News & Reviews
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
"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
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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