To mark the launch of Vol 2 of Tempa’s Dubstep Allstars series, I’ve written a couple of posts about the release. Part 1 takes a look back at Volume 1 of the series which can be held accountable for a great deal of the inspiration behind Drumzofthesouth.
Dubstep Allstars Vol 1
It’s June 2004, and following a previous introduction to Dubstep through early Mystikz classics, I’m passed a copy of Tempa’s Dubstep Allstars Vol 1 mixed by DJ Hatcha in which an introduction to my love affair with a new sound is firmly signed and sealed.
A few days later and I’m hooked on the escapism that the flutes of Highland Spring and Monsoon bring into car, home and work place yet somewhat ironically, they’re born out of the borough of Croydon, a place known more for it’s Chav culture than musical culture. It’s Croydon too, where you’d find Big Apple Records and it’s cartoon Banana skin logo that up until this year stood on Surrey Street behind the fruit and veg stalls of the market where Hatcha, in between working the counter at Apple could be seen catching trader’s unaware with rotten fruit to the side of the head.
From the very beginning, Big Apple along with Ghost and Tempa/Soulja typified what Dubstep is all about- representing Artwork, Horsepower Productions, El-B and the other artists that began the original merger of 2-step patterns and Jungle basslines with dread samples proclaimed as ‘Dubstep’ by XLR8R magazine in 2002, but the younger sounds of Digital Mystikz, Loefah, Random Trio and 16 year olds Benga and Skream amongst many other familiar faces.
Up until it’s closure, many of Big Apple’s artists and DJ’s were the people featured on both Allstars vol.1 and vol.2, with Skream now 19, being the only artist to contribute to both mixes. Listening to vol 2, is reminiscent of my first journey’s with Dubstep Allstars, the difference being the inclusion of the artists whose growth over the past year I have been lucky enough to witness first hand, and whose sounds are central to Drumzofthesouth which began around this time last year.
At the same time as I started to shoot and document the scene, fellow South Londoners and Croydon borough residents Digital Mystikz and Loefah were beginning to carve their names into it, their first few releases; Pathways, Jungle Infiltrator and Twisup EP’s signed to Big Apple care of DJ Hatcha and 14 months later and Digital Mystikz, Loefah and the DMZ name is etched deeply into our skins, the ever evolving parties, tunes and line-ups continuously causing jaws to drop and blogs to bubble. They, alongside the equally progressive Skreamz who adds the distinctive air of energy and the lush and cinematic beats of his label mate D1 collectively contribute to the deep and dubbed out vibe synonymous with 20 year old Forward>> resident and Rinse FM DJ, Youngsta who is second only to Hatcha to be titled Dubstep Allstar for the release of the same name due to drop next week.
Dubstep Allstars Vol.1 is available from all good record stores. Catch Youngsta’s recent Kiss 100 fm set courtesy of www.dubstep.blogspot.com. Thanks to Hyperdub, XLR8R, www.dubplate.net and BM Soho for the links.