The summer hasn’t quite ended just yet. This Friday a bunch of Merseyside party outlaws are bringing their blueprint of neon lights and flamboyant aesthetics down to the Komedia for what will be a celebration of Fiesta Bombarda’s one WHOLE year anniversary in Brighton. Metaphorically speaking Fiesta bares great resemblance to a young child: the exterior emanates innocence yet delve under the surface and you will find a mind that has an imagination that can only be described as full-scale bonkers. This carnival is going to be in a state of constant flux, merging some of the finest proponents of Drum ‘N’ Bass, Jungle, Dubstep, Reggae and just about anything else in between for you to get your dancing teeth stuck into. We caught up with one of the most admired artists of the night who just so happens to be headlining: the magnificent Ed Solo.
Ed Solo, lovely for you to take the time to chat to us. How has your summer been?
Summer’s been really good, I’ve done a few festivals with Boomtown being the highlight. It was back-to-back with Benny Page, the sun was going down during the set and it was really busy, probably the biggest crowd I’ve played to. I also played a cave in Cornwall that was quite interesting. It’s like a really old cave that’s a tourist attraction but every now and then they manage to get a license to put a rave on down there. It’s been a good summer. I’m also really looking forward to Bestival next week.
So looking ahead to Fiesta Bombarda’s ‘One Year Anniversary’ show in Brighton… what do you know about the festival and what it brings to its attendees (or what do you expect?)
I don’t know much about them really!
Well we can assure you that we’ve been to some great Fiesta Bombardas. Actually we were around in Liverpool when it all began to take off. They bring a proper carnival vibe, there’s tropical set design, visuals, face-paint..
Nice. What kind of music do they play, is it a wide variety?
Everything from samba drum ensembles, to drum and bass, dub and reggae. So, Komedia – crackin’ little venue. What makes Brighton the perfect place to celebrate its ventures outside Merseyside?
It’s a very diverse place down here. There’s lots of students and people from different walks of life. It’s got a very party-type vibe to it, so yeah – it’s probably ideal for that sort of thing!
Your music has always seemed to delve in and out of styles and is reflected in the diverse artists you’ve collaborated with, how come?
I started in the mid-90s, so drum and bass and jungle was always my thing, you know, I started doing collaborations with Brockie and I’ve always liked other styles of music but I only really made drum n bass. I mainly dabbled in other stuff.
In the early 00s I had a studio above Krafty Kuts record shop, around that time they were getting into breakbeats, so I slowly started more breaks and stuff. When i started DJ’ing I started playing breaks as well and then drum and bass kind of took of a backseat really. Then when dubstep came about I got into that a little bit, before it got too commercial, but I’ve always went back to drum and bass really. I see it like this; drum and bass is my wife, breaks and dubstep were the mistress. I had a bit of fun with them, then I thought you know what, I’m going to go back to the wife actually.
How do you feel jungle and drum ‘n’ bass sits within the musical landscape of today compared to say twenty years ago?
That’s a good question. I mean when I was first into it – it wasn’t even drum and bass. You had acid house and stuff, and then breakbeats started coming in so it was hardcore, then jungle. But at the time it was very new, future music. Even Kiss FM wasn’t playing it for quite a few years, but now, it’s established.I can imagine there’s a lot of 18 year olds whose mum and dads like it, which is weird cos they might like it too. Normally any teenager doesn’t like their parents music until they get a bit older, and then they think actually the music they like is quite cool. You just can’t like the music your parents like. It’s not the done thing. That’s an interesting side of it. Its established now, I don’t think it’s ever going to go away. I mean obviously there’s sub-genres and changes and things like garage and dubstep – they’ll come and go.I was chatting to a friend recently about why exactly drum and bass has that staying power that other genres don’t. I think it’s because there’s a lot of styles within it. There’s a certain tempo and a rough drum pattern but then onto p pf that you can do lots of different things, whether it’s very hard or liquid or whatever.
So on the night, Komedia shuts. You’re left locked in the venue with an open bar and a set of decks. You can choose piece of gear/instrument to get through the night with, what do you choose?
I like gadgets and stuff so maybe a delay pedal. I actually really love delay pedals. I think it comes from the dub thing, you know, just firing effects, feeding back the delay and slowing it down and then speeding it up. You can have hours of fun with delay. I’ve got a Strymon El Capistan and a Tech 21 Boost delay. I think they’re made for guitars but it sounds sweet.
What are your plans for the future?
Keep making music and growing myself as a brand really. Maybe do some more collaborations with people? I like making different styles of music too, so who knows what I’ll move onto next.
Ed, been a pleasure, looking forward to the show!