“How to make a Big Band entertain the modern dance scene” – Dutty Moonshine interviewed

Dutty Moonshine portrait

Dutty Moonshine creates some of the most exciting tracks in the Electro Swing/Vintage Remix scene. With his bass-heavy broken-beat style DJ/producer Michael Rack is currently tearing bigger and bigger dancefloors apart. Read on for our exclusive interview:


How do you describe your music to someone who has not heard you before?

Dutty Moonshine: It’s action packed, dance floor destroying, impact based music all tied in with vintage samples. There’s nothing subtle or progressive about it. It’s pure energy and maximum fun.

How did you find your style? What are your biggest inspirations?

I found my style by watching other DJ’s as I got into dance music and thought “No they’re wrong, the crowd will be more excited by this”. My style was shaped around how to get a crowd into a frenzy.

I’ve since spotted other acts who do similar styles and have certainly learnt bits here and there from them such as DJ Binge of Engine Earz. DJ EZ is a current fave DJ of mine to check out, that style of mixing there…that’s the shit!

Dutty Moonshine

You seem to be well-connected with other musicians and promoters in the UK. Is there something like an “Electro Swing scene”? How would you describe it?

Oh yeah for sure but in England the “Electro Swing” crowd are far more open to variations on the genre i.e. Ghetto Swing or Swing n Bass. The UK also seems to like the heavier side of music. I think the UK has done more for the “Electro Swing” movement than any other country by challenging it on where it can go.

You mentioned once that people in Germany seem to prefer a different style of Electro Swing than what you do. Where do you think this comes from? Do you see the same differences in other countries?

Each country is slightly different. You play some countries and sometimes they just seem to be a few years behind on current music and other times they have a distinct style. The German scene has a distinct 4 to the floor style (house music) and apparently don’t go for the broken beats and heavy whomping basslines.

A German promoter once said to me when I was looking to try and get a show in Germany. “In the early days we had Kraftwerk and you had Drum and Bass, that’s the difference.”

I personally wish to challenge this and think a German promoter should take a risk and book me, I think I’ll put on one of the best sets they’ve ever had and that the German people do want more if given the opportunity.

Which of your tracks are you most proud of and why?

It’s actually a track that’s not out yet. It’s coming out in the new Big Band album due Halloween and it’s a cover of Duke Ellington – Caravan and it’s a very very very UK style track. Garage/UK Bass meets 1930’s Jazz standards. The drop is angry and very London but the build ups and breakdown are classic Swing meets classic 2-Step.

Dutty Moonshine Big Band

You recently announced several shows with a big band. What can people expect from that?

New fresh material written with a band in mind. Last year when we did the 11 Big Band dates it was mostly old material revamped by the band but this time we’ve written stuff from scratch with the band in mind and some very tasty stuff has come out of it. You can expect everything from Waltz, DnB, Jazz, Hip Hop and Blues.

How is it for you to play with a big band?

Challenging as hell…worth it.

What are your plans for the future?

The Big Band is to become the main focus for me, as we get better and better and more solid I aim to push the boundaries of what we can do. I’m going to work with composers and orchestra arrangers and really work out how to make a Big Band entertain the modern dance scene. I’m squirrelling money away so that in a couple of years time I’m going to host a show in the Royal Albert Hall in London and hire an entire orchestra for a one off show.

About marvis (205 Articles)
Marvis is the founder of Sweet Headache. He lives in Cologne (Germany) and has been a music nerd for a long, long time.

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