We caught up with our boys Emmet and Bootsy of the Jazz Pit to toast their success in the 2016 Mixcloud Awards and to find out a little more about the Jazz and The Pit.
How you feeling?
The award was completely unexpected so as you can imagine we are over the moon. It was one thing to be nominated by our listeners again this year (without any coaxing) but to then be chosen as winners by a panel of serious industry heads from around the globe was just unreal.
How did this epic Emmet/Bootsy team up come about?
Back in the early 90’s (when we were very young!) we were both doing shows on different pirate radio stations on opposite sides of Dublin Bay. Then in 95 Emmet was part of the initial crew to set up Jazz FM in Dublin. Five months later Bootsy joined. Emmet (then known as Chip) was on Sunday afternoons and Bootsy was on after him on Sunday evenings. Needless to say we had a lot in common so most Sunday’s Emmet would stick around for Bootsy’s show and then we would both head out clubbing afterwards.
Tell us about the history of your radio shows?
Bootsy started his radio show “The Groove Connection” on a station called DLR in Dublin. He then moved to Jazz FM where it continued until the station closed down in the early noughties.
Emmet started his show “The JAcuZZi” on a station in Dublin called Radio Caroline. When Jazz FM started he continued The JAcuZZi on Caroline and also started hosting “Up & Down” on Jazz FM. Emmet moved to Galway on the west of Ireland for some time and presented a Sunday evening show on a station called WWW FM (Wild West Wadio FM). When he returned to Dublin in the early noughties he went legit and started Up & Down on the licensed station Dublin City FM. Emmet enlisted his sister Ali to join him weekly while Bootsy joined them monthly for “The Jazz Pit” feature of the show. This is where Bootsy would play tunes from his latest crate digging trips. Over the 10 years that the show existed on Dublin City FM the crew interviewed many artists, DJ’s and Producers including the likes of Amp Fiddler and Hudson Mohawk. The show was also produced for online stations in the UK, US, Eastern Europe and even produced features for J-Wave in Tokyo.
When Mixcloud arrived we began uploading Up & Down on it weekly. We started to get a better reaction from our Mixcloud listeners than from our FM listeners so in 2012 we pulled the plug on Up & Down and brought The Jazz Pit online. A couple of years later The Jazz Pit joined the Frission Radio family.
How many shows do you think you have done since 2005?
It has literally been one a week since 2002, in fact it could even be one a week since 1992!
What five records would you choose to best represent the sound of the Jazz Pit?
Well you do know we suffer from an identity crisis at The Jazz Pit? One week we will play Jazz, the next Soul and the next Drum & Bass. We love new music and new sounds but we are still rooted in Jazz. It’s tough to narrow it down to 5 but here goes:
Perry Kingsley – In Sound From Way Out!
Cal Tjader – Tjader
Mighty Ryeders – Spread The Message
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory
The Detroit Experiment – Think Twice (Henrik Schwarz remix)
Do you have decks for mixing or a vintage turntable or both? What’s your set up?
Both of us have bog standard mixers, Technics 1210’s and CD players. Emmet is the tech person so In his studio you can add to the list a lap top, a couple of amps, t-bone mics, an I Mac and that’s just about it.
Who is the worst vinyl obsessive out of you two & how many records do you have?
Bootsy is without a doubt the worst vinyl obsessive. He digs at least twice a week, if not more. He has around 5000 records.
Emmet, on the other hand, has only around 2000 records. He’s happy to stick to MP3’s as long as you can get it on MP3 – which isn’t always the case. But he still digs for those special records.
What was the best digging day you ever had – and please give lavish details including what you picked up?
This only happened a couple of years back: Bootsy called into a local store just as they were literally opening 4 large boxes of 70’s & 80’s Disco and Boogie. It was the crème de la crème of the genres. Each record was in perfect condition and if there was a special mix or limited edition of that tune it was in one of those boxes. Emmet was immediately called and before anyone else could touch them we left with nearly 2 full boxes.
What are your five most treasured slabs of wax and why?
1. Mark Murphy – Midnight Mood
Every single tune is a classic and Bootsy has a signed copy.
2. Hugh Masekela – Reconstruction
A beautyful LP from 1970 on Chisa from the South African trumpeter. It includes a great line up of musicians including vocals from the amazing letta Mbulu. A must have.
3. The Watts Prophets – Rappin’ Black In A White World
If your into hip hop you have to have this on vinyl – It’s late 60’s and early 70’s Ameican history on wax.
4. Dave Pike Set – Infra-Red
An original MPS pressing from 1970 and every tune a killer. Any original pressings on MPS is worth grabbing.
5. Santana – Santana
Just listen to “Treat” on CD/MP3 and then listen to it on LP. They are like two different tunes – nuff said.
Pick out 3 albums at random and tell us about them?
Novi Singers – Rien Ne Va Plus
Bootsy recently picked up an original copy of this on vinyl in Poland. They were a Polish vocal group and multi instrumentalists. This LP was released in 1973. It’s full of great tunes and vocal plus it’s been heavily sampled.
McCoy Tyner – 13th House
Originally released in 1982 on Milestones. This LP has a serious line up of musicians. Check out Love Samba – it’s a Dance Floor Jazz classic. It also has a great cover.
Mo Wax Records – Royaltie$ Overdue
The first compilation of Mo Wax 12” releases released in 1994. Up to this point all Mo Wax releases were on vinyl and sometimes hard to come by. So for the general public this was the best of Mo Wax so far. Killer art work by Swifty and full of Funk, beats, Soul, Trip-Hop, DJ Shadow and Spock with a beard! It was for many the soundtrack of 93/94.
Take a photo of the 2 worst album covers you own?
Peter Nero – I’v Got Ta Be Me
Woody Herman – Thundering Herd
Jazz is back on everyone’s radar this year and without a doubt Henry Wu is leading the charge.
We really like Nikitch, he had a couple of great tunes out last year and a great EP on Cascade records too.
What are the plans for Jazz Pit for 2017?
Since winning the award we have been asked to do work on other stations and guest DJ out so we plan to continue to build on that. Ideally we would like to get our own night going in Dublin but that’s still on the to-do list for now.
As far as the show is concerned, we want to keep doing those shows that focus on specific artists, labels or sub-genres and we hope to get more guest mixers on the show.
You can catch the Jazz Pit on Frission Radio each and every Saturday at 19:00 GMT