Moving Ninja – Debut Release

Garage Pressure have been championing the sounds of the underground in Sydney ever since their inception in 1999. Made up of members Farj, Paul Fraser and Jabba, their humble beginnings in 2step has since taken a turn in favour of the darker offshoots of garage, namely grime and breakstep. Their very own ‘Darksyde’ nights have been one of the very few outlets for this style of music in our city and have brought in some well respected internationals such as Oris Jay and more recently this year, Lombardo. I speak to Farj in the leadup to ‘Outbreak’ – a new night intent on dropping some heavy underground beats for the people. 

Zerodub: Describe the sound you guys are pushing forward to the Sydney massive. There’s a lot of confusion in terms of what to call this underground style. Names like dubstep, grime, sublow, 8 bar are being thrown around – yet they’re sometimes interchangeable with each other. What’s your take on this? Would you still associate it with Garage?

Farj: Garage is a very broad term used to describe underground bass line music that’s why so many sub-genres exist. Each producer has their own influences and flavours be it, electro, vocal, house, MC, ragga, techno, breaks, d&b etc. Unlike other scenes, garage is not static and by definition is about new music. I think some people get caught up too much on the 4X4 and vocal 2step side of garage, but today it is much more.

Z: Tell us about the upcoming release on Vertical Sound. Who’s behind it & how did you hook up with the label? Will we be seeing more releases from there or other places in the future?

F: We have a forthcoming release under our production guise of Moving Ninja on a Bristol based label called Vertical Sound. Vertical Sound is one of the many Space Management labels, which include Subtext, Dangerous Drums, etc. The first release is co-produced by DJ Farj and Jabba and the remix is by 30Hz. It will be out mid October in the UK and similar timing in Australia. The moving ninja sound has been described as sci-fi dub, robogrime and precision breakbeat.

Z: There hasn’t been a DarkSyde event in a while! Are there any surprises in store for us party wise or has the focus been more on the production front nowadays?

F: DarkSyde is currently in hibernation for the winter and will hopefully be back in Spring/Summer. It’s really hard to find decent, affordable venues that don’t carry other events baggage so we are holding off for the right venue, date, djs etc. Future parties will be focused on a grime flavour and will definitely feature top overseas underground producers that will come out here for the love and not for big dollars.

Z: How do you feel about dubplate culture within the scene? Is this hindering or encouraging progress in terms of getting the sound heard?

F: Dubplate culture encourages music production, having dubplates means being original – something we don’t seem to demand too much from local DJs. Things are changing though as more forward looking scenes in Australia like d&b are really embracing dubplate culture, with many djs playing their own beats. The key to getting involved in dubplates is to make them yourself, if the track is good, people will swap you and that’s how it all starts.

Z: Who do you feel is runnin things in the UK Underground – your main inspirations for pushing these forward thinking beats?

F: I don’t think any one crew or style is dominant. What we are seeing is more crews getting together like Slimzee (Dump Valve, Slimzo’s, PAYG, East) with Bingo (Zinc’s Label). The Forward>> scene is going strong, as is the MC scene with Wiley and Dizzee becoming mainstream acts in the last 12 months. The man of the moment is Plasticman with his terrorhythm label; original new beats and highly rated djs sets. Plasticman should be out in Australia later this year.

Z: What can we expect to hear from you on Outbreak night? Any other planned gigs – plug them here

F: Look out for a Moving Ninja *Live* gig soon.

Z: Your current top 10?

F: In no particular order: Oris Jay – Quaker Notes (Dub), Plasticman – The Music (Rephlex), Zed Bias – Shack Out (Dub) Aka Henchmen – Shack Out, Digital Mistikz – B (DMZ), Search & Destroy – Mark of The Beast (Dub), Toasty Boy – Strange Days (Dub), Morph & Quiet Storm – Toy Soldiers (Dub), Vexd – Lion (Dub), Moving Ninja – Lost Tribe, Wookie – Trooper (Manchu)

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