Saturday 9 March 2019

Feb 16th 2019 - The loss of a dear friend, brother and musical mischief maker...

It is with a heavy heart that I write this message.

On the 16th February 2019, Bruce Campbell, aka a9ent0ran9e aka Phat Pilgrim passed away having spent well over a year fighting Cancer. 

When I heard the news that he had conceived the unforgiving deadly C word I knew that it would only be a matter of months, maybe a year or 2 at the most, that it would finally take hold of him and take him away from us, far too soon. 

I am absolutely gutted... He is my muse, my creative mischief making partner. 

I have only fond memories of Bruce, the parties, raves, festivals and music making sessions, then, seemingly just playful days, now, meaning something so dear and special to me. He has inspired my DJ career, my passion for broken beats to be explored and this blog to be created in the first place. Without him, I believe I would have hung my DJ coat up many years ago and probably followed some other creative outlet. 

It was Bruce that motivated me (in my madness) to first approach NSBradio 10 years ago to ask for a slot. They answered back with an affirmative to giving us the time and day that we wanted to play (to my surprise!). 

I had only been into breaks for a month or less by this point, having DJ'd hard house and liquid dnb prior to falling in love with the Breaks, Beats and Badass Basslines... Bruce being the producer and me the DJ, it quickly became obvious that we both had a lot to learn about each others trades and the process of being an online radio DJ/Host. As the first show was about to happen, Bruce came over, I presented him with 2 x Technics 1200 mk2 and a mixer along with M-audio's Torq DVS. He had never mixed on vinyl, let alone a DVS, only having ever played out his tunes as a live set on his mpc or using cdjs. This was a test for him and I can say he mainly passed with flying colours, a lot of sweat and many laughs. I hope to be able to find and share some of our first mixes from these days gone by (I lost a few hdds due to a massive power surge and our server went down some years ago, I am only hoping that some of them are hidden away somewhere!). 

I never was able to grasp the amount of knowledge and understanding that Bruce had of music creation, the way his brain worked was imense. 

When I first met Bruce, I happened to be going out with the girl that sung on his album 'Fix Your Shadow'. I was pulled into the scene quicker than I could fathom. Having been to one of Damn Right's nights at Alberrys in Canterbury (Delta Connection) it was obvious that these were my people, my tribe. 

I have always been in awe at the ease with which Bruce would throw together samples, beats, synth etc into a cohesive mashup of a tune. In moments he would have you grooving around the studio and then on very rare occasions he would just start MCing live in the moment. His understanding of lyrical flow was impeccable. I tried many times to record his lyrical mastery, but always to no avail. 

One time a friend came over that was a Producer whilst Bruce had his MPC setup for a jam session we were having, my friend (Ali) had never seen an MPC live in the flesh and was not prepared for the next 3 minutes of his life to be shown how an MPC should be used. Bruce, in his excited way of showing someone a piece of kit that he clearly knew how to use to its fullest extent preceded to press buttons and move things around, showing Ali what to do, whilst I flew around the studio turning on my pc, setting up a microphone and getting the mixer plugged in to try to record the mastery that was unfolding. The beats, basslines and synth all grooving together, Bruce then waxed lyrically off the top of his brain, in such perfect synchronicity, by the time I had got everything setup and put the mic infront of him it was too late... What had happened had passed and he just looked at me, as to say "what do you want me to do with this". The magic had happened, you had to be there to observe, listen and be in awe of the true magic that was expressed in that moment. 

This wasn't just a freak occurrence, it happened quite a lot, however, that time I will never forget. 
I learned just to enjoy the creation as it happened, as it was always seemingly impossible to capture the greatness that was happening before your eyes. 

I am glad I got to experience Bruce, in all his multifaceted ways. Having long discussions about politics, life, the universe, music and anything of any interest we both had. I find myself with seemingly so many questions for him know he is not here. 

He lives in my heart and the music that I will continue to play. He is the mischievousness in me, the little cheeky grin that you get when you're being naughty as if you were a kid. 

I am sad, but I know he is not hurting anymore. He leaves behind Justine his Wife and Edd his step son, so many friends and family. What an impact he has had on my life and I am sure on many others. 

I could go on telling stories about all the things we have experienced together, but I feel that is not for this blog. They are the stories that live on.

Bruce Fixed his Shadow, he lived from a place of Love in his heart. I hope to be able to understand and give anywhere near as much as he was able to to the people that I know and have around me. 

RIP Bruce Campbell. I Love You Bro... 

Big Love, Nuff Respect (Inner area) <<<<(~*~)>>>>

Peace 1 <3

Will MD aka Phat Farmer


No comments:

Post a Comment