It’s about time!
Over five years have passed since DJ Hazard last released any new material… But the wait, it seems, could well be over soon.
“I’m back on it,” Hazard told UKF during a chance conversation last week. “I came back from my Australia and New Zealand tour earlier this year and thought ‘right I need something to inspire me to get back in the studio.’ I’d been waiting for it for ages, but it never came so I made it happen by buying loads of new equipment.”
The result, he explains, is a stash of over 30 finished tracks. Some of which are based on ideas he first put down almost 10 years ago and you may have heard in his sets if you’ve seen him play recently.
“I’m not making them to release, I’m making them to play,” he explains. “If they work, and I feel they are of a release standard, then they will come out. Basically I’m back to making tunes for myself again.”
This is a major development from previous interviews we’ve had with Hazard on this site. Exactly two years ago we went deep with the Birmingham artist with a feature called Why DJ Hazard Hasn’t Released Anything In The Last Three Years. In it he explained how his relationship with the studio had gone beyond writers block and he simply didn’t want to spend time in it. He also explained he had finished material but an EP was waiting for the inspiration to make that final “special track” to complete it. We then spoke to him a few months later to celebrate 10 years of his and D*Minds’ seminal banger Mr Happy and he reiterated that he’d never release a track for the sake of it and that it may take some time to see any more material from him.
“I reached a point where I just completely took myself out of the studio,” explains Hazard, whose last release was Bricks Don’t Roll in 2014. “I got myself out of the house, done regular things with the family and lived a bit of a normal life. But now it’s back to work and I’m happy.”
In all the years of interviewing DJ Hazard we’ve never heard him say those words. It makes us happy too. He explains how the current state of jump-up has also inspired his move back to the studio. “Jump-up is kinda maturing in a way,” he explains. “It’s broader, if that makes sense. You can make a technical tune that’s jump up and it’s played across the board, you can make a minimal one and people will play it across the board. As long as it catches a vibe then it will please people. You don’t have to make that massive banger now. It hasn’t always been that way and it’s a good place to be. There are plenty of angles you can take.”
Only time will tell which angles Hazard will take with his future releases. No release dates are planned, we don’t advise you to hold your breath, but just know that the wheels are moving: Hazard is back in the studio and this is fantastic news for drum & bass.