When I was a kid, most of the music I listened to related to the twin poles of industrial and dub, and to this day these two musics are important to me. Industrial is now more of a historical interest, whereas reggae is still essential.) That’s why I like dubstep so much; it’s the near-perfect mix of industrial sonics and abrasion with dub’s space and sweetness. In fact I was going to do a full-on ritual mix of industrial and dubstep, but when I got into it, i really didn’t need to; dubstep has more than enough noise on its own. Hence the title of this mix: Dubstep Sufferah. In Jamaica in the mid-70s, Sufferah’s music was the term for deep roots reggae; personally I think a lot of that dread vibe is embodied in dubstep. It’s also partly a rhetorical or ideological device: I want dubstep to retain its reggae foundation and not turn into techno-ish boys music. Rather I want it to reflect industrial’s menstrual masculinity.
Now, it’s a fact that there simply aren’t enough dubstep records in the world (though there are a load coming out this Spring). A consequence of this fact is that many of the mixes you hear from non-name DJs tend to have a lot of tracks in common — an issue I have tried to address by dubbing the mix to the max and editing most of the tunes. Paul Autonomic’s first grime and dubstep mix from last year was a big inspiration of this approach, though as regular listeners will know, I’ve been ploughing my own digital mix furrow for some years now. And yes, this is an all-Live, all edits, no live mixing package; there are now many, many extremely good live vinyl mixes available, especially from Rinse sessions from Youngsta and Kode 9, plus a number from Joe Nice, so I think that angle is adequately catered for. I’m interested in producing mixes that let me listen to this music in all its widescreen, sumptuous, highly effected glory and for me, this one just about hits the spot. Dubstep Sufferah is made up of three parts: 20 minutes of slowly evolving, deeply dubbed classics, which build up to some roughneck breakbeats’n’noise, before slowly winding down into honeyed, dark, ambience. This mix might be merely a selection of the key tunes from the last year, albeit with as many top-notch ’06 cuts as I could lay my hands on, but I think it still sounds pretty fresh.
Particular stand-out tracks for me are…
Mood Dub: biggest ear worm of the last six months.
Loefah & Skream’s 28 G — TUUUUNE!
Skream’s I — feel the bass. One note is all you need. Better than Request Line?
Lightning — the Skream track that re-embedded Amenz in the dubstep end of the ardkore continuum
Vex’d’s Lion — best-est, banging-est breakbeat track of the last five years. Ancient tune too — came out in 04.
Vex’d remix of Toasty’s The Knowledge — the classic “747 taking off” trick re-done fo dubstep. The biggest noise you will hear all year. And Search and Destroy have one of the best group names ever.
Loefah’s mix of Candy Floss — TUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEE! Love it love it love it…
Random Trio’s Indian Stomp. Absolutely gorgeous. I wasn’t too sure about the minimal down-step sound at first but when you add Indian samples to the mix it just works so well. I would’ve killed for a copy of Dusk & Blackdown’s forthcoming “Lata” to complete the effect but it’s not out for a few more weeks and, you know, I’m just not important enough to get plates or CDs! I really want to have a whole new sub-genre of near-ambient, Indian-tinged dubstep (possibly with a side order of country soul samples…) — the dubstep version of “gyal tunes”. I suppose most of you hate the idea!
Anti-War Dub — just a fantastic, deep, groovy steepers record. Tempted to mix it in with house. You think at first there’s not enough happening to make that relentless 4×4 beat work, but there’s HEAPS of melody here. Great record. should be on the radio (beyond Mary Anne Hobbes). Won’t be.
Dusk & Blackdown — yes I know I’m only using it as a backdrop to Anti-War dub, but this record hints at future greatness.
Kingstown — yup, still the most emotional (and political) record in dubstep. Fantastic piece of work and I thoroughly enjoyed chopping it about. We’re all proud of you Steve!
As before, in a bid to stop leach sites destroying my bandwidth (and get a chance to say Hi! to the people who download our mixes), this mix is only available through email. Just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the URL of the mix. It’s a 191K MP3 encoded with LAME which weighs 103Mb. Be warned though: the bass on these tunes is DEEP and the mix might sound a bit odd if your speakers / headphones don’t go down very far…
EDIT: Tracklistings are in the “lyrics” field — works on iTunes on a Mac, dunno if it works in anythin else.
Thank you to the (fairly large) numbers of people who have already go in touch with me for your support, and for not revealing mix URLs on message boards.
Dubstep Sufferah mix tracklisting
1. 0.00. Coki (Digital Mystikz) – Mood Dub (DMZ DMZ004)
2. 4.14. Digital Mystikz – Jah Fire (DMZ DMZ002)
3. 6.19. Skream – Traitor (Ital ITAL 001)
4. 9.07. Loefah – Horror Show (DMZ DMZ002)
5. 12.12. Loefah & Skream – 28G (Tectonic TEC003)
6. 17.08. Loefah – The Goatstare (DMZ DMZ006)
7. 19.48. Skream – I (Tempa 0.14)
8. 21.39. Digital Mystikz – 10 Dread Commandments (DMZ DMZ002)
9. 25.15. Loefah – Twisup (Youngsta and Task remix) (DMZ DMZ003)
10. 28.19. Skream – Lightning (Tempa 016)
11. 31.43. Vex’d – Lion (Subtext SUB002)
12. 34.31. Pressure Feat Warrior Queen – Money Honey (Vocal Version) (Hyperdub HDB002)
13. 36:50. Vex’d – Angels (from Planet Mu LP Degenerate
14. 48.43. Toasty – The Knowledge (Vex’d Remix) (Hotflush HFRMX001)
15. 44.27. Boxcutter – Brood (Hotflush HF010)
16. 39:23. Search & Destroy – Candy Floss (Loefah Remix) (Hotflush HFRMX001)
17: 53:39 Skream / Dizzee Rascal – Midnight Request Line (Grievous Angel Vocal Edit) (Tempa 0.14)
18. 56:34. Loefah & Skream – Fearless (Tectonic TEC003)
19. 1:01.19 Random Trio – Indian Stomp (Cyrus EP Tectonic TEC004)
20. 1:03:21 Digital Mystikz – Anti War Dub (DMZ 007)
21. 1:08:03. Dusk & Blackdown – Drenched (Keysound Recordings IDN001)
22. 1:09:51. Kode 9 & The Space Ape – Kingstown (Vocal Mix) (Hyperdub HYP003)
23. 1:14:30. Eschaton