Dubai based beat slayer DJ Solo is leading the way for new leftfield sounds from the Middle East and beyond. When he’s not grilling up his beloved merguez sausages in his desert hideout, you can find him manning the decks at Freshly Laced, the city’s answer to LA’s Low End Theory. And like his Cali peers, he also likes to get busy on the MPC, making fuzzy riddims for the likes of J-Live, Orifice Vulgatron and The Narcicyst under the pseudonym of Wriggly Scott. “I just released a new EP on Dented records that I like to look at as a global hip hop release, because it features artists from Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian, Sri-Lankan, Sudanese, UK and US origins. I’m originally from the UK and have been living in the Middle East for seven years now so really wanted to fuse my experience from growing up with hip hop in the UK with more recent experience of living in this region.”
With a similarly eclectic approach to DJing as Kutmah and Gaslamp Killer, a typical Solo set blends together Cumbia, Afro, Funk, Boogie and Bass Music. If you go to Dazed Digital right now you can hear exactly how Solo likes to get down. “The mix I’ve made for Dazed has a psychedelic undertone,” he says. “I also made it because here in Dubai the FM Radio is particularly bad.”
...so special about you, then?
I can belly dance like no other.
...your worst vice?
Cheeseburgers and pain killers.
…the story behind your name?
DJ Solo is shorthand for something else. My production alias, Wriggly Scott, is based on a failed porn-director character that I came up with when I was drunk. He makes slow, sleazy organ music.
... your favourite sound?
Either the Rhodes or Juno, not sure, probably Juno.
...your worst fashion secret?
I wash my jeans every two months.
...your favourite website?
... good for breakfast?
‘Italian’ French Toast with parmesan, tomato salsa and basil oil.
... the best thing about where you're from?
Have you ever been to High Wycombe? The price of beer maybe.
...at the top of your shit list?
Definitely those people who make requests in clubs. I hate you all, unless it’s a good request.
...are you listening to now?
Rick James, Clear Soul Forces, Mux Mool.
How would you describe your work?
Sometimes boom bap, with an electronic injection. Mostly dark but often happy. Quite varied I guess.
Follow Tim Noakes on Twitter here @TimNoakes