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Interview: Vinyl [Abort]

16 April 09 interview: Glen Parver

"We both press lots of buttons and pretend to look busy. Really we’re just playing Minesweeper on Tim’s PC while a mix CD plays out"

You may have seen Vinyl [Abort] on posters around Nottingham. If you have you may have thought their name was a bit weird. Particularly the square brackets thing. You may even have wondered what exactly the hell they’re going on about? In actual fact, Vinyl [Abort] are a collective of talented local DJs and VJs. Their frantic mix of beats, scratching and visuals has seen them take the Nottingham scene by storm over the last year. We caught up with the two at the centre of the maelstrom Tim Bates and Jim Wheatley…

So what exactly is Vinyl [Abort]?
Tim: It started as a silly idea that we thought might just work, a live mash-up of loads of stuff you have heard before. There’s everything in there from hiphop to drum’n’bass, from dubstep to tracks from local bands. Nothing is sacred; everything is fair game to be sampled, stretched, looped and remixed.
Jim: It’s all smoke and mirrors, really. We both press lots of buttons and pretend to look busy. Really we’re just playing Minesweeper on Tim’s PC while a mix CD plays out.

What can people expect from a Vinyl Abort show?
Jim: Dogging. There’ll be lots of cars parked behind the venue, and if you’re lucky you might be able to get Stan Collymore’s autograph.
Tim: If you do manage to get inside then it’s an onslaught. Once we press play we don’t know where we’re going to end up. It’s everything you’ve heard before in a different order, chopped to pieces and remixed live, with scratches over the top, live visuals to look at and quality emcees. Expect to get sweaty.
Jim: From the dogging.

Who plays what in the live band?
Tim: Our live show is pure hectic. Me and Jim run a PC (soon to be Mac as we’ve had a couple of close shaves relying on Microsoft). Then we’ve got the cut-up master Spamchop on the ones and twos. He’s one of the best DJ’s in Notts at the moment for both technique and selection.
Jim: We’ve got Jamie Synoptics on visuals with everything from mad chopped-up film clips to epic AV intros to our show. The guy's too bright for his own good, twenty going on forty-five and was a major factor in us setting the project up in the first place. His enthusiasm and belief in VA convinced us that people might just enjoy it and we might just get away with it.
Tim: We have a bit of a pool of MCs. Warner has been with us from the start, he’s well up for it and got a wicked flow bouncing from hiphop rhymes to jungle chatter and back. Juma Phist has always stepped up since the beginning too and he’s pure quality, the perfect liquid MC.
Jim: Recently MC Drops and Limited Edition have come to join us. They bring Drop’s years of experience and Limited Edition’s unique hype style to our sound.

Where did you start out in music?
Tim: I found it mostly in Rock City (the college youth club when I was sixteen) and then brought my first set shitty belt drives (decks) when I was seventeen.
Jim: Meat Loaf. The first album I ever bought. Then, later, Drum’n’bass and other dance music. Now I’ve come full circle again with the Vinyl [Abort] mashup bizness roadshow party extravaganza bonanza.

What are your favourite hangouts in Nottingham?
Tim: We are usually found lurking round the Golden Fleece, Bar Deux and the Stone Soup studio.
Jim: I like The Bell Inn and countless other real pubs too. Maybe I’m getting old?

What are your plans for next year?
Tim: Bigger and better performances. We’re sussing out how to rebuild the technology we use to integrate the video and music even more, alongside gigging around the country.
Jim: More gigs in as many places as we can manage. Every weekend and more if we can.

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