A drum & bass stalwart since the early 2000s, Friction has had an assured and steady rise to the loftier heights of the genre’s hierarchy and now unleashes FABRICLIVE 70. Born in Epsom, Surrey and raised in Brighton, Friction is a serious powerhouse who has maintained his staunch support for his genre through thick and thin. His tracks have been released through some of some of the most celebrated labels including Hospital, Metalheadz, Renegade Hardware and Trouble On Vinyl – which is where his very first track ‘Photon’ found a home. Rising up through the ranks due to both his dexterity as a selector and his deft touch in the studio, Friction found himself hanging out with influential figures like Shy FX and Mampi Swift, who took him under their wing and helped him to evolve into one of the scene’s most highly- regarded names. Now head of his own label, Shogun Audio, as well as holding down a residency on Radio 1 as the new voice of its d&b output, Friction’s versatility as a DJ has put him great demand from Tokyo to Los Angeles and beyond.
Friction cites travelling around with his self-employed father in his youth, as the trigger behind his love for music.
‘My dad was self-employed, always running around London in the car, I would often be with him and he would always listen to loads of music. Growing up in the 80s there was lots of great and varied music, loads of 80s Electro Pop type stuff and you had really cool funk from the likes of Marvin Gaye and Alexander O’Neal, those kind of guys. My old man always had music on in the car and many of my memories from the age of 13 are from being in the car with him, listening to those sounds. That was my early musical influence, very eclectic sounds…’ – Friction
His eclectic upbringing pervades even now and, with his personal tastes crossing every base from indie and grunge through to minimal techno. Years after those formative car journeys, Friction became a key exponent of the underground scene, landing his first gig at Fabric in 2002 when he was nominated for Best New DJ at the Drum & Bass Awards.
‘I remember the first time I played the club, it was a Drum & Bass Arena event and I was up for a ‘Best New DJ’ award, I played in Room Two and I remember thinking this is amazing! Obviously I’ve played there so many times since over the years and I love the club. I think out of most of the best clubs in the world, no one will EVER touch Fabric. When we had drum & bass at Fabric and The End the scene was just RIDICULOUS. Every week we had the two best clubs that were real institutions of drum & bass…’ – FrictionNow a regular at Fabric for its seminal Friday night events, Friction approaches his mix in an understandably considered way. With vast experience on the world stage, ranging from large-scale festivals such as America’s Electric Daisy Carnival, to smaller, more intimate 300-capacity clubs, Friction has directed his FABRICLIVE 70 mix to the dedicated listeners. Though it still has a wider appeal, at the core of the inspiration behind this mix are ‘the heads’, those who carry the music in their hearts, the headstrong for whom Friday nights at Fabric are an indelible part of their lifestyle, attending religiously week-in, week-out.
‘It’s really kind of how I would play in London or in fact how I would play to a more knowledgeable drum & bass crowd. It’s for the people who are well into the music, with artists like Rockwell, Break, Mefjus and Lenzman, its very much my kind of drum & bass, my take on drum & bass. Hopefully it will be for those people who have been into the music for a long time and who are really deep into the scene. Ultimately I’ve just tried to make it roll…’ – Friction
Friction shows off his incredible technical ability on FABRICLIVE 70, incorporating some of the best in the current field and keeping real to his roots and tastes. Friction has fused a technical flow of brilliance, crossing over subgenres of urban electronica, smooth R&B vocals, science-inspired tech grooves, hypnotic and atmospheric soundscapes and classic rolling, driving, heavy basslines. There is rarely a moment where he doesn’t have at least two tracks in the mix. Opening up the set explosively and throwing DC Breaks’ ‘Swag’ underneath Sam Wills’ vocals from Optiv & BTK’s ‘Understand VIP’, Friction then drops into an deeper, more melodic section including the VIP of Nymfo’s ‘Suddenly’ and Calibre’s classic mix of Badmarsh & Shri ‘Signs’. The mix pivots on Friction’s mash-up of the original and S.P.Y mixes of Alix Perez’ ‘Annie’s Song’ as the mix launches into its peak-time stretch. Yet, without standing still, the mix moves from the hands-in-the-air euphoria of Kove’s anthemic ‘Searching’ to the heads-down, tech-edged power of Icicle’s ‘Anxious’ as it builds towards its finale. The latter is amongst a number of previously unheard tracks forthcoming on Shogun Audio and SGN:Ltd, which, as part of a mix littered with unreleased cuts and exclusive VIPs, make FABRICLIVE 70 an essential for any serious drum & bass head.
Friction will launch FABRICLIVE 70 at Fabric on Friday 19th July, alongside Calyx & Teebee, Alix Perez B2B Icicle, Fabio (’93 Set), Breakage and Technimatic, together with MCs AD, GQ, Linguistics, SP: MC.
01 Optiv & BTK feat. Sam Wills – Understand VIP [Shogun Audio]
02 DC Breaks – Swag [Ram]
03 Enei & Emperor – Liberation [Critical]
04 Joe Ford – Instrument [unreleased] / The Upbeats – One Step [Vision] 05 InsideInfo & Mefjus – Mythos [Virus]
06 Nymfo – Suddenly VIP [Commercial Suicide]
07 Badmarsh & Shri – Signs (Calibre Mix) [Highly Blessed]
08 Technimatic – Bristol [Shogun Audio]
09 Alix Perez feat. D.Ablo – Playing Games VIP [Shogun Audio]
10 Villem & McLeod – Another Star [Samurai Red Seal]
11 AI – You Can Dream [Shogun Audio]
12 Total Science – Still Waiting [unreleased]
13 Technimatic – Sphere [SGN:Ltd]
14 Chords – Biting Point [Ram]
15 Technimatic – Intersection [SGN:Ltd]
16 Alix Perez feat. Sam Wills – Annie’s Song (Original vs S.P.Y Mash-Up) [Shogun Audio] 17 Dramatic – Keep Pushing Me [SGN:Ltd]
18 Kove – Searching [MTA]