With his triple CD album ‘Til Death Us Do Party’ finally released, we thought it was high time we caught up with Brisk and got the lowdown on one of Hardcore’s longest serving and most respected artists.
Tell us what the album ‘Til Death Us Do Party’ represents to you?
“In a nutshell, it is a snapshot of my journey through Hardcore music featuring past, present and previously unreleased tracks. The idea was to encompass as much of the ‘Brisk sound’ as possible across 3 discs featuring remixes, original tracks and collaborations along with a DJ mix. In essence, I see it as my musical portfolio.”
What is it about Hardcore that has kept you interested and active in the genre for over 20 years?
“I’ve always loved the intensity, energy and vibe of Hardcore in all of it’s guises. I remember discovering House music, Acid and early Breakbeat in the late 1980s/early 1990s and I was instantly hooked. My addiction has gone from strength to strength as time has gone by and certainly shows no signs of letting up!”
How well have you adjusted to life in Australia and being away from the UK ‘DJ circuit’?
“It’s been a strange and unusual transition. Music has been my full time vocation for over 20 years and playing out practically every weekend across the UK and beyond was my life. While I still DJ here in Australia, the scene isn’t as big and so bookings aren’t anywhere as frequent as they used to be. That’s been tougher to deal with than I first thought as I really miss the crowds, the vibe and excitement. Don’t get me wrong, the Australian scene and ravers are awesome too, but life is very different here for me. That said, the lifestyle is very different and offers of lot of opportunity to do other things away from the music industry.I’m definately looking forward to coming back for a UK visit soon!”
What are your personal favourite tracks on the album and why?
“You know, I really don’t have any favourites per se. I’m really happy with the final selection and I think I’ve managed to avoid including any ‘filler’ tracks with every production on the album being really strong. That said, I’d be interested to see the feedback on the tracks and which ones grab the attention of individuals and why.”
The artwork is quite unlike anything that’s been done before within our genre, what influenced your choices there?
“The album is a very personal project for me and as such I wanted the artwork to reflect as much about me as I could fit on the sleeve. This includes hobbies, interests and things that influenced me over the years. Japanese artwork (specifically dragons and tattoos), BMX (I used to race back in the day), graffiti (Brisk used to be my ‘tag’), motorcycles, skateboarding, and of course music are all featured. The main body of artwork was put together by my friend Mike Saga from the U.S and then final tweaks made by Ollie Brown (a.k.a MC Obie). I think the end result is fantastic and really striking, I hope you do too!”
What do you think are the most fundamental changes that have taken place in the scene since you started out?
“If we’re talking about the fundamental principles of raving, then not much has changed. A promoter books artists, artists come and perform and people come to watch their idols, dance their arses off and have a great time – the basics are very simple. The modern scene represents a lot of technological advances in terms of lighting, equipment and of course the digital music era. I’d also add that the popularity of MCs has risen too, certainly in the UK scene. This doesn’t seem to have carried across to other territories though – for example; whilst they are popular here in Australia, they don’t necessarily ‘make or break’ someones set or event.”
What do you think the genre needs to do in order to continue?
“That’s easy – promoters, artists, labels all need to make an effort to work together and support each other in all of our endeavours within the industry. Politics will always be rife in any industry however, I’ve witnessed a LOT of negativity since my departure from the UK. The bitchiness, rave-scene scandals and general unprofessionalism I’ve seen online don’t help to promote our genre in a positive way. From an artist and DJ perspective, I can cast my mind back to a time when a number of the established DJs would regularly meet, swap music, support and play one another’s music. The individual record sales and popularity for certain titles we all supported were much higher. A coincidence? I think not. In modern times everyone seems hell bent on having a wallet full of exclusive material rather than supporting one another’s music.”
The mix CD on your album spans a great many years through it’s tracklist; has their definately been a period in your career that you regard as the time you enjoyed it the most?
“I would choose the 1990s for a number of reasons;
1. These were the years in which I achieved many goals, both as a DJ and as an artist and label owner.
2. The sheer volume of quality, varied music being released on a weekly basis was just incredible. Every week in any specialist record shop across the UK was magical and I was like a kid in a candy shop!
3. The scene was just so vibrant with every town and city seemingly having it’s own incredible scene, rave nights and atmosphere.
4. I had a full head of hair and a magnificent pony tail.”
What’s next for you musically?
“I’ve had a bit of a hiatus from production due to emigration and organising my new life in Australia, not to mention the release of this album. Once the dust has settled on this project I will be working on some new releases with the guys from Hardcore Underground, planning a UK tour and have other visits lined up for other territories too. There’s even talk of another edition of the NG podcast ;)”
Tell people why YOU think they should buy ‘Til Death Us Do Party’.
“If you’ve ever been a fan of my style or Next Generation then I’d thoroughly recommend this album to you. Not only are there 14 previously unreleased collaborative tracks on here, there are digital remasters of some of my infamous remixes – a definite win for the collectors and Old Skool fans out there. There’s also a typically ‘Brisk’ DJ mix on disc 3 too, so make sure you play it! Seriously though, without giving you the ‘hard sell’, this is a very personal project to me for many reasons and it holds numerous and dear memories across the 20+ years that I’ve been in the game. I hope you enjoy the album and that it provides you with some cherished memories of your own.”
‘DJ Brisk – Til Death Us Do Party’ (3xCD) is out now, and available to order exclusively from the Hardcore Underground store. It contains an entire disc of upfront DJ friendly music, a disc full of re-mastered and updated Brisk remixes (also DJ friendly), plus a third mix CD: