Oneman’s reputation as a fearsome DJ proceeds him. Around 2006, he began to make his name in the dubstep scene for his virtuosic vinyl-only mixes, which combined older garage tracks he’d grown up with, with brand new dubstep tracks. “Digital Mystikz, D1,” he remembers, “anything from dubstep at the time that was rhythmically driven.”
At a time when halfstep rhythms were becoming established as the norm within dubstep, Oneman’s approach loosened up his sets, making them fluid and extremely danceable. He was, he says, interested in “trying to [mix] two tracks together to make a whole new track. Because I didn’t produce tunes, my whole thing would be if I had two tracks I picked that mixed together really well, I’d use that as a statement mix – you could almost say that was my mix.”
In 2007 he was asked to join Rinse FM, and in the time period since has been a key figure, as house and garage influences have increasingly crept their way back onto the capital’s dancefloors. His Rinse show now takes as wide an approach as ever, with everything from dubstep, garage and grime to current US hip-hop finding their way into his sets.
His love of dance music developed far earlier, however, as a teenager in South London listening to local pirate stations and early grime shows taped off Rinse FM. “Pirate radio back then was about communities, there was a real community spirit with the radio,” he says. “You’d have station loyalty, people phoning in.” And although that sense of locality has evaporated with the advent of the internet, “when people listen to Rinse they really get that snapshot of London, and what the London scene is all about at the moment. Because there’s no better representation than Rinse.”
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