D-Funk has been deeply immersed in the global music scene for well over the past decade as a DJ, producer, label owner and former promoter.
Still seen as a new name to some, he has amassed an impressive back catalogue of releases and performances having released over 50 tracks across 13 different labels & played events in UK and across Europe, Asia & Australia.
Originally from UK but now Based in Sydney, Australia, Doug Masters, aka D-Funk, got his first set of decks when he was 14 – way back in the mid-90s. After hours and hours of practice he played his first club gig, spinning jungle and techno before gravitating towards house after a night dancing to Tony De Vit.
At university he scored a residency at the Canal Club and Charlie Chester’s Mezzanine in . notorious clubs like El Divino & Es Paradis.
After moving to Bournemouth on the south coast of England in 2002 he started playing at various local house venues, but got a bit bored of straight 4/4beats and started getting into playing breakbeat, old skool hip-hop, funk, soul and disco. “I was playing at mainly house nights but I was playing a mix of house and breakbeat,” he recalls. “I was inspired by early Stanton Warriors stuff that fused breakbeat and house together. They seemed to be able to play breaks to a house crowd, so I thought I’d be able to as well.”
Punters loved it but venue owners weren’t so keen, so Doug started his own night in 2004 – Break Da House. It quickly established itself as one of the most essential nights out in the south, hosting top-notch acts like the Plump DJs, Stanton Warriors and Meat Katie. It was after striking up a friendship with one of the headline acts, the Dub Pistols Soundsystem, that Doug’s first release came about.
Barry Ashworth, notorious Dub Pistols hellraiser, hooked Doug up to release the ‘Electrotek EP’ on Westway – the label he runs with Carl Loben and Billy Borez of the Drum Monkeys. The lead cut was used on a TV ad in Portugal, hit No.2 on the Kiss FM Breakbeat Chart and sent Doug on his way as he’d now caught the production bug – big time.
Fast forward to 2011 and Doug has released tracks on Sunday Best, Manmade, Dusted Breaks, Nitrous, Yellowfinger, Dandy Kid, Mutate, Roca, Booty Pirates and more on Westway, although he was proving himself to be so prolific that he had to start his own label too – Up:Start Music. The first release on Up:Start, the ‘Bust This EP’ featuring MC Manic, received highly favourable reviews and earned him plays on Annie Nightingale’s BBC Radio 1 show and Jay Cunning’s Kiss FM slot.
Another great achievement was being nominated for ‘Best Breakthrough DJ’ at the international Break beat awards (Breakspoll) in February 2009. Although he’s now been DJing for well over 15 years and didn’t win, it helped put him more on the map internationally and reflected the increased number of gigs outside of his south coast residency.
In Oct 2009 Doug made a big decision & decided to move to Sydney, Australia where he currently resides! It was a big move for him both on the professional & personal front. But
since being in Sydney Doug is reveling in his new form musical freedom, with an eclectic gig list to match at some of Sydney top venues.
After being in Australia a few months Doug’s label, Up:Start Music, that has been picking up fans worldwide was nominated for the ‘Best New Label 2009’ at the 2010 Breakspoll awards. A true testament to the work & quality of music that they have released since its launch in Feb 2009.
If that wasn’t enough Doug has a new label project with friend & fellow producer Philly Blunt called Grits N Gravy. The label being focused on the more funk based end of the spectrum, an area in which Doug is also gaining a big reputation. The label launched in Nov 2010 & has seen every release hitting num 1 on the Junodowload charts. As with Upstart, Grits N Gravy will feature a heavy release schedule from Doug himself along with outer musical peers & collaborations between like-minded artists…
He’s been at it a while, but there’s the sense that this talented DJ/producer has only just begun as he turns over a new chapter in his career. Watch this space.
Check out more about D-Funk on his website.