TOTD // 03/08 // DJ Barely Legal

Published: August 3, 2017, words by Reece Augustin-Spooner

Part of the Eastern Electrics 2017 takeover


Self-confessed “music head and raver” Chloe Robinson, aka DJ Barely Legal, has become one of the UK’s most exciting purveyors of bass music. Robinson assumed her stage name in jest, yet it has been embodied by the upward trajectory of her career at a remarkably young age.

Birmingham-born and London-based, she had indeed been attending raves from a young age. However, it wasn’t until she was 19 that she bought her first set of turntables. By 22, DJ Barely Legal had supported Four Tet at his headline Fabriclive show and a year later had a Boiler Room mix under her belt. Now 25, she has also been making a name for herself on the airwaves, racking up contributions to Rinse FM, 1Xtra and NTS since 2012.

For Robinson, DJing was a hobby that only turned major after winning a 1Xtra competition and accepting a one year’s residency on Mistajam’s show. Barely Legal attributes her style, “gun-finger music”, a playful potpourri of contemporary and retro grime, hip-hop, jungle and drum & bass, to her mother –  a music aficionado who from an early age instilled in her a love of garage. This reputation for genre-blending caught the attention of Marcus Nasty, Chimpo and Wiley, who invited her to play at his Eskimo Dance party, and MC’d over one of her Daily Dose mixes for 1Xtra. It also earned her a 2016 nomination for DJ Mag’s Best Breakthrough Act. Influenced by the culture, the unquestionable UK-focus of her sets is no-doubt aided by her penchant for going into the crowd after sets. For her, “it’s important to understand what the crowds are reacting to.”

2017 is set to be DJ Barely Legal’s most exciting year yet. So far crowds, from Glastonbury and Creamfields to Secret Garden Party, have been throwing up their ‘gun-fingers’ in support of her explosive sets this summer. She recently completed tours in New Zealand and India and, in addition, the first release from her label Pretty Weird Records was released in June. What then does the future hold for the youngster who is seemingly doing everything? The answer: a newly-cultivated label roster, a Pretty Weird events series and another European tour. As she takes to the stage at Eastern Electrics this weekend, DJ Barely Legal takes us through some experiences and sounds that have influenced her path. Catch her at the Rinse-curated Star Of EE stage this Saturday in Morden Park. 

via youtube

Horsepower Productions

Gorgon Sound

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“I picked a track which took me back to the FWD>> days at Plastic People. I was there religiously every week and it inspired me to start collecting music and taught me so much about bass music culture. A lot of the DJs I watched there influenced my mixed genre style of DJing too- it was just such a sick community of people there every week, I miss it a lot. Horsepower Productions were also pioneering artists pushing the dark, wonky, swinging garage sound back in the late 90s, a sound which was very ahead of its time.”
via youtube

Scott Garcia

A London Thing feat. MC Styles

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“A classic Garage anthem released in 1997, which was round about the year the UK Garage Sound came about. ”
via youtube

Skream

Lightening

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“I wanted to pick a track from one of the dubstep pioneers who originated from Croydon, an area in South London which was also home to a lot of other core producers of the sound. This was released on Tempa, one of the key labels which began referencing dubstep as a genre, as well as other labels like Big Apple and Ammunition.”
via youtube

Shy Fx

Original Nuttah

  • Calm

  • Energetic

  • Euphoric

  • Happy

  • Melancholic

  • Nostalgic

  • Tense

  • Wonky

“This timeless track hit the British pop charts in mid-1994 and soon became one of the most infectious ragga-jungle anthems of all time, made by London born producer Shy FX, one of the most respected drum and bass producers around.”

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