Switch-Up are also thriving, meaning that students are able to party pretty much every night of the week, and DJ's are always getting new opportunities to play out. I think it's reflective of the amount of hard-work and talent from everyone involved in the scene, and a massive amount of credit goes to the promoters that make it all happen.
Don’t miss the next ‘Got Bass’ event at Vaults, Cardiff.