For the last 19 years, real heads can’t think about Drum & Bass in New York City without mentioning DJ Seen’s name. He’s championed the scene since 1994, back when the Ragga vibes were running rampant, and is still promoting Drum & Bass’s evolution to this day. He is a man who is well-respected for his no-nonsense approach to quality sets and is also seen as an acclaimed producer with his work alongside DJ Wally/Pish Posh. He is also most notably known for his work as 1/3 of The Burner Brothers, a crew whose productions have graced numerous labels including Jungle Sky, Magic Vinyl, Rawkuts, Steppasoundz, and Subsonik Sound for their last releases. Let’s take a step back, though…
Back in early 1996, DJ Seen helped form the Audio Arcade with MC Panik, of Konkrete Jungle fame, whose mission was to be a passageway, or arcade, for which to represent Drum & Bass to the fullest. It was nearly three years later when Seen started producing alongside DJ Wally/Pish Posh, most notably with “The Monsta” from Pish Posh’s Up Jumps the Boogie CD. This was the perfect union: Seen already had the pulse of the dance-floor tapped and DJ Wally/Pish Posh’s established reputation, they created some truly unique American Drum & Bass. This, of course, caused quite a commotion. To this day, many East Coast American Drum & Bass fans first related to DJ Wally & Seen when they thought of homegrown Drum & Bass artists. This union helped lead to numerous releases on Rawkus’ Rawkuts imprint, a label which would soon give DJ Seen the title of label manager. Although the label folded along with Rawkus, Seen’s work as manager helped further establish the brand on a more international level, scoring unforgettable releases like the “Oh No” remixes by John B, as well as tracks from producers like Gridlok, Jo-S, JuJu and KC. In this time period, Drum & Bass’s own treacherous 3, The Burner Brothers (DJ Seen, Pish Posh & Chris Thomas), were born. Their productions gained much praise and rewinds, both stateside and within the hands of top UK selectors.
For a time, DJ Seen fell silent from the more mainstream-side of Drum & Bass, even though he still held it down as resident DJ at NYC’s Direct Drive (www.directdrive.net). In 2006, he stopped his work with various labels to better concentrate on his own productions and DJing. As a result, DJ Seen is known to be one of the most hard-working DJs in the New York area; packing the Drum & Bass rooms at weeklies and parties in Atlanta, South Beach, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other US cities. He is still holding it down at Direct Drive and has not only mentioned that he has a serious batch of solo tunes, but he is also working on new material for a full length album with The Burner Brothers! One can only hope that 2009 and beyond sees DJ Seen and the Burner Brothers take back the crown and chart a new path to that next level…
words by Khal.
Dj Seen’s tracks