It's fair to say that if you're a drum and bass fan, you're probably more than a little familiar with Let It Roll. Having first started out way back in 2003, the brand now travels the continent, curating stages and throwing parties at festivals and venues across Europe.
This August they're back at Milovice Airfield near Prague for their flagship music festival alongside Andy C, Wilkinson, Pendulum, Camo & Krooked and many more.
We caught up with founder Suki to hear his thoughts on the drum and bass scene, its unique connection with Prague and the role Let It Roll plays within it.
It's surely fair to say that Let It Roll is now an institution of drum and bass music. How does it feel to be so renowned? And do you feel any sense of extra responsibility for it?
It's amazing what we've achieved so far. It still amazes me. Though, it still surprises me that we were able to build something so big in the Czech market.
I clearly understand that what we do here actually helps the whole scene to grow. Moreover it helps the artists playing at Let It Roll to build their career. Therefore it's very important for Let It Roll to cover all the drum and bass sub-genres and kick off the emerging artists.
As a brand at the forefront of the genre, what are your thoughts on the scene today? Is it healthy?
I believe that the world drum and bass scene is in a good shape even though a new star is still very much awaited and needed. It's been quite some time since any new artist broke his way into the mainstream.
I like the fact that several sub-genres are strengthening and the scene is diverse. After several years of reigning neurofunk, it is good to know that jump-up, deep and liquid have made a comeback.
How would you say drum and bass has changed since you first started back in 2003?
The scene has grown a lot worldwide since 2003. Around the year 2000, everything turned around the UK. The vast majority of artists were from the UK and the biggest drum and bass parties and festivals were taking place mostly in the UK.
Whereas today the scene is huge across Europe. Countries such as the Czech Republic, Belgium and Austria are likely to compete with the UK at present. There are artists like Netsky, Noisia and Camo and Krooked who are among the biggest, but are from continental Europe.
The Czech Republic, and in particular its capital city Prague, seems to have taken to the genre more than anywhere else. Why do you think that is? What is it about the music that chimes with the Czech population?
I think the Czech people like to enjoy themselves, like to party and that's why they enjoy the fast pace of drum and bass. Since the early 1990s, the scene has gradually grown, never even peaked or dropped.
Thanks to the Czech scene, Let It Roll brings the focus to this music, both from abroad and the Czech media. And this helps the scene to grow.
Would you say Czech-influenced D&B has a unique sound?
It is sad to say that the Czech sound doesn't really exist and it's a peculiarity of our environment. We have a lot of festivals and lots of parties but very few producers. There are names like Rido, A-Cray, QO which you can finally hear about.
Unfortunately though, no Czech artist has fully broken into international markets. I hope it will happen soon because these talents are here and we try to support them.
What are the best clubs and nights in Prague?
If you want to hear drum and bass in Prague, you can choose from three clubs: Storm Club, Roxy and Cross Club. These are clubs that regularly bring renowned international names and each club has a different atmosphere.
You're currently on sale with 2018's Open Air event. What have been your best memories of the past years?
Opening shows definitely. For me personally it is traditionally the most powerful experience on Friday night on the main stage. This is the only part of the program that I will never miss 100%.
I basically don't see the rest of the shows and sets. The opening show is such a concentration of what's going on at the festival, where everyone will meet and the atmosphere is amazing.
You've got the likes of Andy C, Wilkinson, Netsky and Noisia playing at your Open Air festival this year. However, which artists who we may not have heard of should we definitely check out?
Every year we try, apart from the main fundamental names, to also bring new artists that people haven't heard before. This works great by having label nights or just by cooperating with smaller labels.
I personally look forward to Mazzy, then to Dossa and Lockuzz, Monty.
And lastly, how do you see Let It Roll and D&B evolving over the next five years?
I think we will continue to do what we have been doing. That means we will work on bringing the best of drum and bass, providing a great experience and we will definitely try to increase the comfort of our visitors.
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