WEM mini-series | PD explains why good drum and bass should feel like home

Peter Matthews aka PD (a nickname acquired from friends and family) is new to the scene and hungry to make a name for himself. Born and raised in Johannesburg – South Africa, He spent most of his time skateboarding the streets and listening to multiple genres of music, mainly Cypress Hill, Korn, and Genesis. Back in 2004 PD’s family relocated to a Newbury, UK, where he discovered and fell in love with Drum & Bass/Jungle.

He met Davide Manzoni aka DJ Manza, an Old Skool Industrial/Minimal Tech DJ who taught him how to DJ, in 2008, after moving to London. He spent the next 3 years as a bedroom DJ mixing Drum & Bass, House, Minimal Tech, Hip-Hop, Old Skool Industrial, Psych Trance, and anything he enjoyed listening to.

In 2011, PD joined the Rythmixz crew where over the next 4 years he discovered Old skool breakbeat and learned about the history of the UK rave scene, playing at social gatherings with the crew. Among the names he follows, he noted Marky, Incident, Jam thieves, Phil Tangent, Skeptical, Horrific James, Subsets, Tom Small, dBridge, Random Movement, Command Strange or The Vanguard Project, as his source of inspiration.

Two years ago, he decided to get right down to business and kick start his DJing career with a course at London Sound Academy (LSA). Since then, PD’s journey has been progressing quickly. He started hosting a weekly Drum and Bass show every Thursday on Exposed Beats, he joined the Warm Ears family, played multiple gigs in and outside of London and – we remember this one very clearly – he startled the dancefloor at our launch party in Romania, when he premiered his very own Drum and Bass track.

pdWhat do you usually start with when preparing for a set?

I usually have a good dig for some new tracks, then go through my current library and select a few from there, and make a couple of playlists. Other than that, I practice and experiment with as many different tracks as I can leading up to the set.

What are currently your main challenges as a D&B DJ?

For me it’s trying to find a healthy balance between family, work and DJing. A lot of people don’t realise the time and effort it takes to be a professional DJ (I didn’t before I started). Going through hundreds, if not thousands, of tracks to find what you feel is your style/sound. Since I’ve started working on my own tracks finding that balance and keeping it has become even harder. But I love what I do, and all the support that I get from family and friends has helped a lot, I believe that good things come from hard work and determination.

What do you think are your responsibilities as a DJ and upcoming producer towards the D&B scene?

I feel it’s important to keep the history of the scene alive through the music I select and tracks I produce. I try not to bite on anyone else’s style and ensure people are enjoying what they hear and it’s something new, yet at the same time it feels like home. I want to make sure I stay true to my own sound as an individual but give back the emotion, clarity and calmness the scene has given me.

What would you like to see more of and less of in the D&B scene?

I would like to see more labels getting together to create joint events and support each other showing unity, love and admiration. I want to see less demeaning comments on social media and in general towards DJ’s who make use and explore new technology. We need to embrace the generation that’s breaking through and try to understand them as we can learn as much from them as they can from us.

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