Sy and Unknown have been at the forefront of the Hardcore scene for many years now. Theyve captured fans across generations and have created the label Quosh which has churned out more hit hardcore releases than Ive had roast dinners (and thats quite a lot).
Unknown (who in my mind will now be known as 'the trickster') gave us the low down on his career, digital thoughts and DJ Sy routing his mum ..
Jess: Thanks for the interview time! Where did your DJ Unknown alias come from?
Unknown: The very first record I produced was on Homegrown Records and because it contained a naughty sample we put it out under the name DJs Unknown, the name kinda stuck from there really.
Jess: When did you get involved in the hardcore scene?
Unknown: That first tune was made in 1993 but Id been bedroom djing and small local events for a couple of years prior to that too.
Jess: What and where was your first set out in public? Any disasters?
Unknown: I think the first big one was a fusion at the rhythm station, although youd love me to have had major problems Im afraid it went quite smoothly.
Jess: Haha not true! Im glad it went well! When did you get into producing? Did DJing lead to your productions or the other way around?
Unknown: Djing led to productions, I used to buy my tunes from Dance 2 in Guildford and one day the guy who worked in there suggested hiring a studio to make a tune, and it all started from there really.
Jess: You teamed up with DJ Sy to become the infamous Sy & Unknown. How did this partnership come about?
Unknown: I walked in on him routing my mother and rather than have a fight we decided to produce music together!!!
Jess: Err Im going to pretend I didnt hear that.You must have formed a strong bond with Sy, do you guys spend time socialising with each other?
Unknown: No way hate the bloke!
Jess: You guys formed Quosh Records about 8 years ago now and it has gone on to be one of the biggest labels in the Hardcore world. Did you expect the label to take off in such a big way?
Unknown: Not really, you always hope so but I think we just started it, as we were frustrated putting stuff out with other people, you lose a lot of the control.
Jess: I hear you released an album in America in 2001. What is the Hardcore scene like out there and was the album received well?
Unknown: Im not sure how it was received first hand although I was reliably informed that it went down well. The scene was starting to bubble up nicely in 2001 but I think the local governments started to clamp down on it saying it was all drugs this and drugs that so I think its quite hard to get a license to throw a party nowadays.
Jess: The UK clubbing scene as a whole owes a lot to the big rave events such as Helter Skelter and Dreamscape. Do you still enjoy DJing out as much now as you did back at the start of your career?
Unknown: Oh yeah, its less stressful now, when you start off theres a lot more worry involved but now you kinda know all the promoters and djs and quite a few ravers too. I still get the same buzz when people are dancing away to your set as I did back then.
Jess: Youve got a long list of releases, remixes and compilations under your belt. Is there one you are particularly proud of?
Unknown: Not really, theres too many to choose just one.
Jess: Do you listen to other genres in your personal time? What other artists do you enjoy listening to?
Unknown: I dont have any specific artists that I listen to, anything from the obvious RnB (50Cents etc) to people like Jamie Cullum, to Chillout stuff, Hed Kandi. All sorts really, even Girls Aloud!!!
Jess: Girls Aloud? There goes your street cred ; ) What are your thoughts on the new digital age? Do you own an mp3 player?
Unknown: I dont own an MP3 player as I dont listen to that much music when Im away from work, its nice to have a break. My girlfriend has just bought an ipod nano so Im up to speed on them. I think the digital era is not as scary as we all first thought (he says hopefully) people have always shared music, they used to record them to tapes etc, some people, like myself prefer to have the original thing. Generally those that download things probably wouldnt have been intending to buy it anyway. Time will tell though.