>Dummy Mag’s brilliant Emma Warren recently interviewed me and a few others for an article about Dubstep. Here is the final article, and below, my answers to some of the questions she sent me which I’ve decided to post so you can get a little insight into drumz.
Do you think Dubstep is street music?
I think that although it was born in the city, now it’s so diverse that it can’t really be defined as street. The emphasis on the instrumental allows it to exist without the barriers that much vocal music has so. The sound literally speaks for itself.
What’s appealing about it from a visual point of view?
Every aspect of it appeals; people’s clothes, the collective grimaces when an uncompromising bass line drops, delight when a classic is pulled up, beer cans laying around. It’s also fun observing the interaction between the dancefloor and the DJ’s.
Why and how did you get into dubstep?
I first heard the sound via Mala (DMZ) whom I knew through South London’s underground music scene. I was physically moved by it enough to want to document it.
How much of your life does dubstep take up? What’s with this tendancy for people to dive headlong into it once they get converted?
There was a time when I was living and breathing it! Now it’s no more than about an hour a day (except on weekends!!). Most people like to be part of something, a lot of people want to be part of the dubstep scene because it’s so fresh, positive and community orientated.
Is there a tight Dubstep family? There is a tight family but it isn’t confined to dubstep. You’ll find that most people involved with dubstep have ties within other underground music scenes.
Jungle had a tight family but was very inward looking. Is dubstep more open to newcomers? Why?
To be honest, I think Jungle was forced into being inward due to the amount of negative media attention that it received. Dubstep is so open to newcomers because it’s an immensly diverse sound that inspires and can be interpreted in many different ways.
How did you feel about the forum appeal to fund a new camera after yours was stolen? There seemed to be a genuinely tight family response to that…
It was pretty overwhelming! I always knew the scene was tight but the fund is next level. I’m immensely grateful.
When did Dubstep stop being a London thing?
As soon as it hit the internet via old sites such as dubplate.net and hyperdub. To my knowledge, Bristol (via Pinch) was the first city to give the sound a physical platform outside of London. I think though, that it will always be a London thing regardless of where it goes. You can take the sound out of London but you’ll never take London out of the sound.
How important is the fact that you have to go to a dance or get locked onto Rinse or subfm if you want to hear the music?
Going to a good dance and hearing it on a solid system is the ultimate way to experience the sound. Locking into Rinse and online stations allow you to hear the music via people directly involved with it. They’re very honest stations and the people behind them are the most passionate and not in it for money, just the music.
There’s a global scene too, how come? How important is it to the scene? How do you see this affecting the scene over the year to come?
It’s natural for music to spread but I think the reason the global dubstep scene is so strong is largely due to the technological advances that our generation has grown up with. It’s valuable as it allows for a constant movement of energy and inspiration and stops it from becoming stuck on a little island, consuming itself. I imagine that this year will see the amount of international producers continue to grow, each adding further dimension.
2006 was a real breakthrough year, what do you expect in 2007?
It’s impossible to predict. I’m hoping that there are enough open-minded and experimental producers to stop it from becoming formulaeic. Also, I reckon that there’ll be a rise in the amount of women directly involved with the music and further use of vocals.
Where did you grow up?
Streatham (South West London) and Norwood (South East London).