The Godfather of Choppage, Bizzy B

by | Aug 24, 2016 | Spotlight

Bizzy  B is known and revered throughout the drum ‘n bass as one of the masters of choppage and mangled jungle darkness. The “brainchild” of Brain Recordings, and the famed Science EPs, Brian Johnson has worked  he cream-of-the-crop in drum ‘n bass, including TDK, Peshay, Equinox, D Lux, Ruffcutt, and so many more. He also runs a YouTube channel, dedicated to passing on the knowledge of drum & bass production, as well as running a clothing line that features urban-style wear. Be on the lookout for part two in the near future, where we will dig deeper into the…you get the picture.

Bizzy B, you are one of the earliest pioneers in the world’s jungle moment. What were your early days like?

Those for me were the good old days, In the early days I was making 1 to 2 tracks per day. Using some of the best music tech around. Many old school tracks were charting and the whole scene was very exciting.
I was meeting with new artists and DJs and daily and always on the phone and in regular contact with influences and co producers like Blakeski,TDK, Peshay, Slammin’ Vinyl, Goldie, the Reinforced Records crew, DJ Ruffcutt, Bay Be Kane, DJ Zinc, Roy B, The Persian Prince,  Technical Itch, to name a few. Networking also took a lot more effort as you had to get out of the studio to share your music and everyone pretty much had to meet face to face with a DAT tape to share their tunes.

Tell us about the release of Brain Recordings. This also played host to ignite the careers of the likes of Tech Itch, DJ Equinox, Zinc and many more, Right? Was Joker yours as well?

Well brain recordings came about as a dream and passion of mine as I had started off as a DJ, making mixes onto tape and playing out in local clubs.  I was getting really good response from the crowds that I would play too and eventually got hold of my first sampler and multitrack recording system and could not stop making demos and tunes. Eventually I became interested in getting my music out there and sent off numerous demos to the record labels that I loved and supported by playing their mailing list promos, but my demos and letters we’re either ignored or refused. I was also skanked by a recording studio that offered a record deal for budding producers that charged 300 quid for the day and a promise to a recording contract / deal which never happened,  I later discovered that it was just a trick to get you to book a day in their studio for what was top dollar at the time.

I then decided to pursue pressing up my track onto vinyl but did not have a clue on the next step to take to start my own label. After making lots of inquiries I eventually discovered that I could take my music to JTS studios and  found out that there that i could  press my tune onto acetate ( later on to be aka a Dubplate). Kieth (Jah Tubby’s Studio ) soon gave me some further contacts and info to get me on my way getting tunes pressed up onto vinyl.

I decided to call my label Brain records as i had always been into off your nut style music and the brain logo also represents mind-boggling style music. As a means of extra income and help my musical career progress. I began to hote my recording studio and also engineer for a lot of aspiring DJs into the same musical path which is where i was able to introduce many of the Brain artists to my label.

Your jungle sounds are still influencing drum and bass today. What would you say have been your most influential releases?

It’s hard to answer that one , as I believe there were many producers contributing and I have never looked at it from that angle,  but I have always tried to create an original sound and never really looked at being influential but more like just my own way of making beats that I enjoy and most important comes naturally almost effortless.

You’ve also championed versatility between hardcore, ragga, jungle, drum & bass and other (sub) genres. What do you think all of these have in common? What are your feelings on staying within a trademark sound vs. skipping all over the board?

I think they are similar in the sense that the drums and bass element has always been the same root element. Chopped or rolling drums with a phat bass drop. The rest of is  the vocals and sounds which determine the flavour. I have always into experimenting with music ,fusing different styles and tempos  to create something new. I also believe it is important  to stick to whatever floats your boat. Experimenting has also kept it interesting for all these years.

Around 1997, the UK displaced jungle in favor of drum ’n bass after violence caused a “ragga ban” around this time. Did you too change course? What was your view on the situation?

I have always believed music has a natural progression and relies on the djs and media to represent to promote music and make it known to the people, unlike now where the internet is our biggest dj and  i believe that if people try to dictate what sound goes forward is not a good thing and can only hinder  a sounds progress but technology has changed since then and the Internet has made the music a more global thing. It is also up to the people to decide what music they like and without the people there is no scene. As the old saying goes. “A house that’s divided cannot stand”.

Tell us a bit about your YouTube channel.
My YouTube channel is a passion of mine  to inspire budding producers and teach them music making tips and tricks. People that want to get into making tunes can also benefit from my channel too, I also provide sample packs on  some of which are free to download. Youtube/bizzyb2007

You also produce T-shirts and gear. What’s the lowdown?
I have started a clothing label dedicated to rave music and urban life fashion and my record label merch. Junglist 95 is one brand along with many other of my labels garments
All of my merch is now available from

If you could pick one massive tune (in any genre) to remix, what would it be?
Man! That’s a tough one as there are so many great tunes out there. Perhaps LTJ Bukem’s music or another pop at DJ SS. X amount of shot.

What else is coming up/going on for the Bizzy B?
I am mainly concentrating my time to writing new tracks ,making more YouTube videos and merch. Please subscribe to my social media for announcements –
Youtube/Instagram/Official Website/Soundcloud/Facebook

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A junglist before he even knew what 'jungle' was, Bhagavate Zero was instantly hooked onto the sound of rave around the age of 10 while dancing around to artists like 2 Unlimited, 2 Bad Mice, Sonz of a Loop Da Loop Era, Cosmo & Dibs, and so many more. As radio play changed, so did his tastes. As 1999 came around though, BZ was slayed by the sounds of AK1200, Dieselboy, Dara, Ganja Kru and DJ Rap, which later turned into an obsession with amen breaks and techstep. With published works hosted by Dogs On Acid, Rinse Mag, and Bassline Magazine; while also writing for the likes of Disturbed Recordings, Guerilla, Blu Saphir, Killing Sheep, Influenza Media, Sublunary Artist Management, and N2O – Bhagavate Zero (then known as Sykophiend) dove into the performance art of DJing, opening for Omar Santana in 2005 at Headstrong 5 (noteworthy part of that set – a mosh pit of epic proportions to Audio & Mackie's remix of Master of Puppets). Known for a wicked selection of mostly 1993-2005 music, he would then go on to play all over California. This headbanging, slam-dancing, screaming maniac will stop at nothing to get a crowd going. Now in 2016, he is a staple writer for Best Drum & Bass Blog, and is focusing on DJ gigs and original production material.