Ruff Tactics

BITTEN BY THE MUSIC BUG: Back in early 1993, an 11yr old Garry tuned into a pirate radio station called Unity FM. Having heard all the talk, and the mystery surrounding this music that THE ‘grown ups’ severely frowned on he was intrigued. As he turned the dial and through the hiss and crackle heard an amen break creeping in he was hooked. He still has a recording of that first taste of what would become his passion. He still has no idea what that first track is either! Typical!

DJING IN AUSTRALIA 1998-2000: He started playing records in 1998, just learning the trade every fortnight down at Patsans record shop. He got a slot on a community radio station called ZZZ-FM 94.5. This was based in Hunter Street, Newcastle, and the station hosted all kinds of underground & commercial music from the cities various DJ’S. Here he first met Mark N from Bloody Fist Records, who at the time was doing his Nosebleed shows on the same station. This led to a number of bookings in pubs and clubs in Newcastle, and gave him a taste of playing out to a crowd.

FHP: In 2000 he made the jump into the production side of things was made after years of messing about trying. Having teamed up with friend Ryan Brown, they started to make and give away poorly made breakbeat and hardcore techno tracks. FHP were heavily influenced by what Bloody Fist and other crews who around at the time were doing. It was just a hobby for them that saw them getting a few live gigs playing the tracks they made to the poor unsuspecting Newcastle crowd at various haunts such as The Lucky Country, and the legendary Hunter on Hunter pub. It was at the time Newcastle was buzzing with underground music, good nights on every weekend.

10% RECORDS: By 2003 Garry was living in Sydney, so it was a lot harder to continue with FHP given the logistics of living in different towns. There seemed to be a growing interest in the Breakbeat Hardcore scene in the UK, so a decision was made to go down that road. People like Dave Skywalker & Luna C were making some very interesting noise in that department, and 10% wanted part of it. Garry had teamed up with fellow Essex boy James Coxell, and plans were put into place about doing a label, which kicked off fully when Garry returned to the UK late 2003. 2 CD releases came out fine, and one ‘f*cked up’ CD release where the stock was damaged and only about a dozen cd’s were playable. 10% called it a day in style in late 2004, Dave Skywalker had booked them to play a live set in London, with the likes of Slipmatt, Vibes, Billy Bunter & Luna C on the lineup. The live PA went down a treat!

BUZZBEE: Garry returned to Australia days after the 10% gig in London, due to various things happening outside of music. It was around this time that Garry had become good friends with a german who played on the same internet station Ineffect Radio. The German enquired about 10%s future plans. Hearing there were none, the German (Soundbwoy Taz) suggested on starting up a label himself to release new ‘oldskool’ material. Buzzbee was born and Garry once again returned to the UK. Buzzbee led to 3 vinyl releases, and 2 trips overseas to play the label material at parties. Today Buzzbee records fetch good money on discogs. Garry recorded under the name Ruff Tactics & Dead Raver (more on that later..)

POLITICS: In 2006 scene politics started to simmer and eventually boil over. Various crews sided with each other (some switched teams at half time) and a very public slanging match ensued. People fell out, and people who were putting big money into the breakbeat hardcore/HCB scene were having all sorts of issues regarding distribution and promotion. Garry does not want to go into detail in what was said by who to who, or mention names, but when the HCB war is mentioned you can be sure Garry’s name isn’t far off people’s lips.

ERUPTION FM: DJ Sike (fellow Buzzbee artist) told Garry, that eruption fm in east London was looking for new DJ’S for their weekend broadcasts, Garry joined the Eruption team (ironically replacing the crew he was arguing with in the HCB politics), and enjoyed a good run doing a Saturday afternoon shows. Playing on pirate radio was a lifelong dream, even more important than playing at a rave. Garry had to leave after about 6 months due to a new born baby but really valued his time on Eruption.

RENEGADE/SST: IN 2007 Garry joined new internet radio station Renegade run By Champion Puffa and his partner in crime Livvy. Through this Garry was also broadcast on Cyndicut FM. The station brought together a number of DJ’S and regulars in a tight knit family .A fellow DJ (yet another Essex boy) Jon SST decided to put together another label SST so he could release some music including Garry’s Scar Wars series. (Scar Wars was born when Dead Raver died, it involved glass, pain and stitches in Poland, hence SCAR) Scar Wars Episode 2 being the more popular of Garry’s tracks with it still being played out and about today.

BACK DOWN UNDER: In late 2008 Garry once again got restless and took his wife and Kids back to Australia. He wasn’t off air long and soon was back doing regular shows on Renegade. Within 2 weeks of landing he was playing a warehouse party! Back in Newcastle with the old mates from the FHP days eventually sparked something off in Garry and the BREAKDOWN parties came to fruition in 2010. The May event had some 250 people attend an Outdoor free hardcore party and was a huge success bringing in old faces and new. Fresh of the success of the first event Garry steamed ahead with Plans to get Mark N back at a Newcastle gig this September. With his bullish approach it happened too. Just.

CURRENT LABELS & RELEASES: aswell as joining the team at Endor, Garry is also doing tracks for Hardcore Lives & Paranoid Recordings, and of course hardcore stuff through FHP.