If you haven't had the chance to read part 1 of the interview with Blackdown then you can do so HERE
As someone who has seen the early stages of both the grime and dubstep scene evolve what are your feelings on how dramatically the sound has been developed in recent years compared to the perhaps beginning of the millennium?
It’s been really amazing watching them both grow from nothing, from fragments of UK garage. I feel really blessed to have been close to not just the birth of one genre, but two. Of course they’ve grown at different rates and times. Dubstep started first with grime not far behind. Then grime grew dramatically and mutated radically, while dubstep kept small and compact. Then dubstep began this explosive trajectory where it has established itself in the global club infrastructure and media, far better than grime did.
Yet in 2009/10, some of grime’s a-list have cracked the mainstream in a way dubstep never will, though on the most part, from Dizzee to Tinchy and Chipmunk, they had to water down what grime was to achieve this scale. That leaves the rest of the grime scene behind, which I still think is amazing, though it isn’t mutating as fast as it was in 2003/4. But acts like Trim, Durrty Goodz, Dot Rotten, Ghetto, Wiley, Rapid, Elijah and Skilliam, Logan Sama, P Money, Tempa T, Silencer etc are all essential listening, even if as a whole there may be less depth of quality in grime that there once was. I think it’s interesting that if you look at the other hardcore continuum genres like d&b and garage, grime’s managed to preserve itself without either a) ruining what was good about itself to gain a large audience (d&b) or b) imploding (garage).
Dubstep too has made its compromises, fatally I think. Large parts of it has made the same compromises that d&b did, and this is all the more shocking since it did it in the full knowledge of how things went down with jungle/d&b. I was very angry about this for several years but I’m tired of that fight now. If people want “dubstep” to be this homogenius, “snare-on-the-third-plus-distorted-angsty-wobble” sound then they can have that.I want to be positive, two write about great new music, release some, write some of my own. I’ve moved on, taking what I see dubstep as being – an open exploration of all the darker London garage hybrids – and working towards building something new. UK funky, 2step, garage, grime, non-wobble dubstep are exciting areas, and people are blending them with things like juke, crunk, chip tunes, the LA sound, kuduro, South African house and so much more to make the most interesting new music.
The forthcoming release on your’s and Dusk’s own label; Keysound Recordings, features two previously unreleased Skream tracks from 2005. Whose decision was it to release these two?
It was a impulse thing really, though I should say I’ve tried to sign the odd lost dub in the past *cough* Mala “Forgive” *cough*. Dusk and I always loved those two Skream tunes and used them in mixes we’ve done but it was clear after a while they’d been forgotten. This seemed a shame as they were such amazing pieces of music: dark but light, moody but physical.
So one day I just thought, “I wonder what Skream would say if I asked for them?” He was on AIM in some hotel room in Canada living the DJ dream and instantly just said “have them” which I’m immensely grateful for. I hear a lot of upfront of upfront Skream bits, which is a kind of loyalty I’m really grateful for. I’ve always got on well with Skream, I’m pretty sure I was the first person to interview him and Benga – in the café next to Big Apple Records in Croydon market in about 2002 – so it’s amazing to see how big they’ve become, fulfilling all their promise. I’m really hyped about his forthcoming album: we’ve been playing some tracks from it in our sets and they work really well.
Photos by Tim & Barry and John Kennedy.
Part THREE tomorrow!