Compa has been cutting plates with Dub Studio for the last five years. As a latecomer to the scene he rose to prominence in 2011/2012 with a bold remix of the classic DMZ cut Antiwar Dub and a reworking of Mavado's Dem a Talk. Where many other producers were leaving the roots of the genre behind and chasing new horizons, Compa stuck to a more purist dubstep sound and it still seems to be paying off. 2013 saw a Deep Medi release, followed by releases on Tuba and Boka Records, and in the wake of his latest self-released vinyl, we saw Compa passing through Bristol for a Teachings in Dub / Deep Medi showcase, and we thought what better time for an interview?
It was great to see you here at Teachings. How does it feel to be playing alongside such heavyweights?
Amazing, as always! It's an honour to be asked to share my music with so many receptive, appreciative people. It was such an incredible show. I'll never forget it.
You have made quite a name for yourself in the US recently. What’s it like playing there? What are the crowds like compared to here? Do you adapt your set for the US crowd?
America is an incredible place to play. They don't get the same line ups as here in England and in Europe where we have five, six, seven headliners at one show. So when one UK artist tours over there they're very grateful to have us, to share our music at their clubs and on their sound systems. The love for the music over there is obvious as the energy at the shows is incredible. I love America and can't wait to return.
Kahn has been a loyal customer of Dubstudio since first cutting with us a few years ago. Over that time we have seen him rise from humble beginnings in the Bristol scene to one of the most in-demand DJ/producer/remixers on a worldwide circuit. His releases sell out within a matter of hours, whether they be on his own Bandulu imprint or the scene's hottest labels like Hotline and Deep Medi. It has been great watching his career go from strength to strength and seeing how vinyl and dubplates have played an integral role in that process. We spoke to him about why he still loves cutting dubs, and to pick his brains about the state of the scene and his future within it! - Interview by Lurka
Photo: Chris Colouryum
What initially drew you to dubstudio/dubplates? How did you find the studio?
Neek first introduced me to Dubstudio when he got some of the Sureskank Convention crew's early tunes cut to dubplate which must have been at least 5 or 6 years ago. It was something I knew I wanted to invest in once the time was right. I remember my first batch of dubs I got made after my first single on Punch Drunk came out and I started getting more gigs, I got 30 of my tunes cut in one go and never looked back...
When it comes to unsung heroes of the Bristol music scene, Daniel Davies is high up on our list. And its not because he shuns the limelight - his regular Peng Sound nights at Take 5 are a Bristol institution, and joining the Young Echo crew is hardly the right move for a creative recluse - but in an age where self-promotion has become an art form, we often don’t see the whole picture, especially for someone so deeply involved in the day-to-day running of several record labels (Peng Sound, No Corner, Fuck Punk amongst others) and specialist online store RWDFWD. Not to mention the countless artistic collaborations, and the fact that he doesn’t always take the easiest route to get to his goals. Frankly, we were amazed he even had time to do this interview… but here it is.
Whilst your DJ sets span many disparate sounds, a consistent thread can be heard in what you play. What do you think these characteristics are and what do you look for in a record for DJing?
Ha! That's a tough one already... I guess they appeal to me for various reasons, but generally I seek out music that has something to say, there has to be a certain 'vibe' to it... that can be introvert and thought-provoking or just plain body-moving, it doesn't matter!
Daniel Koehler is one of the most exciting talents to hail from Bristol in recent years and although he is now based in Berlin we are still fortunate enough to be working on his dubs here at DubStudio. Since his debut on the stellar Skudge label, he has gone from strength to strength, with follow up releases on exciting labels like Berceuse Heroique and R-Zone. We spoke to him to find out how he has created his own brand of unclassifiable electronic music.
Your music seems to defy any particular genre. Is that a conscious process, perhaps drawing from a wide range of influences instead, or do you set out to make something totally unique, regardless of genre?
I must say I bloody hate the idea of genre! For me there is almost nothing worse than the idea of a "purist" form of house, techno, drum'n'bass, jazz or rock or whatever. What I truly love is when you hear a track come on, in a club or a shop or wherever, and it just absolutely rips your damn head off because you have never heard anything like it. And so that's what I aim for when I'm creating music. And I think it's very difficult to create a track that can have that effect on you if you are worried about whether certain sounds are "allowed" or "acceptable" as per whatever supposed genre you are working around. You just need to trust your instincts and "follow the sound" ! So for example if I lay some drums down and they are already producing a certain atmosphere or vibe, then the next sound I add, whether it's a melody or bassline or whatever will have to fit with that atmosphere and so on and so on.
In anticipation of our Wuk Up event this Friday, we took the chance to interview one of the UK's most cherished dancehall DJs. His career spans several decades and continents, and the influence his trailblazing BBC Radio 1 dancehall show had on the UK music scene is still reverberating today. We are talking to the man with the Midas touch, Chris Goldfinger.
Henry: What was your favourite sound system before you got involved as a DJ? What influenced you to get involved?
Chris Goldfinger: Living in Jamaica I used to love listening to Stone Love Sound System.
H: Tell us about Asha World, how did that come about? What are they up to these days? Are the rest of the crew gonna be there on the 24th?
CGF: The Asha world Movements are to this date still highly active in the dancehall arena, we tour worldwide maybe more than any other sound in the UK and are always on the road. I will be rolling out with the crew on the 24th. I have a nightclub in London, so some members do have to stay back and take care of that. Asha World came about when the UK needed a change in the way they were being entertained. It was all about the Juggling and away with the single turntable culture.