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DarkSyde presents Oris Jay - The don of dark breaks

DJ/Producer Oris Jay has been blowing up the UK Underground with the raw basslines, guttural riffs and bounding tempos that, in combination, set him apart as a producer and a DJ. Born and raised in the northern area of Pitsmoor, Sheffield, Oris is held to be, by what is largely a London-based scene, one of its strongest lifelines. Alongside other artists from the camp, (Horsepower, Zed Bias, El B), he has been integral in forging a new direction for a music formerly known as 2 Step or UK Garage. In particular, his edgy, darkside vibe injects the sound with an unprecedented energy, leading it forward towards a new, altered state of Break infused Garage. In both his production and DJ work, he showcases a new wave of music that is deep and grimey whilst at the same time, bouncy, charismatic and seductive, appealing to a crowd, now bored with grinding Breaks and sugary Garage.

Oris’ music is distinguishable by his specific style and character, but his sound joins forces with one that has been coming out of London for some time, reaching out across the pirate airwaves and into the clubs. Although his sound draws on all the UK Underground scenes of the past, (Breaks and UK Garage, but also on House, Hardcore, Drum and Bass), its final effect is by no means a re-hashing of these old music styles. The sound is something brand new, no longer classifiable in any genres that already exist. Whilst it is a combination of all the past music, it is more than the sum of all of its parts, emerging as the progressive sound of today’s underground.

DJ/Producer Oris Jay has been involved in the dance music scene since the days of Acid House but his career in the industry really started with the early jungle scene. In the early 90s, he was a member of the Northern-based Reflex Crew (alongside DJ Delta Romeo and MCs E-Man and Hero), playing around the raves of Leeds, Bradford and Manchester. Eventually, as the raves dried up and the crew disbanded, Oris turned his creative energy towards production, driven by a will to make the sounds that he wanted to hear.

It was around the same time, in the mid-Nineties, that the UK Garage scene started to develop in London. Oris began to spend increasing amounts of time in the Capital, frequenting raves, listening to the pirates and buying the tunes. Back up in Sheffield, he began to drop the sound into his sets. Undeterred by initial negative feedback, Oris kept on playing this new Underground music at local clubs and was amongst the first to pioneer the music beyond the London circuit.

Oris, all the time DJing, was hard at work, shaping his own tastes in the studio. Torn between the heavier, grittier sounds of Drum and Bass and the slower, vibey tempo of UK Garage, his production slowly began to fuse the two genres. One such track, “Biggin Up The Massive”, (featuring a recorded snippet from London MC Ranking) reflects his influences and his will to expand musical boundaries. Ranking gave the tune the thumbs up and EZ began to rinse it. It was this tune, on Relentless, that broke Oris into the London scene, paving the way for a new sound that was ready to advance back down the M1 and into the Capital’s clubs. “I have to thank the likes of Zed Bias and Steve Gurley because they managed to open doors for producers coming from outside London. After they came through, I think people on the inside of the industry got more open-minded”.

Ever true to the Underground and to his northern roots, Oris’ production rejects the sugary smoothness of popular Two-Step, but maintains the tempo. To this, he adds his own blend of breaks, and deep basslines that were previously more likely to be heard in a drum and bass tune. His one chart tune, “Trippin”, reached the Top 40 when it was re-released on Gut Records, but the majority of his work has remained unbendingly non-commercial, reflecting his propensity towards heavy, gritty and energetic production. Tracks like “Brand Nu Flava” (Props) and “Pipe Dreams “ (Soulja), released under Oris Jay’s more experimental alter ego, Darqwan, where championed by the Heartless Crew and EZ, confirming his leading position as a progressive Underground producer. He has since released groundbreaking tracks on his own label, Texture, such as “Confused?”, “Nocturnal” and “Said the Spider”. His remixes include Menta’s “Sounds of Da Future, Visionary’s “Acid Flex” and Ras Kwami’s “Down Down Bizniz” for Locked On. Forthcoming releases include “Metro” (Texture) and “Test Dis” (Bigga Beats/Polydor) in collaboration with Ms Dynamite.

For a time UK Garage thrived all over the country but eventually, it passed over the threshold of club credibility into full-blown commercialism. Its heroes became Britain’s modern day pop stars, with acts such as Dreem Teem, Luck and Neat, Craig David and even So Solid becoming house-hold names. As the audiences and the music grew evermore mainstream and formulaic, the cores of music followers were forced back Underground. The need to take a breather provided the scene’s innovators a chance to re-coop, fine-tune and charge themselves up. Over the months, the re-emergence of a new wave sound, fresh from studios all over the UK, worked its way into the pirates and clubs. At the hands of Underground producers, (artists such as Horsepower, Wookie, Zed Bias, Artwerk, Ghost, Bingo and Oris Jay), UK Garage music underwent a timely transformation and new life was breathed into the Dance.

DJs from many scenes have picked up on the sound of Oris Jay: from breaks DJS, Stanton Warriors, BLIM, Freq Nasty, to Broken Beat DJS like Dego (4-Hero), Charlie Dark (Attica Blues), Bugz in the Attic as well as Two-Step names, EZ, Pay as U Go, MJ Cole, Zed Bias, and Heartless Crew. His sound has also stirred up interest in various Drum and Bass camps, which previously showed no interest in Garage music. Oris is a pioneer who resides at the forefront of this scene, taking the sound over to North America and into the Eastern Block. He is also a resident at London’s leading Underground night, Forward, where he DJs alongside Zed Bias, Hatcha, J Da Flex, Horsepower, Landslide and MCs Specialist Moss and Ms Dynamite. His steppy tempo, combined with growling basslines and choppy rhythms represent the cutting-edge of British street sounds with tunes that are made for the dance-floor.

You can catch Oris Jay playing exclusively in his only first Australian appearance this Friday the 22nd of November at the Dendy Bar, Sydney. Supporting DJs Farj, Paul Fraser, Kid Kenobi, Q45, Ritual, MC Antic Tickets available online at inthemix.com.au and BPM records. $20+BF
DarkSyde presents Oris Jay
The don of dark breaks
Friday 22 November 2002
Dendy Bar Marin Place
Supporting DJs Farj, Paul Fraser, Kid Kenobi, Q45, Ritual, MC Antic