DJ Noodles of Groove Chronicles

Unlimited Boundaries – Interview with Groove Chronicles (Noodles)

Groove Chronicles (Noodles), aka Steven Kelly, is an artist with very little need for an introduction. One of South London’s greatest devotees and dance music enthusiasts, Noodles has lived, breathed and sweated through more than three decades of electronic music -whether it was pushing vinyls in London’s most prestigious record shops, pioneering the UKG sound, or supporting the next generation of UKG, DnB and Dubstep producers. Someone that knows exactly what it means to have a crowd at your fingertips, Noodles has been known for producing some of the most bassline-rattling, soul-cutting and dancefloor-illuminating tracks. It’s with great pleasure that we’ve been able to take a dive into the current happenings of Noodles and his own DPR Recordings. 

During our chat with the iconic South Londoner, he spoke of the ideology behind the label, the partnerships he’s developed throughout his lengthy career, and the creation process behind his distinctive productions.


Hey, Noodles! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. 

With everything going on at the moment, how has your year been? Comparing it to previous years, what has changed for you both personally and in terms of your music?

No problem thanks for reaching out, I’ve been very busy over the last couple of years so it’s been good to ease up. Musically it’s been really good.

Since its inception in the late 90s, DPR Recordings has heavily influenced the styles of Dub, UKG and House that we hear today. After keeping the label ticking over through the 2000’s, we saw your productions re-emerge in 2014 along with a subsequent abundance of new releases. Where do you see the direction of the label going and more generally, the Breaks, Dub, and House scene moving forward?

The DPR Recordings label has always been a vehicle for good music, musically whatever I like can work: simple. No need to build boundaries, just enjoy what you hear!

DPR Recordings · Groove Chronicles Gonna Be 2step Mix

 In the past few years the world has seen a remarkable rise in vinyl record demand, creating a new wave of artists opting for wax over USB. As an artist who provided these new sounds and records to the pioneers of the rave revolution, what does it mean to you to see this form of media being in such popular demand?

Lately how deep have you been digging into your record collection when preparing for sets or mixes (e.g. Rinse FM sessions)?

I don’t think the vinyl ever went away, people see it as something new to invest in. A lot of the USB DJs didn’t have the vinyl in the first place so it was easy to obtain rips off the net. I’m happy with the growth of vinyl, I’ve got a reasonable collection which is just all the music I like & sold in record shops. It wasn’t so much as digging it was remembering what I’ve got. In some cases, I hadn’t played tunes in decades so rediscovering them was good and that’s what I was doing for my rinse sets (JUMJUM/Rogue sessions/ DPR in sessions) playing those tracks to showcase what I’m into musically.

For more than a decade you’ve been both a mentor to and partner with DUBCHILD, who is one of the UK’s finest bassline breaks, breakstep and dubstep producers.

How did you come into contact with him and what sparked your creative relationship? Can you describe what it’s like to work together with him?

We got in contact after I heard his dubstep/ break tracks, which I started to release on the DPR recordings label. There was something different with the sound he was creating. Our work relationship is based on good music, we’ve managed to share knowledge with each other luckily we do come from similar backgrounds ie jungle/dnb & hip hop & reggae.

So far in the bizarre year of 2020, there was a constant flow of releases on DPR Recordings – covering UKG originals, re-fixes and 4×4 Dub-infused house shakers.

Do you and DUBCHILD have any more releases that are planned to be released into 2021 and if so, are there any artists that you are looking forward to showcasing in any upcoming releases?

Yes, there have been loads of releases from myself & DUBCHILD on the DPR Recordings label through Bandcamp, It’s important to show everything, as people seem to forget or not know what you have done, as everything moves so quick. We have new artists Nine shields/ Kr0t0ne/ & Spooky Bizzle forthcoming & new material from D3adl1ne who has had previous releases on the label.

Your 2019 release of “My Thing”, which features soulful vocals, a skippy bassline and airy synths, typifies the sound you’ve built upon over the last 30 years. When listening I can’t help but imagine what it was like in the 90’s (when you were working at Zoom and Unity Records) standing between the jungle/drum & bass section and R&B/house sections – picturing speeding up a break or R&B vocal then mixing it with a slowed down a jungle bassline.

We’d love to know the inspiration behind this track? When listening to music today, do you still have the same creative thoughts running through your mind as you did when you first started to produce?

Producing music is for the soul, so I’ve always kept that in mind for projects & production. It’s about good music which DUBCHILD & I always discuss, so if I like a vocal or a sound I’ll imagine it in a different genre, if it can work we’ll do it.

The influence that UKG has had on electronic music is undoubtedly shown in new styles of music that are growing in popularity: from heavy Jungle and Dubstep breaks, to the soulful vocal influences coming from current UK producers (e.g. Main Phase, Interplanetary Criminal) and electro-infused bend of UKG residing out of Berlin (e.g. Harry Willis, Alec Falconer).

Do you enjoy where the sound has been taken? Do you like to keep track of where these new styles come from and who helped develop them?

I would say it’s from the background you are from? Yes I do have a listen to various new artists which I have featured in a new mix I’ve done, but I had to be very selective in the tracks as they tend to be a bit similar to each other, but of course the sound (UK Garage) is now spread worldwide,developing into so many different styles & will go full circle on itself because as I know nothing in dance music is original.

Thanks for speaking with us Steven!

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