If anyone’s going to win an award for the hardest working man in Drum & Bass, it’ll probably be Pascal. One of the original Ganja Kru alongside long time business partner DJ Hype, Pascal helped found and establish an empire that reaches into every corner of the globe. Rewinding a little though, Pascal started out his musical career following in the footsteps of Hip Hop DJs like Jazzy Jeff and Cash Money, recording his own material by cutting up records onto a four track.
His love of Hip Hop and Electro inspired a lifetime of devotion to the art of DJing and production, and like so many of D&B’s finest, followed a path that lead him to a new era in musical expression, Rave. Initially dismissive of Acid House, Rave’s older, and in Pascal’s opinion, less interesting brother, he was attracted by the chopped breakbeats and Hip Hop sampling attitude that had started to make its way into the music. It wasn’t long before Pascal had thrown himself in at the deep end and began to produce his own interpretations of Rave music, dropping a few white labels under the guise of Bad Influence before forming Face Records with another legendary Jungle name, Sponge.
Although relatively short lived, Face Records dropped a series of hot Jungle tracks and spawned another of Pascal’s most recognised aliases, Jonny Jungle. It was around this time that another rising star of the underground British music scene started to catch onto what Pascal was doing, and before long DJ Hype had brought him over to Suburban Base, where under the name Jonny Jungle he released the now infamous ‘Jonny’, a disturbing walk on the breakbeat dark side that is instantly recognisable even today.
Following an amicable split with Sponge, Pascal went on to start up Frontline, a label which has seen such undisputed classic as ’6 Million Ways To Die’ and ‘P-Funk Era’, tracks which still regularly feature on compilation CDs boasting to contain the very best of archetypal Drum & Bass anthems. At the same time as Pascal’s personal project was kicking off, DJ Hype expressed an interest in starting his own label, and with Pascal’s help launched Ganja Records, a venture which led on to the vast global empire the pair preside over today.
After a few highly successful years, which included the release of the ‘Still Smokin’ LP, a collaborative project which is still highly sought after by vinyl collectors worldwide, Pascal and Hype linked up with DJ Zinc to form the Drum & Bass supergroup of the time, the Ganja Kru. Their subsequent deal with RCA propelled Pascal and his production partners into the Drum & Bass mainstream and allowed each artist the opportunity to become renowned on a global scale for their individual skills both in the studio, and out on the road, extensively touring and DJing across the world.
As the collective reaped the rewards of their collaborative works, Pascal’s series of solo releases on True Playaz, Ganja and his own Frontline cemented his already strong personal reputation as a producer while the labels’ achievements paid massive homage to his hard work and dedication behind the scenes. By 2002 the unshakable team that is Hype and Pascal decided it was time to take their empire to the next level and they launched Real Playaz. Initially comprised of Ganja and Frontline, Real Playaz is a vehicle to bring all of the pair’s projects together under one roof, with one strong identity.
In recent years Pascal has chosen to concentrate on running Real Playaz. With Hype controlling the A&R and the public face of the Real Playaz kingdom, Pascal is responsible for everything else, from the general day-to-day running of the business, to implementing the long term goals they set for themselves. Despite choosing to take a step back from the studio and concentrate on the business end of things however, Pascal’s love for smashing up dancefloors has never diminished and you can still catch him travelling the world and showing hordes of D&B lovers just what he can do with a pair of Technics, and as his residency at London superclub Fabric proves, he’s still got what it takes to rock a party with a massive bag full of Playaz, Frontline and Ganja dubplates!
Now managing a host of labels under the Real Playaz banner, including LiqWeed Ganja, Ganja-Tek, the runaway success of 2007, Playaz, and with a planned Real Playaz clothing line for 2008, there truly is no stopping Pascal, and it’s clear from the public reaction that commitment and a love for what you do pays off.