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DJ Alley CatBASS: Homecoming on tap for London expatriate DJ Alley Cat
By BPM Smith

After making quite a name for herself playing clubs across Europe, onetime San Francisco DJ Alley Cat is returning to California to play clubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. While Drum & Bass may have sped up and gotten darker since she left The City just before the Millennium, Alley Cat tells WORD’N’BASS.com that the genre will always go "through its phases or trends, but the DJs I look up to don’t really worry about those things, they just play Drum ‘N’ Bass."

Since 1999 Alley Cat has lived in London, probably the world’s mecca for the genre and the birthplace of Drum & Bass. London is where football stadiums play host to D&B parties and DJ/producers get media coverage on the same pages as pop stars and celebrities.

More importantly, Alley Cat found the abundance of D&B events helped sharpen her mixing skills.

"Things are going well in London, I feel like I progress a little each year and that’s how I prefer things. I’m keeping busy at the moment DJing (and) doing my radio show on Life FM," Alley Cat said. In the past year she’s played various events in London including Movement, Therapy, Technicality, Feline, Essence of Chi, and Back 2 Life.

In addition to spinning regular shows in London clubs, Alley Cat has had a long-term residency in Berlin alongside other residents including Doc Scott and the Full Cycle crew. The heavy club circuit activity comes after she put out two mixed albums in consecutive years with record label Skunkrock.

Crowd Control was a high energy album that ranged from pensive beats to elated, bounce-able tunes. No Formalites went a bit darker and includes tracks she co-produced with Tha Countamen and Savine. She also worked in tracks by Oakland, Calif., DJ/producer UFO! Alley Cat said moving to the European circuit -- where DJs tend to have more support than in the U.S. -- was key to establishing her career.

"It did help my career in Europe because I had a lot of support over here, and I was also given a chance to work for a label (Skunkrock) which not only helped me to get some tunes released, but linked me up with some great guys," she said. "We did some pretty heavy releases that helped get the label some recognition and maybe myself in the process."

"Since then the label has evolved as has my DJing. I play pretty musical and eclectic; I guess you could say it’s a headzy sound because it’s deep, breaky, uplifting, musical and varied. If it’s dark its a dubby kind of dark but nothing teched out."

Dark Drum & Bass seems to have dominated the UK scene in recent years, but Alley Cat says she doesn’t want to limit herself to the popular trends of the day. "I don't really like categorizing Drum 'N' Bass because the reason I got into it in the first place is because it explored all the aspects of human emotion. It’s a multifaceted genre and it’s always going to go through its phases or trends, but the DJs I look up to don’t really worry about those things, they just play Drum ‘N’ Bass."

Thanks to instant music feeds and the Internet’s long reach, a lot of San Francisco D&B-heads are still bumping Alley Cat’s beats. She often posts mixes at her website www.djalleycat.com and regularly does shows on internet radio sites.

Locals will get a chance to see her perform live when she returns in December to play venues in California. In San Francisco she headlines Phutoro on December 20th and in Los Angeles she’ll spin at Respect on December 22nd. Other shows may also get announced soon.


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