It’s been a little while since the last MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire feature but we’re back on it with the latest interview, mix and FKOF free download… we first started hearing about ollie 303 from Sparxy a few weeks back when we were finalising his own MIG x FKOF feature. Matt had dropped a few ollie 303 dubs in his mix and we were pretty much blown away with what we heard. So we got talking on Twitter and one thing led to another. So here we are, with ollie 303’s entrance into the MIG x FKOF series…
Who is ollie 303?
I’m Ollie, based in the Southwest of England in the city of Exeter. I’ve held the title of Exeter’s ‘Most cheerful DJ’ for 5 years running.
What got you into mixing and producing dubstep? How would you describe your production style?
The combination of a few things really. I was going to a lot of UK hip-hop shows in 2005/2006, the scene was kind of crossing over with grime towards the end of the year. I noticed a lot of DJs where dropping harder electronic sounding instrumentals at shows – this turned out to be dubstep; I just didn’t know it at the time. Around the same time a friend of mine (DJ Mystery) had started up a new club night, (The Deep End). He booked Skream in Jan 07 and that fully converted me. I wasn’t DJing the music at this point, only buying from a fan’s perspective. I was listening to Rinse Fm a lot, hanging out at a the local record shop and started a buying and collecting tunes. Before long Mystery was bullying me into DJing at his nights. After telling him to piss off for ages, in the end I gave in, not sure if it was a good or bad move in hindsight! Production style, I’d say ‘dark techno-influenced sub heavy and heads down music’, both Skream and Plastician said my beats have a dark roots 2005-7 vibe to it, so I guess elements of the foundation sound are in there to…
How long have you been producing and DJing?
I’d say DJing about 10 years all in all. Production 6 years maybe. Before I got into dubstep I was DJing and producing techno music, I was making tunes on and off for around 5 years before I gave it up for a while. I took a break as I got really bored of sound and lost interest in it, I’m not hating on Techno or anything (I still like the odd bit of techno), I just felt like was only playing it out of habit and got caught in the loop of being asked to play at Techno parties, where people expected that sound from me. I started playing bits of dubstep in my techno sets before I gave up, tempo-wise it worked, but people just looked at me like I was mad! So yeah, I knocked it on the head and just started going to gigs as a punter rather than DJ or promoter (the easy life). Production-wise I’ve only been back on it for 14 months, a big chunk of that was a leaning curve, as I had to get my head around a new DAW and music style, had to relearn the ropes again etc etc.
How do you go about building your tunes? is there a process behind each one? What software do you use?
I normally work out what vibe I’m on before I start a tune, try not to spend to much time faffing about in a session nowadays. I try and get the idea out quick while it’s fresh in my head, then fine tune the idea in another session. Studio-wise it’s nothing fancy. Logic 9 for my DAW and various plugins and synths. I use NI battery for my drums, I find that I can create really interesting drum patterns quite quickly. I have a massive 24bit sample library of one hit sounds taken from all the old Roland machines (not just 909, 808, 707, 606 etc – loads of random ones too), I’ve had it since my techno production days and it’s still going strong.
Turntables or CDJs for when you play out?
I use both, although the last set I played out was all CD. CDJs for dubs etc, vinyl for the collection. I’m not pro- and anti- any format, I do like collecting vinyl though.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be?
Hard to say really, as a DJ I guess I’ve been quite spoilt, I’m a resident for The Deep End and in the past 5 years we’ve had so many amazing acts pass through the doors! Playing before Headhunter at The Deep End’s 3rd birthday has to be up there, or Aeon Festival b2b Pulsar with G Double on the mic last year. We were on before Jack Sparrow and V.I.V.EK b2b was pretty sick as well!
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why? Any labels you’re feeling?
There so much good music around at the moment it’s tough! Everyone included in my FKOF mix obviously… Without naming all the obvious big boys who are all killing it at the moment and don’t need a plug from little old me:
- Skream – props go to Skream for many reasons. Recent support of my beats, his set in for The Deep End in 2007 which was a turning point for me and production-wise, when he gets on his eyes down on a half step roller tip he’s one of the best, still!
- Fused Forces – the boys have been around for a while, but their recent new material is seriously next level. ‘Damaged Lung’ & ‘Free Form’ are two of my favourite tunes of the moment
- Pulsar - Another Deep End resident, he’s killing it at the moment. His production style’s so varied I couldn’t lock him down to a specific type of dubstep, he touches all corners of the genre. He co wrote ‘Bombaclat’ with First Aid which came out on DJ Dies’ ‘Gutterfunk’ label recently.
- Sparxy - Sparxy is killing it at the moment! I’ve got loads of his tunes on dub, couldn’t fit many in my FKOF mix but I’m proper feeling his stuff!
- Systemik - Another producer involved with The Deep End. He’s been getting support from Mistajam, Skream and Benga. He’s kinda on a deep musical tip rather than heavy dance floor tracks, a bit like Phaeleh in that respect in my opinion.
What’s the future of dubstep - what do you think the future holds?
At the moment it’s gone both mainstream and underground. As for the future, I think it will level out, in what way it’s hard to tell. Sub-genres aside, the template for dubstep’s so wide open in terms of what you can do with it. The old saying ‘Going back, to move forwards’ springs to mind.
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to?
Yeah, I’ve got a couple of things in the pipeline, I can’t really say much about it apart from it’s a label I really respect and was shocked they showed interest in my music! One of the tunes I played in my FKOF mix have been penciled in for the release, details have been pretty vague but all positive. I’ve also just been talking to Sparxy about something but we’ve not nailed down anything solid yet.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ producers looking to get their music heard or signed?
If you want to get people your tunes, check out the Dub Etiquette thread on dubstepforum, loads of good points have been made over there. Don’t be a dick and keep it real.
All the Deep End gang, SWU crew, JTC, all the Exeter massive, DJ Foster, Skream, Benga, J:Kenzo, Distance, Plastician, Fused Forces, Beezy, G Double & The Antisocial gang , LX One, Sparxy and any one supporting and feeling my music. Big up!
3 people (dead or alive) you’d have a drink with (and why)?
Mc Sniper, Beats and Weapon X. If I’m allowed 4 Steve as well, it’s my life long goal to DJ on Kurupt Fm, maybe if this drink was set up I could make it happen.
Gigs or radio shows?
Gig-wise not much. My deep end residency in Exeter, Subheavy in Plymouth… Just been booked to play a new night starting up in Exeter called Get Me, run by Fred V and Grafix of Hospital Records – they have some exciting stuff in the pipeline for that. Not loads, but I’m a lurker not a superstar, give me pitch black room and big system over big stage and fancy disco lights any day!
SoundCloud or Mixcloud?
ollie 303's mix for MakeItGood x FKOF is pretty damn awesome – in fact, it's been near the top of my iTunes playlist since he sent it over. It's 13/18 dubs, that should say enough.
To top the feature off, ollie 303’s gone and given away one of my favourite tracks of his – ‘Shiva Step’ is cold and weighty. One for those that know… Click to DOWNLOAD
1. Trashbat & Forensics - Atlantis [dub]
2. Fused Forces - Damaged Lung [dub]
3. Ollie 303 - Cylon Tropicana [dub]
4. Seven - Breath [Blackbox]
5. Ollie 303 - Blurred [dub]
6. Content - Ancestral [dub]
7. Truth - Harrp [Artikal]
8. Ollie 303 - The Thing We Do [dub]
9. Vicious Circle - Not Afraid [Crunch]
10. Icicle - Together In The Dust [Shogun Audio]
11. Ollie 303 - Escapsim [dub]
12. Kryptic Minds - Arkum [Tectonic]
13. Killawatt & Content - Quantum [dub]
14. Ollie 303 & Fused Forces - Particle 7 [dub]
15. Sparksy - Battousai [Bokane Audio]
16. Ollie 303 - Phobianycto [dub]
17. Ollie 303 & Pulsar - Test One [dub]
18. Systemik - Torn [dub]
Click to DOWNLOAD