Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, can I have your attention please? Today I am very pleased to introduce to you our second interview. The man in charge to answer our inquisitive questions this time is DJ Nes from the considerable Dirty Waters blog. Some of you might already know him: he is a very skilled DJ (as you can see from this video), he has an impressive vinyl collection, he got knowledge…but most important thing, is a cool guy, we definitely love his attitude. To cut it short: enjoy this chat and don’t forget about our previous exclusive interview with Tony D – Legendary Poor Righteous Teachers producer!
Hey DJ Nes what’s up? Welcome to Martini & Jopparelli!
Chillin, thanks for the invite.
Let’s start from the very beginning: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Born and raised in Rahway, NJ
Growing up in “The Garden State” who were the big New Jersey DJs at the time?
I’d say DJ Juice, DJ Lord jazz, DJ Kaos, Junior Sanchez, they were all Jersey people. I paid more attention to New York DJ’s though.
When did you start to get involved in Hip Hop? How and when did you start DJing?
I always liked hip hop from a young age, but I would say around early 1994 during high school is when I really started getting involved with it through DJing. A lot of good hip hop was coming out at the time. House was really big then too, and a friend of mine had turntables and a bunch of house records. I played around on his setup, just blending and stuff, and it was really fun, and came pretty natural for me. Seeing him with turntables gave me the inspiration to get my own. So I saved and got with a set of 1210’s and a Gemini Scratchmaster and it was on from there.
We are really into your mixes, my favourite one is “Dirty Waters Brakes”, very cool. There are so many breaks mixes around but most of them tend to use the same tunes. Yours are very original indeed! Tell me more about your collection of vinyl…
Thanks I appreciate that, I’m trying to put together some more. My boy DJ Force invited me up to his radio show so I put that dirtywater breaks set together for his show, when I came home I still had the records lined up, so I just played it again and recorded it, all in one take. I tried to go with records I haven’t heard on other tapes, because one thing that annoys me is hearing the same breaks on a hundred different tapes. There are so many good records, so much good music, everyone should have different stuff to offer.
I have about 5,000 records I would say, mostly hip hop, jazz, rock, funk/soul. People who see my collection tell me I have a pretty sick Jazz game, and my Hip Hop LP collection is pretty thorough.
Your “Drum Crazy” videos are dope. I like them because the concept behind them is at the roots of hip hop, but still sounds fresh and original. After watchin those videos, our readers might be askin: did you make a mixtape out of them? Where can we found it?
Thanks, I saw a lot of youtube videos with guys playing samples and stuff, but noone was mixing them, so I was like maybe I’ll just throw a quick 4 minute mix of all drums, and from there I made 13 of them, working on 14 right now. It was fun to do. Unfortunately I uploaded a bunch of stuff that was deemed ‘copyright infringement’ so my youtube account got suspended, twice. I’m about to upload them back onto youtube soon though. As far as a mixtape, I might make an all drum mixtape but I don’t have one right now
Which DJs are the champions of cutting drums in your opinion?
I’m not sure about that one, I think Kon & Amir mix the breaks pretty well. I just heard DJ Revolution’s ‘Hi Fidelity mix’ and he cuts a lot of drum records on there real nice.
You said most records you play in the ” Drum Crazy ” videos are rock records with a heavy drum break at the beginning. Did you collect those records only for the break? Or are you into other kinds of music besides hip hop, jazz, funk & soul ?
Some of those records I did buy just for the drums, like The Mickey Mouse Club record isn’t really something you’re gonna let play front to back. But a lot of records that have drum breaks have good music throughout. If I’m going to buy a record just for a drum break, I’ll try to pay less than $5 for it. A lot of rock records have hard open drums, most of the ones on Drum Crazy are rock records.
When I first started digging, all I cared about was buying samples that other people used, I would copy all the sample credits on the linear notes of hip hop LP’s and seek them out (this was before all the info was on the internet). The more I was digging, the more I got into different kinds of music, through researching different sampled artists, you start to appreciate their music, and it opens you up to all genres. I’ve always liked all kinds of music, I could never just sit and listen to hip hop all day every day. Nowadays I try to buy records that I can listen to throughout, and I never look for specific records anymore. I let records come to me.
Which hip-hop era was “the golden age of drum sampling” in your opinion? Which hip hop producers are the best for drums?
People might disagree, but Tribe Called Quest was the best for me as far as how they had their drums sounding. Aside from them, all the usual suspects, Diamond, Pete Rock, Primo, Showbiz, Buckwild, etc., that was my favourite era, early/mid 90’s.
Speaking of hip hop producers, who was the most original in sampling drums? The one that came out with the craziest and unexpected ideas?
Marley Marl is the originator of sampling drums from a different record and adding it onto a sample, so he gets his props. Like I said I always liked the way Tribe Called Quest hooked up their drums, with mad compression, overlaying two different snares and making it pop. Premier had the good drums too, he made all his tracks real bouncey, and he always picked the right drums to flow with the sample. Anyone who made or makes beats utilizing all vinyl gets props from me.
Where did you start collecting records, and when? What was the first record you ever bought?
I started out buying hip hop records mostly from Downstairs records when it was around, Fat Beats when it was on 9th, also a few spots in NJ, this spot called Planet X that was mad overpriced, and Princeton Records had the good deals. The first couple of records I bought were hip hop records, Souls of Mischief 1st LP, De la Soul Breakadawn 12” (around 1994). The record that got me into buying samples and stuff was Grover Washington’s ‘Feels so Good’ LP. It has two samples on it, the sample for Black Moon’s How many MC’s (which was a big record at the time), and a K-Solo/King Tee sample on the other side. A friend of mine had a roommate that collected Jazz records and stuff and he played it for me. I was hooked right there. It was such a good record with two samples, and he bought it for $1!
What’s the most extreme thing you’ve ever done to acquire a record?
One time I saw this guy buying a lot of good records that I wanted, so I waited for him outside the store. When he came out I stabbed him and took his records, shit is mad real. Nah, just playing, haha. I don’t know, probably just paying ridiculous prices for some records, or travelling all over to find them. I’ve been in some pretty dingy, dirty spots for hours trying to find records.
As far as I know you were Djing on Radio a few years ago, tell me more about that. Are you still doing this?
I was doing radio shows in Princeton (for those that know) and New Brunswick (radio ruckus) here in NJ, and I’ve done guest spots on a bunch of others, but I haven’t held it down as a resident since like 2002. I’ll still spin a spot here and there but I’m not really interested in that anymore, I’d rather spin a bar or club and get paid for it. Honestly I’ve lost a lot of interest with the music changing as much as it has, and I still don’t have serato.
Did you use to plan out the music you were going to play on your shows?
Yeah I used to put sets together, whatever was hot that week, or throw it back to some old school, and even do the breaks and samples too.
Tell us about your current and future projects…
I’ve just been working, and soon I’ll be going back to college, so I haven’t had that much time to work on music stuff. I’m working on a hip hop mix, and a mix of all Jazz. Otherwise I’ll be resurrecting old cassette tapes on my blog. I found out about the blog thing last year and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.
Thanx very much for your time and for hittin us with such good music! Peace
No doubt Marty & Jopparelli, thanks for the support. Let’s keep the real hip hop sound in peoples ears. ez.
Listen to DJ Nes – Make It Funky
In case you did not notice all the links in this post :) :
Check his blog – Dirty Waters, and show him some love!
Check his crazy mix – Dirty Waters Brakes
Check his Drum Crazy Mixtapes Video