It was perfect summers day when DJ Tayo, the head of Mob Records, also known as “Dread at the controls” after his successful KISS FM radio show, and one of the leading new school breaks DJs last played Adelaide. With his biggest crowd he rocked the Beach Party in Semaphore with an incredible blend of hard breaks and funky melodies, infused with a dub mentality. “It was the first time I did a good show in Adelaide,” he states truthfully. “It’s always been hard work in Adelaide, the breaks scene has always been a little slow, but Blake’s (promoter of traffic nightclub) stuck by it, and he’s kind of made it happen a bit.” In that time we’ve had but a few new school breaks DJs visit our shores, much to my chagrin.
Now following up his new album, Beats & Bobz vol 3 Tayo is set to make a much welcome return to Adelaide in the new year, and I hoped that he hadn’t gone the progressive route of many of his contemporaries such as DJ Hyper. “Ewww… it is not progressive… ewww!” Tayo laughs, discussing his new album. “It’s definitely harder, it’s got it’s own type of flavour as it’s very dub orientated. It’s got a few of my own productions; two with Acid Rockers, and it’s got people like ed209 and Sons of Mecha. It may surprise a few people as I’ve never had that stuff on compilations before, but that’s kind of where my head has evolved to. Doing a compilation is a way to stick your head out and say here’s where I am at now.”
Tayo has stepped down from the “label boss” position in recent times in order to focus on his own and collaborative productions, as well as to concentrate on DJing. He says that he lost something being label boss, and by stepping back he’s become excited about it all again. “I’ve never really enjoyed the boring but necessary things. I don’t think it helps your creativity or enthusiasm for things, you know? Sometimes I was getting a feeling of going to ‘work’… I’d have a pile of promos sitting there I’d have to go through. Now, I was slightly upset that with a pile of promos sitting there I was thinking of it as a chore, and that’s not supposed to happen,” he says matter of factly. “But I’ve got excited again. I’ve been trawling through websites, hearing tunes, contacting producers, and frankly doing their heads in until they contact me,” he chuckles. “There’s some brilliant music around, Aquasky, Sons of Mecha, the Breakfastas, have got my interest up again. Plus my own productions with people like Acid Rockers, Aquasky, I know what I want to look for in a tune, I know what I want to look for in a set, so it’s refocused me a bit.”
Part of the rediscovery of this excitement is the fact that Tayo has started making his own tunes with his refocused energy. Although he has worked with Aquasky and Acid Rockers and used their equipment, he finds himself being able to just use a computer to compose his tracks. “I’m fairly new to the production process, so when you start it’s a lot easier to start on computer rather than the outboard gear,” he says of the equipment he’s using. “If you start tomorrow it’s easier to spend 1200 quid on a Mac or PC, and 700 quid on Logic, rather than outboard stuff which is going to cost thousands and thousands. There’s a beauty in using the analogue stuff,” he muses “but for space and practical reasons, you can do it all on computers now.”
Another reason Tayo’s making his own music stems from his quest for finding good an new music, no doubt a hang over from his record boss role. “If you rely on what you get sent, what’s in the post or what’s in the shop, you’re not pushing yourself. My job as one of the main breaks DJ, if you will, is to stay fresh. My job coming over to a land of trainspotters like Australia,” and he jokes, although he is spot on with this assessment, “is to have stuff that you lot don’t even know about! I like to have stuff that’s not coming out for 3 or 4 months, so when the trainspotters are peering over the decks to see what I’m playing they have absolutely no idea; that’s kind of my job.”