Copydbwoy Presents 012: Mike Mission
Here’s the new episode of Copydbwoy Presents that was really planned to be out as number 010. This guest mix and interview means a lot for me. I’ve got feeling like I got connected with something big. Mike Mission is professional, established artist you should know.
I’m totally in love with this selection. I wish I could be there when this sound was on top. In my dreams people still producing and playing oldschool house & garage. Not just played but promote, and do it properly.
This mix is kind of ‘All classics’ you should drop on your protable music device and listen a lot. It’s the only way to understand nowadays garage scene.
Know your roots. Put some time and efforts in to find it. Love it & listen to Mike Mission that’s your mission as UK garage music listener.
Interview with Mike Mission.
Copydbwoy: Please, introduce yourself.
Mike Mission: My real name is Mike Darby, I am 39 years this December. I am of Jamaican decent (Black British) born in Lenton, Nottingham, England. I am an Audio Visual Engineer, qualified Sound Engineer. Married for 6 years, having four years old son Leo.
Copydbwoy: Such a pleasure to talk with established person who saved passion for quality music and took it through life to become audio visual professional. Big up for that!
Copydbwoy: I know you are experienced DJ and producer, how long do you produce?
Mike Mission: I have been a DJ for over 20 years and producing for around 10 years.
Copydbwoy: What are your general musical roots?
Mike Mission: I grew up listening to Electric Funk, Elektro, Soul, New Jack Swing and Hip-Hop!
Copydbwoy: I’m sure there is a story about how you came to garage scene. Tell us please.
Mike Mission: I studied Multimedia Media at Greenwich University, London between 96-99 and I was lucky enough to stumble onto DeJaVu FM when I was chilling out or had free time. This style of music had everything that I needed & when I went out to clubs like Legends, Penge Parties & Imperial Gardens. Tuff Jam was the style that really clinched it for me. Their music sounded like it was made by black folk for black folk, so I identified with it instantly. Plus the fact that the sound engineering training had already taught me how to hear the elements in music production instead of just listening made it impact on me so much more! I felt extremely lucky to witness the evolution of this authentic London underground music scene, similar to Jungle in 94! I immediately started visiting the record shops armed with my student grant to discover all the great tunes that were coming out then. Uptown records, Blackmarket Records, HMV and some other Soho based stores. Garage took over London clubs like a plague as it was so much in demand “DJ’s used to nice up the place” with Garage. UK Garage went nationwide after Chocolate Boy by Shanks & Bigfoot was released I think!
Copydbwoy: Traditional question from me. What’s the story behind your nickname?
Mike Mission: When I started playing garage in 1995 my DJ name was Mike ‘Da Bass’ Darby due to my love for the bass and how my mixes sounded. The name then developed further due to my military background! I once served in HM Armed Forces and was based In Germany. The ‘Mission’ nickname came from being so meticulous and tenacious during my mixing similar to a soldier on a mission! I often heard “Mike your so on a mission when you’re in the mix mate” so ‘Mike Mission’ came so naturally from then on!
Copydbwoy: Great story!
Copydbwoy: How your production process goes? What’s important for you?
Mike Mission: I’ve always loved my heavy deep resonating bassline, so I always incorporate songs that evoke some kind of emotion which can trigger some nostalgic memory. This is what I try to bring out in my mixes. The need to ensure that every mix is better than the last one, kind of motivates me.
Copydbwoy: What kind of equipment do you use in your studio?
Mike Mission: I use 2 x Technics (1210MK2) 2x Vestax Pro CD-05s & 1 x Pioneer Pro DJM-600. Win7, running Ableton Live, Acid, Sound Forge, Fruityloops and multiple VST plugins.
Copydbwoy: What influenced you through your background? Tell about your favorite producers, DJ’s, MC’s and radio stations.
Mike Mission: Favourite producers are UKG legends Tuff Jam, Noodles, MJ Cole, New Horizons and RIP Productions. I love similarity between UKG and the up-tempo cousin New Jack Swing. I started seriously dancing and clubbing back then in 92. See I’m a club/party dancer at heart. I know what makes people want to get down & shake everything at once and that helps when I’m producing/mixing music. Pirate radio stations like Dejavu FM were a big influence back in 94 and helped to push UKG nationwide. MC’s Munchie & Creed was so influential and knew how to enhance the DJ without flooding the sound which totally blew my mind when they got it right!
Copydbwoy: Yeah, DejavuFM is still very influential!
Copydbwoy: Tell about your mixes and releases please.
Mike Mission: The majority of my mixes are of the oldskool flavour and filled with pure non-stop club bangers. I feel that when I’m on the floor in the club I want the DJ to surprise me and sustain that anticipation! I have released one track partnered with another so called DJ (who will remain unmanned) back in 2003 only to get stiffed on the royalties are copyright. A real eye opening experience and one I have learnt from. Age does bring wisdom! Remixes are a way to showcase production skills and passion.
Copydbwoy: Tell about your goals and plans.
Mike Mission: Constantly producing/mixing & extending my dance music knowledge in various genres in the hope of being recognised for my passions & skills.
Copydbwoy: Let’s talk about things you’ve already achieved.
Mike Mission: I have recently become a father of the most beautiful baby boy Leo but musically I assisted one of the members of The Anthill Mob on their input for: Rewind 4Ever: The History of UK Garage!
Copydbwoy: Big up Leo. Boy got great father!
Copydbwoy: Tell us producing and DJ tip that could help young musicians.
Mike Mission: Ensure that the tracks in your mixes evoke emotions/reactions good or bad! Also make sure your tracks are compatible with each other in your set. This can be achieved by a dummy mix or pre/warm up mix before you start recording or playing out! When recording or producing, the signal to noise ratio is imperative! There is nothing worse than hearing a great track or mix but the audio quality is piss poor! S/N ratio is the key to getting good audio quality. A good audio signal to start will result in a good recording quality. NB- You can’t polish enhance a weak/shit sound!
Copydbwoy: Great talk. Thank you. Now we enjoying your guest mix. Looking forward to hear more from you!
01. Tuff Jam – Set It Off (Unda-Vybes Vocal Mix)
02. New Horizons – Find The Path (In Your Mind) (Sweet Release EP Mix)
03. Norris ‘The Boss’ Windross – Funky Groove (Remix)
04. Tuff Jam – Set It Off (Vybe Alive Vocal Mix)
05. Norris ‘The Boss’ Windross – Funky Groove (Norris ‘The Boss’ Club Dub)
06. Roy Davis Jr – Gabriel (Tambourine Dub)
07. 95 North – Elevation (Red Solo Mix)
08. Logic – Blues For You (Hard Dub)
09. Baffled – Going On
10. G-Dubs & Matt Wood – No Time (G-Dubs Zanzibar Zulu Mix)
11. Herbert – Butt-Head
12. Tuff Jam – Tumblin Down (Xavier)
13. Tuff Jam – Experience (New Horizons Dub)
14. M-Dubs – Over Here (Original Mix)
15. Groove Chronicles – The Beginings
16. Jodeci – Freek’N’You (MK Dub)
17. Deep Dish – Stay Gold
18. Tori Amos – Professional Widow (Dub)