DJ Roughcut was inspired to explore the emerging artform of scratching and mixing vinyl records during the early 1980s after watching the movie Breakdance. By the late 1980s DJ Roughcut managed to obtain his first pair of turntables and in 1989 at age 15 he entered a DJ competition hosted by the ITV children’s TV program Motor Mouth. The TV appearance led to an opportunity to compete in the 1989 UK DMC Junior mixing championships in which DJ Roughcut was awarded the runner up position.
DJ Roughcut (Right) – Early 1990s.
The following year DJ Roughcut became one of several resident DJs at The Point Club located in central Milton Keynes. Performing at the Point Club led to collaborations with like minded individuals such as The W.I.Z.E Crew, Death Before Dishonour, Klass Dismissed and solo rapper Danny Cooli. By 1991 DJ Roughcut had incorporated musical production to his skill set and eventually established a home studio known as Rough Productions.
DJ Roughcut – Rough productions, Early 1990s.
During the early to mid 1990s Rough Productions became one of a small number of creative outlets for local Hip Hop and Dance music artists in Milton Keynes and the surrounding area. It was during this period that DJ Roughcut collaborated as both a scratch DJ and a producer working alsongside several of Milton Keynes’s Hip Hop artists such as The W.I.Z.E Crew, MC Danni Cooli, Klass Dismissed and Death Before Dishonour.
Danny Cooli – Rough productions, Early 1990s.
DJ Roughcut like many DJ/producers of the era began experimenting with break beats and samples exploring the existing musical genera of Hip Hop as well as the emerging musical genera’s of Rave, Hardcore and Jungle. In 1992 DJ Roughcut‘s debut recordings were released as part of a 12″ vinyl EP entitled “Kuppa Soop – Hardcore mayhem vol 1” on 2’E’Z Records. The EP contains 7 tracks in total and also features recordings by Judge Wisely, Hyper Crew and DJ 2’E’Z.
Kuppa Soop “Hardcore mayhem vol 1” – 2’E’Z Records, 1992.
The “Kuppa Soop – Hardcore mayhem vol 1″ EP was released with a black & white picture sleeve that can be viewed in the above slide show. The first composition created by DJ Roughcut who is pictured in the top left on the back of the sleeve is entitled “Rough on a roll“. The recording which is reminiscent of early Hardcore/Drum & Bass music appears on Side AA (Chicken) track position 2 and can be heard in the below youtube video:
DJ Roughcut “Rough on a roll” (Kuppa Soop Vol 1 EP) – 2’E’Z Records, 1992.
The second composition created by DJ Roughcut and featured on the “Kuppa Soop – Hardcore mayhem vol 1″ EP is entitled “Inside my brain” which is also reminiscent of the Hardcore/Drum & Bass recordings of the early 1990s. “Inside my brain” appears on Side AA (Chicken) track position 3 of the “Kuppa Soop – Hardcore mayhem vol 1″ EP and utilises a sample from 1980s Hip Hop group Whodini‘s composition “Magic’s wand“. The recording can be heard in the below youtube video:
DJ Roughcut “Inside my brain” (Kuppa Soop Vol 1 EP) – 2’E’Z Records, 1992.
In 1993 a follow up vinyl EP entitled “Kuppa Soop 2 – Mona in despair” was released by 2’E’Z Records. The EP contains six recordings in total and was collectively created by DJ Roughcut, The Rat, DJ 2’E’Z, The Happy Hippy, The Bus Conducter and The W.I.Z.E Crew. Like its predecessor “Kuppa Soop 2 – Mona in despair” was also released with a black & white sleeve design containing artwork created by Chillum. Both sides of the sleeve can be viewed in the below slideshow:
Kuppa Soop Vol 2 “Mona in despair” – 2’E’Z Records, 1993.
The first of three compositions involving DJ Roughcut is entitled “Keep on” and is a collaboration that was recorded with The Rat. “Keep on” which is credited on the record sleeve as “Keep on (Freedom mix)” appears on side A, track position 2 of the “Kuppa Soop 2 – Mona in despair” EP. “Keep on” was written and produced by DJ Roughcut and The Rat and was engineered by Alan at the laboratory. The recording can be heard in the below youtube video:
DJ Roughcut & The Rat “Keep on” (Kuppa Soop 2 EP) – 2’E’Z Records, 1993.
The second composition created by DJ Roughcut and released as part of the “Kuppa Soop 2 – Mona in despair ” EP was also a collaboration with The Rat and is entitled “The flying pick-it“. The recording which is credited on the sleeve as “The flying pick-it (n.u.m. mix)” appears on side AA track position 1 and features piano by Akai S1000, vocals by Miss Zero G and was also engineered by Alan at the laboratory. “The flying pick-it” can be heard in the below youtube video:
DJ Roughcut & The Rat “The flying pick-it” (Kuppa Soop 2 EP) – 2’E’Z Records, 1993.
The final composition from the “Kuppa Soop 2 – Mona in despair ” EP to involve DJ Roughcut is a collaboration with The W.I.Z.E. Crew. The recording entitled “Beats me” is a Hip Hop track that features rap vocals by Judge Wizely and MC Law, with scratches by DJ Roughcut. The recording credited as “Beats me (Original mix)” on the sleeve was produced by Judge Wizely and DJ Roughcut, engineered by Mike Skeet and can be heard in the below youtube video:
W.I.Z.E Crew “Beats me” (Kuppa Soop Vol 2 EP) – 2’E’Z Records, 1993.
During the mid to late 1990s DJ Roughcut progressed in to the House and Dance music scene where he rebranded himself as DJ Hurley\Keith Hurley. DJ Hurley played at numerous dance music venues in the UK during this period and became resident DJ at a House music event called Sensoria which was held in the popular Milton Keynes venue Bar Central. In 2003 DJ Hurley won the MK Citizen Go! Award for Best City Promotion DJ.
DJ Keith Hurley, Sensoria.
In recent years DJ Hurley has progressed in to radio broadcasting and has taken up residency on Milton Keynes radio station MKFM. DJ Hurley currently presents two weekly shows called Friday night in the mix and Saturday night in the mix where he plays a selection of Old Skool Anthems. Both shows run every Friday and Saturday evenings between 7pm-10pm and are broadcast across Milton Keynes on 106.3FM and digitally via the MKFM website.
DJ Hurley, MK FM.
For further info on DJ Roughcut \ DJ Hurley please see:
- Death Before Dishonour (DBD)
- DJ Keith Hurley (Roughcut) Facebook
- DJ Roughcut interview
- Jack The Ripper Interview
- W.I.Z.E Crew
- @keithhurley (Link tree)
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