Officially the Jungle legends’ remixers of choice, the Serial Killaz are comprised of Tobie Scopes AKA DJ Tera and Vital Elements (or Graham Warnock to his mates). Their successive hit remixes of classic jungle tunes such as Congo Natty's ‘Junglist’ and ‘Wardance’, Terry T' & Demoltion Man's ‘Fire’ and Marvellous Cain's 'The Hitman' have seen the pair gain support from such highbrow, disc spinning luminaries as DJ Hype, Nicky Blackmarket, Kenny Ken and Micky Finn while their own DJ schedule is looking more than hectic with offers from all over the globe flooding in.
You may be forgiven for being mystified at how this relatively new production duo has managed to achieve such massive accomplishments and been given the opportunity to remix some of Jungle’s biggest tunes, but if you delve a little deeper into the history of the Serial Killaz it soon becomes clear that these guys are no novices to the world of Drum & Bass.
Tobie is head of A&R at Nu Urban Music, undoubtedly the D&B scene’s biggest and most exciting distribution company, responsible for hundreds of record labels including some of Drum & Bass’s biggest. Not that Tobie has just stumbled blindly into his role at Nu Urban, having left school at a time when the Rave scene was just kicking off, Tobie found himself working a dead end job at Fuji where he would while away the hours dreaming of becoming a world class producer and DJ, until one day he picked up his stuff and strolled confidently out of the job that he hated to pursue that very vision.
Hooking up with the Back2Basics crew in 1995, Tobie achieved his first big success as a producer alongside JB under their Chimera guise. ‘Deeper Life’ was picked up by every major DJ of the time, Andy C, Grooverider, Fabio, LTJ Bukem and Randall among many more would batter it every weekend at Jungle raves up and down the country. While all this attention was focussing on Tobie, now making a name for himself as DJ Tera, he was busy supplementing his income working at Vinyl Frontier in Woking and DJing at events all over the UK including a high profile residency at One Nation.
After several years working at such record shops as Choci's Chunes and Vinyl Frontier and while producing tracks with such legendary artists as Tango and the Back 2 Basics crew, Tobie received a call from Phil Wells, owner of Record Basement offering him a job at the freshly set up and now infamous Vinyl Distribution. It was his job at Vinyl that set Tobie on the long path towards meeting up with Vital Elements and creating the Serial Killaz.
While DJ Tera was following his dream of making and playing Jungle / D&B, Vital Elements was immersing himself in what was to him a fresh and exciting sound. With a love of all things dancefloor friendly, and with a wide ranging musical palette, it was inevitable that after a few years of playing other peoples’ music Graham would turn to producing his own. Soon the Vital Elements name was established with close friend Matt, although Matt soon left the group to pursue other ventures and Graham continued to produce under the Vital Elements guise as a solo artist.
Obsessed with manipulating sounds and experimenting with mixdowns to get them as loud and clear as possible, Graham’s ear for engineering tracks shone through even on some of his earliest works such as ‘Save Our Souls’ and ‘Finish Him’ released on Mastermind Records. This level of attention to detail soon won him the support of many top names and even led to a phone call from the mighty Dillinja complimenting him on his tunes. This small, but essential boost gave Graham all the encouragement he needed to take his production to the next level and soon DJs like Hype, Grooverider and DJ SS were all clamouring to play his tune on dubplate.
All this attention led to DJ SS signing the massive 'Together' for one of his legendary Power Play LPs; released on Formation in April 2005 it was also heavily supported by DJ Hype who made it a firm favourite with listeners on his Kiss 100 radio show. The success kept coming and after signing tracks to Liquid V, Grid, Basement and of course DJ SS’s Formation and Reformed labels, Graham decided it was time to set up his own label in order to have more control over his music. Of course the first person on his list to contact was none other than Tobie Scopes at Nu Urban; fate had at last let their paths cross!
As Tobie had been working closely with Rebel MC's Congo Natty label at Nu Urban, Rebel asked if they would remix his classic 'Junglist'
Once the move was made towards producing together, Tobie and Graham soon locked themselves up in the studio. As Tobie had been working closely with Rebel MC's Congo Natty label at Nu Urban, Rebel asked if they would remix his classic 'Junglist' track. The rest, as they say, is history. The Serial Killaz remix of ‘Junglist’ was an instant hit with Hype and Nicky Blackmarket and soon offers to remix more Jungle classics were flooding in;
Most notably Terry T & Souljah (of Knowledge & Wisdom fame) contacted Tobie & Graham, after hearing their 'Junglist' remix, to rework one of their biggest Jungle classics - 'Fire'. Featuring Demolition Man on vocals, the original was a frantic, Jungle anthem. The boys didn't dissapoint and turned in a wicked remix that stayed true to the original. It was picked up by dj's all over the world and has gone on to be a massive seller.
Last summer Rebel MC asked the boys to sign to his label as exclusive artists and entrusted them with a treasured DAT of Congo vocals from such legends such as Tenor Fly, Top Cat, Peter Bouncer and Daddy Freddy.
Earlier this year the boys remixed the massive 'Wardance' giving them their biggest hit to date. As always it was heavily supported by Hype, Nicky Blackmarket, Kenny Ken and many many more. More Congo remixes are in the pileline, so watch this space for further news.
The future looks good for the Killaz, with plenty more remix work lined up, a DJ schedule that makes Andy C look like a lazy dole dosser (ok, maybe not quite) and a bag full of original dubplates and specials that’ll make any Ragga loving DJ green with envy!