Dj Zinc Research

Tony Wathen Research Portfolio: Ben Pettit - DJ Zinc

In this essay, I will be looking at one of the producers who has significantly influenced my work plus has had a considerable influence upon the world of dance music, with numerous tracks setting trends for other artists to follow besides a successful career spanning over twenty years in multiple genres; Ben Pettit AKA DJ Zinc.
When I first heard "Super Sharp Shooter" in 1995, which came out on DJ Hypes Ganja Records and his “Dope Skillz” alias for Six Million Ways; these track’s seemed to elevate the "jump up" sound of DnB and Jungle to a higher level which amazed me. At a time when Jungle remained thriving these tracks were not pure Jungle in my opinion, due to the fact they heavily sampled Hip Hop and Funk tracks with Super Sharp Shooter using Fred Wesley, Method Man, LL Cool Jay, James Brown, Tommy Roe and The Winston’s classic “Amen Brother”. Naturally, by using those types of rare grooves and Hip Hop samples they had a Hip Hop “feel” to them in contrast to the true “Ragga” Jungle, which leaned heavily towards Reggae roots. The productions were exceptional for the mid 90's and still cut through today standing the test of time, likewise I was familiar with the earlier stuff Zinc had done with Swift in and around 1993 on Bizzy B’s "Brain Progression” imprint. The way Zinc edited up the drums; slicing, chopping and rearranging old-school break beats, which were synonymous at the time and was a technique I loved. It was this manner of production work that set him out from the rest; additionally I attempt to emulate this style of editing incorporating it into my production. Focusing strongly on drum edits, taking fairly basic drum loops before creating original complex and interesting patterns and rhythms. Significant to note that when Zinc was chopping up these loops and re-arranging them in 1995, it was more challenging than me chopping them up in Ableton Live, due to the technology available to him at the...