One Small Seed Issue 20

Page 77

A glance at a flyer for nights like Step Up at Cape Town's Fiction Bar or Rub-adub at Mercury Live reveals that many drum 'n bass DJs hav e been moving over to playing dub step. "It has the same appeal," tells Richard, "Moody, bassline-driven dan ce music." He adds, "When I first proper ly got into dubstep back in 2007, it exc ited me very much the way drum 'n bas s did ten years ago . Although initially I also thought about dubstep as I first had of drum 'n bass: 'How can you dance to this stuff?! Oh, wait. Listen to that bass! Listen to the rhythm! I get it! Thi s is amazing!'" Biscope bootleg rem ixes have been furiously trading han ds on music share sites like SoundClou d (an online audio distribution platform, like Flickr, but for songs). Their takes on classic cuts by anyone from smooth soul divas Erykah Badu and Jill Scott to grunge icons Nirvana has made the m highly sought after. "With the Jill Scott and Erykah Badu bootlegs the mission was to make 'lovestep': deep, sen sual dubstep for the ladies," grins Ric hard, "and the Nirvana thing was jus t a nostalgic trip that got a lot of dow nloads and plays." "The two sides to the Biscope coin are actually quite dis tinct: the one side likes fun, dancef loor dubstep with distorted basslin es and catchy hooks. The other fav ours deep, soulful, even psychedelic-s ounding stuff," he elaborates. The sheer number of different styles one can identify in Biscope's tracks hint that there's a whole lot of variation within dub step as a genre. "There are a lot of different strains at the moment," con firms Richard. "We're interested in all of them."

Richard also lets on that the small but rapidly growing scene is becoming divided - bizarrely along the issue of basslines! Dupste p's trademark wobbling bassline to be exact, allegedly as there are those who feel it and those who just don't. "The really hard, distorted, fast basslin es - popularised by overseas guys like Skream and Rusko - are where most people find the hype and swagge r," he tells. "But it's also very overus ed and kind of base (not bass). It's like distorted guitar riffs - fuckin g exciting when you first hear it, but qui ckly boring after you've heard a tho usand derivatives," he laughs. "Down in Cape Town, many of the original DJs don't like it, now favouring the mature , deeper and more progressive sounds coming out on labels like London-ba sed Hyperdub." Biscope are not alo ne in this genre. "Mix n Blend is doing some worldclass stuff with African Dop e and Muti Music. Fletcher too. I always play their stuff out," maintains Richar d. "Other artists making some insane music include Binary , Audiophile 021 and Cal lan Maart."

If you need an intr oduction to the genre as a whole, the Rumneys suggest you check out Breaka ge, Nero, Datsik and Excision, Joker and Joy Orbison. For a great overview, an essential album is Diary of an Afro Warrior by London dubstep pro ducer Benga. "It's quite dated, but for me it kind of outlines the entire sound of dubstep over the past five years. It's all in there."



Step Up is a collective group project that brought the first dubstep parties to Cape Town. "We have nights once a month at Fiction on Long Street, bringing you the freshest dubstep and phatt est beats. Local residents are Fletcher, Funafuji, and Ish with our everfaithful hype-man MC Blotc hy Worker Boy. Every month we bring you a new guest giving us their expression of their dubstep love," expla ins Safiyya Bryce (aka Funa fuji).


The term bootlegging origin ally came from concealing hip flasks of alcohol in the legs of boots. Which gives us a hint as to what a bootleg remix is. A bootl eg is an illicit, illegal and unaut horised remix of an existing, often very popular song, using eithe r the entire song or samples from it snatched by some or other cheeky DJ, producer or remixer (often anonymously but released publicly). It is not exclusive to the electronic dance music genre. In the realm of EDM, however, it is an accepted practice, as having some one remix your song, bootleg or not, is typically a sign of grea t respect. Other names bootlegs go by are boots, mashups, smashups and bastard pop.

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