To many, EZ is a man who needs no introduction. A leading figurehead on the UK Garage scene for longer than some have been raving, a Kiss FM mainstay for over a decade and generally just a man who’s DJ skills and sets need to be seen and heard to be believed. Do yourself a favour and check out his Boiler Room set on You Tube for proof of exactly what I mean.I had a quick chat with the man to pick his brains on a few topics including how he gets through those long sets he’s famous for doing.
The next few gigs you're playing include playing with some legendary figures such as David Rodigan. Are you excited?
Very excited for the next Basslaced event and I am a big fan! Before I became a professional DJ, I was exposed to a lot of reggae music and grew up with the sounds of David Rodigan on the radio. To everyone, he is classed as legend but, to me, he is much more than that and I have so much respect for him and what he has achieved and represents.
Whilst it's quite unlikely, for those who may have never seen you DJ before, what could they expect?
Well, the first thing would obviously be not to expect a very tall DJ! With regards to my set, you will experience a journey through the entire spectrum of UK Garage ranging through its early years to current tracks. I also dabble with other sub genres within the set with my own mixing style, which I call 'impact mixing'. Mixer fader cuts, chops with some CDJ cue triggering, looping and more are just some of what you can expect within my set.
You're one of the few DJ's who's managed to maintain a long career without making and releasing maybe as much music as some of the other big names on the circuit. Why do you think that is?
Many people commend the way that I mix and the ability to create an atmosphere on the floor, which could be some of the reasons. Reading the crowd, experimenting and knowing what sounds good are also key. I have made tracks in the past, including all of my intro's (without any engineers may I add!). I do miss being in the studio and it is certainly one thing that I am looking to get back into this year.
How do you feel about the evolution of Garage from what it was in the 90's to where it’s got to now? Do you think there's been a revival in the sound?
Oh hell yeah! The new Bass music, Deep house, Jackin’ and underground house which is being played today have all the elements of the early sound of UK Garage, or House & Garage as it was called back then. The only sad thing is that all these sounds have been given a new label. It would have been beautiful if they were all under the Garage umbrella or even had an inclusion of the name.
You're pretty active on the DJ front. What do you do when you're not tearing down a club?
Well, I’m a big fan of FIFA 13 on the Xbox 360 so I like to play that now and then. I also like to chill out and watch TV and often read a lot about Tech stories etc. A lot of these things will have their time cut as I plan to get back into the studio this year...
Your Boiler Room set is regarded as one of the best, technically and tune wise, of recent. Were you surprised by the reaction it got?
Very surprised! I never knew that an online one hour set in a room in East London for the Boiler Room would have created such hype. Every gig that I play at of late I get someone saying to me: "Your Boiler Room set was sick!" There is always a daily tweet on Twitter from someone saying the same. I would like to thank them again for having me!
What are five tunes you're feeling or playing a lot in sets at the moment?
Off the top of my head:
1 & 2. Redlight's Club bangers - Source 16 and Basscone
3. Nirvana - Smell Like Teen Spirit remix
4. Artful Dodger - Please Don't Turn Me On (Disclosure Remix)
5. Woz - Reach
What are five tunes that never leave your bag?
1. My Intro's
2. Reach N Spin - Hyper Funk
3. F.U.N - It's the way
4. Cleptomaniacs - All I do (Bump n Flex Refix)
5. Anything by Todd Edwards
What's in store for you for the rest of 2013?
Lot's of things in the pipeline but the main thing will be to get back in the studio to get some fresh EZ productions out there!
If you could pick a genre other than garage to play out which would it be and why?
As I used to play Detroit Techno, House and Acid in the earlier days of my career, I would say it would be one of those to be honest. Techno would probably be the first choice believe it or not.
What DJ's from other genres do you enjoy listening to?
I do not get to listen to any other DJ's that much. When I do, I sometimes listen to my Kiss FM brothers and sisters such as Steve Smart, Hatcha, Logan Sama and Neev to name a few…
You're renowned for doing sets up to 8 hours long. Seriously… Just how do you get through them!?
I have been putting on my own events and playing these long sets for a few years now and I have found that they attract a wide variety of clubbers. With this, you have to cater for them all. It is not easy to say the least because I have to split my set up into categories which will consist of playing a cheesy / commercial section, then a darker set, then old school and so on.
These styles are rotated throughout the night but the good thing is, the crowd rave to all of the flavours even if it is not really their bag! I did a 10hour set at my own Z Uncut event at Fabric last year, which was also amazing. This year I may attempt 12 hours, or possibly longer…
The man also known as Easy O to his friends is playing down at Basslaced at Fire in Vauxhall, London on February 22ndalongside David Rodigan, Shy FX and Ms Dynamite as well asthe Back To 95 12th birthday party on Saturday 2nd march 2013.