Jaycut can certainly be considered a driving force within the German Drum&Bass (DnB) scene. Not only does he organize the monthly PLAY! parties in Cologne, but he is also the head behind the hugely popular website drumandbass.de .
I met with him to talk about the state of the German DnB scene, the rise of Dubstep and UK Funky and his personal history in music. Let’s start with a DJ set by Jaycut. He released this one under his other pseudonym “Jon Automata” which shows his love for Dubstep, UK Funky, Bassline House and related genres:
“I started DJing at the Basswerk parties in Cologne a couple of years ago. However, as I started to work on more and more things on my own, it became obvious that I had to start doing my own party series. I was running a web TV show called Broken Beatz TV with a friend at that time and we invited DnB artists into our show every week and had them play at our party after that. This is where our PLAY! parties evolved from.”
Over the years, Jaycut has gotten to know quite a few people that are as crazy about music as he is. While I had the impression that he is a busy man who knows what we wants and how to throw a good party, he mentions a lot of supporters while we talk, including his DJ buddy Kolt Siewerts and the editors of Headliner Magazine, a DnB magazine that he occasionally features on his website.
While the worldwide Breakbeat and Drum&Bass scene is very much focussed on artists and releases from the UK, those styles are still pretty much an underground phenomenon on Germany. Unnoticed from the general public, there are quite a few well-frequented parties in many cities outside of the UK. This is also one of the reasons why Jaycut is not afraid of playing hits:
“A lot of DJs think they have to play the true underground stuff only, but that doesn’t really make sense to me. I like to play hits. I mean, this music is totally underground here anyway, so why shouldn’t I play the hits? Besides, it is still a big difference between a female vocal over a House beat and the same vocal over a Breakbeat. It just feels a lot less cheesy to me.”
The recent rise of Dubstep and UK Funky has resonated with many Drum&Bass players as well, and Jaycut is no exception here. While his PLAY! events still focus on fast Drum&Bass, his newer party series called 40Hz concentrates on bass-oriented music such as UK Funky, Fidget House and Dubstep. While those styles actually sound quite different from each other, Jaycut sees a clear connection here:
“It is all very bass-heavy music, and the beats are also very different from most Techno and House productions that people are used to. I think it’s great that these styles are gaining so much attention right now, because that also helps attract new audiences that wouldn’t normally go to a DnB party. I sometimes even notice people who actually look confused when I start playing DnB after playing slower beats. For me, those styles are not that far apart, but for many people this seems to be a new world.”