Having previously cooked up mixes for Rinse FM as well as a fabriclive installment, Oneman’s new Solitaire Vol 1 mixtape is a well-hyped and unaffiliated offering.
Conglomerating cuts from Dizzee Rascal, Gucci Mane, S-Type and TEED, Solitaire Vol. 1 is a clear demonstration of the direction Oneman is headed. He’s dabbling with the trap sounds of TNGHT and Waka Flocka Flame, funneling these cuts into more stripped back beats while also harking back to the zenith of UK garage and grime.
A figure synonymous with the Rinse FM station and the brand and subculture surrounding it, the origins of illegal broadcasts and guerrilla tactics made for an aggressive movement and an unmistakable sound. Having grown up in Streatham during the original impact of UK garage, the part Oneman plays in the landscape now is twofold. It’s not as if he’s attempting to initiate a full-on renaissance of the UK garage scene, but it’s DJs like Oneman who help embed these sounds into the consciousness of a clubbing generation who narrowly missed it.
The fact that remixes for the likes of The xx share the same YouTube channel as a sinister re-workings of JME and Tempa T show both diversity of taste and the creative elasticity of this guy. The year ahead is looking increasingly good for Oneman too: it’s been confirmed that he’ll play the new Pleasure Principle festival, where he’ll share the bill with established heavyweights like Rustie, Just Blaze, Joy Orbison and Jackmaster.
So firstly, could you tell us about the ideas behind that Dro Carey X TLC Silly Ditko track you just dropped, it’s definitely caught our attention.
I was just playing around with a bunch of 90s RnB acapellas and weird new beats. Some were terrible, some were good, but this one definitely works. No idea behind it really, just luck of the draw!
Could you talk us through the vibe of the Solitaire Vol.1 mixtape?
Unlike the Rinse and Fabric CDs I did, I wanted to make this really my own, showcasing all styles you would hear me typically play in a club rather than just one direction. The first 30 minutes is more broken house stuff, the middle part is 70bpm grime, dubstep and rap stuff; and the last part 80bpm jukey shit.
Would you say that you tailor the vibe of the mixes especially for your hosts?
Yeah, for sure, I’ll always take my audience into account. It’s important that the ‘pure DJ’ does that. So the Rinse CD was a pretty laid back mix of upfront stuff, and the Fabric a past and present look at what I would play at the club.
Could you tell us about your earliest experiences of DJing?
My earliest experiences were with my friends in school, just messing about and buying records in a shop that only sold records and tapes. My early gigs were usually in pretty empty places, I’d play dubstep mixed with older 2step records, fusing what I started with against stuff I was picking up at the current time.
What are your feelings about the current wave of US hip-hop, and generally the more trap-leaning sound. There’s traditionalists who aren’t so keen…
It’s just a style. You have to take it for what it is. There’s been the dark, minimal ignorant rap stuff coming out of Memphis since like ’94, and Three Six Mafia won an Oscar for It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp in 2006. So it’s not really a new thing but I love it. It’s super simple and it works in clubs. Just like grime really, some tracks have that same energy for sure
There’s also this debate around (t)rap music and the way it’s being incorporated into ‘dance’ circles. Why do you like to incorporate it into your sets?
I think in doses it’s ok, a whole set of trap is too much for me, I’ve heard a bunch of tapes that are too epic with the synth work etcm but some tracks are great. The more ‘grimey’ tracks can be powerful stuff.
Which producers and/or DJs do you have high hopes for in 2013?
Mokona, DJ Vague … the whole Templar Sound camp really… Morris, Cliques. Loads of great music to look forward to this year.
Your remix of The xx has had some major hype, which other artists would you like to put your stamp on?
I want more Juicy J acapellas!
You’ve played all over the world in the last year, aside from London, are there a few shows from last year which totally stand out?
Beacons Festival was awesome, can’t wait for it again this year! Real small festival close to Peak District, great line up with guys like Pearson Sound, Lunice and Koreless playing. I played at Solange Knowles’ birthday party in an East London pub. It was a tiny gathering and Jay-Z & Beyoncé were there, it was a trip. The Young Turks party in Sydney last Feb was also amazing, with SBTRKT, Caroline from Chairlift, John Talabot & Bullion. It was in this tiny club/restaurant and I got myself a kangaroo burger before the show. Good people good music, that’s what it’s all about!
Solitaire Vol 1 Tracklisting:
Bones Thugs & Harmony – Thuggish Ruggish (Acapella)
Fatima Al-Qadiri – Hydran
Cliques – AUT
Guy Andrews – Hand In Mine
FaltyDL – Uncea
Martyn – Bad Chicago
Cherie Lee – Love Me Or Leave Me (Club Dub)
Lando Kal – Can’t Help Myself (Antony Shakir Remix)
T.E.E.D – Your Love (Pearson Sound Remix)
Machinedrum – Van Vogue
Katie Got Bandz – Hittaz Only
Trusta – Bulletproof
Boddika x Somepoe – UNTITLED (Oneman Edit)
Fis-T – Atoms
Pev & Kowton – Raw Code
Diplo – Diplo Rhythm
L-Vis1990 – Ballad 4D
Shawn Kemp x Supasortahuman – Go Away
Rossi B & Luca & Ill Murk – Oneman Special
Desto – Instafreeze
Chief Keef – Kobe
Dro Carey & Grown Folk – Southern Smoke
TNGHT x B.O.B ft. T.I & Juicy J – Still Bugg’n This Bitch (Oneman Edit)
Desto – 550
Darq-E-Freaker & Danny Brown – Blueberry
Dizzee Rascal – I Luv U (Instrumental)
Juicy J – Who Da Neighbours
Mr. B – Unicorn Wit Da Trap House
Mondie ft. Napper – Straight
Macabre Unit – 1000 Years From Now
Gucci Mane – I’m The Shit (SCNTST Remix)
DJ Vague – Porsche Trax 3
Waka Flocka Flame x Ginuwine – Hard In The Pony (Oneman Edit)
Twista & Kanye West – Overnight Celebrity (Instrumental)
Grown Folk ft. Main Attraktionz – I.C.E.
Mala – Cuba Electronica
SpaceGhostPurrp – Raider Prayer
Plasticman – Cha (Zomby Remix)
S-Type – Whole Lotta
Mokona – Untitled
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Words: Duncan Harrison