I’ve done a second volume of the Dubstep Sufferah mix series.
It’s a similar format to the first one – select dubstep tunes, with significant additional dub FX and re-editing. However, this time there is even more emphasis on bringing out dubstep’s roots – and indeed the whole ardkore continuum’s roots – in reggae, especially in Brit soundsystem culture. Some commentators have denied that there is a cultural lineage between reggae, but I think that point of view doesn’t take into account some fairly well established history. Not that I expect anyone to agree with me when I say, somewhat exaggeratedly, that dubstep actually is reggae!
Also for this mix, I’ve focused on adding a significant vocal, or at least MC, element to this otherwise primarily instrumental music. It’s noticeable that most of the biggest crowd responses at DMZ are for the vocal tunes, of which only a small proportion have been released, and I really wanted to lighten a mix that would otherwise have been fairly relentlessly minimal with vocal colour.
It also helps to create a time travelling, cut up sense of dubstep emerging form an 80s reggae dance not only is the mix opened with some live Saxon and Asher Senator, and little known Brit digital dancehall mixed with some sweeter dubstep in the middle, but there’s loads of additional MC samples sprinkled across the mix. I’d like to thank Dublin reggae and jungle maestro Droid for his kindness in furnishing me with a generous helping of live dancehall, as well as John Eden for providing the Saxon material via his blog.
Technically, the mix is something of a hybrid. A lot of vinyl mixing, a fair amount of digital mixing, and a load of editing in Live. It’s not a purely authentic vinyl mix and I doubt you could do this on decks; that’s not the point. It is however meant to be a properly constructed mix you can return to.
The narrative arc of this mix follows a classic dubstep mix blueprint. Heavy, harsh, grinding first third, some sweet respite, and some bangers to close. Following a sweet reggae and dub intro, I went straight into an increasingly punishing selection of banging dubstep classics that becomes more industrial and claustrophobic with each track, culminating in a series of monstrous wobblers. I particularly like the cut up of Virus Syndicate’s Major List MCs over Pinch’s Qawalli VIP in this section; they seem made for each other. The heaviness is finally relieved by Iration Steppas’ classic Scud Missile dub, which takes us into an altogether softer, darker, dancehall tinged section.(I’ve been amused and delighted by Skream’s championing of digidub on his Rinse FM show, more power to your elbow Olly, even more so since you’re also championing the jazz funk sound of my Essex youth!) Dark garage originator and fellow Sheffield resident DQ1 does the bridge into deeper dub and more rolling beats; the last third is petty much ravetastic, focusing on Loefah re-edits. He’s the king of the beats and my favourite dubstep producer by a mile (my favourite producer in any genre in the world actually) and while he may be frustrated at not doing deeper tunes, at just doing beats, frankly they’re so great I don’t care.
And that’s it really. I’m very happy with the mix; while all the tunes are familiar to the initiated, I hope they have been dubbed-up and edited enough to sound fresh, and this mix wasn’t about showing off unreleased tunes, it was about creating some particular atmospheres, showcasing what has been arguably dubstep’s most fertile period thus far, and possibly, creating an ear-friendly route in for the uncommitted. I hope you enjoy it; let me know either way.
Dubstep Sufferah Volume 2.
A LAME-encoded 192K mp3 which weighs 104.5Mb is here.
A LAME (Insane) 320K mp3 which weighs 174.1Mb is available for a limited time. Down now!
0.00 Asher Senator / Saxon Sound Intro
1.11 King Tubby / Johnny Clark: A Ruffer Version (Jackpot)
4.45 Digital Mystikz: Ancient Memories (original mix) / (Skream Remix) (DMZ)
10:18 Skream: I (Loefah Remix) (Tempa)
13:48 Digital Mystikz: Conference (Soul Jazz)
17:34 Virus Syndicate: Major List MCs (Jammer Instrumental) (Planet Mu)
18:41 Pinch: Qawalli (VIP mix) (Planet Mu) / Virus Syndicate: Major List MCs (Jammer Vocal Mix) (Planet Mu)
23:36 D1: Degrees (Tempa)
24:59 Digital Mystikz: Haunted (DMZ) Grievous Angel Vocal Edit
28:28 Skream: Glamma (Tempa)
31:16 Digital Mystikz: Earth Run a Red (Soul Jazz)
35:11 Iration Steppas: Scud Missile Dub (Universal Egg)
37:48 Appleblim: Cheat I (Skull Disco) Grievous Angel Vocal Edit
39:57 Mickey Murka: We Try (Version) (Unity Sounds / Honest Jons)
41:29 Benga: Zombie Jig (BengaBeats)
43:27 Kenny Knots: Watch How the People Dancing (Unity Sounds / Honest Jons)
44.49 Skream: Dutch Flowers (Tempa)
46:48 Selah Collins: Pick a Sound (Version) (Unity Sounds / Honest Jons)
47:12 DQ1: Wear the Crown (Tectonic)
52:09 Headhunter: Sleepwalker (Tempa) Grievous Angel Vocal Dub
55:55 Caspa: Rubber Chicken (Tempa)
58:43 Loefah: Mud (DMZ) Grievous Angel “Signal” Dub
63:11 Caspa: For the Kids (Dub Police)
65:40 Grievous Angel: Lickle Friction (CDR)
69:07 Loefah: Ruffage (DMZ) Grievous Angel Vocal Dub
71:43 Loefah: System (Tectonic) Grievous Angel Edit