Big shout out to all of the Unsound/Bunker crew for another successful Bass Mutations and to all of the bass mutants for coming out and sharing the experience. Til next year!!
Big shout out to all of the Unsound/Bunker crew for another successful Bass Mutations and to all of the bass mutants for coming out and sharing the experience. Til next year!!
Bristol, often been recognized as dubstep's second city; has always piqued curiosity with the laundry list of talent and forward-thinking record labels that call the city their home. At the crux of the dubstep scene within Bristol is Tectonic label-head Pinch whose Subloaded nights, as well as mid-week sister night Dubloaded have helped the sound flourish there. The idea of Subloaded can be traced back to Pinch's first nights at Plastic People and wanting to do what he could to hear more of that FWD>> sound in his hometown, heading up a new party in Bristol with grime DJ Blazey called Subloaded. The party's foundational roots even predate the original DMZ night at 3rd Bass in 2005. With a rich lineage of soundsystem culture and a history firmly rooted in Drum & Bass, dubstep in the small city of Bristol has continued to thrive and birth fresh sounds over the years. Add into the equation a noticeably slower pace than the bustling metropolis of London, as well as a tightly knit arts community, and you've got the perfect storm which has caused Bristol to forge a sound truly it's own.
In late 2008, Mary Anne Hobbs put together a special 'Bristol: Rise Up!' Experimental Radio1 show for the BBC to showcase the wide array of talent within Bristol's dubstep scene and it's different approaches to and interpretations of the sound. Hearing the drastic differences between the guest mixes from Appleblim and Jakes, or Joker and RSD; the show left me wanting to find out what exactly was in the water out there that could spurn so much quality music that pulled from so many different influences. After spending much of the previous week in London, it was time to experience the Bristol vibe firsthand while reaching the Dubloaded monthly on Wednesday night.
Stokes Croft, known as the cultural quarter of Bristol, is home to an incredible self-sustaining arts community and is essentially an open air art gallery in itself. Took some time to walk around local nightclubs Lakota and Blue Mountain and was taken aback by the vibrant large-scale murals, stencils, and wheatpaste posters surrounding both venues. Previously a Stokes Croft staple, the city recently mourned the loss of the Rooted Records shop which had played an extremely vital role in supporting the various mutations of drum & bass and garage over the past decade. In the wake of the Rooted's closure, the Idle Hands crew have recently opened a storefront a few blocks down from the old Rooted location and begun to carry the torch in a city still rich with an appreciation for vinyl. Walked into the shop to the sounds of Boddika's recent 12” on Swamp81 'Electron' being played over the speakers and found shop and Idle Hands label owner Chris Farrell, as well as Joe (Kowton) still busy settling into their new space. For more on the Idle Hands story, check out the recent interview with them over at Sonic Router HERE. By recommendation of the Idle Hands staff, I visited local neighborhood pub The Bell to grab a quick pint and meet up with bassmusicblog creator, DJ, and producer Ed (I.D.) Bayling. We eventually made our way back to his local studio for the inaugural Panhead uStream session which featured sets from himself, as well as Baobinga and Gemmy. Be on the lookout for Gemmy's new label W.O.W. to be releasing some of his own new originals in the months ahead. You can listen back to the archived session below:
Hyetal hit the stage around Midnight and continued to build up the vibe and tempo as the club began to settle in and get loose. Hyetal recently debuted his new live set earlier this April at the FACT x Young Turks party and the magazine recently caught up with him for an interview that you can read up on HERE. His full length album 'Broadcast' will be dropping on Black Acre in early May and is not one to be slept on.
Joe Nice then went through a pile of fresh dubplates cut for his whirlwind European Spring tour which also featured stops in Manchester, London, Ghent, and Berlin. Highlight of the night had to be the crowd demanded rewind of Goth-Trad's remix of Rebel Familia – Babylon Fall. There just aren't sufficient adjectives or expletives to describe that one when it drops.
Thursday's mission was to walk up to the Clifton Downs to take in the panoramic view overlooking Bristol, as well as crossing the Avon Gorge-spanning Clifton Suspension Bridge. Made sure to partake in my first proper Cornish pasty en route, another key element of the Bristol experience.
After working up a serious appetite hiking back down from Clifton towards the city centre, it was time to experience a Pieminister pie, served on mashed potatoes and doused with glistening brown gravy. The menu at Pieminister features over 10 different varieties of free-range meat and vegetarian pie options. I elected for the extremely satisfying Mr. Porky, a pie filled with free-range British pork, smokey bacon, apples, and cider. After the onset of a meat and potato induced food coma, the night eventually got started with a stop by Thekla to catch the Bristol stop on Daedelus' Magical Properties tour.
Now permanently docked in Bristol's Floating Harbour, the Banksy tagged ship-turned-nightclub played a paramount role in Bristol's vibrant trip-hop and D&B scenes in their infancy. Local acts such as Massive Attack, Portishead, and Roni Size have all graced the showboat's stage over the years. Thursday evening the venue played host to Brainfeeder alums Daedelus, Tokimonsta, and Teebs in the midst of their European tour.
Teebs opened the night, playing some cuts off of last year's Ardour LP on Brainfeeder before inviting Jeremiah Jae onstage to perform a few tunes of his own. Tokimonsta was up next and made the audience quickly forget that it was only 8pm on a Thursday night with an extremely hype performance. Her energizing set incorporated Slugabed's wonky remix of Pharoahe Monch 'Simon Says' as well as her own remix of 'How High' by Redman & Method Man. Elected to dip out before Daedelus to go check out I.D. playing a freestyle set of Brazilian jazz and soul over at Mr. Wolf's for the Dirty Old Town shindig. The party also featured Bristol MCs Central Spillz and their DJ Superisk, as well as the 4xUK DMC Champion crew The Disablists.
photo by Richard Windsor
Ed was already busy behind the decks dropping some soul records when I arrived, as local artists Andy Council and Iain Sellar from ODT were already at work on a hand-drawn, Bristol themed mural backdrop for the stage.
photo by Liam Richardson
Bristol hip-hop crew Central Spillz consists of MCs Koast, C-Strike-z, Redskin, Mackie Skillz, and Shadz as well as DJ Superisk behind the decks. Spillz recently released their debut LP 'Space Travel' just last month and you can preview and purchase the album HERE. The crew performed a high octane set, spitting bars over beats by the likes of fellow Bristolians Mensah, Guido, Gemmy, and Risky himself.
photo by Liam Richardson
The Disablists came armed and ready with four turntables, two synced laptops running Traktor Scratch and some smooth routines that made it immediately clear why they have previously been crowned DMC champs. Their set included beatjuggling the likes of Dizzee Rascal and Roots Manuva as well as a Joker-themed routine that featured blends of 'Purple City', 'Tron', and 'It Ain't Got A Name.'
Special thanks goes out to all the Bristol crew I connected with along the way for all of the hospitality. An inspirational experience to say the least. Your time Brizzle!!
Basfaced Podcast 014 mixed by DJ Coup (Dejacoupe)
1. Déjàcoupé - Rap House - Dub
2. Royal T - Orangeade (Walton Remix) - Butterz (April Zip)
3. Femme En Fourrure - Smear - Top Billin - BUY
4. Rush'd - Ninja's Secret Love - forthcoming CarCrashSet
5. Simon/off - In Circles - Haunted Audio - BUY
6. Peverelist - Dance Til The Police Come - Hessle Audio - BUY
7. Artek - Holdin' (Resketch Remix) - forthcoming CarCrashSet
8. Simon/off - Let It Go - Haunted Audio - BUY
9. D.O.K. - Chemical Planet (Kalorific Remix) - Butterz (April Zip)
10. I.D. - Once Again - forthcoming Build
11. I.D. - Handbagger (Baobinga Remix) - forthcoming Build
12. S-X - Take Time (Instrumental) - Butterz (April Zip)
13. Femme En Fourrure - Bronco (Nguzunguzu Remix) - Top Billin - BUY
14. Flying Lotus - Melt - Warp - BUY
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Here's April's Spring loaded podcast from our resident DJ Coup. This month's mix features some forthcoming tunes from Car Crash Set and Bristol-based Build Recordings, as well as an unreleased Dejacoupe original from the man himself. The podcast also incorporates three tracks featured in this month's free April Zip folder provided by the Butterz crew, which you can cop for yourself HERE. Simon/off's recent effort on Haunted Audio 'Let It Go / In Circles' and Peverelist's 'Dance Til The Police Come' which dropped just last week on Hessle, are already among some of the standout releases thus far in 2011. Out to all the producers and labels out there that contributed to this one!
A little past 9pm on a cold, rainy Saturday night in Brixton and a queue of a thousand people has already snaked around the garden outside of St. Matthew's Church. The converted church is home to Mass, the nightclub which has seen the DMZ party grow out of it's 400 person capacity basement '3rd Bass' into the club's main rooms which now usher over 1,500 through the doors for the bi-monthly event. The yearly birthday bashes in March have always brought out legions of supporters; even dating back to the legendary night in 2006 where the event had to be moved from 3rd Bass mid-party into the club's main room to accommodate the hundreds of people who were shut out. With a lineup that often remains unknown until the week of the event, the allure of reaching a DMZ night is deeper than simply it's all-star cast of DJs. It's about being a part of something bigger and coming together to celebrate the roots and various permutations of dubstep music in it's birthplace of South London.
The queue itself is a one of a kind experience, with party revelers and dubstep enthusiasts from all over the globe showing up hours before the club doors open to ensure entry. Be sure to stop by the Off-License (think bodega that also sells liquor) across the road and hunker down on line with a 6-pack of Red Stripe which will only set you back a fiver.
Arrived into Mass as VIVEK and Goth-Trad were busy tearing up the already rammed sweat lodge that was Room 1. Goth-Trad's subwoofer bubblin' 'Itinerant Priest' was easily one of the standouts from their B2B set and one of the watermark tunes of the night as a whole. The amount of tunes that these two are both sitting on right now is unbelievable. We can only hope that some of those dubs see the light of day soon.
Kode9 and James Blake were up next as Kode9 ominously drew deep into the bag for Warren G's 'Regulate' right out of the starting gate. Rest in peace Nate Dogg, who's untimely death occurred little over a week later. It spoke volumes about the legacy Nate would leave behind, hearing his words ringing out almost 6,000 miles east of his native L.A. at a DMZ night of all places. Other highlights from the set included Terror Danjah's remix of Spooky's 'Spartan', as well as James Blake playing some witch-house from Salem as well as his harmonimixes of 'Ms. Jackson' and Mala's 'Changes'.
Maneuvered into Room 2 for some much needed breathing room and found Horsepower already going in on some old school Jungle & DnB. Zed Bias then followed with a selection of classic UK Garage, as well as some of the recent productions under his Maddslinky moniker. Be on the look out for Zed's 'Stubborn Phase' release which is forthcoming on Swamp81.
Nearing 2am, it was time to stake out a spot in Room 1 for the Digital Mystikz set. After testing the signal with Barrington Levy 'Under Me Sensi', the unmistakable innard warming opening notes of 'Anti-War Dub' came over the PA and created a release of pure elation in the dance. Despite the unavoidable technicals that arose, the set and energy of the packed out main room was something that won't be soon forgotten. Standout tunes included the behemoth 'Swish' by Pinch as well as the Coki classic 'Officer', which released on the DMZ label back in 2005.
Serious big ups to Pokes for keeping everyone hyped and engaged throughout. His decree, "That left turntable needs to be taken outside and SHOT" was one of many entertaining Pokes-isms of the night. Out to Mala & Coki for pushing through the technicals; soldiering it out and delivering a memorable set in the face of adversity. With one turntable out of commission and forced to play out tunes from intro to finish on the only functioning deck, they let their selections speak for themselves. Their set reminded us why so many converge upon Brixton for this special night and why the Digital Mystikz sound will continue to remain a gravitational force in the world. Whatever your background, religion, political or social status; everyone is a unified, sweat soaked mass on the dancefloor at DMZ.
Up next were Skream & Benga with Youngman MC taking over hosting duties from Pokes. While their set may have diverged from what some expected, it's ludicrous for anyone to question their validity at an event that celebrates a sound that they have undeniably helped shape and form over the past 8 years. As far as the dancefloor was concerned, their set was a hit with the throngs of punters getting up close and personal with one another.
For a change of pace, Moxie was simultaneously killing it in Room 2 with Asbo hosting and paying tribute to some of the genre's foundational classics. She temporarily brought us all back to 2005 and 2006 with a smooth blend of Kromestar's 'Kalawanji' and Skream's 'Midnight Request Line'.
Hatcha & N-Type took the stage at 5am and did their thing til' the break of dawn with VIPs and exclusives smattered throughout their closing tag-team set. Full details of which are hazy due to it being early Sunday morning at a DMZ Birthday. Beware the Dragon Stout...
While some seem all too eager to write-off the genre and focus on the negatives associated with it's recent explosion, the DMZ experience continues to be a positive bastion in the ever-expanding world of dubstep. The sound may have splintered into more offshoots than anyone can possibly keep up with, but that malleability and creative freedom is what drew many of us to the genre in the first place. Dubstep can still be up for interpretation and it's comforting to know there are still places where you can close your eyes in front of a massive sound system and meditate on bass weight.
Friday April 8
Unsound Festival New York at The Bunker: Bass Mutations
70 North 6th Street
10pm to 6am
$25 advance, $30 at the door
Kode9 (Hyperdub | UK)
Appleblim (Skull Disco, Apple Pips | UK)
Badawi (The Index, The Agriculture | Brooklyn) LIVE
KiNK (Ovum, liebe*detail | Bulgaria) LIVE
Lone (Werk Discs, Magic Wire | UK) LIVE
Spatial (Infrasonics | UK) LIVE/DJ
Sepalcure (Hotflush | Brooklyn) LIVE
Dorian Concept (Kindred Spirits, Affine | Austria) LIVE
Dave Q (The Index, Dub War, Twisup | Brooklyn)
Chancha Vía Circuito (ZZK | Argentina)
Eleven Tigers (Soul Motive | Lithuania) LIVE
Zeppy Zep (Top Billin | Poland)
The Phantom (Top Billin | Poland)
Unsound Festival New York returns April 6 to April 10th, with Beyond Booking presenting the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night club events. Bass Mutations nights, which have been a feature at Unsound Krakow for a few years now, explore the notion of bass music in our contemporary music scene, and by that we don't just mean Dubstep - this is a look at music of our time in many forms. Last year at the inaugural Unsound Festival New York, the Bass Mutations event was one of the most popular events of the entire festival. Featuring talent known and unknown, this year's return is also sure to be a roadblock with thirteen groundbreaking artists from around the globe playing both Live and DJing.
DJ, Producer, Writer, label owner, teacher and visual artist are all hats worn by London-based Kode9 (aka Steve Goodman), one of the most respected figures in today’s bass music scene. His sophomore album, Black Sun, again with his with partner, poet / MC Spaceape, will be released April 2011, and is already receiving major buzz. Kode9 owns and runs the popular Hyperdub imprint which is home to artists such as Burial, Ikonika, Terror Danjah, King Midas Sound, DVA, and many more.
Kode9 Essential mix
Kode9 & Spaceape interview with the Quietus
Bristol-based DJ / Producer Appleblim first came to prominence alongside Shackleton with his work for the Skull Disco label. In 2008, he launched his own Apple Pips label, releasing material from Martyn, Peverlist, Jus Wan, T++, Brackles, Instra:mental, Greena, Joe and more. Recently he has been making waves with his collaborative project with producer Ramadanman that sees the duo bringing in a Detroit and Berlin Techno influence into their own special brand of bass music.
Appleblim Fabric 'Main Room' mix
Brooklyn-based Producer Badawi has been on the bass scene in New York for well over a decade. Often cited as one of illbients original sources in the mid 90's, Mesinai has gone far beyond the confines of that narrow scene is today is one of most unsung yet well respected producers of bass music in the states. Not to be pigeonholed, he has also been a fixture on the downtown improv scene playing with artists like John Zorn, Elliott Sharp and others, and is also a visual artist. His live set at Unsound Krakow in October was cited by many as a festival highlight, so expect the same tonight.
Badawi DubWar podcast
Badawi Mary Anne Hobbs guestmix
Sofia, Bulgaria based KiNK is an innovative, uncompromising producer and captivating live performer. He made his first appearance on vinyl in 2005, but it was his series of releases with UK based producer Neville Watson for Rush Hour that finally opened up the wider world to his sound. Everyone from Hercules & Love Affair to Steve Bug played their 2008 collaboration "Inside Out." They have since released a number of additional EPs and continue to do so. KiNK is also heavily in demand as a remixer and has released numerous solo productions on a number of labels including Josh Wink's Ovum. KiNK has been doing live shows on rare occasions since 2007, and tonight is his New York debut. He is looking forward to releasing his first album on Kolour recordings this year.
KiNK Fact Mix
Manchester based Lone (aka Matt Cutler) has been releasing music since 2007, with his first proper album, Lemurian, releasing in 2008 on Nottingham's Dealmaker; 2009 garnered more attention for the young producer with his second album on Werk, Ecstacy & Friends. However, it was last year that things started to really pop for Lone. After starting his own Magic Wire Recordings imprint, he released the club smash single "Pineapple Crush," then followed it in December with the album Emerald Fantasy Tracks, one of the most exciting releases of 2010. Both releases saw Lone exploring a distinctly British kind of rave inspired Techno sound. This will be his live debut in New York.
Lone BLOC promo mix
London-based producer Spatial first came on the scene in 2008 with a 10" for his own Infrasonics imprint that instantly became Boomkat’s single of the week. Since then he has released three more singles for his own label and appeared at festivals such as Club Transmediale, Freerotation and Unsound Krakow. His music displays a meticulous attention to detail and a strong tendency towards experimentation. Tonight's performance willl blur the lines between a DJ and live set.
Spatial Hyponik mix
Brooklyn-based producer duo Sepalcure, aka Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) and Praveen Sharma (Praveen & Benoît), made their debut live performance on the Bass Mutations bill last year at Unsound Festival New York, and what a year they’ve had since! Their music has been featured in the movie Black Swan and they've also released two well-received EPs for Hotflush, took part in a Hotflush label tour of Europe, and appeared at Decibel in Seattle.
Sepalcure XLR8R podcast
Vienna-based producer Dorian Concept is part of the post "Beat Dimensions" generation of beat makers that includes artists such as Nosaj Thing, Mike Slott, and Hudson Mohawke. He has made a reputation via his live show and has released a string of releases on labels including Affine Records and Kindred Sprits, who released his debut album When Planets Explode in 2009. Ninja Tune will release his EP Her Tears Taste Like Pears in late March.
Dorian Concept LuckyMe mix
New York-based DJ Dave Q founded the seminal New York club night Dub War in 2005 and has continued to lead the charge for bass music in New York City ever since. Dub War was the first event to bring artists like Kode 9, Digital Mystikz, Loefah, Skream, Actress, Darkstar, Shackleton, and Ramadanman to North America. He recently started a new monthly event in Brooklyn called Twisup and runs the label The Index with Badawi. The label has released music from Badawi, Shackleton, Spatial, Headhunter, and Vladislav Delay.
Dave Q Percussion Lab mix
Buenos Aires-based producer Chancha Vía Circuito (aka Pedro Canale) will be a relatively new name to most. DJ /Rupture wrote about him in The Fader saying "You wouldn't guess that the guy selling CDs in the back of Buenos Aires's Zizek club is one of the scene’s most respected producers. Other Zizek producers craft new school cumbia beats for dance floor whomp; Chancha takes the mystical / tropical route, emulating both Martin Denny and hip-hop's pursuit of the perfect loop." He released his debut albumRodante in 2008 on ZZK records.
Chancha Via Circuito XLR8R podcast
London-based Lithuanian producer Eleven Tigers started out self-distributing his tracks via the Internet. After being "discovered" by then BBC Radio DJ Mary Anne Hobbs, he started performing live. His first LP Clouds Are Mountains was released in June 2010, a detailed and boundary-blurring work that draws on both bass music and shoegaze post-rock. The Quietus called it one of the albums of the year, writing on that it "answers, in full, the question as to what happens after Burial."
Eleven Tigers SonicRouter mix
Warsaw-based producer / DJ The Phantom and Krakow-based producer / DJ Zeppy Zep are two or the most talented up and coming bass music producers from Poland. The Phantom draws his inspiration from the standard's like UK funky and grime, but he also finds stimulus from African house and early club classics. His debut track "Cambodia" was relased on the Top Billin' compilation PL Funky; his latest release, The Phantom EP, dropped on Senseless Records late in 2010. 21 year old Zeppy Zep first made his mark on the bass scene with his track "Quality," and most recently his contribution to the PL Funky compilation, "Sierra." In 2010, his unreleased tracks "Menace" and "Rebis" received massive attention from FACT and Sinden. This young producer definitely is one to watch in the coming years, as he's clearly showing a drive to fight for the top of bass musics production rank and file.
Zeppy Zep & The Phantom Fat! Club mix