T.Williams: no limitations

T.Williams: no limitations

Though he’s been making d&b tracks ever since he first started producing, Williams has never had the confidence to release them before. But during lockdown, with time to reflect, he went  back through his record collection, and decided to make an album that would express some of his biggest inspirations. “I never felt like my jungle/drum & bass was technically good enough to present to the world, or even show anyone on a record label,” he says. “But now I’m 20 years deep, I’ve got technical knowledge, I’m a much better engineer than I was when I was 16. The album came as a reaction to having time, having space, having understanding, and saying to myself, ‘Okay, what is it you would like to say in an LP? How would you go about this? How would you talk about the music that’s influenced you from the past?’”

In the ’90s when he was starting to formulate his own music taste, Williams was hearing tracks from cousins and his elder siblings that caught his ear. It sounded like they had some connection to the Jamaican records he was hearing from his parents, but with a new, speedy rave element that got him excited. “Jungle was the first thing I got into, it was literally through people giving me tapes and stuff. Being from London, I was able to turn the radio on at eight, nine years old and scroll through it, and be like, ‘Oh, that’s the same thing that these lot are playing the tapes of and going to the raves of. Although I’m not old enough to be a part of it, I’m aware that this feels like the music that really resonates with me’. My shift was to electronic music because of jungle, which felt like the right fit between the music I grew up with, which was roots reggae, and the future, which was rave.”

In the latter part of the ’90s when UK garage started to percolate, Williams wasn’t interested. He thought it was too upbeat, lightweight, melodic, lacking the heft and mood of the music he was into. Eventually, a friend persuaded him to come to a local under-18s club event, Education In Dance, which would book garage heroes like EZ, Norris ‘Da Boss’ Windross and Matt ‘Jam’ Lamont. “I went one Friday, went in, and I can’t remember the name of the song, but I know it was on Pulse Recordings ’cause I’ve got it,” Williams says. “And this track was as dark as it comes. It was rave, it was jungle, it was garage, it was all of these things in one basket. That really turned me onto garage.”

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