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Exclusive Elite Sessions - Volume 1... Interview with the legendary DJ Sy!

Reported by Jess @ Trackitdown on September 10, 2005

Hardcore has been lurking in the clubs, illegal raves and warehouses since the whole rave scene was created. For many, being a fan of Hardcore is like a secret club; you all remember your first event, you can’t hear the words ‘whistle or horn’ without adding the pretext of ‘Blow your…’ in your head and something in your heart twangs when you see a car park attendant in a florescent yellow waistcoat!

Being part of Hardcore means you know the score. It means you are Old Skool. And it means you owe a lot to the music of the infamous Sy and Unknown!

They have continuously released hit after hit since they established Quosh Records back in 1994. Along with MC Storm, the names of Sy and Unknown grace the Hardcore Flyers like monopoly money and they have more successful Dj sets behind them than practically anyone else in the scene. It was an honour and a privilege for the Trackitdown team to get to talk to Sy about his career, his views on the Hardcore scene and his past as a drummer boy!


TID: Many fans of the music reminisce on the early days of rave and feel it will 'never be the same as back in the day'. Do you feel the same or are you happy with the way in which the scene has progressed? What rocks your world about the scene in 2005?

I think the scene today is still great, I still enjoy the vibe, and to be honest the hardcore crowds of today are, in my opinion, some of the best audiences you'll ever come across in any niche of the entertainment industry! Always receptive, enthusiastic - I love 'em! Maybe it's not so novel as it was back then, but to a lot of kids it still is a fresh & exciting scene.

If you could choose one vocal sample from any release and claim it for your own work what would it be?

Sy: Probably Lisa Stansfield - People Hold On. The most sampled vocal ever, surely!

TID: In your spare time do you choose to listen to the harder stuff or do you enjoy other genres too? 

I listen to a lot of hardcore in my spare time, but I also love Film score music!  

TID: Clubs nowadays go to a lot of effort with lazers, lighting rigs, inflatables, dancers and banners. Do you think the clubbers appreciate nights just for the music or do you think the fans want more of a complete package when they go to an event? 

I don't really know to be honest. For me, the ONLY thing that matters is the sound system. It could be pitch black in a club for all I care, as long as the system’s pumpin'!

Where did the hardcore renaissance come from this year? Has it been bubbling away over the last few years? If so, where has the true hardcore been hiding?

Sy: There's a lot of die hard hardcore heads out there, they never went anywhere, it's just that all the producers in the scene have really stepped up their production over the last few years to bring the scene back to the forefront. S'all good ;-)

Nolan in the office says that you got your skills by being a drummer, whilst Jess insists you must have been a fiddler as a boy? Is this true?

Sy: Nolan is the man obviously! I used to play the drums at school, and even started gigging with a band when I was about 15/16!

Your discogs entry must rank you (and chris aka Unknown) as some of the most prolific production teams in the dance scene - where do you find the inspiration?

Sy: We both treat what we do as a full time profession; after all, nothing is ever given to you on a plate. We've worked very hard for what we've achieved, and we have no plans to let up in the near future!

TID: Is anyone else in your family musical? Where was your interest sparked? 

Sy: My mum's quite musically minded! I think I was about 8 when I started listening to Radio 1 all the time! 

TID: How old does a release have to be, in your opinion, before it can be classified as Old Skool? 

Sy: Maybe 6 or 7 years? Good question! 

ID: What current releases or Artists do you think will be hailed as legends from the scene in 10 years time? 

Sy: Gammer, Dj Kurt. They're both producing some belters at the mo! 

TID: Do you ever see yourself retiring from the music industry? 

Sy: Nope, not at all. Can't do anything else anyway!

Download DJ Sy's Exclusive Mix for Trackitdown!


1 - Sy & Unknown - Make It Bounce
2 - Sy & Unknown - Techno Harmony 2003
3 - Enlighten - Born Again (Sy & Unknown mix)
4 - Sy & Unknown - I Feel On Fire
5 - Insight - Only Your Love (Sunrise mix)
6 - Sy & Unknown - Product Of The Devil
7 - The Vampire - Total XTC (Hardcore mix)
8 - Asa &S1 feat Lou Lou - Makin' Me Wanna Dance (Sy & Unknown remix)
9 - CLSM - Free Your Mind (Sy & Unknown remix)
10 - Sy & Unknown - Sounds Of The Underground
11- Sy & Unknown - Rock It Like This
12 - Expression & GBH - Night Time (Sy & Unknown remix)