Ever since his first releases on seminal D&B and jungle labels like Ganja Records, True Playaz and Renk in the mid-'90s, DJ Zinc was at the forefront. Back then he was part of The Ganja Kru with DJ Hype and Pascal, mixing hardcore American rap with UK hardcore and early breakbeats, and playing a huge roll in drawing up the blueprints for what would become drum and bass. More than that, the use of '90s rap samples and hardcore breaks helped to define the genre's harder edge.
A lot has changed since then; drum & bass coalesced into a global phenomenon and Zinc's tastes have broadened even further. His sets these days are still predominantly bass-focused, taking in UK garage, dubstep, bassline and anything with about of low end thump. The mix he's put together below, for example, features old favourites like High Contrast alongside TNGHT, Chris Lorenzo and some of Zinc's own productions and edits. Keeping it light and bouncy throughout, if you're lucky enough to catch Zinc at one of his many festival appearances this year, this Complex Sessions mix is a pretty good indicator of what's in store for you.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
This is pretty much exactly what I'm playing in the clubs and festivals at the moment: bass-house and D&B. Lots of bass!
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
Lorenzo's "Brumstick Yard". Loz smashed it with this one.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Not really; a few that I couldn't include because they're not gonna be released for a while—the usual 'no radio or mixes' thing.
What's the first single or album you ever bought?
One of Street Sounds' Crucial Electro series... Still love them now.
What's the last physical record you bought?
When I used to play vinyl, I hardly bought any records as everything I played, I was sent—I only bought stuff I wanted to sample—so the answer is probably a random Godzilla album in Japan. I bought loads and loads of vinyl in Japan for sampling every time I went; some really weird and wonderful music. I'm going back there next week, so I might go hunting again.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I enjoy watching the way scenes are more connected than ever. When I started with jungle and D&B, there was little or no connection with house or techno, but the lines are becoming increasingly blurred—it's great.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
[Laughs] Well, this appears to be a lighthearted question, but my answer's a bit more serious. I think the trend of people being glued to their phones and, in particular, empty, soulless stuff, is a trend that is worldwide and is very negative for humans. In my house, we switch off phones at 8pm, and I may bring that a little earlier. I monitor my use of apps and I'm really conscious of it. When I'm out and about, it bothers me how many people don't look at anything but their phones. I understand that there's lots of fun and interesting things to look at, but when you see a table of people in a restaurant all looking that their phones instead of talking to each other, it seems surreal and bleak.
01. Zinc - That Sound
02. Hot Goods - Times Up
03. Chris Lorenzo - Brumstick Yard
04. Dismantle - Point Blank
05. Fisher Losing It - Wafu Edit
06. DJ Zinc X Chris Lorenzo - Conditioning
07. Narrows - Saved Soul (DJ Zinc Edit)
08. TNGHT - Higher Ground (Chris Lorenzo Edit)
09. TNGHT - Higher Ground (DJ Zinc Edit)
10. High Contrast - If We Ever
11. Kanine - Calculate
12. Zinc Ft Reigns - Something New
13. Break - Excuses
14. DJ Zinc X Riko - ID
15. Trex - Shut The Front Door
DJ Zinc will be playing a Trust Me I Was There five-hour set at Hospitality On The Beach which takes place July 11-15 in The Garden, Tisno, Croatia. Tickets and info here.