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!