Biography of Cut La Roc
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Cut La Roc remembers the look on his mum's face when he bought his first Technics. "She was horrified! 'You paid two hundred pounds for a record player?!' And that was before she found I needed two!" Well, Mrs La Roc, rest easy. Your son did the right thing. As if there was a choice. La Roc - real name Lee Potter - was already hooked by then. He was 15. He'd already got into bunking off school in Brighton to doss around with the local b-boys, already began to memorise their breakdancing moves and intricate scratch tricks. "Instead of going to school I'd go round there first thing in the morning, so I could use their decks while they were asleep," he recalls. Needless to say, the second Technics followed soon after. Lee immersed himself in the world of hip hop, scratching and editing his productions on cheap samplers and battling it out at local jams. Then something happened.
Or rather, nothing very much happened at all. "All of a sudden, it must have been about 1987, hip-hop suddenly got really stale; all your Vanilla Ices and MC Hammers were coming out. That was when acid house came along..." And Lee was seduced all over again. "I'd never really liked house music up until then, but this was kind of different," he says, "Because it had the hip-hop element through the breakbeats, it made total sense to me."
Which all casts a little light on the mixed up musical mind of Cut La Roc. And why his debut album 'La Roc Rocs' for Skint hoovers up everything from deft rap cut-ups to camped up jump-up jungle. Or Mills-esque techno pressure. And... Well, you get the picture. This is where 'Post Punk Progression,' the track NME lauded as "What The Beatles would have sounded like if they'd invented jungle," rubs shoulders with brassic block rockers like 'Hip Hop Bippedty Bop'. Where the music slips speeds and styles and vibes, without a moment's notice, but never forgets to rock like a rollerskater on a rough channel crossing.
If anything, it's a testament to the three years Lee has spent almost consistently DJing in Australia, America, across Europe and the Far East. When they let him in that is - those deportation papers on the sleeve aren't fake. They relate to a certain scrape Lee had with immigration at New York's JFK airport. "My God, that was terrible!" Lee moans, "I never even got out of the terminal building! I spent eight hours getting there and they took one look at my DJ box and put me straight back on the next flight home. I'm being very careful with work permits from now on!" Still, it's in the UK where he's caused the most damage, the two early EPs in his 'Mad Skills' series stand alongside Fatboy Slim, Midfield General and Bentley Rhythm Ace's finest as the foundations the Skint empire was built on.
2000 will be Cut La Roc's year. Despite sample clearance setbacks which prevented the release of two critically acclaimed singles (the records were pressed and on their way to the shops when permission was refused!), in '99 Cut La Roc released a mix album for the Ministry Of Sound's FSUK imprint and set a new world record for DJing with 9 decks! La Roc is on his way...
His sets at the Big Beat Boutique continue to be revelatory affairs too, Lee either turning on the showmanship by scratching with all manner of limbs or slapping down a wall-to-wall selection of party-stoking anthems. He mad modestly decline, saying "I'm not really a showman, I'll only do all that stuff if I'm in the mood for it." But among the legions of seamless fader-flippers who inhabit clubland, he sticks out as entertainer and vinyl conisseur alike - a reputation that 'La Roc Rocs' lives up to. Recorded over two years in whatever snatches of time he could manage, it's a record that defies the notion that music can't be funny, delirious, debauched and intelligent all at the same time. Something that champion DJ and world record holder Cut La Roc knows all about!
Cut La Roc is the scratch-mix specialist of the Skint gang who's even in the Guiness Book Of Records for mixing with the most decks at once, ever (9). He's been messing around on turntables since the age of 12 and entered the DMC mixing championships in the year that DMC decreed that contestants should go back to basics, i.e. prove that they could get two records in time rather than the show man type stuff. Cut duely ignored that and went off like a bastard, sending the crowd wild but only coming third in the competition. Crowd-thrilling scratch tricks and a unique DJ-ing technique remain Cut La Roc's speciality when he's playing out and his DJ sets combine the best of old and new hip hop. No stranger to the big time, Cut had already appeared on Top Of The Pops as the late Wildchild's DJ on the top ten hit Renegade Master'. He's rocked dancefloors from Iceland to Madrid and is a popular resident at the Big Beat Boutique. His critically claimed first album for Skint La Roc Rocs' was released in July 2000 featuring the hits Freeze', Fallen' and Makin' It Hot'