The almighty Jaguar Skills is back on Viper Recordings in full riot mode with his partner in crime Mind Vortex. I got the chance to sit down and have a chat to gain some insight about the scenes mysterious masked badman. Lets hop into the interview!
So lets start off with some easy ones.
Jag Skills! You’re one of the most mysterious men in the scene, arguably one of the best mix tape curators right now.
How do you go about compiling tunes for some of these incredibly large mixes? From start to finish give us some insight on the process that makes a Jag Skills Mixtape as legendary as they are.
-Jag/ Hello there! Thanks for the props!
On my mixes I like to check all the new music coming out – I get hundreds a month – pick the vibes I like. Could be anything – D&B, House, Baseline, Hip-Hop – whatever.
Then I go an check a load of old classic joints – maybe some funk things or soul records – maybe some disco stuff – even soundtrack shit – jazz – whatever.
I put them all in a file and DJ with them for a bit. Find out some nice mixes – record that into Ableton – then I twerk and edit and make jingles and shit in that.
I try and make the mixes as interesting as possible – but mainly try and locate a “VIBE” for them. I just want them to have some dynamics and energy to them.
I master from Ableton with some nice plug ins – OZONE 8 is dope right now – and then BOOM!
Oh – I then design a cover for the mix – and then send it out!
If you had to name only 3 of your top DJ influences in the Drum and Bass scene who would they be and why?
Unkown Error – Cos he’s the dude who’s supported me in the background since I really first began.
Andy C – cos he’s cool and dope – and we had a real nice chat once – he was very supportive.
Mind Vortex – cos I want with the dude everyday – we seemingly get alone quite well. Plus he cooks a nice pasta. And he’s a genius.
And who are your top 3 DJ influences in any other genre?
Tim Westwood – a true Hip-Hop sensei and legend. He was the one who got me into Hip-Hop and in my eyes, is a legend.
Jazzie B – from the Soul II Soul Soundsystem. He took music, in my mind, to the next level. He added the BASS to the soul.
Spinbad – Cos he’s sick as shit and super creative.
Kid Capri, DJ MK, Shortee Blitz, Tony Vagus, Zane Lowe, Craig Leckie, DJ Yoda, DJ Pogo, Billy Biznizz and Al Fingers.
What are your top 5 favorite mixtapes of all time in any genre?
Spinbad – Bring Back The 80’s – he mixed 80’s tunes like Hip-Hop records – fucking blew my mind.
DJ Yoda’s first one – where he cut up the Theme from Sesame Street and made the intro to Jay-Z’s hardknock life with it. WOW!!!
DJ MK’s Hip-Hop mixtapes from the 90’s – loved these. Mk was the first one I think to put out mixtape in the UK like this.
Craig Leckie’s Cut Up Tapes – this dude, was, is, the MASTER at pause button mixtape mix tape making. If you don’t know what that is, look it up….
Kid Capri Mix tapes – utter classics – Hip-Hop baby! CLASSIC!
Lets switch gears up a bit.
You’ve now got some pretty nasty releases on the mighty Viper Recs in terms of production what are some tools / synths your feeling right now?
Serum is dope. Massive is always killer. I use Camel Phat a lot. You can’t get that anymore sadly. Sausage Fattener. That’s dope. Got a wicked new Plate filter plug in that’s fresh.
On the topic of production who are some of your all time favorite producers and why?
Roy Ayers – he’s a jazz dude. Fuck I love his music. He’s amazing. I hung out with him once and picked his brains. He’s a genius. What a ninja!
Q-Tip – he’s one of the greatest musical minds we have today. He’s music, to me, is what Hip-Hop is. He infused all your favourite Hip-Hop producers, from Kanye to Dilla.
The Bomb Squad – They produced Public Enemy – they created a sound that was so full of drama and energy – it’s influenced me since.
Pendulam – Nuff said. Production masters.
Virgil Howe – he was a musical master and a dear friend – he passed away recently. Broke my heart. Inflused me more than he ever knew.
Bonus fun round
Whats your favorite breakfast food?
Favorite studio snacks?
Most memorable meal you’ve had abroad anywhere?
Oh – went to this spot once in Japan – on an island and has sushi from the best sushi master in the world. Super nice and straight ninja shit!
Favorite dessert food?
Some chocolate thing – with oozing chocolate coming out of it and some Ice Cream too….
if you were stranded on a deserted island what are the three types of food you want stocked up?
Id have some JapaneseFood, some Peruvian Street Food and a In-N-Out Burger spot….
— Alright alright thats all for the silly ones. I love food so i always ask everyone. Cheers Jag Skills.!
No problems at all x
Riot Squad 2 is a adrenaline fueled neck snapper that comes on with rapid force and extreme power bringing dancefloor vibes to level 11. Its out now on beatport! give it a listen here!