The Dynamite Soul Collective
Dynamite Soul is a collective of crate diggers and DJ's from all corners of the UK who came together out of necessity.
Not content with what was out there, they created their own platform to showcase the harder edge of heavy soul and deep funk.
Having a somewhat bad-boy tag cast upon them in certain soul circles has only helped in pushing them to where they are happiest - underground and away from the corn and commercialism.
They bring meticulously planned one-off club nights across the land, as and when they feel like it...and then disappear until next time...whenever that might be. It's pop-up guerrilla soul at it's finest.
We checked in with a handful of the collective to find out about their background and what led them to come together to create Dynamite Soul.....
"As cliche as it sounds, I can't really remember a time when music wasn't my life. When I was a little kid I was already rifling through my dad's vinyl and cassette collection, which was mostly 60/70's rock, RnB and prog stuff. I ate it up. Not so much my Mum's Shakin' Steven's LP's, but my Dad definitely had good musical taste. Then around '84 the whole hip hop thing burst out over here and I was instantly sold. I loved the way it was a mish-mash of various influences and sounds all chucked together, and that there weren't really any rules to it because it was always evolving and changing. The first time I saw records being scratched and mixed, I was captivated and I knew that's what I wanted to do. I didn't have a scooby on how to actually do it, just a few fuzzy cassettes and vids, but I spent most of my teenage years bastardizing old amps, speakers, turntables, electrocuting myself a lot, and working out exactly how it was all done. I ended up more or less teaching myself how to mix. By the early 90's I'd amassed a few boxes of 12"s, almost exclusively rap, and a few compilation LP's on labels like Motown and Stax, which had little snippets of open drum beats in some of the songs - the exact same open drum beats that were being sampled to make the rap tracks I loved so much. Over time it became addictive to hunt down and buy the original 45's that my rap 12"s were sampled from, and also other break beats that weren't as well known. I was DJ'ing parties, dipping into pirate radio, a few regular club spots here n there, and was dabbling in studio production and the sound system world. Nothing major, but I was enjoying myself. Cut to 2010 and I find myself on the newfangled intrawebs (I was a bit of a late starter). It was an absolute goldmine, to say the least. I learnt more in just 1 year about the music I loved than the previous 20 all put together. I also started talking online regularly with other collectors and DJ's, and realised just how much 'new' (i.e. old) music was out there. I was gobsmacked. I jumped in with both feet and went totally nuts for original soul and funk 45's. I started uploading some of my collection to sites like YouTube and Mixcloud, and got into DJ'ing at soul nights... which was where I first met the rest of the Dynamite lads. Over time that led to us wanting to all do our own thing together. We all kind of drifted together because we all wanted something different to what was already out there. So we, erm, made that happen somehow. God knows how exactly. There was never any specific plan as such. We just all threw in things we wanted from an ideal soul & funk night - proper club venues, heavyweight PA systems, flyers and online presence that stood out, and a musical emphasis that would be on everyone bringing something different to the table(s) and showcasing what they do. And then we realised nobody else was going to do that for us... so we went for it. Which means we've basically made it all up as we went along and learnt on the way. I think we've done pretty well, considering. So far nobody has been killed or deported or locked up, so I think it's going ok. Between us all, we have influences ranging from genres such as mod, classic northern soul, deep funk, all the way through to hardcore DnB and turntablism. We all have a way different take on what good funk and soul is and how it should be played. I think that really stands out when you hear us, and it's exactly what we're all about. It shouldn't really work but it does. The lads are all very different characters. There's never a dull moment.. but whenever it's time to stop messing around, step up and bring the fire, they always deliver. I love em to bits. I'm very proud of what we've got. It might be tiny and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it's ours and we do it our way with no compromises. That's worth more than its weight in gold to me."
Wayne Fatshoolaces, Birmingham.
"My love of soul/funk/breaks started as a kid, I was obsessed with listening to anything and everything on the radio. A few years on I'd go to the local record shops the best being 'VIP Vinyl' where I'd buy up all the Hardcore/Jungle/Techno tape packs and be wishing I could afford that bomber jacket with the huge ganja leaf on the back, a few years on again I started getting more in to my smoking and moved on to Hip-hop, Trip-hop, pretty much anything jazzy, turntablism and Adidas trainers. After many years of collecting/listening/bedroom DJing and general drug abuse I decided the local events were fucking dire and people needed something better so I started my own night called 'Little Bit Of Funk, Whole Lotta Soul', from that I went on to DJ at Rare/Soul/Funk events all around the UK and abroad, along side the DJing I set up a Mixcloud account and started to build up a following on there (13k) in 2010 I placed in the 'Top #100 Best Music Cloudcasters' and then again in the top #25 of Mixcloud's "Best Of 2014" worldwide category for Crate Diggers, on top of that I started an online mix series called 'Straight from the Playbox' which consisted of around 200 mixes from DJs across the world and pulled in over 400k listens, while all this was going on I started to become good friends with like minded people online which was ultimately the beginnings of the Dynamite Soul crew, we all shared the passion of the music and had noticed the down turn of the so called 'Soul Scene' which had started to become stale & boring so we moved away from it and started our own thing with pop up events somewhere different each time whenever we feel it, online mixes showcasing each DJs taste and top notch poster designs to stand out from the crowd, we do our own thing our way and don't apologise for it..."
Kieran Lockyear, South Coast (France)
"I've done almost a full musical timeline ‘Journey’ which is really odd considering I’m Dynamites youngest member at 25. I’ve always been influenced by predominantly black music. When I was an oddball kid, a friend of my Dads bought me a harmonica and at age 10 I was obsessively buying blues music and learning that, then I ended up listening to reggae and Ska, and knocking about with a big group of Skinheads, Punks and Mods. My Dad was a proper old school northern addict, starting at the Okeh club in Keighley and then going on to Wigan, Blackpool Mecca and all that. As a kid you think your parents are dead boring – then as you grow older the tales come of mad amphetamine abuse and crazy allnighters and you think …fuck this actually sounds good. In the car as a kid he would play tapes.. I would shout at him as he would play Temptations ‘cant get next to you’ and after the piano intro with the ‘now hold it now, listen, listen…’ he would rewind it to the start. He’d do it about ten times before finally letting it play. I started going to soul nighters and fell in with the right crowd of people that were trying to break away from the cliché and laughing stock much of the scene had become. I met Tommo and then the other lads through seeing them DJ at various venues. What I love about all the Dynamite boys is how we are all so obsessive about the music. I will literally spend hours and hours every week, trawling through records and online vids to find a tune people don’t know. It’s an endless pursuit. Personally, I’m out to try impress the other Dynamite boys as much as I am the people that come to our nights. I'm sick of the DJ mentality of people playing safe, or the same tunes. I want to create that magic the scene used to have of hearing a record for the first time that blows you away, in the right kind of gritty venue."
"I enjoy a party. Always have. The problem is the club scene I used to enjoy in the 90's is now gone, replaced by pretentious drivel with no substance and dominated by talent-less rich kid DJ's playing shite from digital sticks. Luckily, during the 90s I was also privvy to another underground music scene: 'Soul' . I watched my Dad and his mates run club nights in the northwest, nighters with an edge and dripping with atmosphere. These lads and lasses were the in-crowd, in their late 30s/early 40s, and they had refined and condensed what was once a massive scene into a cool, underground, hidden scene. Gone where the baggy pants and vests, replaced by designer garms from the terraces and an attitude to boot. It was "the bad boy club" and this was a massive draw for me. And then suddenly it was gone, replaced by corny nights and making what was once great into a comedy show. Fast forward a few years and there was a small resurgence of quality nights with the same edgy atmosphere. It was attending these nights that I spotted a few talented like-minded individuals who had a serious appetite for the music I love, and the same ideas of how it should be played. Trouble was, nobody was giving these lads a chance, so we built a night ourselves. Most nights fail after a time because people get bored of the same old, so instead of having a static venue we decided to use venues all over the country, making a following as we went. This works well as we mostly leave a path of destruction where ever we have played by ramming the gaff with an up for it crowd and playing funk/soul like it never has been before. I ain't a DJ. In fact the only records I have are ones DJ's have given me as gifts, so sometimes I wonder why the lads put up with me bossing them about and saying how things should be. I'm just here because I love the buzz of us getting out there and pulling off the perfect party. Detail is everything."
For more info and details of future events keep posted on the Dynamite Soul page here.
Photography copyright of Souled on Soul.