Alley Cat (Skunkrock Productions)
I started out DJing just for fun after a year or two of building up a big collection of d'n'b and other kinds of music. Once I tried mixing I was hooked and just wanted to do it at home.
Later I started a club night in San Francisco with a friend and that lead to other gigs in the city and helped me meet more people in the scene.
|How came the connection to skunkrock?
The connection to Skunkrock came in 1999 - after I came to Germany for the first time for a few DJ gigs, including a gig in Mannheim for Vibration.
Mark from the label booked the tour and introduced me to the rest of the guys in the crew. We hit it off and then I got more involved with the label.
Later that year I moved to London and that's where the label has been for the last 3 years.
Then you moved to London, was that a big change? Which differences between the US and UK scene did you notice most?
It was a big change, but in a cool way. It was something different and that inspired me.
I like the scene in London because everybody sort of does their own thing and doesn't always try to push what they are doing on others - because most of the DJs and producers have been innit so long and they have their place and are confident in what they do.
In the US people are fighting for their places - or were at the time I moved to London - so everybody was out for themselves and spent too much time worrying about others instead of chilling out. I kept to myself a lot and didn't always go out. Some people had a problem with that. But I didn't feel like I had to justify what I was doing, I just wanted to get in the mix.
Anyway, I am happy I moved to London, it was the right choice for me.
||You have many gigs in Germany. What's your impression of the scene
I cherish the many gigs I have had in Germany over the years. People in Germany know what's going on with the music and they have a long history of d'n'b there. Most places are open to a variety and make good parties.
Plus I think the people are so friendly. It's fantastic. I am really lucky I have been able to build a name there.
There are not many women in the D&B circuit. Does that have advanatages and also disadvantages for you? What are your experiences in this regard?
I guess it has an advantage in that, because you are a girl, you might have that little something 'different' to make you stand out more and maybe get more attention. It also was good in a way that you really have to learn what's up with the music and get your mixing down because people expect that you can't mix because you are female. So in that sense it's positive because I had to work hard which made me better in the end.
On the other hand I don't like it when people see the female thing as a novelty and go too far when promoting the girly thing. We just want to play our records and make a good party - same as every other DJ out there.
Tell us a bit about Skunkrock. Is there a kind of philosphy for the label?
Our goal is to put out a variety of tunes from a variety of people all over the world. We just release tracks that move us personally in the hope that what makes us feel something will stir something in others. Since we are in London for a while now I guess that is our primary influence at the moment - but I think sometimes we release tracks that others might not because we see something special there.
In november 1997 your first 12" was released. Do you celebrate the 5th anniversary? How?
The 5th anniversary is celebrated through some releases and also a tour which goes along to promote the releases. For the first time we have an EP coming out - called Crowd Control - which also features a mix-CD by myself with the same name. I am playing in cities such as Berlin, Stockholm, Tel Aviv, London, Ireland, Newcastle, Reykjavik, Budapest, Los Angeles, and probably even South Africa again. So it's a great way to have fun and get the Skunkrock name out to a new audience.
|Tell us about the mix-CD. What artists are on it and when
will it be in the shops?
The Mix-CD is in the shops from October 14th. It's just been manufactured and features the Skunkrock catalogue from the last year and our upcoming releases, plus two bonus tracks : "Squash VIP" from Total Science and "Flash" from Digital & Spirit. I put a lot of thought into creating the mix on my Technics so I really hope people enjoy it. It's nice to see the finished product after all the months we spent in preparation.
.. and what about the Reinforced release you worked on with Native Minds?
I did a tune with Native Minds called "Dream". We just did it for fun and it turned out pretty nice so I was really excited when Reinforced said they wanted it. It's a great honour for me to be part of that camp as I have the most respect for that label.
Tell us about your "Skunkrock Show" on www.groovetech.com What can the listeners expect?
My focus is on 'up-front drum'n'bass' - I want to bring the newest tunes I can get my hands on to the listeners. Of course I will talk about and play tunes from Skunkrock but they can expect to hear dubs and promos from all kinds of producers. It's great to get in there and mix and chat live with people. I really enjoy it!
What's in the pipeline for Skunkrock for the next few months?
As I mentioned above, we have the Crowd Control EP and CD. We also have a single from Native Minds. Since the EP has received such a great reaction already, being played by big names like Goldie, Roni Size, Zinc, Bailey, Fabio, Intalex, Peshay, etc., we will release a second EP next year. So far the EP features tunes from Total Science and Invaderz.
O.K., anything else you want to mention?
I just wanted to give a big shout - out to the German massive. Thanks for all the support and hopefully I'll be seeing you soon : )
Alley Cat, thanks your for the interview!
out on 14. October 2002:
CROWD CONTROL EP feat.
Calibre rmx, A-sides rmx, Zero Tolerance & Native Minds
out on 14. October 2002:
limited edition CROWD CONTROL mix-cd by Alley Cat feat.
Total Science, Digital & Spirit, Calibre, A-Sides, Alpha Omega,
Zero Tolerance, Beta 2, Native Minds, Red Army...
out on 11. November 2002 :
Native Minds 'Your Love / Just Do It'
check www.skunkrock.net for more infos
tune in to Alley Cat's webradio show on www.groovetech.com
every second Friday of the month from 9-11pm (CET-Germany).
Thanks to Alley Cat and Mark, ESP!