What draws most people to electronic music? Drum N Bass has always been the futuristic style of electronic music. Whether you got into this sound in the early 90's, during the new millennium, or recently, you can hear how fast it is constantly changing. It is our responsibility, as artists, to keep moving in that direction. My goal with every piece of music is to create something original. Every moment in the studio should be a learning experience.
Co-Founder of Bassline Syndicate, HellNegative has developed a unique sound which encompasses cinematic builds, heavy basslines, and energetic breaks. Each set is curated to create a unique experience ensuring that the story told is never the same twice. Born in Vegas and Raised in Cincinnati, the cultures from both cities have been a huge influence with crews such as Konkrete Jungle, Hardcore Las Vegas, Cincinnati Underground, Nothing But Respect, and Techno Belligerent. These relationships landed HellNegative bookings all over the west coast, upper Midwest, Mexico, and Canada. Drum N Bass and Hardcore are no longer just styles of music, but are now a living part of his persona which explode out of the sound system and into the audience.
It has been a long journey from my humble beginnings with only two records (Glenn Jones - Jumpin Motherfuckers and Switch - Phoenix). Along the way new skills have been developed with every milestone. Going from strictly hardcore, to turntablism, to drum n bass. Then going from strictly vinyl, to DVS, to Controllerism. I have travelled many paths within the art form of Deejaying.
Along the way, production went from being a hobby to the most important part of my musical journey. Realizing that I had the power to create the sounds in my head instead of finding the closest thing in someone else's track was the turning point for me. At that time, the future unveiled itself.
Every single day is spent in front of my DAW practicing the art of electronic music production. While the focus has been Drum N Bass, other genres have come out of the constant experimentation. Only now am I developing a sound that is truly my own.
My brother was involved in the electronic music scene already. Though it was really the influence of one song that caught my interest into this music. I was 9 years old when the movie hackers came out. That introduction with Halcyon On & On by Orbital made me re-examine how I listened to music. I was young, but I remember before that I only paid attention to the lyrics.
It was after that, I began digging through my older brother's mix tapes. He had mixtapes from DJ Tron, Heretic, and a few others. The mix tape Fucking Ballistic 666 was the cassette to really grip me by the ears. Something about that hardcore and techno sound just got my blood pumping.
For the next 5 years I spent most of my free time sketching and listening to his mix tapes plus whatever else I could find on my own. PureacidMixtapes.com was pretty popular back then. It wasn't until 1999, though, when I got hold of Live at Better Living Through Tricknology from DJ Tron and Delta 9 that something sparked. I listened to that and said, "Man.. I gotta be doing that now!" So, that Christmas I got my first set of decks. A couple of belt drive Numarks and a POS Gemini mixer. I didn't even have vinyl until that February, but I stood back and stared at that setup every day. Finally I got my first two records (Jumpin Motherfuckers and Pheonix). One was HardCore and the other was DNB. This was back when SatelliteRecords.com was still around.
I played those records back and forth continuously before making my next order. That following summer while visiting my brother and father in Vegas, I went to my first record shop. Dr. Freeclouds was like heaven. I spent every penny I had for the trip out to LA in that store that day. Not only that, I got to meet Ron. That's when I realized how friendly this culture was. Here is this guy I looked up to as a DJ and producer who just chills in his shop and talks to everyone who walks in.
My first DJ name was also my *cough cough* not so legal cyber stuff moniker Minus Rophucs. I continued with this name until the summer before my junior year of high school. I had been collecting a dnb tune here and there. My brother took me back out to LA again. This time we did a full record shop tour. We hit up Dr. Freecouds, DMC, FatBeats, and future, The record shop that really caught my attention was Drum N Bass worldwide headquarters on Melrose. It was in this apartment upstairs. I was digging through the used crates and found just straight gems man. I mean these were the records I heard on mix tapes from Heretic, Usual Suspects, Ed Rush & Optical, SS, and more. I bought two crates of vinyl just to have those tunes I heard other kats play. That was the first time I bought records out of nostalgia. I didn't know what that nostalgia would turn into.
August came around and it was time for my first real gig. My brother dropped me off at the Alexis Park hotel in Vegas. It was time for me to drop some hardcore and speedcore at Defcon 10. Up until this point I had always played on belt drive turntables. Of course they had the technics setup. Needless to say, I was safety and window mixing the whole set cause beat matching took a different turn.
I went back home to Ohio. I started digging through those DNB records. Next thing you know, my hardcore records began to collect dust. Something about that progression, that feel, that tribal urge to move your body to the broken beats, and the challenge of mixing something out of the normal 4X4 just meshed perfectly with my flow. I felt at home with those records. This was the first time I ever fell in love. I played the occasional house party or field party, but it was two more years before I finally got my first real gig at a rave. Man was I excited. We hit up Rocky Horror Picture Show then headed to the event. The DNB was locked in the attic and the hardcore in the bassment. I don’t remember ever stepping foot in the main room, except on my way to piss. My timeslot came up and I was ready to rock the house. I was on at 9pm, but I made sure those ten people in front of me never stopped dancing. I went from JumpUp to TechStep to Ragga and through some rollers finishing my set up with Rock The Funky Beats by Natural Born Chillers. That was it. That was the start of something I knew I couldn't control.
The internet was kicking pretty hard already at that time. I made some good connects on DarkStep.org and through MySpace. I had already been meddling around with producing hardcore, but started to feel more DNB. I made this tune in Synapse Orion Platinum that had the heaviest bassline I ever came up with. I started thinking that Minus Rophucs was a great name, but not fitting to my style or persona. After thinking through a bunch of possibilities, finally the name HellNegative came about.
I posted mixes here and there, but it was my production that got me in contact with Dj Edgey. We spoke a lot back and forth on the forums about moving forward with different sounds and production tips and whatnot. He got me involved with some kats down in Louisville, KY. I got a booking at this billiard hall playing an all DNB set. I thought to myself, damn, I need to get out of the countryside. I was working in Cinci at that time so the transition was pretty easy. It wasn't long until I found some true DNB heads, Hatchett Jimmy and Bradmack. We clicked pretty well and began to work together. I progressed from there playing parties in Cinci, Indianapolis, Detroit, Louisville.
2006 came around and the sound of DNB changed. We saw this kind of intelligence coming into the genre. Matrix, futurebound, Fresh, and Aquasky were putting out these records with real emotion and build. I started going that route and playing/producing tunes that really had travel and storyline. This allowed me to get bookings on non'dnb lineups. Next thing I know, I’m travelling to Virginia and going down the 95 to Atlanta, then Miami. Each stop had new faces, new experiences and new influence. In 2008, I found out my father's ALS was getting worse. It was hard for me to leave my life on the east coast, but it was time to head west. I arrived in Vegas in a beat up Ford Escort that barely survived the trip full of vinyl and equipment. The scene in Vegas seemed to be on a slow decline towards death, so I didn't focus on bookings here. I had way more to deal with, like finding a job and my father.
I focused hard on production and developing my skillset. I got my first release on Urban Muzik in 2009. After that I focused back on Deejaying. It was time to play some gigs. Around this time I met up with Elektroholic. He had recently moved into town from LA. We met at Jingle beats vs. HCLV. That was a fun night. Shortly after that I became a regular on their digital radio station with most of its listeners from Cali. That ended up leading to gigs in SoCal. Playing at the CrudMuffin in Long Beach was one of the greatest DJ experiences I had. The turnout was small and the venue was small, but the people that were there really loved the music and I could tell they were there for just that. It was more than a party, it was a group of like-minded individuals sharing the same passion for something they love. Vegas at that point was starting to pick up again as well. I landed a few gigs playing for White Ape and Electromuted.
In 2010, my brother passed away. He really was the one that got me into this whole deal. I knew then I had to focus twice as hard on this. It was how we connected. It was the one thing we could always talk about and enjoy together no matter what was going on in our lives. Later that year, my father moved to Miami. He wanted me to come with, but life ended up taking me tin a different direction altogether.
The scene in the Pacific Northwest was banging, man. Every gig I played from house parties to warehouse events was packed shoulder to shoulder. I got a chance to play in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Billings. This was really something. These people dig this music and this sound.
Of course, all adventures come to an end and I ended up back in Vegas mid-2011. Man things changed in that short amount of time. New promoters were in town with new venues. Although the turnouts were still low, the parties themselves were a lot of fun. I ended up connecting with this kat Cee Li (We miss and still love you very much my friend) from AZ. Man was this guy on his shit. He helped me get bookings in AZ, Reno, Tahoe, and SLC. The southwest had been conquered. Life was good and things were progressing well.
2017 was a wonderful year. There was a tremendous growth in the stateside Drum N Bass scene as a whole which lead to some amazing opportunities. We got to really take a step back and work on the marketing game as we launched into 2018.
2018 saw a lot of growth and opportunity. The journey took me to new cities with new faces. Ice Queen productions brought it full proper for both Adventures in Wonkaland and Raver Day at Cedar Point. Jump Up took over the DNB world.
2019 is the year of the Roller. I took it a little slow this year. Most free time was spent working on production. A lot of learning was done about sound design, music theory, and post creative process. With less gigs to prepare for, plenty of monstrous tunes are in the works for 2020.