Earlier today we got to speak to UK Underground Garage producer “BHX Dubs” aka Jay Ward, who is currently in lockdown in England but is still managing to keep the doors to his west midlands beats factory open & find time to answer some burning questions.
We first asked him what or who are your past musical influences & who are you diggin at the moment ?
Since a youngster i have listened to electronic music in all forms and styles, my main influences have been 94/95 Jungle and garage from like 95/96 – i think this comes out most in my ‘BHX Dubs’ tracks. Im obsessed with sampling and finding out where they came from and try to incorporate that culture into my tracks. Artists i currently dig are Highrise for the rawness and Soul Mass Transit System for the production level, theres loads more but these 2 stand out for me at the moment.
2: Has the time spent in the UK lockdowns had any influence positive or negative on your sound or productions ?
Pretty positive to be honest, producing is a very isolating task anyway, lockdown just gave me the excuse to not be sociable and make beats! Only downside is ive got tons of half finished tracks!
3: Is there an essential piece of studio equipment/hardware/software that you just couldn’t live without ?
Until recently i never bothered with EQing but now I’d say it’s one of the most important things with regards to getting great sounding mixes and creating that space, i recently bought an eq plugin (fab filter) and its amazing, so yeah, I’d say i couldn’t produce happily now without having intricate EQ going on!
4: So what’s the secret of keeping your productions fresh & different whilst maintaining your consistent raw underground sound.
I dont know if ive got any secrets as such, i never set out to make something majorly different as i think i would over think it too much. I do spend a lot of time sourcing samples and tend to try loads of different vocals before finding the nuggets, this is where i draw from the old jungle and garage styles for inspiration. I think a lot of the rawness comes from the drums, i guess my ‘secret’ to that is making the beats from scratch using one shots, again i spend a lot of time selecting the right sounds and using filters and EQ to create that sound, i feel making my own beats gives me more control.
5: You have a forthcoming BHX Dubs release due out on PointBlank Records Allstars Series around 20th November it’s titled “Gotta Wheel”. We have been lucky to have had the pleasure to have been sent a copy of this fresh n bumpy underground belter of a choon & we absolutely love it,
so then this leads us to ask if you can explain a little more to our readers about what the PointBlank Records Exclusive BHX Dubs sound is & how it differs from the Jay Ward productions.
Like i mentioned earlier, more of the Jungle and DnB influence comes out in the BHX productions, they are tougher, more rugged and raw compared to the Jay Ward stuff , i like to put in nods to that in terms of classic jungle samples etc.. sometimes the lines can get blurred between BHX and JW, especially when people want the BHX sound.!
6: Can you tell us a little of your background history as a producer and where it all started for you and how it has developed over the years.
I started making music around 2008. I was making drum and bass at the time mainly as a hobby, around a year later i was making Dubstep under the name ‘Krease’ which i do still dabble in from time to time, i made Dubstep for a number of years until i just kind of stopped, having kids limits your time! So anyway i started buying old garage records online again a few years ago and then just started trying to make it, took me a while to get the drums sounding anything like how i wanted! But yeah and now i am here!
7: From what we see the UK Underground Garage scene is showing signs re-developing and the music is still as popular as ever which current dj’s / artists / labels do you see being at the forefront of this that you could recommend our readers to check out.
Theres loads going on at the moment! Loads of dj’s are pushing the garage and garage house stuff, theres the veteran DJ’s such as Matt Jam and Todd Edwards but Del Sanderson springs to mind as someone who has supported me since day one and brings a great vibe to his radio shows, DJ Bigman also, top guy! Artist wise as well as the guys i have already mentioned I’d say Tuff Culture, Duskope, Dan T, Derrick da house but honestly theres too many to mention!
Labels I’d say PointBlank Records, Rhythm Vibe, Fresh Milk, Strictly House and Garage, Pogo House – all of which im lucky enough to have worked with!
8: What does BHX Dubs listen to in the car.
Anything from old school hardcore to Jazz – or whatever my kids put on!!
Finally as we say a big massive thanks for your time & wish you every success for the future in these uncertain times do you have any shouts, acknowledgements or any mentions that you’d like to make ..???
Russell Fehlau, Martin Depp, Skillz & Cardiac, Marc Cotterell, Parker & Brock, Dan T, Bigman, Del Sanderson, Paul French. All the labels and DJs who support me!