Ec1 / Dj
Name: Ed Conrad
Favourite Genres: Old Skool Rave, Breakbeat, Hardcore, Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, Techno, Acid House
Other Hobbies: Looking after my two boys and teaching them the ways of the Jedi; Metal Detecting; Neolithic Tribal History of Britain; Archaeology; Growing food then cooking and eating it. Also hiking (normally carrying at least one of my kids part of the way these days).
Fave Tune: Mental Cube – Q (Santa Monica Mix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSqjIic4j-8
Biography: Having been introduced to electronic music at a young age by my older brother Jamie, in the form of such artists as Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre it wasn’t long until I discovered early underground rave music in 1990 via local pirate stations in the Birmingham area where I grew up, such as Starlight; Exile; Freedom; Supreme; Rave 105.2’ and Time FM and was instantly hooked. Many a night was spent hovering over the pause/record button on my radio cassette whilst adjusting the aerial in an attempt to capture a crackly tape recording of the latest tunes being played so I could listen to it on my walkman on the way to school…
Soon I decided to start collecting some vinyl of my own, so that I could listen to it without the signal interference or DJs talking over the best bits – the first record of this genre I bought was The Toxic E.P. on D-Zone Records (a label which was going to feature prominently in the collection as it grew), from a local record shop called Don Christie Records which mainly specialised in Reggae but had a small rave section. I became a regular at this shop, and as the popularity increased, the shop opened a dedicated basement catering solely for the ravers. It was on visits here after school to spend my paper round money that I first witnessed a DJ (DJ Obsession and later Shock C worked there) mixing up the tunes behind the counter, and was so fascinated by it I knew that I wanted to do that myself. I attempted all sorts of setups including using my dad’s two fully automatic belt drives in the left and right channel and using the balance to mix, or switching between tape and phono on the midi system – the recordings were hideous as there was no pitch control or finesse involved. I was now buying more breakbeat hardcore records, influenced by Easygroove, Ratty, Slipmatt, Sy and of course Top Buzz.
Due to the drain on my resources buying records that it wasn’t until I left school at 16 and got a job that I was able to afford my first real turntables – a pair of Soundlab DLP-2s – I still couldn’t afford a mixer so wired one into the left and one into the right channel of the amp and at least I could now teach myself pitch control to make the mixes sound a bit more reasonable. After a while I went on to get some headphones and a mixer – by this time it was 94, and I was mainly playing the more uplifting breakbeat hardcore tunes on labels such as Kniteforce, Just Another Label and Hectic. I soon met some like-minded people and we started going to Diehard in Leicester every week – the atmosphere and vibe in there was amazing and I met ravers from all over the country which then led to attending some of the bigger raves such as Helter Skelter, United Dance and Dreamscape. It was at these larger events that I discovered Jungle/Drum and Bass and soon switched my alliance from the Hardcore scene which was sadly moving away from the breakbeats to a more stompy kickdrum based affair which wasn‘t my cup of tea. Despite this new musical taste, I still continued to go to Diehard every week for the social aspect as it was always full of friendly faces..
Fast forward to 1999 and I had my first break, at a night run by a mate I knew from Diehard, in Milton Keynes, playing old skool 92 hardcore – I was shaking like a leaf but assisted by some dutch courage I got behind the decks and after about half an hour I was brave enough to look up and saw people dancing which filled me with confidence, spurring me on to play more. Following me was the legendary Clarkee and I was chuffed when he mixed his first tune seamlessly into my last. After this I never looked back and have been fortunate to play at a few nights around the local area and sometimes further afield. Some of the nights I have played at include Timeless; Distant Planet; Osmosis; Bosh; Shuddervision; Saucered; Scum Like Us; Old Skool Story; Unity; Bass Generation; Early Doors; Asbo; Magnetik (resident); Stewpigity (resident); Methodz; Sumo Soundsystem and Raiders of The Old Skool (boat party). My most memorable gig was providing the all day and night musical entertainment for the National Wakeboard Championship 2010, being paid in beer and watching all the spectators slowly get wasted, stop being interested in the ongoing water sports and more interested in dancing to the music. I also co ran a successful event with a couple of mates called Dance Off Ur Turkey, on Boxing Day every year aimed at providing a post festivities party, which we then extended to four parties a year.
I have been with Rave Radio since 2010, initially playing alongside Deadcell and Kanza before taking a weekly slot of my own on Wednesday evenings. Styles you can catch me playing are Old Skool Hardcore 91-93, Acid House, Techno, Breakbeat, Jungle, Drum and Bass, Hip Hop (Early to mid-nineties mostly) and all sorts of other weird stuff (lots of early Warp Records and Ninja Tune). Where the old skool is concerned I try to go for the more obscure tunes but sometimes cross into the more mainstream played out ones. I don’t do a lot of talking (not sure where I put the microphone after the recent house move) but maybe this will change soon (if I locate the mic). I have lots of records to select from, and the collection is always growing – I stopped buying current drum and bass or following any kind of modern genre in 2013 and now concentrate entirely on filling gaps from the early 90s via the medium of discogs – it never ceases to amaze me how many good tunes there are still out there to be reminded of or even discovered for the first time, 30 years after being made. Feel free to browse the collection at the link provided and give me some requests for the show!
After relocating to Ashbourne, then Nottingham a few years ago for work, in my daytime profession as a Transformer Draughtsman, and starting a family I have taken a brief hiatus from the scene but I am keen to get back behind the decks – vinyl ones only as I never converted to digital, simply because of the time and money invested into buying tunes over the years it seems a shame not to play them – although whenever moving house time comes around I start to think differently…
Downloadable mixes: https://dnbshare.com/download/?q=EC1
Record Collection: https://www.discogs.com/user/edmanwalkin/collection