DJ MX – Belarus & Ukraine
Written by Michael
May 24, 2010 10:38 am
..when you take one UK DNB DJ and throw him into Eastern Europe? Mention clubbing and most people probably wouldn’t think of Belarus or the Ukraine, but in recent years Eastern Europe has seen a near explosion in nightlife. Uncovering the scene in Eastern Europe is handily provided to us by DJ MX. MX may not be a household name yet, but in the past 5 years he has risen from being a bedroom Drum and Bass DJ, to performing Drum and Bass or sometimes Breaks at a large number of events not only in the UK, but also Belarus, Ukraine and Germany as well. Having just come back to the UK following a 3 month tour of Belarus and Ukraine, we caught up with MX to hear his views on his tour, Eastern Europe, and his life as a DJ.
Belarus and Ukraine are not the average places for a DJ to go on tour. I wouldn’t mind betting that a lot of people would be hard pushed to even know where they are. How did this come about, and what is the scene like over there?
Haha, its quite a long story, but basically I have built up a long list of contacts with artists around the world as part of my role as co-owner of KRISISDnB.COM. One of those contacts was Red Catz and Yellow Int from Minsk in Belarus who have a weekly drum and bass show on KRISISDnB. I visited them twice last year, I say for a holiday, but it was exhausting with events, radio shows and far too much Russian vodka. I fell in love with the place, and set my heart on going back as soon as I could. So in February 2010 I went back with the intention of making it a long term visit. I arrived to 5ft of snow everywhere and temperatures well under -20 degrees… what the hell was I doing ! I moved into Red Catz apartment in the centre of Minsk, and started work organising a weekly joint drum and bass event in the centre of town at Reaktor Club.
“I fell in love with the place, and set my heart on going back as soon as I could”
Promoters around the town were becoming aware of an English DnB DJ arriving and I was soon being sent messages asking me to play at their events as well. With multiple events in not only Minsk, but also clubs in Gomel and Bobruisk I saw all aspects of their music scene. I have never seen people enjoy themselves so much (the vodka probably has something to do with that haha). With most events playing multiple genres ranging from Techno, Breaks, to Drum and Bass and Dubstep, it means there is always something people will like, and also gave me a chance to play some Breaks as well as DnB. Most DnB DJs over there tend to play Neurofunk or darker styles of DnB, which got me nervous as its not really my style, but from the responses I got, they liked the Jump-up style I played as it is something they don’t get much exposure to.
Apart from DJing, what did you hope to achieve over there?
Well music has been a part of my life for many years now, but its only since becoming absorbed in the world of Drum and Bass that it has taken that to new levels. This trip was also intended to give me a new direction and focus in life. With the economic situation as it is around the world, and the worry of keeping my job (especially in the IT world which is what I do for work), I wanted to try something different. With the help of my friends I started work as an English Teacher teaching conversational English to students over there. I had found something that enabled me to help others in such a rewarding way. I would still be there now if it wasn’t for a technicality which meant I couldn’t get the work visa I needed to stay longer.
Did this tour help you as a DJ?
I believe a DJ never stops learning. I learn from being exposed to different circumstances, whether it be a radio show with a different MC than I may be used to, or in a club with a different vibe or audience. It all builds up knowledge and experience that help me to perform better and better. More importantly however, is that a DJ should always remember he is there for the people. If the people enjoy what they see and hear then he is on the right road. The number of messages I have been sent from people in both Belarus and Ukraine since I have been back has been overwhelming, and I cant wait to do it all again.
“A DJ should always remember he is there for the people, if they enjoy what they see and hear then he is on the right road”
What are your current projects or plans?
Firstly now I am back in the UK I need to find a job which isn’t easy at the moment, but with 20 years of IT experience, and living close to London, hopefully I can find something soon. As for my plans within the music scene, I spent a week in a town called Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine with a highly talented producer called NickBee. With tunes signed on multiple labels including Sinuous Audio, Basswerk, Icarus Audio, and Subculture, it gave me an opportunity to learn from an expert. Producing has never been something I’ve dabbled with, but he has got me very interested, so we will see what happens with that in the coming months. My other main project is the continuing development of the KRISISDnB website, mp3 label (KrisisDnB Recordings), and events. NeO, who co-owns the station with me, has taken the site to a new level over the last year, and we are both working on the phase 2 set of developments to keep that momentum moving. I am also planning some KRISISDnB events in the London area over the next few months so check the website for more info on those as we get it. And as always Im available for DJ bookings in the UK or abroad, so get in touch!
MX (Malcolm Taylor) MX Personal website: http://www.djmx.krisisdnb.com
Main KRISISDnB website : http://www.krisisdnb.com
MX Blog site : http://www.krisisdnb-djmx.blogspot.com