I recently had the chance to interview DJ Cable about his love for all things sneakers. He’s an amazing DJ, huge sneakerhead and all round great guy.
Here’s what he had to say about what’s happening with his life right now, and his sneaker collection.
(The following is transcribed from a conversation between me and DJ Cable)
Sean B (SB): How’s things man?
DJ Cable (DJC): I’m very well, how’re you?
SB: I’m cool man. What’s been happening, what’re you up to?
DJC: I’ve been very busy; the 1xtra thing is going really well. I’m on there bi-weekly Wednesday nights 9PM to 10PM on Mr Jam’s show ‘60 minute mixes’. It’s been good, I had a little guest on there recently with Prez T and Milli Major, they’ve recently put the video up for the ‘bloodline session’ which you can go watch on the 1xtra YouTube channel right now, we’ve got a load of guests pencilled in across June and July. It’s been going really well; I have a few tunes out at the moment like ‘Recon’ which is out on my label and has done very well. I’ve banged out some remixes for Eskei83 and I’ve got a tune on the 4-40 compilation which is out now as well as various collabs in the process right now; I’ve just done a tune with Mez, a Nottingham grime MC. So yeah, been really busy DJing and doing my stuff with Nike also, I DJ for them at Nike Town.
SB: Getting that Jordan money.
SB: So, what’s on your feet today?
DJC: These are the Jordan 10s, the infrared 23s. It’s kind of weird 10s for me. For me I do ones through eights, don’t really mess with nines and 10s are only really select colourways. I do like 11s, the Legend Blues, Space Jam and BREDs are the only ones I really touch.
SB: A lot of people seem to have that mentality with Jordan’s. For example myself, I’m an Old School dude; I only really go for anything up to sevens…
DJC: Anything past 13 kind of goes downhill. Although saying that, the 17s weren’t too bad and the 29s are kind of hard, but it really depends on the colourway. They newer models are a good shoe to ball in whereas the older models aren’t comfortable to play in, but they’re a good shoe to wear. The technology that Nike are putting into running and basketball shoes makes them a lot more comfortable and practical to use for sport.
SB: Talking about wearing them… Do you rock these in the club?
DJC: It depends on where you go to. Being a DJ it’s fortunate that we’re behind a booth nine times out of 10 for a maximum of five hours, the only problem comes when navigating the club when it’s busy avoiding people stepping on your feet.
SB: So a grime rave is a write off?
DJC: Yeah, I had a pair of the Uwara Red Air Max 1s and I trashed them, man. They first came out 2004, got them, wore them out and this is obviously in the days before Jason Markk and Crep Protect, if you got a stain on your shoe you were screwed. Wine got spilled on them and they were ruined, they became my beaters and I wore them to death. They are now on my Holy Grail list of shoes to get again.
SB: But in a way, I think that’s cool. There’s enough collectors out there that just box these things; don’t get me wrong, I look after mine, but you’ve got to wear them man.
DJC: Yeah definitely, I’ll always wear mine.
SB: Are there any pairs you’re yet to wear, that are too top tier or that you spent too long looking for, that you’re worried to mess up?
DJC: Errrm… I’ve pretty much worn all of them. I haven’t broken out the Grape 5s, just because they’re very clean, I think they came out two years ago; I’m waiting for the right point to bring them out. Also, the black Infrared 6s as well and the Metallic Silver 5s, I’m waiting for the right weather for those, 5s go really well with shorts, I don’t like them with jeans; I’m not really into wearing Basketball shorts with cuffed joggers either, I don’t think they look right.
SB: So, do ever buy anything but Nike? Maybe some Adidas, Asics, Saucony – anything like that?
DJC: That’s a good question. I do have some pieces other than Nike. I was fortunate to get a pair of the Shelflife 574s (New Balance) when they dropped. They are a great collaboration, with the 3M on the back and removable ‘N’ patches. I do like New Balance and Asics; I find the quality on those is brilliant.
SB: I have to big up Asics; I’ve had a few pairs this year and the quality and look they’re going for is on point.
DJC: It’s also the materials as well, a lot out there that get retro’d don’t have the quality materials. Jordan’s tend to get it right with premium materials and build quality; you pay more, but it’s worth it. I also have some Adidas; I tend to only wear Superstars and Gazelles.
SB: Did you see what they’ve done this year with the ‘Respect Your Roots’ pack?
DJC: Yeah, they’re cool, I like those. The Pharrell ones are pretty cool, they’re affordable, there’s a whole bunch of colours for if you’re looking for a basic shoe to wear with any outfit. It’s a good collab; they had a good move working with Pharrell. So yeah, I’ve always been a Nike head since day one, but I’m not adverse to buying and appreciating the work of other brands.
SB: The Sneakerhead thing… What is it with DJs and sneakers? It seems to me every DJ I know is into their sneakers, if not in a huge way, they still always kind of have that about them.
DJC: It’s just like hip-hop. Going back to when breakers would wear Puma and Jordan’s. Also, hip-hop and skating, skateboarders would wear Jordan 1s when they first came out; they were a comfortable and functional shoe for them. Look at RUN DMC, they always rocked Shell Toes and made a song about their Adidas and what they meant to them. I think there’s that link between hip-hop and fashion. Hip-hop DJs are kind of geeky (SB: Haha, yep) they tend to be into collecting comics, movies, vinyl etc. and that translates into sneakers. It’s just that – and wanting to be fresh.
SB: So if we got you, MistaJam and Swerve in a room, the sneaker game would be popping off!
DJC: Swerve’s collection is sick. He has a really, really good Adidas collection, he’s really loyal to the stripes. Jam has an extensive collection. Logan does as well; he collects a lot of the OG Jordan’s without the ‘jump man’ on the back, I think that was only introduced after 2000. Also, a little bit of trivia, it also used to be the other way around. Kish Kash, who I interviewed for Crepe Junkie TV also has a really good collection, I’m doing a series called digging in the crepes, his collection is nuts, full of incredible pieces.
Going back to keeping trainers clean though, it’s hard. I’ve had people tread on my trainers in clubs before…
SB: Haha, I’ve been there and seen your face!
DJC: You can still keep them pretty good. Shouts out to Crep Protect; their new wipes are also pretty good. Jason Markk is also good for cleaning and getting stains out
SB: So out and about, on people’s feet… what are you seeing a lot of at the moment? Aside from Huarache because we don’t want to talk about them!
DJC: It’s the popular shoe right now. Everyone seems to like them; it’s like the Deep House shoe choice right now. Although saying that, there is one pair of new ones coming out which is all black with a poison green strap that are kind of hard – and I’m not an Huarache fan, so that’s saying something. I’m also starting to see a lot of the Huarache Lights in some nice colourways coming out.
You also see a lot of people wearing Air Max’s still, it’s a classic silhouette and they’ve started doing some cool things with it. The cork was kind of dope and the snakeskin and they are retroing the OG one which I’m definitely copping; they’ve got the colours right, the materials right and it’s just dope, so that’s a definite cop; they were also the shoe the kind of got me into collecting.
SB: So… You started about around 2001/2002?
DJC: Yeah I never really got into Jordan’s until the mid-2000s I was all about runners; I was into a lot of athletics, I likes Air Max Triax and some Air Max premiums I used to have that I still have the box for; I’ve got the style code I just have to track down the shoe. There are so many runners from the 90s that haven’t yet been retro’d.
SB: Yeah there are loads from when I was a kid that I’m just waiting for them to release!
DJC: So, I kind of grew up wearing running shoes with jeans. Everyone kind of moved onto Reebok Classics and that wasn’t really me. I kept with what I liked, TNs and things like that. Then when I went to university, one of my boys worked at Foot Locker so I got discount there and retroing came about in a big way around the turn of the Millennium. Then the SB Dunk thing kicked off and I started collecting them for a while, then they started properly retroing J’s and I started buying them…
SB: By then you were fully hooked.
DJC: Yeah it’s crazy. Since then I have re-structured my whole collection, it was spread out. I’ve got rid of most of my SBs and I really just float between runners and Jordan’s now and mainly just stay within Nike; but like I said before, I still get other bits and bobs from other brands.
SB: Ok, let’s finish off with some cliché interview things… Let’s go with favourite album of all time? Give me three, in no particular order.
DJC: Ok… Illmatic, Blueprint and I really want to say the Dipset album. It’s really hard to limit it to three, but they are three albums that I will never get bored listening to… but you know you’ve got New Forms by Roni Size, the Soul II Soul album, albums from Massive Attack, Bleach by Nirvana, and Metallica The Black Album.
SB: There’s some diversity in you! What about films man?
SB: We’re taking you out to dinner. What’re we buying you?
SB: Just chicken; Any way, shape or form?
DJC: I went to this one spot in North (London) actually called the Chicken Shop, if you blinked you’d miss it and it’s just really good Soul Food. Yeah, just chicken; I love chicken.
SB: There’s nothing wrong with that man!
DJC: Oh another film! Back to the Future; part 2.
SB: Haha – yeah, not 3.
DJC: Nah, 3 was wack.
SB: OK man, that’s great, thanks for chatting with us.
DJC: No problem man, anytime.
So yeah… That’s it. DJ Cable is an amazing DJ and all around top guy, not to mention a huge sneaker head! Oh, and not forgetting chicken lover. I hope you enjoyed the interview, stick around the blog for more in the future.