The Belgian D&B juggernaut known as Murdock is without a doubt a very busy man. In addition to playing gigs worldwide, leading the charge over at Radar Records, and hosting his own radio show, the Drum & Bass kingpin also co-produced one of the autumn’s anthems in ‘Good Luv’ from the new Liquicity compilation ‘Escapism 2’. Despite this hectic schedule, Murdock also found time to put together a stunning mix and sit down with us to chat about his career, recent releases, and how he constructs his live performances. Do yourself a favor and make sure to stream the mix below and purchase your copy of ‘Escapism 2’ here!
The track ‘Good Luv’ (which opens the mix) is a fantastic slice of soulful DnB. How did the collaboration with Submatik and Jenna G come about?
Oscar (aka Champion), who is one half of Submatik, heard the ‘Black Out VIP’ tune I made a few years back and suggested he would like to work on music with me. The next time he was in the country, we were both playing the Liquicity party and his better half, Philip (aka Wavelen) was there as well. So all three of us started on this mellow bit. We were working on some other bits as well, so Good Luv at this point wasn’t much more than a rough sketch. I am a huge fan of Jenna G and I have the honour of working with her from time to time, and I figured the track was soulful enough to ask her if she’d consider doing the vocals. When she sent me the vocals, Oscar and I were ecstatic, they were so good. And they also sounded exactly the way I wanted them: garage-y and diva-ish, which made us dig up some of those classic 90’s organ sounds and work on the lead.
The track sits really well with the Liquicity vibe on the new compilation. How did you come to be involved with this project?
Oscar and I worked on the track on the same day as we were both playing another Liquicity party. I had the last slot that night and I played our brand new dubplate as my final tune. Maris, who runs the Liquicity channel, and Maduk, who is heavily involved with the label too, both immediately jumped on it. We took some time to weigh up our options, but being the lead track on a compilation that sports heroes like Logistics and Seba is just amazing.
You’re from Belgium. There seems to be a really healthy bass music scene over there. How does it compare to the rest of the world?
We do have a pretty healthy nightlife scene out here. A few things that distinguish it from most other countries is that events are 16+ so crowds tend to be younger, and all parties are all-nighters – there’s no curfew anywhere. And we have a strong history of jumping on upfront dance music – just think of the new beat era and the first techno wave. Dubstep was incredibly big here for a while – Doctor P once said to me he considered getting a place out here since he was over pretty much every weekend. Now jump up d&b is the thing the youngest kids want to hear at parties and you have 2000+ capacity jump-up parties pretty much every weekend. But we also have a radio station called Studio Brussel that, although it always gets lots of heat for being too commercial, plays extremely edgy music to a very huge following, even in the daytime, making people very open-minded to left-of-center music.
Where are the craziest crowds?
Just small differences everywhere really. When I went to South America I noticed they have more of a club attitude and the crowd is older, but they party just the same. South Africa is lovely too, they just walk in and start raving instantly. I love to play in the Netherlands, they really know their music and the Dutch are so honest and straightforward, when they compliment you on a set, you know they really mean it. I once had a mixer fail during my set and I had to play without headphones for 20 minutes – it was a rush because I really got into it and ended up doubledropping and speedmixing, even though I was playing it by ear – and although it was a huge rave with a big stage, a lot of people in the crowd noticed that there was an issue and that I pulled it off anyway. They are that aware of what’s going on.
Between your radio show, gigging, running a record label and producing, do you have any spare time? What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love a lot of different styles of music and, to get away from the hustle and bustle of the drum & bass world, I throw different style parties in an undercover format, where I get behind the decks anonymously to play hip-hop, funk, electro, trap, house, soul… whatever feels right at the moment. But apart from that I love bullying myself at sports, I love to grab a few moments now and then to read some Hunter S Thompson or do another run of one of my favorite TV series like Seinfeld or The Sopranos. And I love to dine out with my loved ones.
The mix you’ve given us to premiere is great. How do you go about putting a set together?
This set contains quite a few tracks from the Escapism 2 compilation obviously so I kind of worked around that a bit. Especially if it’s not a live DJ set I like to start out mellow and build it up from there, just keep it interesting to the people that will be listening and keep it challenging to myself. I make it a bit rougher as I go along and then take it back down to start it all over again. And I put in a few of my doubledrop combos to show off too! I recorded it in one take on 3 decks to give it a real live feel. One CDJ actually failed during one of the mixes, but you can’t really tell, I think. At least you know there’s been some real DJing involved!