DBR UK is a recognized Drum&Bass collective that consists of 3 artists: Craig Penman (CP), Carl Nanton (CN) and Dan Myles (DM). They have been DJing Drum&Bass/Jungle since the early 90s and have witnessed the scene gradually splitting over time into more sub genres. DBR is known for their creative mixing style and versatile selection maintaining energy in every setting as well as there own music. They have played all over the UK and in some European countries.
DBR UK have their tunes signed with labels such as Broken Audio, 31 Records, Ingredients, Samurai Music, Horizons Music, Blackout Music. They also co-own a deep Drum&Bass label Broken Audio. It's no wonder that DBR are going from strength to strength at the moment with this work rate. We had a chat with the guys about them, their future plans and more..
Can you give us a bit of a background about yourself? What do you do outside of the Drum&Bass scene?
CP - I am engaged & have 2 boys aged 8 & 9 who take up a lot of my time by playing football and computer games. I also like to follow my football team LUTON TOWN FC. Keeping it real ;)
CN - Well I have 2 kids to look after: a boy age 7 years going on 21 years and a little girl who is 5 months, as well as working in a full time job doing accounts.
DM - I also work full time in IT. Gathering relevant qualifications to move forward and at some point be able to operate as self employed or run my own business. I’m also into my sports and support one of the most successful English clubs in the world….. Everton FC ;)
How did you guys meet and how did you first get involved with Drum&Bass?
CN - I’ve known Craig for around 20 years. We grew up on the same estate as well as going to the same junior school & High school. Dan I met playing on a pirate radio station in Luton called Raw Fm around 1998-99 and the friendship grew from there as he is a Hitchin boy and back then the only time I saw him was on the radio on a Sunday..!
I’ve known Dan now for about 12 years if not more! I got involved with D&B from the age of around 13 years old sharing a room with my older brother who is quite known on the main D&B circuit - Mc Phantom (Warning, D&B Arena, Innovation , Kool Fm ). I was more in to hip hop back in 92 -93. Wayne (Phantom) kept coming home from school with these tapes just sounded like noise to me and I was always moaning turn this shit off but as he was older the hi-fi player in our room was just jacked by him every time!! Then it was this one tape that stood out to me I was like yeah this is all right bruv, what is it? He said someone called Kenny Ken & Mc Fearless & Mc Scarlett from some rave called Life & Utopia the tape was big…Still have it up to this day. Then after that I found myself buying tape packs collecting flyers then onto buying vinyl using my dinner money I saved up from school, then started to go out raving to places like Jungle Jam (Luton) big up Pikki, Exodus (Luton) big up Glen Jenkins, Roast, Stush, Telepathy, Voodoo magic, AWOL\ the early One Nation days!! The list goes on!
What does DBR stands for?
CP - Drum&Bass Republic
How would you describe your sound? Do you think it’s unique and in what way?
CP - Bass orientated. Incorporating dance floor energy with Jungle depth and roots.
Do you play from vinyl or CDs? What do you prefer?
CP - We use both vinyl & CD’s now. We personally prefer vinyl all the way. You just can’t beat it!! Down to the way it’s mastered, the warmth you get with vinyl and the collectability/nostalgia you get from drawing from the crates. All this can really add to a set. We use CD’s as there’s a good medium to showcase new productions/producers and to gain an instant response to something we may have made in the studio that afternoon or evening.
When it comes down to making a tune, how do you go with it? Who’s got the most inspiration?
CN - We get inspiration off each other as we all have different ideas going on in our heads. We normally start something either from our own studios or go to either one of our houses, if not we would get like 64 bars going save send file through aim and would take it from there.
We’ve heard that you guys have played in Europe (Switzerland, Belgium and Poland). Where did you enjoy playing the most?
CN - I would say Belgium, we have been playing out there for the last 3 years the vibes are big out there the people are cool too they really look up to you and look after you! Don’t get me wrong Poland was live and so was Switzerland but it has to be Belgium for me! Big up Steve Freeman and all the crew out there..!
DM - Switzerland was a big one for me playing a 3 hour set before the main act Concord Dawn. Really is a good memory. Big up Don Phillipo.
How would you compare parties in the UK to the European ones?
CN – I love playing out in Europe just coz of the simple fact you can blaze it up in the clubs and you have longer sets and the vibes I think are much better out there. UK clubs are heavy too but the smoking banned has killed it a bit, at least when you could smoke it would cover up all the off-key odours that are more noticeable now.
DM - I would add that the crowds abroad seem to be a lot less reserved and tend to get more involved rather than stand around gazing and train spotting. At the end of the day it’s a Party right!!???!! Even though we are in a different country and there may be a language barrier this seems to be broken down with the music and everyone seems to be able to understand each other.
If DBR could play anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
DM - The Rio de Janeiro, annual Brazilian carnival. I’m sure the vibes there would be something special for sure.
Are there any projects you are working on right now?
CP - Yes, we have a few colabs on the go with Skeptical, Dub Phizix, Morphy, Reza & Tokyo Prose.
We are aware that you host a radio show on Rude FM, how’s that been going lately?
CN - Yes, the Rude show (www.rudefm.com) is going very well you can catch us hosting the Broken Audio show on the 1st & 3rd Sunday on the month between the hours of 16.00PM – 18.00PM GMT with the 3rd Sunday being use as a guest slot for other Broken audio artist to come down and rep the label.
You co-own the Broken Audio label? Are you more focused on producing your own tunes or releasing others?
DM - Both, generally we try to focus our energies on production and showcase the producers/artists on our radio shows and gigs. Let the music do the talking!!
Do you have any favourite producers who got releases on your label?
CP - Skeptical, Mad Rabbit aka Foreign Concept, Flatliners.
DM - KODO, Genotype, Mindmapper.
s it hard to combine all those things? (Run a label, organize label nights, produce, have gigs, host a radio show). Who’s responsible for what in your crew?
DM - We all try to do our bits and chip in when and where we can. Ultimately Dan and Carl are responsible for organizing the radio shows and playing at the gigs. The label is mainly run by Craig and Boba (co-owner of the Broken Audio). So anything to do with nights or artists tends to be organized by these guys. Production involves Craig and Carl at present but Dan chips in with opinions and ideas.
What do you do in your spare time?
DM - I play football, gym, swim and try to keep fit as we’re not getting any younger.
CN – Me I go gym 3 times a week after work has to be done, man I can’t live with out the gym now like Danny boy said were not getting any younger and after gym if not studio time it’s PS3 time whoo!
CP – I like to play football, cook, fishing & spend time with my family
Where do you think the Drum & Bass and whole rave scene will be in say 10 years time?
DM – We have all been involved from the early nineties and seen numerous changes to the scene. I would say that I can see the music only becoming more creative and diverse as it always has rode the waves and come out the other side. It’s still a very poignant and prominent underground British music genre. That has evolved even further with new technologies and communications (Internet)
If there was one piece of advice you could give to up and coming DJs what would it be?
DM - Stick at it!!! You will no doubt see many people friends/acquaintances come and go along the way. But if you feel passionate about it and it doesn’t feel like a chore or you’re only involved for the money then that’s the wrong attitude. It’s there to be enjoyed and if you make anything in the mean time then that’s just desserts for the hard work & dedication you will have put in.
5th March - Broken Audio Night, Luton
19th March - Pandemik, Manchester
8th April - Intent To Supply, London
23rd April - Renegade Hardware, London
24th April - Extent Recordings Night, London
30th May - Luton Carnival
7th March - Dirty Passive / Magnesium 12" Don't Want (Digital) - Ingredients Records
March - Troubled Soul (Digital) - Translation Recordings
2011 - New Man 12" - (DREAM THIEF 2 LP) Horizons Music
2011 - Fortress / Kilo / Mindstate - 31 Records
2011 - DBR & Skeptical - Represent - Ingredients
2011 - DBR & Foreign Concept - Radiation 12" - Samurai Music
2011 - Anaconda 12" - Blackout Music
2011 - Revised Tactics - Vampire
2011 - Code 9/Hoax - Extent Recordings
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