Monday, April 17, 2006

Keysound Radio: 4Bristol mix

The Dubloaded set that wasn’t: this is for you Bristol

1. Kode 9 ‘Ghost Town’ dubplate
2. Burial ‘Distant Lights’ dubplate
3. Blackdown ‘Crackle Blues’ dubplate
4. Dusk + Blackdown ‘Submerge’ Keysound Recordings 12”
5. Burial ‘You Hurt Me (version)’ dubplate
6. Dusk + Blackdown ‘Mantis VIP’ dubplate
7. Blackdown ‘Mantis VI3’ dubplate
8. Digital Mystikz ‘People Unite’ dubplate
9. Blackdown ‘Lata’ dubplate
10. Blackdown ‘The Danger Line’ dubplate
11. Skream v Distance ‘Political Warfare’ dubplate
12. Skream ‘Deep Concentration’ dubplate
13. Blackdown ‘ZGK’ dubplate
14. Dusk ‘Mantis (Blackdown remix)’ dubplate
15. Sizzla ‘Obstacles (Blackdown refix)’ dubplate
16. Digital Mystikz ‘Forgive’ dubplate
17. Newham Generals ‘Mic Centre’ dubplate

Download the Keysound Radio: 4Bristol mix now

So here it should have been, the mix I’d spent months building from the very kick, snare and crackle upwards, from loop to track, mixdown to train south journey to Transition and three times more to collect some 10” press … only to get a slapdown from MC ‘flu virus and his shifting friends.

The mix is as exactly as I would have played it, from intro to outro. It contains fresh Mala, in ‘up’ mode, an exclusive Burial cut – the original, warm summery 2steppy mix of ‘You Hurt Me’ – and some new dubs from me. ‘Mantis VI3’ was finished and mixed for the occasion, more excursions into gongs and offkey Chinese melodies. ‘Mantis VIP’ was written by Dusk and myself and goes deeper, stranger and darker than we’ve gone before, completing the Mantis trilogy – an exploration of Chinese and Arabic offkey melodics.

My Sizzla refix was written two days after 7/7, in the same bright sunshine this mix happened to be recorded in. It’s riddled with a happy-to-be-alive vibe – I was at Archway on the tube when the bombs went off, five stops from horror. I was lucky.

Finally on another note, the mighty K Punk has weighed in with two two epic posts on the Burial LP, sparking a tasty Dissensus thread. So great to have some of the heavyweights returning their gaze to dubstep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Roots of Dubstep EXCLUSIVE

Brand new Pitchfork from me on Mala's lush polyrhythms, so-so grime and exclusive news of The Roots of Dubstep compilation I've been working on for Tempa.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Thursday 6th April
7:00pm head to Transition to collect final dubs for Dubloaded – the third long trek south in two weeks.
11:45pm Reach FWD>>

Friday 7th April
3:30am get home from Mala smacking up Forward>>
7:30am outta bed again.
7:00pm back in bed with full on ‘flu. Hello death, you seem like a good option right now!

Given these events I just wanna properly say sorry to the city of Bristol, all Dubloaded Crew and DJ Pinch who made the effort to book me, only for me to catch a vicious strain some virus that kept me in bed for 72 hours. It’s Monday and I still feel rank. One of the symptoms even seemed to be mild tinnitus, which is nice. There’s no way I could have driven anywhere, let alone somewhere very loud! Ouch.

It’s gutting because the truth is I’ve spent three months planning my Dubloaded set, written several new tunes, mixed them down, collected exclusives from some tasty producers and spent a small fortune on dubs at Transition. Only to get the effing ‘flu! Hopefully Pinch will have me back sometime.

As a sorry to Bristol when I’m better I think I’m going to record the mix, dub for dub, that I’d planned all this time and release it from my blog. It’ll be for you Dubloaded crew, I had a few things I wanted to share with you.

In other news I know most of you have seen the BBC Collective’s dubstep documentary, but I just wanted to big it up publicly as James Cowdery and everyone involved put the scene across really well. It pains me when I see journabizmalists stagger into somewhere they know nothing about, write what they think is happening and then crash out leaving the scene fuming. Instead the BBC Collective represented.

If you check the link above, you’ll also see George Infinite’s gallery. Perhaps two of my favourite Drumz shots are of Loefah, on the link above there’s Loe and his lady Staffy pup Vinton, shot from Vinton’s perspective. The other favourite shot of mine is published in an exquisite and long overdue collection of George’s work in Slang magazine, co-ordinated by Portuguese dubstep soulja Conspira. The shot in question again uses insane perspective - visible on the mag’s website - with Loe holding his Croydon mug centimetres from the camera lense. This time however, there’s extreme light contrast too with half the image in dark shadow. The text by the image does it credit, as George skilfully sets the Croydon scene. Track this down if you can.

Keysound Recordings 001 is finally available on Bleep/Road for all the iPod/anti-shipping costs crew. Don’t watch the hyperbole about me, I sure didn’t write it.

People seem to ask why it takes so long for tracks to reach Bleep. The answer is because the artists/labels want them to. The reality is vinyl – by sales – is still the dominant medium right now. And though I don’t think this will last forever, as long as vinyl is in demand this delay will probably exist.

The process of putting a record out costs the artist/label money. There are flat and variable costs that have to be absorbed upfront, which mean that only when you sell say half or three quarters of your pressing run – which is doing well for dubstep – do you begin to break even or even make a profit. So the delay in reaching Bleep is a natural reaction to protecting their investment costs, in case digital cannibalises vinyl sales (which is debateable, but quite possible).

Comparing the two mediums right now, it currently looks like a label with say 7 big releases can make enough money off of the whole back catalogue in a year, to pay for the pressing of one release, though of course there will be exceptions. If you’re a digital evangelist the best thing you can do is vote with your mouse. The more MP3s you buy the more the labels will take note.