He’s won countless turntablism titles, he’s made his mark in drum and bass, but now DJ Craze is trying out a clubbier sound, one that takes its influences from Miami and Baltimore. And his new mix album for Fabric gives it its first airing…

Turntablism must be in DJ Craze’s blood. He’s won the DMC World Championships three times, as well as a load more titles, more than we’d care to count. And even when he came to mix his new album for Fabric – one that shows off a new direction for DJ Craze’s DJing – he couldn’t resist scratching the whole thing together, saying: “I can’t do a mix where it’s just tracks playing.”

Of course, turntablism and drum and bass is what Nicaraguan-born, Miami-raised DJ Craze is known for. But now he’s heading into clubbier territory, taking his inspiration from the burgeoning Baltimore scene – home to the likes of the mighty Spank Rock – and the old-school Miami-Bass sounds he grew up on. So while his past mixes have been focussed on drum and bass, FabricLive38 is more about where he is now, chopping up a selection of sounds – including Coldcut, Armand Van Helden, Chemical Brothers, Jan Hammer, DJ Blaqstarr, Chromeo, DJ Assault and even Earth, Wind and Fire – to create a bumping party soundtrack. EQ spoke to Craze to find out more about his new direction…

The album’s a bit like the old breaks mixes you used to get where people didn’t seem to care what sort of tracks they were mixing up.
Yeah! That’s exactly what I was trying to do. I’m known for a lot of other stuff, but on this one, I wanted to do something different. A lot of it is Miami-Bass-ish, and that’s the sound I grew up on. I’m known for hip hop and the whole turntablist thing, I’ve done the battle circuit and then I moved into drum and bass, but this album is more about dancey, clubby, B-More, freestyle sounds. It starts out with hip hop, but then goes in a different direction.

There’s still the whole turntablist thing in there too though.
Oh yeah, I had to show that.

How do you think this sort of sound is going down at the moment?
The Miami-Bass stuff was old school, and that kind of gave birth to the whole B-More sound. House and all that stuff kind of took over the dance scene back then, but I think this sound is coming back in its own way. There’s Spank Rock, all the dirty stuff coming out of Florida – there are a lot of people into that now. Even hip hop DJs are making this kind of music – they’ve got away from hardcore hip hop stuff and are more into the party vibe.

This sort of music is quite refreshing in that way because it doesn’t take itself too seriously does it?
Not at all. It’s all about booty shaking. Hip hop got to the point where people were just flashing – it wasn’t about fun. So when I made this album, I decided to have fun. This is more the style I want to play now anyway, so it was perfect to do it for Fabric. They always give me freedom to do what I like at the club, so I was like: “Yeah man, let me do that on a CD.”

Fabric were some of the first people to pick up on my newer sound. And although it’s kind of hard to do a mix CD like this because some of the tracks are so difficult to clear, they stepped up. I’ve been playing there for a while, since 1999, and they’d approached me for a mix before, but we made it happen this time.

How easy was it to combine all those different sounds on one disc?
It was hard getting all 26 tracks into a 60-minute mix and fitting them in so that they flow. But I tried to take care of that by coming up with the tracks in the first place. So choosing those tracks was hard, but in the end, I was like: “Whatever. Just have fun.”

You must take tonnes of tracks with you when you play out if this mix is close to your style just now.
Yeah, with Serato, I’ve got a lot. There’s so much to play, sometimes I’m just like: “Err, what now?” I’m into the whole Miami sound again now. I grew up with it, but I wasn’t old enough to go to the clubs. My brother was, so I just heard: “These clubs are crazy.” Now I’m reliving it.

So what’s next for you?
I want to get back in the studio and make some club music, but I don’t know what direction to go in yet. That’s one of those things where you’ve just got to let it flow and see what you come up with. The sound I want to get into is club meets house meets old school freestyle meets Miami-Bass. Like this album but fresher stuff. Then there’s the Miami conference coming up and I’ve got two big parties there. I live in Miami, so this time of year is like: Boom! All my friends from all over the world come in, I play host and they act the fool.

FabricLive38 is out now. Visit and

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“Hip hop got to the point where it wasn’t about fun. When I made this album, I decided to just have fun. It’s all about booty shaking”