Interview for Italian blog

This article has been Google-translated from the original by Tony D’Onghia – apologies for any weirdness in the wording.

Glyn “Bigga” Bush was, with his project Rockers Hi-Fi, one of the protagonists of that musical era that for most of the 90s saw, starting from the United Kingdom, a flourishing of producers and musical formations appropriating the hip hop styles to provide a revised and corrected version, more jazzy now, heavily influenced by dub reggae in other cases or genetically modified through electronic or pop grafts. Call it trip-hop, if you want. From then on Bigga Bush has signed countless other jobs for labels such as Stereo Deluxe and Lion Head, or by publishing under a pseudonym in some cases – Lightning Head, Dandelion Set, Magic Drum Orchestra – but always drawing from their musical roots and giving them homage. The recent release of his intriguing album Sunken Foal Stories, as well as the imminence of a new release for his side-project Magic Drum Orchestra, have prompted us to contact him to learn something more. Here’s what Glyn told us.

Surely some of our readers will remember you for your experience in Rockers Hi-fi. Would you tell us something about your beginnings, about your love for reggae and dub and how your adventure started in that band?

To talk about my beginnings you have to go back to the early 70s, when I discovered my love for records … I remember that the first record that had a big impact on me was a 45 laps of The Who, probably The Ox or Pinball Wizard. I remember perfectly what I felt while I stared hypnotized that piece of vinyl that turned on a Dansette – a typical turntable of that era, mono, with an automatic loading system for which you could put one on top of the other discs that you he wanted to listen in sequence – and how, while I was listening to that rough sound coming out of the speaker, I found myself thinking, “I want more of this stuff!” Later in the decade I learned how to play guitar and I started listening to John Peel’s programs on the radio, and that’s where I came to discover reggae and dub for the first time. More generally, the broad spectrum of musical genres that Peel included in his programs – especially bands like Faust and Henry Cow, but also the more conventionally rock ones – represented the beginning of my musical education, up to 1976, year in which I formed my first band together with some classmates.

In 1978 I moved to Birmingham, immediately getting excited for the local post-punk scene, starting to compose compact and angular songs and playing with other non-musicians in the band The DeGoTees. Throughout the 80s I continued to found and play in local bands, and in about 1988 I started working on sampling and MIDI. After a while I started working as a DJ in the local scene, and that’s where I met DJ Dick and, after having chatted about music, I started making music with the Original Rockers moniker – a name taken from an album of Augustus Pablo. At the beginning trying to produce house music, trying to simply copy stuff that we heard around. At one point, however, it occurred to us to sample dub discs, for the incredible sounds they had and for the parts that were well suited to be ricliclate. Push Push was the second song we made, in that production all our influences were put in the foreground, especially through the vocal champion Johnny Osbourne we had taken from Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires. That was a great club success and led us to sign a contract with Island Records, and at that point our name changed to Rockers Hi Fi, at the request of Augustus Pablo himself.

Manufacturers like Kruder & Dorfmeister and Thievery Corporation were great fans of Rockers Hi-Fi. Songs like Push Push and What a Life have become hits. What memories do you have of that period, right in the middle of the so-called trip hop era?

That success turned out to be a kind of double-edged sword. Island Records evidently had an interest in contracting only one trip hop artist, and that was Tricky, so he downloaded us only a year later. But of that period I have a special memory, just the first time I listened to Kruder & Dorfmeister, during my first trip to the United States in 1994, at a club in San Francisco. Original Bedroom Rockers … that piece completely kidnapped me. I am convinced that that EP, entitled G Stoned, is still unmatched.

The mix signed by Rockers Hi-Fi for the DJ-Kicks series is still considered one of the best of that period, combining dub, downtempo and drum & bass. Would you tell us something about that experience?

I remember well those sessions. At that time we had a studio above a musical instrument store in Birmingham and we used to start working in the evening, after opening some Red Stripe and entering the night mood. Dick had put the set together, Farda P was at the microphone and I was responsible for the dubs and the mixing. Everything went spontaneously, it seems to me that the version that was published was the second one we recorded. But that was how we used to play live – as we said at the time “Decks n FX” – so we used to practice that kind of session.

Looking back to things in retrospect, do not you think that after three excellent albums, the Hi-Fi Rockers deserved better luck and the same level of success that other artists of that period have achieved? Perhaps coming from Birmingham rather than the celebrated Bristol did not help you …

All in all, it did not go too badly at the European level, and especially in Germany, even if it was a shame not to be able to make us better known in the United Kingdom. I do not know if it was some sort of prejudice against us in Birmingham, or if things would have been different if we had come rather from London … that was how things were then.

Among your records as a soloist made since the late 90s, what is the one you are most fond of?

I am proud of every one, even though I think my best work is what I will produce in the future.

You recently released an album called Sunken Foal Stories. For this work you have almost completely abandoned the beats based approach, typical of your music, to focus on the atmospheres and textures created by the samples you have chosen and reassembled. Would you tell us something about it?

I’ve always been on the lookout for interesting records and over time I’ve put together a decent collection with the intent of doing something, one day … easy listening album, stereo system test, strange folk records obviously bought by someone during the holidays in Greece or Turkey, after falling in love with the places visited. Disks bought as souvenirs by people who then forgot them and left somewhere to take dust. It is also noted by the fact that many of these albums are still in perfect condition, ie never been played.

Can you tell us about the process of creating and recording this particular album and the way you chose the samples to loop and overlap?

Over the course of a couple of months I worked intensively on the new album of my project Magic Drum Orchestra, titled The DNA of Rhythm and released by Tru Thoughts, so for all this time in my ears I had only beats, beats and more beats , everyday. I felt the natural need to compose some more quiet music, to make the ears and the brain rest a bit, and I spontaneously came up with the idea of ​​pulling out two or three records and finding something quite random. to be sampled quickly. Something that, once extracted from the original context and looped, could sound intriguing. A particular change in tone, an instrumental passage that is not very successful. So starting from two or three samples, in about twenty minutes I had a song ready, simply following the inspiration of the moment and what the chosen sounds pointed to me. I continued to work with this method until I had thirty minutes of music, according to my intention divided into fifteen minutes for each side of a vinyl album. Some traces could be more properly defined edits, where only one original sample was cut at different points and reassembled. In others I have combined samples taken from different sources and looped one superimposed on the other. All this by trusting only my ears, in a spontaneous and natural way. This process has taught me to keep my ears open and accept a certain degree of randomness in the production of my music, rather than purposely seek the elements that can “work” in combination with each other. And this also applies to the material I’m composing at the moment, more based on rhythm. You can listen to something about this creative process here:

Speaking of the more beats oriented aspect of your music. As you have already mentioned, you have also returned to your project Magic Drum Orchestra, with an album from which it was taken as a single a particular version of the classic of the jungle Original Nuttah …

Yes, I always enjoyed trying to cover the most different songs. The first was Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot, which has always been a great success every time we performed it live. Nuttah is a classic song that seems to have been created to be reinterpreted. I like to put something original and unexpected in the covers, hence the decision to give the vocalist Bundy a feminine perspective to the text. The next step was to reconstruct the bass line and the rhythm with the instruments used by the Magic Drum Orchestra. The original song is very Spartan, it is not a typical jungle piece, since it is only made up of a beat, without particular edits or cuts – which is what I generally prefer – and then a bass line, voice and that particular and distinctive sound that I recreated thanks to a Tibetan cup.

To conclude, would you tell us something about your plans for the rest of 2018?

I’m working on a version of Sunken Foal Stories, which also includes beats, extending the life of the originals, developing them more musically. Trying to bring them back to the essence of dub. I am also producing electro pieces under the pseudonym Elektrassassin. In the meantime I’m always looking for old and new music for my weekly podcast, which you can listen to on his Soundcloud. And I’m trying to play the guitar more!

6th July 2018 by Tony D’Onghia

Bigga’s Big Dig on KNSJ 89.1FM San Diego








Eclectic sounds from Bigga’s crates can now be heard every Monday on KNSJ 89.1FM in San Diego 10-11pm PST.

The first show is a special dedicated to the latest Magic Drum Orchestra album – The DNA of Rhythm (Tru Thoughts), exploring some of the influences and styles behind the music.

Monday 16 July Bigga’s Big Dig #1 KNSJ

01 Schoolly D- PSK (What Does It Mean?)

02 Luke Vibert – Blasted Wook

03 MDO – Griot Goin On

04 Mandingo Griot Society – Sounds From the Bush

05 MDO – Hoodoo Udu

06 MDO vs Mantronix – Hardcore Hip Hop

07 MDO vs The Apples – Killing

08 Lalo Schifrin – Dossiers (from Mission Impossible pilot soundtrack 1966)

09 MDO – Black Arkid

10 MDO vs Kendrick Lamar – Humble

11 Diplo – Way More

12 MDO – Parade Skank

13 MDO – Dread Nourishment

14 Rhythm & Sound – Music A Fe Rule/MDO feat. Farda P – Two Bs One White acapella

15 MDO – Two Bs One White (instrumental)

16 Plastikman – Spastik

17 MDO feat. Bunty – Original Nuttah

Bigga’s Big Dig #2 KNSJ

Monday 23 July Bigga Reps MDO DJ Mix

01 Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime Instrumental edit

02 Magic Drum Orchestra – Get Up

03 Lightning Head – Message Beats

04 Patrick Dawes – Garden of Love

05 Fela Kuti – Shakara (Ossie’s Bump edit)

06 Blast Head – Mangrove Monkey (BiggaBush Unreleased Version)

07 Benga & Coki – Night (SDP Dub)

08 Lightning Head – Second Line Stomp

09 Classica Orchestra Afrobeat – Mr. Follow Follow

10 Geode – Get Dem

11 Driving Blind – Wandering Lions (BiggaBush Version)

12 Magic Drum Orchestra – Crunked Up

Monday 30 July BBDig#3 KNSJ Afrolatino mix

01 Randy Weston – Introduction – Uhuru Kwanza (Part 1)

02 Madlib – Afrosound Panorama

03 Demon Fuzz – Past Present & Future

04 Classica Orchestra Afrobeat – Mr. Follow Follow

05 OK Jazz – Kiwita Kumunami

06 Antibalas – Ibeji

07 Karl Hector & the Malcouns – Coomassie

08 Orchestre Super Borgou de Parakou – Me Ton Le Gbe (BiggaBush edit)

09 Ryco Jazz – La Juventud

10 El Rego – Se Na Min

11 Quim Manuel O Espirito Santo – Eme Lelu

12 Karl Hector & the Malcouns – Debere

13 CK Mann & Carousel 7 – Asafo Beesuon

14 African Fiesta Sukisa – I Got the Feelin

15 Begun Band – Yo Me Moera

16 Bantous de la Capitale – Watchiwara

New Magic Drum Orchestra album is out

The new MDO album is released on 29 June on the Tru Thoughts label.  13 beats and percussion led tracks ranging from batucada to hip hop to jungle to electro to R&B to grime to GQOM to African griot to dub to funk.

Order here.

Check the video for the latest single here

and hear the MDO-DNA Special mix here

This Saturday (7.4.18) at Spiritland – BiggaBush on the decks

Come and hear BiggaBush on the incredible Spiritland sound system in Kings Cross, London…playing a 5 hour vinyl set ranging from Miles Davis to David Axelrod to krautrock to electronica to hip hop to dub to Bigga productions such as Rockers Hi Fi, Lighting Head, Magic Drum Orchestra and more…

You can also hear an exclusive preview of the new album from Glyn Bigga Bush –  Sunken Foal Stories, released on Lion Head Recordings/Schamoni Musik in May 2018.

Admisson free.  20:00 till 01:00.

Lost Futures mix

My guest mix for Lost Futures is now up on soundcloud













All tracks that I’ve either written or remixed.

01 BiggaBush – Intravenus I

02 MDO – Durban Poison

03 BiggaBush – Deep Eastwood (DJ Fitchie remix)

04 BiggaBush – Mouseflex

05 Suba – Samba do Gringo Paulista (BB version)

06 MDO – Africa Dada

07 Baxter – I Can’t See Why (Rockers version)

08 Lightning Head – Invisible Twin (extended version)

09 Lightning Head – Superfunky Bird

10 Elektrassassin – Elec5

11 Lightning Head – Bassdrum & Snare (instrumental)

12 Lightning Head – Message Beats

13 Rockers Hi Fi – Rockers to Rockers (Phat Lips mix)

14 Rockers Hi Fi – Stoned (Manali Cream mix)

15 Swayzak – Illegal (BB Version)

Bigga’s Big Dig #5 aka Podcast Nine

Bigga’s Big Dig #5 – Podcast Nine

First transmission Weds 14 Feb 2018

01 Life – Rock It Right (Mr Thing mix)

02 Edan – Beauty

03 Abstract Orchestra – Dilla Mix 1 (extr.)

04 Mhysa – Bb

05 Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Now

06 Christian Scott Atunde Ajuah – KKPD (extra.)

07 IZem – ITT

08 Dirty Diggers – Wannabes

09 BiggaBush – Sheboogie

10 Fela Kuti – Buy Africa

11 Stig of the Dump – All In Blind

12 Madlib – Get It Right

13 Andy Mac & Ossia – Soup Riddim

14 Khruangbin – Maria También

15 Unknown – We Like De Disco – (Dirty Diggers edit)

Magic Drum Orchestra – MDO Sessions EP1 out now

The first EP from the forthcoming MDO album, featuring drums-only versions of Benga’s Crunked Up and Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot

Magic Drum Orchestra sign to Tru Thoughts

MDO Sessions 1 EP cover

MDO Sessions 1 EP cover

The Magic Drum Orchestra is a 20+ piece percussion group led by Glyn “Bigga” Bush and Ralph Cree.  After nearly 10 years and 100 different drummers the band have recently signed to Brighton-based label Tru Thoughts, on which their first EP “MDO Sessions 1” is released on 10 March.

The EP features their ultra-heavy version of Benga’s dubstep anthem “Crunked Up” along with live showstopper “Drop It Like A Funky Muppet” (based on Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams’ hip hop classic) along with stunning original material.

All drums. (With bells and whistles)…



Bigga’s Best of 2012 Selection


BiggaBush Mix Best of 2012 by Biggabush on Mixcloud

This is inevitably something of a snapshot of some of the tunes that have floated my boat during the past 12 months (regardless of when they were released).  I have intentionally left out tracks that I’ve included on previous mixes – many of which could have qualified for this end of year round-up.

Here’s the tracklist followed by some background info:

1. Scrimshire – Sonolo
2. Super Hi Fi – March of the Frogs (Myles Boisen Mix)
3. Fid Mella – Marling
4. Little Brother – Lovin It (instrumental)
5. Prince Fatty – Shimmy Shimmy
6. Hot 8 Brass Band – Ghost Town
7. Jneiro Janel – Lock Down
8. Brenk – Concrete Jungle
9. Soul Sugar – Bon Esprit (alt mix)
10. Deerhoof – Flower
11. Paper Plane – What You Want
12. Andres – Step To The Side
13. Al Hirt – Senteries Charge (DJ Buzz & Preddy Edit)
14. Broadcast & The Focus Group – The Be Colony
15. Alice Russell – Got the Hunger (Ticklah remix)
16. dZihan & Kamien – Rockit
17. James Beige – 7 Brides
18. Paulo Zavallone – Papillon Rouge
19. James Johnston – Faces & Traces of Home
20. Scrimshire – All I Do (feat. Stac)
21. Brims – Anti Gandja
22. Cosmin TRG – Negligee
23. Lee Fields – Steam Train
24. Shark Move – Evil War
25. Ilaiyaraaja : S.P. Sailaja & Malaysia Vasudevan – Nettrikan – Raja Rani Jaaki
26. Bappi Lahiri – He Met Me In The Guest House
27. Wendy & Bonnie – It’s What’s Really Happening
28. Ennio Morricone – Adonai
29. Andres – Set U Free
30. Cosmin TRG – Broken Heart (Martyns DCM remix)
31. Ruff Sqwad – Xtra

A Free EP: Forgotten Songs cover art

(Hover over text for links)

Scrimshire is a name I’d noticed here and there but not really checked out his stuff till I stumbled across his very lovely re-edit of Stevie Wonder’s Golden Lady. He’s recently released a free mini-album of tracks that didn’t make it onto his “The Hollow” album.  He’s also part of the Wah Wah 45 label which in itself is a recommendation.

The Everlasting Mountain is an interesting blog he’s written about aspects of the creative and recording process, well worth a look. 

I’ve included two tracks from this ep, Sonolo for it’s widescreen production and shimmering strings, and All I Do, more of which later.

Super Hi Fi – March of the Frogs (Myles Boisen Mix)/Soul Sugar Bon Esprit (Alternate Mix)

“Dis s Good For You” is a nice new afro-flavoured comp from the Paris DJs with some excellent full live afrobeat, funk and reggae tracks.

Fid Mella – Marling/Brenk – Concrete Jungle

Vienna beat-smiths Fid Mella and Brenk Sinatra have been among my most-played this year, hence this track and Concrete Jungle.  Fid Mella’s album “Tatas Plottn” (“Daddy’s Discs”) melds his characteristic beat-chopping with a whole bunch of early 70s prog rock, soul and reggae samples, an irresistible combination to these ears.

Tatas Plottn cover artPredido (Gumbo II Teaser) cover art

Check em both out on bandcamp:

Fid Mella        Brenk

Little Brother – Lovin It (instrumental)

DJing in Turkey recently I heard these amazing 9th Wonder beats for the first time, sampling The Stylistics heart-rending “One Night Affair”. 

Prince Fatty – Shimmy Shimmy Ya

This HAS to be in the playlist a) because it was on Breaking Bad, TV’s own version of crystal meth for straight up addictive qualities and b) because I’ve only just come across Prince Fatty, contemporary dub-meister, in the spirit of the true Jamaican originals.  Also just found out it’s an Old Dirty Bastard cover – who’da thunk it?

Hot 8 Brass Band – Ghost Town

Blaring brass and a classic Specials song – nuff said.

Jneiro Janel – Lock Down

Still haven’t got to grips with his collab with Doom, which on paper should be amazing but hasn’t quite hit the spot yet, but here he is on his own doing the biz.


Deerhoof – Flower

Deerhoof still get frequent plays in my day to day travels and their new album Breakup Song is a fine return to form.


What You Want ft. Raashan Ahmad cover art

Paper Plane Project – What You Want

Feelgood beats and hip hop from Sydney, Australia,

Andres - II

Andres is a producer with a large body of work behind him on both a beats and a house tip.  Couldn’t resist his Step to the Side track which samples Roundabout by Yes nor the more uptempo Set U Free.

Al Hirt – Senteries Charge (DJ Buzz & Preddy Edit)

Another tune I picked up in Turkey played by our wonderful host Ahmet Gunes.

Al Hirt was an American trumpet player who was nicknamed ‘Jumbo’ and ‘The Round Mound of Sound’This cut is an edit by Dj Buzz & Preddy, yet more Viennese taste-makers who form part of the Waxolutionists crew.

Broadcast & The Focus Group – The Be Colony

I have raved about these on previous blogs so nothing to add except you can still hear the late, great Trish Keenan’s Mindbending Motorway Mix on soundcloud.

Trish's Mind Bending Motorway Mix

Alice Russell – Got the Hunger (Ticklah remix)

A recent search for new-ish non-JA reggae threw up Ticklah aka Victor Axelrod of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra and sometime member of Easy Star All Stars whose work I was familiar but had neglected for quite a while. Like Prince Fatty, a master of the analogue process, live vintage instruments and of course the Roland Space Echo.

dZihan & Kamien – Rockit

Great version of the Herbie Hancock tune from Tom Middleton’s Crazy Covers comp.

James Beige – 7 Brides 

Two great friends of mine who are based in Basel, Switzerland and this is a track from their new mini-album Return of Make Believe. Look out for their DJ sets as Golightly and the Duke of Tunes.

Paulo Zavallone – Papillon Rouge

Hard-pressed to choose a favourite library track from the vast amount out there but 2012 was the year I finally got all three of the  excellent Music For Dancefloors series on Strut, of which this was the latest.

James Johnston – Faces & Traces of Home

Nice slow burner from the Boogie Originals geezer, see also 6th Borough Project, The Revenge and OOFT!

Scrimshire – All I Do (feat. Stac)

Had to include this as it appears to be a faithful cover of Tammi Terrell’s “All I Do Is Think About You”, as sampled by Medlar on his exquisite Terrell tune, which really should be in this playlist too.

Brims – Anti Gandja/Shark Move – Evil War

Another superb release from Now Again, this time a collection of proggy rock and raw funk from Indonesia, called Those Shocking Shaking Days.  Love the extreme Ozzy soundalike on Evil War.

Cosmin TRG – Negligee/Broken Heart (Martyn’s DCM remix)

Another new find, Romanian producer Cosmin Nicolae started out doing dubstep as TRG then moved into D&B and is now heading more into techno and deep house.

Everything he produces seems to have a really fresh sound….the remix of his Broken Heart is a particular favourite.

Lee Fields – Steam Train

Thanks to Alex Cooper (Southsound radio) for this and quite a few other tunes I’ve got into this year. On the excellent Desco (now Daptone) label.

Ilaiyaraaja : S.P. Sailaja & Malaysia Vasudevan – Nettrikan – Raja Rani Jaaki/Bappi Lahiri – He Met Me In The Guest House

A short foray into Bolly-and Kollywood sounds courtesy Andy Votel’s ever-dependable Finders Keepers label.  This music never fails to astonish and delight in equal measure.  Maybe it’s because it’s composed as a movie score, I just love the way the tunes mutate and switch gear in such a seamless way.

Wendy & Bonnie – It’s What’s Really Happening

Another Andy Votel connection as he picked one of their tracks for his Folk Is Not A Four Letter Word comps.  This sees the estranged 60s duo rocking out in a way that clearly was a major influence on Stereolab and Broadcast.

Ennio Morricone – Adonai

….speaking of whom this is the opening track on James Broadcast’s Mix for Outer Church, well worth checking for a diverse range of crazy Italian horror-related music.

Ruff Sqwad – Xtra

A late final addition of instrumental grime from an album perhaps surprising in it’s diversity and historical perspective on the evolution of 00s music…..thanks to these dedicated Fruity Loopers we now have the likes of Hudson Mohawke.

That’s all folks. Enjoy.

October Mix now online

BiggaBush Mix October 2012

Instrumental hip hop flavours from Fid Mella and Brenk with some real UK and US rap (Jehst, Dirty Diggers, Dr. Who Dat?), Analog Africa edits, TV/library classics, LA Carnival, James Pants and more!