Round 2: Mickey Finn & L Double

Another dose of heavyweight Drum’n’Bass champions are about to break loose into the ring. Round two features D’n’B massif-weight titleholder Mickey Finn, and dual loaded punches and flexes from L Double. Get ready to rumble for the new Melbourne takeover.

9 miles from Leeds, in a place where only locals can pronounce, L Double is at home eating an egg sandwich. Or maybe he does live in a pronounceable location, but fault lies in the egg sandwich. It’s morning. The man is obviously hungry. He apologizes for the lack of bedside manner, but that’s ok – because L Double, many would agree, is one of the main men in D’n’B.

But his finger wasn’t always in the D’n’B pie. Like many others today who talk of their musical beginnings, L Double grew his muscles with early rave day nutrition, years later becoming a member of the chart topping cult house group, Unique 3. That was in the mid 90s. Before building housey escapades, L Double was undoubtedly a man of the Hip Hop descent, and toured the continent with his European Scratch Champion buddy, DJ Trix.

Equipped with an all-terrain dance music curriculum, L Double decided to make most of his knowledge and push British House music both locally and abroad. He backed the likes of Adamski, 808 State, and the warped Nightmares on Wax. So it’s not surprising that L Double isn’t a purist.

“When you’ve got a broader spectrum you can listen more objectively to different things rather than just getting your blinkers on and saying ‘yeah this is what I’m into’,” declares L Double. “For me, having a broad appreciation of music has maybe got me to where I am now. If I hadn’t been open to it, maybe I would have been caught up on acid house and never listened to anything else.”

L’s wide-eyed scope has lead him to producing with the likes of TC Islam, and remixing with the ubiquitous Wu Tang Clan. The friendships forged over the years has lead him to collaborate with a stellar list of producers all over the shop. And today L sits comfortably pushing underground Drum’n’Bass on his radio show 1xtra on BBC’s Radio 1 in the UK.

“Yeah it’s been really good,” he tells of his Radio program. “They’ve been really supportive, and BBC is a big organisation and what we’re doing is a very small part of it. We’ve have everybody on the show, the Opitcals, the Adam Fs.

And the Mickey Finns – whom L will double up with on his Heavyweight tour in Australia. Not a disciple of purism, L double believes that it does work very well for some people. Like Mickey Finn? “If you are super hot and it works for you and all the stars are lined up, it can work. But anyone who’s looking for any sort of longevity will run themselves up a one way street,” states L.

Admittedly, the one way street has been pretty clear for one of DnB most influential, set in stone, artists like Mickey Finn.

Mickey Finn needs no introduction. One of the most resolute figures in the Drum’n’Bass scene, the London based DnB god has been pushing his own and his collaborative hardcore-jungle sounds for over a decade. Well known for his label effort, Urban Takeover, set up with his partner in urban crime, Aphrodite, Finn has moved with the times and crossed paths with L Double for an album project ‘Half Man Half Machine.’

Now Mickey Finn is biting back. Having met through L Double’s fervent record mailouts to Finn – where Mickey would be one of the only ones that would regularly respond- the two ended up meeting when L was down at Black Market record shop. “We’d been sending music to each other for 18 months before we met. So the music brought us together, really,” says L.

“We’ve done a fair share of gigs together, and as producers we’ve been working together for quite a while now,” interjects Mickey of his and L’s relationship. “We’ve been working on this ‘Half Man Half Machine’ project and we were hoping to have it finished for when we came out there, but I don’t think it’s going to happen now. We just want to make it really right.”

Their album project is said to have a collective of tracks with various styles comprising of jazz, ragga, hip hop and instrumental sounds. “Even some South American samba sounding things,” adds Mickey. “We’re just trying to get a different sound together.”

“He’s a very good engineer, he’s very fast, and he’s got a completely different vibe to what I’ve got,” claims Mickey of L Double. “This always works well when you’re working in a double team. You don’t always want two people who have the same vibe, because you’re going to have a conflict of interest.”

There’ll be much interest to see the conflict between the tenacious team of Mickey Finn and L double versus moody Bad Company at the upcoming Prince of Wales rinse-out gig. An event with a crew of some of the world’s best Drum’n’Bass representatives bouncing off each other with contrasting moods. Now it almost goes back to what L had mentioned about differences in styles: “you’ve got to be able to diversify. Music is music at the end of the day, innit?”

Mickey Finn and L Double play at Prince of Wales on Friday 21 February. Mickey’s Takeover Bid 2 is out now through DMC.