1 More Mix 036: Charla Green (100% Productions Mix)
Destination Sheffield: Charla Green lays down the law with this heavyweight mix of her own releases and dubs
Stepping up, stepping in… Charla Green is the latest DJ to join the ranks of the 1 More Mix series and she’s done so packing a full set of her own incendiary productions.
A powerful attack of the senses with Amens, dub sirens and timeless jungle references flying left, right and centre, it’s a high energy experience that taps deep into jungle’s core DNA and covers the Sheffield artist’s discography past, present and future.
Not only is it laced with an enormous wealth of dubs – including forthcoming releases on Hardcore Energy, Off Me Nut Records, All Colours and Function – her mix also navigates us around the earlier chapters of her discography with cuts dating back to some her earliest releases going back to 2018 on the likes of UK Jungle and 2020 on labels such as Boey Audio. Also comprising her more recent slammers with Digital on his Function Records imprint, it’s an immense statement that explicitly portrays where Charla Green is at as a super-skilled, relentlessly prolific and fresh graduate of the EQ50 mentorship at the start of 2023.
Don’t take our word, check it yourself…
We caught up with Charla to find out more about the mix, her journey so far, what’s coming up soon and how her baby daughter already knows how to do a rewind!
This mix! Sheesh! Must be cool to just play your own material?
Yeah it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for ages but haven’t had the opportunity to do one until now. It is a nice feeling though, yeah.
I like how there’s dubplates galore but you also include some early releases, too. Like the stuff on Boey Audio and the UK Jungle EP. It takes people on your own music journey.
Ah big up. There’s a lot of my earlier tracks I won’t play because my production on them is a bit ‘bluergh’. I’ve come a long way since then. But some bits I can still play and I thought would work in the mix. I probably don’t play those tracks as much in the club these days.
I hear you. Take me to back in the day. I think you’ve been producing for 10 years now and started by collecting found sounds and manipulating the samples?
Yeah it’s probably a bit longer with production now. I started when I was 19 and I’m 30 now. But that’s right, I used to make a lot of electronica and trip-hop and I’d go round recording these noises. Like ‘there’s a tram’ and mucking around with the recording. I love sampling and changing sounds and distorting them and making them your own.
There’s a real art to Foley recordings and sound manipulation isn’t there? Was there a particular influence that took you in that direction to begin with?
There wasn’t one particular artist or band or anything. At the time I was listening to a lot of Four Tet, Burial, Massive Attack, Groove Armada, Portishead and people like that. I love how a lot of them would use minimal sounds to make maximum impact.
A lot of 90s influence there. You’ve listed some of my favourite bands from that era.
Yeah they’re some of mine, too. I moved out when I was quite young, I was just 17, and I lived with my friend Simon who put me onto them. He had this massive CD collection so that was a big source of inspirations and I was already making regular trips to charity shops to find random old CDs and tapes. I’d collect all kinds of stuff but it was the 90s stuff that really stood out. I love the 90s.
Was that what led you to jungle? It was one of the most important musical and cultural movements to come from that decade…
Yeah I think so. And I’ve always love stuff anything with a broken beat. The scattier the drums, the better, you know? No disrespect to 4×4, I love a bit of 4×4 when the time is right, but I love breakbeats and interesting rhythms. I love jazz, blues, reggae, dub, rockers… So jungle was a natural destination. I started off playing breaks as a DJ, too.
Fully agreed with everything there and same with the breaks! I do quite like the 4×4 jungle techno stuff where you have the best of both worlds.
Yeah I’m into some of that, too. I love what Mandidextrous does with those type of beats.
Yes! Actually that’s a really nice link to the EQ50 crew. How’s life as an EQ50 graduate? Do you still speak regularly now you’ve passed your mentorship?
I do, yeah. Indi Mantra came up to see my baby Storm not long ago. Flight checks in regularly. Sweetpea, Chickaboo. I speak all of them pretty often and they’ve been so supportive. And of course Steve Digital, too. I speak to him every week or two.
Steve’s a certified legend
Yeah he’s awesome. He’s come up here a few times and we’re working on some things. I got another bit that’s coming up on Function soon, it’s in the mix.
Yeah I’ve seen! What’s the most important stuff you’ve learnt from the mighty Digital?
Mainly things about mixdowns and mastering techniques and tips. A lot of what I do on that side has been influenced by what he’s taught me.
Sick. How about the most important stuff you learnt from EQ50?
I’m not sure it’s could be seen as an actual lesson or not, but they just gave me so much confidence. Like, I’d been producing for a long time before I was taken on by them and it’s easy to get disheartened and thinking ‘this is never gonna happen for me’ but I can’t give up because it’s literally all I do! So yeah they really pushed me and provided a support network that was priceless really. I was made to feel part of a collective and I’d always wanted to be part of something like that.
Go on. Were you part of any crews prior to that?
I’ve got crews I play a lot for like Wubclub and Off Me Nut, but I’ve not been part of a proper collective, you know? Me and my friend Ash want to start a little thing so that should be a cool project when we get that together.
Strength in numbers! The best things happen this way!
Yeah! But also what’s important is to be in a collective where people really want to see everyone else succeed. There’s a lot of people in this scene who say they want to support everyone but never actually support anything other than themselves, if that makes sense?
Massive sense! I think we’re in a big shift with that. Some massive DJs just would never big up anyone coming through whenever I asked them in interviews, because they’d be worried about losing their own position. But that’s not as frequent as it was so I think we’re part of a positive change with that. I hope so anyway.
So let’s chat about some of these dubs in the mix! Forthcoming stuff on Hardcore Energy, Wubclub, All Colours, Function…
Yeah I’ve got a lot beats to find homes for, to be honest. I can’t stop writing. But it’s great to be working with all them and a few other labels. Some of them aren’t coming out for a while. The All Colours one is coming out soonish, I’ve known Luke who runs the label for a long time and he’s a good friend. The Function one is maybe coming at the end of April. I’m not sure. I’m really not very good with months and numbers and things like that. It’s all going to be released eventually.
Sick. What are you looking forward to in 2023?
I got a few festivals coming up. Things I can’t quite announce yet because not all line-ups are out but yeah there’s a lot of cool gigs coming up. I’m hoping I can play at Eden festival in Scotland. Not sure if you know about that one? It’s got a real family vibe to it and I’m really looking forward to taking Storm to her first festival.
Ah yeah! Introducing your kids to festival life is the absolute one. Did your family take you to festivals as a kid?
Nah not really, they weren’t into that sort of stuff. But I left home young so I went to a lot of raves and festivals as a kid anyway, really. I want to take Storm to festivals because this music and this culture is always going to be part of her life. She can’t avoid it! Hopefully she’ll love it. She loves dub and jungle. I think it’s because she heard it in the womb, you know? I was doing DJ sets quite late on in my pregnancy. I played Balter when I was about seven months pregnant. I was massive and it was tough, haha, but it was fun.
There’s got to be some proper connection there with the frequencies isn’t it?
Yeah I think so. She’s been exposed to so many scatty breaks and bass frequencies before she was even born, she een falls asleep when jungle comes on. It literally soothes her. There’s something comforting about it for her. So that’s a really nice thing. And dub, too. Dub and rockers are the soundtrack to my life so bass is something she’s been experiencing all her life. She loves being held and carried so when I’m mixing at home, I mix at quiet volumes and have her in the carrier.
She’s already worked out how to do a rewind. She leans out and tries to spin the wheel.
Oh that’s too lush!When’s the collab coming?
Haha, she’ll be on the mic soon enough. Whenever I’m doing a bit of singing she’s grabbing the mic!
Sweet! You sing quite a bit, don’t you?
Yeah I sing a bit. I don’t really do it in front of people, but yeah I’ll have a little sing. I started because I needed some vocals but didn’t have anyone to sing them so I thought I’d do them myself.
Will you take that further? I know you said in another interview that you’re very self conscious about it.
Still the same really. I’m not a very confident singer at all. I just think there are a lot of people who sing a hell of a lot better than me! I do a lot of singing for my friend Motiv who makes a lot of liquid, I’ve sung on one of my partner’s tunes and done a hip-hop thing. But mostly it’s been more of a functional, DIY thing. Need vocals, do them myself. And if I need vocals from a guy, just sing them myself and pitch them down and nobody knows!
Haha brilliant. Anything else the world needs to know about Charla Green right now?
Yes! I’ve got a sample pack coming soon on Top Shelf Audio. I made them on various hardware instruments and on Serum. Watch out for them and hope you enjoy the mix!