Line-up /Dj Odi - (Konkrete Jungle CLT/OG)
LightsOut - (Signal Flow Radio, Black Reign LTD-Los Angeles)
SUBastian - (CLT, NC)
Tony Dubz & Will Love - (Heavy Heads/ FYI)
B.Z. & Mind Effect - (Heavy Heads/FYI)
Heavy Heads Present:
a night dedicated to heavyweight bass
Odi as he is known to the world, does not look like the type to have a group of beautiful women fawning over him. And yet, there are several that I have to get through to talk to him. People murmur “respect” as we walk outside. Their admiration is not undeserved. Odi, is in great part responsible for the entire style of jungle music in NYC. “I can’t think of anything that makes me happier,” he says. “Every show makes me better.”
Jungle or drum&bass is one of the evolutions of the 90s electronica wave, characterized by an emphasis on fast-paced breakbeat and prominent bassline. It was then, back in its formative years that Bronx-born, Harlem-raised Odi entered the scene and gave it his kind of direction. “I grew up around 125th street , the home of hip hop. So it was natural to be an aggressive DJ, putting in the hip hop elements. It’s what I know.” His break came around after high school, when running promotions for the famous NASA rave parties at Club Shelter grew into a steady DJing slot. From there, Odi and some childhood friends who shared a lifestyle, culture and musical interest began pumping out electronic records with their own signature twist.
“Jungle didn’t happen as a music until 94. Back then it was all just called breaks or techno was the common term,” Odi recalls. “Anything went back then. My friends and I got real lucky, being in the right place at the right time.” Fans would argue that it was not only the position but the skills that propelled Odi and his DJ crew, Digital Konfusion, into the underground limelight. Their way of mixing jungle beats with Hip Hop has grown into its own genre. “Jump up” has been the defining style of NYC and the east coast in general since 97, when the crew formed their own eponymous record label and began spinning at NYC’s most dedicated weekly jungle show: Konkrete Jungle. Odi rapidly became a fixture, while continuing to travel the country, one of the first few to enjoy such popularity.
Eventually Odi caught the ears of Malik Shabazz, the international spokesman for the respected Hip Hop society Zulu Nation. Shortly, he initiated Odi in 03, making the Harlem native the first junglist to enter the organization. “I really respected the work that they did,” says Odi. “And I try not to talk or brag about it, but it’s a very big honor.” Odi and his record label remained prolific in the recent year, DJing constantly while putting out a mix CD and producing for multiple other artists. The next step for Odi is his upcoming artist’s album and taking his music online for digital distribution. But most of all, he would just like to continue playing, unconstrained by genre. “They have names for all the different styles, but I like it better when it was just music,” says Odi, smiling. “When it comes down to it, no one really knows the difference.”