Coming to you from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Common Knowlidge is strongly rooted among the growing fraternity of underground bass support in North America. Already a local influence as both a DJ and producer, he has garnered international support from the likes of Korrupt and MAKZ. Naturally it was only a matter of time until we had the pleasure of pushing his material on 4D…
Tracklist – -Karnage & MarkIV – Encounter (Common Knowlidge Remix) [4D Download] -KurtRocSkee - Let Me See That [Forthcoming Dubtribu] -Alive - Hollow Tree [Forthcoming Dubtribu] -Quantum Soul - Underworld [Uprise Audio] -Matieu – Asgaurd [Forthcoming Dubtribu] -Deafblind - Mixed Signals [Forthcoming Sub Pressure] -Juss B – Below [Tuba] -KurtRocSkee - Nobody [Forthcoming Dubtribu Records] -Alive - Africa [Forthcoming Dubtribu Records] -Deafblind - Before The Crash [DUB] -Juss B – Friction [FKOF] -Mishva - Soundboy [Phantom Hertz] -Slaven - Whispers [Badimup] -Content - Two Left Feet [Content003] -Chewie - Mesmerized [Mixmag Freebie] -Feonix & Fialko - Night Creatures[Redshift-One] -Subdued - Tribal Face [Forthcoming Audiocalligraphy] -Karnage- Rez [DUB]
With a silly amount of forthcoming releases and support from big names like Kaiju, Truth, Jakes, N Dread and Genetix (to name but a few from the long list), Ukrainian deep head Sqz Me is truly taking the underground dubstep scene by storm, so it was a pleasure to get him on a 4D mix: rolling in at just over an hour and packed full of some big tunes - this is definitely one of my favourites…
Tracklist - -Truth & Yayne - I Belong [Tempa] -Skream - Abstruse [Tempa] -N Dread - Pinball [M.U.D] -Biome & Kryptic Minds – The Raven [Osiris] -Sqz Me - Karma [DUB] -Deafblind & Warsa - Dark Frontier [DUB] -Demon - Cardiac Attack (DCult Remix) [FKOF Free DL] -ARtroniks - Onset (Sqz Me Remix) [DUB] -DCult - Sliver [M.U.D] -Perverse - Skeptic (ARtroniks Remix) [Free DL] -Kaiju feat. Flowdan - Hunter [Osiris] -Sqz Me feat. Mag Mag - Fear Me [DUB] -Hacktivist - Unlike Us (N Dread Remix) [???] -Slaven – The Hand That Feeds [M.U.D] -District - Antidote [Chestplate] -Kryptic Minds - Generation Dub [Swamp 81] -Juss B - Aftershock [Tuba Free DL] -Sqz Me - Oracle [Forthcoming Asscor Records] -Demon - Disco Biscuit [DUB] -Slaven - Militia [FKOF Free DL] -Sqz Me - Victim [Forthcoming Indigo Movement] -Quantum Soul & Lamb - Strong Root [Innamind] -Youngsta & LX One – Responsibility [Tempa] -Truth feat. Yayne - Raindancer (J:Kenzo Remix) [Free DL] -Vaun - Optimism [Free DL] -N Dread – About Your Love [ICU Audio] -Formless - False Reality [FKOF Free DL] -Formtek - Elegy [Free DL] -Phaeleh feat. Soundmouse - The Cold In You (Kahn Remix) [Afterglo]
Also, make sure you catch Sqz Me on Noize FM every Thursday 4-6pm (GMT)
Living up to his name, US producer/DJ Karnage brings the dark vibes from the get-go: 45mins, deeper than deep selection, dubplates left right and centre and some classics/soon to be classics - that just about sums it up, now press play…
Tracklist - -Karnage & MarkIV - Nilfheim [DUB] -Hadda & Vileside - Apache (Kismet Remix) [DUB] -Common Knowlidge - Beneath The Surface [DUB] -Deafblind - Exposure [DUB] -Catacombs - Untitled [Hatched] -Asylum - Turn The Page [Crunch] -dimness - My Way [DUB] -DubApes - Africa Calling (Sparxy Remix) [Bacon Dubs] -Chapta - Do It [M.U.D] -Oktored & Calico - Plutonium [DUB] -Hadda - Dub 005 (Vileside Remix) [DUB] -District - Transmission [Chestplate] -Killawatt - Press On [Osiris] -Content - Sulfur [Innamind] -Karnage & MarkIV - Dark Frequency [DUB] -dimness - Fowl (Re-Edit) [DUB] -Goth-Trad - Seeker [Deep Medi] -Amit feat. Rani - Don’t Forget Your Roots [Tempa] -Truth - Devil’s Hands [Tempa] -Karnage & MarkIV - Encounter [Forthcoming 4D] -Goth-Trad feat. Max Romeo - Babylon Fall [Deep Medi]
So it’s been a while since the last interview, and after rising Italian bass music collective D-Operation Drop said they’d be up for doing a guest feature, I thought it would be interesting to get some words off them to accompany their behemoth of a mix for #024 in the series…
D - To start things off, who are D-Operation Drop? Tell us a bit more about yourselves…
DOD - A collective of 5 lads that basically live together in Cesena, with a common interest in the lower frequencies.
D - How did you all get into the deeper, darker side of the 140 sound? What was the first ever true dubstep track you heard?
DOD - Dub was a big influence and those were also the first vinyls that we bought and played on our home made sub; we are in love with the sound system culture that has affirmed itself over the years in this part of Italy and this made us want to take on the quest of building our own.
The first dubstep tracks we heard were from Numa Crew, probably their remix of ‘Herbalist’.
D - How long have you lot been producing/DJing for individually and as a collective and what got you into it? How did you all meet?
DOD - At the time (back in 2010) we met by chance one night at a party and after a year went to live together – it was there that we really got to know each other. In every room you went into you would hear different kinds of music, but only one of us was DJing and one was producing. The idea to create the crew came whilst we decided to host a show on the local university’s radio just for fun. The show was called ‘D-OperationDrop’ and that’s where we got our name from.
D - When you go about building a new tune or a mix how do you start off? Is there a process or an inspiration behind each one? Is it hard seeing as though there are a lot of members? Or do you have a certain way you go about things – like specific roles within the group?
DOD - Process and inspiration go together. Living nearly as a family we always listen to music together and inspiring yourself becomes relatively easy. Because only one man is handling the program, building a track isn’t as hard as one might think, even though sometimes a lot of ideas can be an obstacle for production. One of the members produces, but we all try and share ideas, followed by a slow, but steady growth of knowledge between the rest of the guys.
D - Tell us a bit more about the Italian dubstep scene – is it relatively unheard of? Or is there quite a large following?
DOD – There is a reasonable amount of people that listen to dubstep, but mostly the well-marketed/mainstream kind if you know what I mean. Even though it’s not comparable to the UK scene, we’ve got a good and solid underground following which has been bringing results since 2007.
First of all, Numa Crew (the real Italian dubstep originators), came about in early 2006/2007 with their independent labels ‘Elastica’ and ‘Erba’. There’s also DJ Foster - the first real selector in the Italian dubstep and grime scene since 2006, he deserves a special thanks for his support on his Sub FM show. Anyway, there are many interesting projects from other underground collectives which spread the right movement here in Italy: such as ‘The Bratski Krug Family’ in Turin, ‘BassPushaCrew’ in Parma, the ‘SolidCrew’ in Bologna and ‘Mind TheDubstep’ in Palermo. Also, make sure you keep an eye on the rising Italian producers such as Ago, Sick, Piezo and Mouch.
D - Personally I’m looking forward to the forthcoming Soulstep release, and I’m sure a lot of other people reading this are too, but how did it all come about? Was there a concept behind the EP? Any new and exciting projects you guys have coming up other than that release?
DOD - Once we closed the EP for NoMad Records, we decided to experiment with something new, but still in the same ways. So we started to build ‘786’, trying to give some innovative movements to drum patterns and percussive elements, reducing the use of snares or trying to use them in a different way. This idea inspired the second track ‘SingaporeSling’. On this one, we again gave it a different vibe by putting in some techno elements. ‘Blame’, maybe the strangest of the three, is inspired by the garagey kind of tracks we listened to over that period.
Apart from with Soulstep, there are two other forthcoming releases planned between February and March; one with the already cited Italian NoMad Records, and another with Vulcan Audio. In both releases we’ve got two remarkable guest remixes to reveal. We’re working very hard at the moment, with many projects lined up for 2013 - a couple of collaborations with the guys Content and Konvex and two exclusive releases that will be announced soon.
D - There are a lot of new producers/DJs working their way into the scene at the moment – are there any that have caught your ears lately? What are your top 5 most favourite producers at the moment and why?
DOD - Yeah, it’s so crowded at the moment (D* - haha). We keep in touch daily with the UK dubstep scene and we continue to remain in contact with some of the best emerging producers like Sparxy, Baitface, Format and Content. But, personally, the top 5 goes right to: Truth, Kaiju, Gantz, Wayfarer and Geode. We don’t need to spend unnecessary words for these guys - their groove speaks for itself. Also, looking forward to Taiko and Tallan - their tunes will be mashing up the dance in a couple of months!
D - Finally, what does the future hold for D-Operation Drop and the Italian dubstep scene?
DOD - We’re confident in the near future and hyped for what it reserves, hoping to give the right recognition to the real Italian dubstep scene!
Been some time since the last full feature, so it was only right that Bacon Dubs bossman Sparxy steps in and delivers the goods.. As well as a stellar dubplate special mix to mark #002 in the new podcast series, we got some words off him too…
D - Easy Sparxy, how’s things?
SP - Can’t complain man! All good!
D - For those that don’t know already – who is Sparxy?
SP - Sparxy is simply some twat from Portsmouth who likes to make loud noises.
D - How did you get into producing/DJing? And how long have you been doing it?
SP - I got into DJing a long time ago when I was around 15 years old. I used to listen to a lot of house and garage back then, it was at a time when garage was gaining in popularity. But it was Drum n Bass that really got me into music. When I looked old enough I started blagging my way into raves, I remember seeing DJs like Mampi Swift, Shy FX, Bad Company. They were sick. It wasn’t long till I got my first pair of belt drive Gemini turntables and started buying vinyl. I dabbled in producing DnB for quite a while before taking a break. A few years later dubstep came about and that’s what got me back on the buttons.
D - I’m personally a big fan of the label and have been for some time now, but for those of us who don’t know - tell us a bit more about your Bacon Dubs imprint – how did it all come about? What was the original idea behind it? Where did the name come from?
SP - I started the label at a time when I was confident in my sound but struggled to find any labels out there matching it. I sent out a lot of demos with mixed feedback, but it was a mate who encouraged me to put stuff out myself. When I sat down and actually thought about what I wanted to do, I decided I wanted to find like minded guys to join me. I set about scouring the internet, soundcloud etc. for fresh talent. It took a while but I found guys like Reamz, Skriptah, Hiloxam and ID and then felt we had enough solid material to start putting stuff out. It was all about working with like minded guys who I really got on with. As we picked up momentum we started receiving quite a few demos. Guys like DubApes, Deafblind and Format all caught my ear and after chatting with all of them for some time added them to the roster. We’re a bit of a family, we joke a lot - there’s a decent amount of banter, but we all have a passion for music and that’s what unites us. I’m proud to call everyone on the label a mate and I think that’s why it’s worked so well. We definitely all have a distinct sound of our own but all cross over to a certain extent.
The name is rather absurd to be honest. Bacon has been a bit of a theme on the internet for some time, but way before that, throughout my entire life all of my friends have known me as a great lover of bacon. When it came to naming my label it felt natural to relate it to bacon in some way and thus, Bacon Dubs was born! I think the fact the name is fairly ridiculous means once you’ve heard of us, you don’t forget!
D - Your ‘GravitationEP’ is a big one I must say, and I’m sure a lot of other people will agree with me on that, but how did the concept for it come about? When did you start writing tunes for it?
SP - To be honest I never sat down and thought “let’s write an EP”. I made all the tunes individually but in a fairly short space of time. When I decided it was about time I put some more stuff out, I sifted through my bits and thought about what would make a good concept for an EP. I think there is a common theme with these tunes but each one stands on its own 2 feet as well.
D - Hate to make you choose, but if you had to – which Bacon Dubs release is your most favourite, and if there is a certain one amongst all large releases on the label, why?
SP - Pffffffffff, tough question. I can honestly say i’m proud of everything we’ve put out. When you compare our early stuff I think you can clearly hear how far we’ve come in 2 years, but that demonstrates progression and that’s always a good thing.
If you held me at gunpoint I would probably tell you that Reamz’ “Fear EP” is a personal favourite of mine. It was certainly a breakthrough release for us.
D - What does the future hold for Bacon Dubs and yourself? Any new and exciting projects/releases you can share with us?
SP - Bacon Dubs’ momentum is strong right now. We have a raft of forthcoming material in 2013 from DubApes, Genetix and Reamz as well as our first ever event in May next year. We also have a brand spanking new website that will reflect us better as a label. Personally, I’m just looking to keep pushing my sound and progress. ‘Antidote' is confirmed as seeing a release on a fairly well known label. Other than that, I’ve been making a range of stuff recently, from really, really deep bits to tearout stompers and even a 130bpm bit but i’m keeping it all under wraps for now - soon come.
D - Always a popular question, but where do you see the future of dubstep going? Do you think the 130 sounds will take over? Or maybe even a new bass music sub-genre completely?
SP - It’s been an interesting history so far in dubstep. I honestly don’t know where it’s going, but one thing I do know is that it’s not going to disappear. There are a lot of new guys on the scene right now and how they progress and flourish their sounds will influence the how the scene moves forwards. It only takes one piece of incredible innovation from a single person to set the scene on fire.
130bpm is house really and it will always remain house, it’s a different genre and whilst there’s always going to be crossover, I can’t see how it will ever fully merge with dubstep. But it’s always good for producers to flex their muscles in other tempos and genres and we’ve already started to see a lot of techno-influenced stuff coming through from the likes of Baitface, FNC and Killawatt.
D - It’s been a big year for outstanding releases, but what are your top 5 and why?
SP - Another tough question! I am also quite biased! These are in no particular order…
-DubApes – ‘WeAre MonkeysEP' (an outstanding debut release from the boys)
-Biome (take your pick, the man has been killing it all year)
-Sleeper & District (again tough to pick a single release, all of their stuff is insane)
-Reamz – ‘FearEP' (simply because it was massive for Bacon Dubs)
-Truth – ‘LondonBabylon' (absolutely love this tune / release)
D - So many new amazing producers taking to the sound and the scene recently, but who would you say your top 3 are and why?
SP - Again there are way too many to go into great detail. But 3 newbies that have sent me sick tunes recently and potentially ones to keep an eye on…
-D-Operation Drop – these guys started sending me stuff the other week. It’s SICK!
-4Flexx – this guy makes some really varied stuff, but the deeper bits he’s sent are on point for me
-Mesck – this guy is a f*cking badman. I don’t think he’s that new to the scene, but I’ve only known about him for a few weeks and DAMN! The tunes! They are ridiculous!
(*D - second that last one)
D - Finally, what’s your most precious/favourite record you own?
SP - Gotta be “The Nine” by Bad Company. It’s where it all started for me and if it wasn’t for that tune, I probably wouldn’t be writing this interview right now.
Sparxy brings the pressure with a Bacon Dubs Special for the second instalment of the new podcast series, and what a mix it is.. Out to Matt on this - if you haven’t already, check his new EP out today on his Bacon imprint - http://www.junodownload.com/products/sparxy-gravitation-ep/2081808-02/ - and keep an eye out for the interview which will be up very soon as well..