GROOVE RIDER

Ask anyone in Jungle / drum'n'bass what first inspired them to make music and Grooverider's name is sure to crop up. Not only has he notched up an incredible twelve years behind the decks, DJing everywhere from dingy illegal warehouse parties to huge outdoor festivals, but his legendary radio shows with longtime companion Fabio (first for Kiss FM and now Radio One FM) helped spread the gospel of drum'n'bass further and further afield. As resident at seminal London night Rage throughout its four year stint at Heaven, he personally oversaw dance music's evolution from acid house to techno to Jungle and finally drum'n'bass. "Everyone who's about on the scene now was there," he recalls, "it was like school for a lot of people. That club's got something special about it - when you play in that DJ booth way above the dancefloor, you really feel like an overlord. You're in the throne. You've got to perform. I used to go there years before and watch Paul Oakenfold playing and think 'yeah, I wouldn't mind being up there myself." It was also here that 'Rider, a born and bred South Londoner, first encountered a budding young producer called Goldie. "Somebody gave me one of his records on an acetate," he remembers, "and I was playing out one night when suddenly I see some geezer banging on the door of the DJ booth. "I thought 'who on earth is this fucking nutter?' He was shouting 'this is my fucking tune. Let me in!' So I let him in and congratulated him and it all went from there. We just kinda hit it off straight away." These days he organises Goldie's Metalheadz club nights usually topping bills that invariably read like a who's who of drum'n'bass. "Everybody wants to play for us," he announces proudly, "we do good parties then people want to play at them. All a far cry from the days in the mid '80s when Groove first ventured behind a pair of Technics at Brixton pirate radio station Phase One. Back then, way before acid house turned the music business on its head, he'd play anything from soul, funk and rap to raw early electro, R&B and even punk. "Year" he laughs now. "I used to love all that skinhead music too, I loved the Jam and the Clash. X Ray Spex were my group! I couldn't mix or nothing when I started at the station, but it didn't matter, because its not about how well you mix, it's about what music you play. A lot of people have forgotten that over the years."