Terry Atomic Hooligan Interview

The 30 second intro – Who are you?

My name is Terry. People know me as Atomic Hooligan, Terry Hooligan or Terry, the head tutor and owner at On The Rise. I am a DJ, label owner, educator, advocator, vinyl collector and massive golden era Hip Hop head.

Terry Atomic Hooligan Interview

How would most people know you? (What are you most well known for?) 

In the past it has been as a DJ that toured the world for 2 decades and as part of Atomic Hooligan. Now it would be for my work with my On The Rise Academy.

Terry Atomic Hooligan Interview

Terry is an incredible DJ and turntables – Watch him in action here

And as part of Atomic Hooligan


https://www.instagram.com/terry_hooligan https://www.instagram.com/ontherisedjacademy


Please let us know your next gig dates, and release schedule if you have anything coming out soon 

28th March – Pure Bassline – Pandora, Seville
27th April – Sonic Seducation, Dalsten Den, London (90’s RnB Set)
26th May – Hitchin Dace All-Dayer – Hitchin
29th June – Summer Festival, Seville

Terry Hooligan & Rico Tubbs – Forever Dancing on Bass=Win (My label) Late April 2024 / Remix package Late May 2024

Workshops and Activations
Pioneer DJ / On The Rise, Start From Scratch Workshops

(Editor – we support these events wholeheartedly)
Scratching – April 2nd with DJ Nik Nak – On The Rise Studio
Production – April 4th with Sweetpea – On The Rise Studio
DJ’ing – April 7th with Sweetpea – Camden Collective

FREE DJ WORKSHOPS with On The Rise & Westend DJ – All at Westend DJ North London
7th May – Beginners
14th May – intermediate
21st May – Advanced
28th May – Scratching

Pioneer DJ, On The Rise & Music Unity for Mental Health at Ministry our Sound
16th May – Talks and workshops based around mental health in the music industry.

On The Rise DJ Academy stage at HDA
26th May – Student showcase and DJ Workshops available all day at times TBC

FREE OVER 40’s DJ Workshop’s at Westend DJ (North London)
11th June – Digital DJ’ing
25th June – Vinyl and DVS DJ’ing

On The Rise & Westend DJ Open Decks at Boxpark Shoreditch
19th May 12-5
21st July 12-5
15th September 12-5
17th November 12-5

On The Rise Takeover at G-Shock Radio with OTR Students
18th May 12-6
20th July 12-6
14th September 12-6
16th Novemer 12-6

Affordable beginners DJ Workshops at Boxpark Shoreditch every last Wednesday of the month. 12-3pm in the Beatbox Bar. £20 pp

Editors note – If you are new to DJing, or want to learn more we highly recommend these. OnTheRise are one of the few places offering such a diverse selection of targeted opportunities that make DJing more accessible, and we will continue to promote these workshops when more come up.

Terry Atomic Hooligan Interview

What is your home DJ tech set up currently?

At my studio, I basically have most current DJ tech. I would say the stand outs there would be the CDJ 3000’s, the DJM S11, the REV 7… also just got a Rev 5… The FLX1O. My other faves in the studio would be the PLX 1000’s and my old (but still functioning) SL-1200Mk3’s. I also have a JBL EON 700 that I am currently in love with in the big studio and a pair of M Audio BX’s that I am equally in love with in the little studio. At home, I keep it simple TBH. I have a pair of Reloop RP-8000Mk2 and an DJM S7. I also have just a nice little pair of Pioneer DM40’s at home so I don’t annoy my neighbours (too much). My only goal at home TBH is to play my vinyl collection. I do the odd live stream from home when the DVS for the S7 kicks in.

What do you most often play out on these days?

In reality, CDJ’s.. Pioneer CDJ 2000NXS2 but I’m seeing a lot more 3000’s around. I am a big Rekordbox guy with CDJ’s for the ease of playing out. If I’m turning up to a warehouse rave or festival in the middle of nowhere at 4am.. I don’t want to mess about setting up a pair turntables and my laptop for DVS. I adopted CDJ’s from very early, I’d say 2002, and I honestly love them. But the most enjoyable and satisfying way for me to DJ is on turntables and if I have a gig that im more in control of, I will play on turntables with DVS, a DJM S mixer and probably Phase.

What DJ tech did you use in your early days? (We’d love to see some photos!)

I’ll try and find a pic. I know I have one knocking around somewhere. My first ever set up, as im sure a lot of DJ’s of my generation would tell you, it was a Frankenstein set up. A realistic Mic mixer from a car boot sales… Tandy’s single tape deck and a stacking system turntable with no pitch. And I just used to fade between tunes. This was after I discovered making loops with the pause button on cassettes. That set up didn’t last long…

Terry Atomic Hooligan Interview

Soon after I got a couple of belt drive turntables with pitch (can’t remember the make) and a Made 2 Fade mixer with a little 4 or 5 second sampler.. That was probably 92 then about a year later, I had a job as an Ice Cream mans assistant and I saved up enough to get a pair of 1210’s in 93. It was all go from there. After that I saved up and got a Numark mixer, again, the model escapes me…It was probably around 96 I got the Technics DJ1200 mixer and then from there it was all Vestax 05 and 06 pros and my trusty 1200’s which I got in 97. (Editor – This is a classic DJ tech journey, we love it)

What’s on the tech shopping list? 

As of right now, I would say the Pioneer DJM A9 and the PLX CRSS12’s are next on the list.

What’s been your favourite ever gig?

Oh man… now you’re asking. There have been many memorable moments. I would say my first ever gig at Studio Cost in Tokyo was amazing. I believe it has shut its door for good now, which is a shame. But we (Atomic Hooligan) were signed to a label in Japan for years and our first album did pretty good there. We had an album in the national charts and a single on the radio and we were doing a tour of the country as a live band, but the label arranged a DJ gig with just me and the MC there… the vibe was electric. The place was packed and the sound system was amazing. Its hard to describe, but it was a big venue with a small club vibe. Its just one of those sets I will remember forever. I played a lot of our own music that night, which I didn’t used to do a lot at that time as we were playing all our own stuff in the live set and I was usually playing a lot of stuff from my label in the DJ sets, but I was dropping loads of Atomic Hooligan tunes and remixes, and the crowd were singing the tunes back to me… its was amazing. I would also say that when I was at Fabric all the time, room 3 in those days was magical. I used to play there pretty much every month, sometimes room 2, on the odd occasion room 1… but room 3 had this magical effect on me. The crowd were right there with you. I loved the vibe in there.

Terry Atomic Hooligan Interview

Throughout your career is there a piece of equipment that you have just never got on with? 

Logic. I have never really been a fan. I used to love Cubase and Reason, then I got into Ableton. But I have given Logic a few goes and I just can’t get along with it.

From a DJing point of view what three things do you always take to a gig apart from USB and headphones obviously!

Ear Plugs (I need to use them more) and a spare network cable. The amount of times I have turned up and the cable is either f**ked or missing. (Editor – Whatever level of experience you have as. DJ, these are both excellent pieces of advice)

Can you talk us through your productions? (If any)

So, I’ve never been a producers, producer. I am very much a DJ. But myself and my then production partner Matt Welch made 2 albums and a lot of singles and remixes together (I say together, it was most him and I’d nip in the studio when I got home from tour hahaha) I suppose the highlights to our productions would be a couple of things. Our first album ‘You are Here’, which people seems to like. And our remixes for Underworld, Cowgirl and Rez. I saw ‘Remixes’ but they started life as bootlegs and then got made official when we were asked to remix ‘Born Slippy’ for the tracks 10 year anniversary . I still put out the odd single and remix now and then. If I do, its usually with my label partner Rico Tubbs as the Bass=Win sound system. We have a single about to drop in April.

Terry Atomic Hooligan Interview

If you still have vinyl at home, how much? 

Yeah.. quite a bit TBH. I lost my love for vinyl a little in the mid 2000’s… mostly because I had gone fully digital with DJ’ing and I was moving house a lot and it just became a burden. I put it into storage and forgot about it for a long time. But when I bought my place 8 years ag, I got it all back out and dedicated a space in my new place for it. Had shelving built and so on. I mostly just kept and now actively buy Hip Hop, RnB, Soul, funk and a lot of the music that was sampled by Hip Hop producers. I really don’t know how much I have .. but a lot. I lost of a lot of stuff in a flood at the storage in the 2010’s (Editor – This is painful reading) and I ended up just giving a large chunk of it away that I know I just wouldn’t listen to again (all the 1000’s of white labels and promos I got sent over the years) so now I have just music I love on vinyl.

Outside of DJing and production, what tech do you use at home? 

Ah man… not much TBH. Outside of DJ stuff, I’m not really a tech guy. I like my little JBL Bluetooth speakers for listening to podcasts around the house. My iPhone.. hahaha. But I couldn’t even tell you what model it is. I have an amazing tablet I listen to the radio on. But my TV is like 12 years old. I do like my Apple TV.. But again, that’s getting on a bit now as well.

Can you let us know three apps that are essential to you?

iTunes/Music…. for sorting and storing my music.I also love the fact I can hear something out and instantly buy it on my phone and its in my DJ ecosystem when I open my laptops.

Tap That Temp: Just a free little app that I tell students about that they can use to fix their problematic BPM’s/Beat grids. I use it a lot. Yes, there is a tap function on most DJ softwares, but I think a little tap BPM app on your phone is a great little helper.

DJM Rec I think is brilliant. Obviously you need the right hardware to make it work properly, but I use it all the time. (Editor Pioneer DJM-Rec gets some flak but with the right hardware there is no easier way of recording a set)

What app would you like to spread the word about? 

None (Ed – fair enough!)

The podcast app on my phone. When I’m travelling it is essential for me.

Any DJs or producers that we should watch out for? 

Loads, but if I was going to pick from my DJ students and a producer from my scene. I would say DJ –

Lyvonne the Don – Brilliant DJ, radio presenter and all around superstar – https://www.instagram.com/lyvonnethedon

Producer – Bad Legs. Spanish DJ and producer of the filthiest breaks and Garage https://www.instagram.com/badlegs_el_peki96

Also, Shout to S9 who are killing it right now in DnB as both DJ’s and producers https://www.instagram.com/s9uk

Been to any great clubs or events recently?

Yes… MellowHoney and Friends is an awesome, grassroots showcase for up and coming DJ’s, singers, musicians and creatives. MellowHoney also does a monthly show on my On The Rise presents slot on Music Box Radio. https://www.instagram.com/mellowhoney_and_friends

Football team?

Chelsea (sad face for this season). You’re not supposed to do this with 2 Premier league teams, but I have a real soft spot of Luton as well. (I’m not a Luton supporter, just a Luton appreciator) – (Ed – well that’s a first ;-))

Book recommendations? 

Obviously.. if you know me, you will know I would say ‘Dilla Time’ by Dan Charmas but I also really enjoyed ‘Flip The Script – How Women Came to Rule Hip Hop’ by Arusa Quareshi

Big thanks to Terry for this DJWORX Atomic Hooligan interview.

Terry is incredibly busy with On The Rise so we appreciate him taking the time to talk through his tech with us. Terry is a great example of someone who works in the scene but gives back a huge amount, and that’s hugely inspiring. Check out our other DJWORX interviews for more inspiration from DJs driving our scene forward.