DnB Vet Bailey Talks Intabeats Series, Spin Sherpa Grooverider And The Dubstep Situation


With over a decade of radio airplay under his belt, Michael Bailey holds tight to his status as a DnB doctor with the launch of “Intabeats” on Ministry of Sound Radio. The DJ – known as Bailey – will be bringing the beauty of the bass to fresh ears every Tuesday. With two broadcasts down, the show us already nothing less than Bass Class 101 for both new drum and bass fans and OJs (Original Jungalists). Episode One of the Intabeats’ series fell on Bailey’s own birthday last Tuesday, May 21st, kicking the series off on an auspicious note. VIBE caught up with Bailey in London last week to discuss the “resurgence” of drum and bass, the next stars in the jungle scene and the “dubstep situation”.

VIBE: Tell us about your new series on Ministry of Sound?
Bailey: It’s a radio show, which is a continuation of 1Xtra, which I did for 10 years called 1Xtra on BBC Radio One. I used to represent the drum and bass sound, but I like a lot of different types of music, so I will play any flavor or style of music. New DJs, producers, sounds, genres…

Who should we be paying attention to right now in the DnB scene?
Savage Rehab, they’re doing really well now. If you’re not consistent with making tracks, then you’re not gonna be able to break through, but these guys seem to have what it takes. I think they’re gonna do well, I think they’re next.

There’s been chatters of jungle music being “back”. Did it ever go anywhere?
It never went anywhere obviously, but it seems like people were just tired of the last fad. As a matter of fact, I can’t even hate on the whole dubstep situation because it introduced a lot of kids to the DnB type music. For a while, we had drumstep, which is halftime time drum and bass. Now the kids see it [drum and bass] as sort of a slowed down version of dubstep.

American Dubstep Vs. Bristish Dubstep what’s the difference?
I’m not such an expert on dubstep, but there’s a genre I believe, called brostep, which is really in-your-face dubstep and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think that’s overpowering the really quality stuff.

Like Caspa for the UK?
Caspa would be responsible for your bangers and such. Stuff that is sort of from the roots of DnB. I can’t really speak for Caspa, but there’s sort of an end to drum and bass, which I believe is what Skrillex represents, he’s just a little too crazy for me, but he will still bring the music to a bigger crowd and for those who don’t know.

The pioneer producers of drum and bass, who are somewhat older than you, would you consider their new work “new music”, or are their labels responsible for these forthcoming songs and albums?
Mike West, of Rebel MCs, he’s involved with the vibe of the music that he produces, a lot of it mainly done by him, he continues to spread his Rastafarian vibe that he has. Goldie announced that he was releasing his last album ages ago, but I am hearing rumors that he may be releasing another.

What is going on with the Metalheadz label these days?
I was a resident DJ for them for 18 years, but rather than sticking with their signature Metalheadz sound they’re sort of experimenting with a more spicy electronic style and introducing a different type of tempo so their artists have the freedom to create more “EDM” sounds on down tempo tracks.

Any upcoming artists on the label we can look forward to?
Jubei, Paul Jubei, he’s one of the more versatile producers. He’s one of those producers who makes his own niche and sort of creates his own place in music.

How would you describe your style?
I’m purely a drum and bass guy, but I will play whatever moves me and when I DJ, I will play according to what’s appropriate for that night. I’ll play anything I think is good on the radio even if it’s not a “floor smasher”. My show has to be a drum and bass show, I don’t want to blur the lines.

Do you have any mentors?
A friend of my sister introduced me to house music in the late ’80s his name is Garfield. He never got interested enough to get into it but if he did he would be extremely successful right now. But I would say a close second place would be Grooverider. I was on the road with him for years I would help carry his records and that sort of thing. I was the type that stood, and watched, that’s how I learned.

Listen to Intabeats Drum n Bass Show with Bailey every Tuesday from 5pm-7pm GMT, 12pm-2pm EST at Ministry of Sound Radio online.