We catch up with the Urban Takeover legend to talk collaborations, studio set-ups - and potential comebacks?
Micky Finn is a name that will need no introduction for any junglist or old-skool raver worth their salt, having been a part of the scene since before drum & bass even existed.
He was one of the men responsible for Urban Shakedown's rave classic Some Justice, and would go on - with partner-in-crime Aphrodite - to set up Urban Takeover, without doubt one of our favourite D&B imprints of all time, and the label that did more than any other to popularise the party-hearty blend of booming basslines and rap vocal samples that was first-generation jump-up in the late 90s.
Urban Takeover hasn't released anything in five years now, but Finn has remained an in-demand DJ and has continued to release a string of singles, usually in cahoots with other producers including, in recent years, Erb N Dub who recently featured on this very website. So with new single So Good (credited to Vital Elements & Micky Finn) landing in stores today, now seemed like a good time to grab him for a quick chat..
First off, tell us about the new single with Vital Elements - how did the two of you come to hook up?
"I've known the Serial Killaz boys for years, because the Urban Agency looks after them as artists. I've been in Kent for nearly 20 years now and Vital Elements lives in this beautiful garden now too, so we meet every week and jam. More tracks heading your way soon!"
The vocal on So Good derives from the Peech Boys classic Don't Make Me Wait - does the original hold any special memories for you?
"This was a huge 12-inch from my teens. I'm a huge jazz-funk fan from the 80s. This is one of the anthems from back then so yes, it gives me plenty of memories. Sometimes we go back to go forward. We know it's been sampled to death in the past but we tried to go into the vocal where no one else had."
The single's another in a long line of collaborations from you. Have you never been tempted to branch out on your own, or do you just prefer working with other people?
"I do prefer to work with other producers, really. I like to bounce off other people, I get bored trying to work on my own. I’m a people person, and it's the same in the studio."
What's in your studio these days... do you tend to work in the box, or is it all good old-fashioned hardware? And how do you work: are you a '9-5 in the studio' man or is it as and when?
"I personally like my hardware but I do understand the software world and how near the mark it now is. I work better on full days, as I'm a early riser and I like the 'fresh ears' approach to working in the studio, but I will burn the midnight oil if the vibes are rolling. Time can run away with you in the studio... but the days of birds singing when I leave the studio are done. I like my social life now, too, as in past years I’ve watched it pass me by."
For the past few years you've been doing Sunbeatz in Ibiza. Is there going to be one this year, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
"No, Sunbeatz Ibiza is on the back burner, but this year we're taking a new concept called Heatwave to Mallorca on 8-13 September.
"I love Ibiza, I've been going there since the 80s. I love the vibe, the clubs. the whole island really, but the prices for drinks in clubs have been the thorn in our side as we do six superclubs with super drink prices. I don’t drink, so it doesn’t affect me, but the people that do complain continuously so we've had to listen and move it. Roll on the summer!"
As one of jungle's founding fathers, do you think the scene's in a healthy place generally at the moment?
"I'm loving the scene at present. It's a melting pot of styles which I love a bit of all of them. The jungle flavours are back and D&B is cool again in the eyes of the media and masses. Who would have thought some 20 years later it would still be this strong? It's a genre that has proved itself worthy of staying in British music history forever."
Finally, 2016 seems to be 'the year of the reunion' in D&B, what with Bad Company and Pendulum getting back together. No chance of you reuniting with... anyone, is there? Or reigniting a certain much-loved label?
"Strange you say that! I guess you'll have to watch this space. Me and Gav Aphrodite have never parted partnership, we just got very busy with things like getting married - to women, may I add, not to each other! - having kids and his DJ career taking a huge leap in the right direction to crazy busy. As for Urban coming back... yes, we have been talking! So who knows what the future holds?"
So Good by Vital Elements & Micky Finn is out today on Serial Killaz