Bristol is making big steps to become an important nerve centre outside of the capital for the dubstep scene. One of the central figures behind the growth of the Bristol scene is dj, label owner and producer Pinch who as well as being one half of the duo that have brought us bewitching ‘Alien Tongue,’ has managed to pull off one of the biggest, baddest raves in the scene (Subloaded) and just landed himself a set at the next DMZ all nighter line-up.
Words and interview by Appleblim
Appleblim How did you get into the whole dubstep scene?
Pinch: I didn’t really get into dubstep until after I made the pilgrimage to FWD>> with some friends about 18 months ago – walking in on a mind blowing Kode9 set. Until then I’d picked up the odd Tempa bits and some grime but never really realised there was an active scene pushing this dark, atmospheric side of garage that left aside any pretentions of the UK G scene. Instantly hooked I was!
AB: ‘Pop Pop’ by Vex’d on your Subtext label was a huge tune both in the grime and dubstep world. How did you hook up with Vex’d, and were you surprised with the response?
P: I met Jamie from Vex’d a few years back when he lived in Bristol for a while, through Ginz (30Hz). I was seriously impressed when heard ‘Function’ (which was written about 3 years ago) and thought it was the best bit of breakbeat I’d heard at the time, loved the filth factor.
I always thought Pop Pop would do well but it was a surprise to see it picked up by DJ’s from so many different genres – Kode9, Mark One, Plasticman, Si Begg and even electronica heads and record shops (Boomkat loved it as did Small Fish). That’s the sign of a great track in my opinion, and its still my favourite track that we’ve released.
AB: How long have you been putting on nights in Bristol, who have you booked and how has it been going down?
P: I’ve been putting on nights regularly for about a year and a half – mostly under the name ‘Context’, which started with a mixed music policy taking in dub, electronica, broken beat, dubstep, breaks and drum & bass. The dubstep side took increasing precedence as the night built up, though until the end of last year the night always ended with a d&b set but never on a jump-up tip, more the breaky/techie/dubby stuff. Dubstep wise Vex’d and Loefah have graced the decks as have Cyrus (Random Trio), Distance, Search&Destroy and SLT Mob and myself, Blazey, P Dutty and a German guy called Bad-Jah who’s single handedly holding down the scene in Berlin.
AB: Do you think Bristol could serve as important a power source for Dubstep music as it did with Drum and Bass?
P: Yeh – I reckon its already going that way. Context now hosts a room at Bristol’s longest running d&b night – Drive By, and important recognition that its fitting into place in my opinion.
AB:What did you think of the recent Subloaded rave you put on with Bristol grime innovator DJ Blazey
P: Immense! I think the sound has finally found it’s home in Bristol, that venue and the soundsystem that I hired in were a lethal combo. It’s weird because in some ways it’s like a pikey squat house with bouncers on the doors with people selling mushrooms and laughing gas inside. One of the most pleasing things for me is to see familair faces but this was even better cos their were loads of faces that I didn’t know, which is a sign that things are really picking up. I’m just in the process of booking a date for the next one, which should be Autumn. I’m only gonna do it a couple of times a year so that I can really put a lot of energy and time into it because I want it to be a date in everyone’s diaries.
AB: How do you feel about being asked to play at the next huge DMZ rave?
AB: Which producers/tunes are you really feeling at the moment?
P: Digital Mystikz and Loefah have been on fire recently – Mala and Coki in particular dropped some rhythms at the last DMZ that my head still hasn’t got over! I’ve also been strongly influenced by Plasticman, Kode9 and Vex’d – who have each built an excellent, unique sound for themselves. Everything coming from the dubstep scene has been influential to be honest though -the quality levels are just too high!!
AB: What’s coming up from you in the coming months?
P: Well, watch out for my first collaborative release next week even! We’ve started a new imprint called Tectonic, kicking off with two tracks by me and P Dutty (aka 30Hz) – War Dub and Alien Tongue. War Dub got played on Radio One the other night even – on the Breezeblock show.
AB: Anything else you’d like to add?