HE’S a name undoubtedly synonymous with the birth, growth and rise of UK drum ‘n’ bass.
Now former Radio 1 DJ Grooverider is heading back to Huddersfield to headline a massive night at The Zetland with hometown heroes Extra Curricular.
Having been integrally involved within the UK underground scene for well over 15 years, Grooverider, (real name Raymond Bingham) has overseen the evolution of the genre to its current status as highly eclectic and dynamic scene.
Despite being for the most part associated with drum ‘n’ bass he himself is quick to publicise his own musical journey, charting his other creative influences and exploits prior to the birth of the genre.
He said: “I’ve listened to black music all my life; reggae, hip hop, R&B, funk, disco, the whole thing.
“I started cruising to house then hardcore, now it’s drum ‘n’ bass but house is what I know inside out.
“That’s what I grew up with, my first love – I know everything about it.
“Drum ‘n’ bass is something we formulated out of house.”
It’s this cultured journey which qualifies Grooverider for almost unrivalled praise and recognition, as his efforts and contributions have been critical in helping to establish and nurture UK urban music as we know it today.
While the clubbing scene has calmed since the memorable and tumultuous years of the 80s and 90s rave era, Grooverider is one of a select few DJs who continues to play at events worldwide.
In this respect, securing him for a small bar in Huddersfield represents a massive coup for local DJs and promoters, Holsta and Promo, who have booked him as the highlight of their Future Formation night at the Zetland.
Holsta said: “The last time Grooverider came to Huddersfield it was a packed out event so we had to book him again.
“He is one of the originators in the DnB music scene, a legend in the game and respected by the majority of people in the scene.
“He has helped to bring the genre to where it is now, DJing at most if not all of the big events in the UK and all around the world.
“Also, alongside Fabio he brought the DnB sound from the underground to having a weekly show on Radio 1.
“We’ve also got Huddersfield’s own Extra Curricular supported by Savvy Sav and more local talent.”
While Extra Curricular have now evolved from their live drum ‘n’ bass beginnings, percussionist, Noah Burton, said they had been very much influenced by the music.
He said: “It’s going to be amazing, everyone in the band is a fan so it’s always good to play with someone that is recognised and inspirational to members of the band.”
Among Grooverider’s lasting legacy will be not that he simply helped establish the genre, but also helped it grow and expand by exporting it to those who traditionally would not have listened to it.
Grooverider said: “It’s not just about me and Fabio, it’s a whole platform for drum ‘n’ bass.
“It’s about what’s happening in drum ‘n’ bass, taking it on the road and showing people who don’t necessarily go to drum ‘n’ bass parties, that this is what we do.”
This aim is clearly something that motivates him and it is clear that his long journey to where he is today had many challenges and struggles.
A choice between Radio 1 and Kiss FM proved to be a pivotal moment in his life.
“We were on Kiss before and when Radio 1 called us in we ran at it,” he said.
“We didn’t know what it was going to be like but we had to take the chance as Kiss was changing into a commercial station and Radio 1 was going the other way.
“I think it was the right time to jump ship.
“The underground side of Radio 1 was still developing and we were able to add to it.”
All together, Grooverider has had a profound influence on UK music in general in several different capacities as he has successfully assumed both the mantles of being a pioneering DJ and a producer.
He is also the recipient of a host of underground and global dance awards but he says his most reputed achievement was the MOBO Best DJ award he won in 2002.
Grooverider headlines the basement at Future Formation at The Zetland on Friday, December 21. Extra Curricular will headline the bar. Support comes from Ball-Zee (UK Beat boxing champion), Savvy Sav and local DJs.