Tuesday, 21 December 2010

dbe: Picks of 2010

What a year it's been for us at dbe HQ. As dub-boro closed its doors after a climax of final nights which blew the doors of all of the venues we hosted throughout this fair old town of Loughborough, dbe arose from the ashes as an all-together different beast. Starting with what could only be described as a 'pulsating' opening night with the hottest property in the biz right now, Katy B, along with Breakage, Mistajam and Scratch Perverts, we truly started the second half of '10 with a bang! Following on from that we put on a night for the true music aficionado with a huge list of who's who in the game right now. Toddla T, Redlight, Drop The Lime, Doorly, Untold, Kito & Kastle all blew the roof off an internationally flavoured lineup, proving that it's not just the UK vibes you'll hear at dbe.

Finally what seems like only yesterday was probably our most outrageous lineup yet. We still personally cannot get over the fact Ms Dynamite came to Loughborough, let alone destroyed the place with hit after hit! Priviliged by the fact she graced our lineup would be an understatement but nuff respect to everyone else who held down the night with the vibes to keep everyone dancing till the early hours. Roska and Oneman both bought the London flex to Room 3, showcasing tight new tunes from the best labels and artists right now aswell as some classic garage. Danny Byrd, Mensah & N-Type smashed Room 2 to bits with heavy hitting sounds from Drum n Bass to Dubstep. Room 1 was jammed all night and big shout outs to Jack Beats for coming down once again to rock it. We also have to give the plaudits to our new residents Jacob Plant and Tru:Tek for sticking with us from the beginning of dbe and its been a pleasure seeing them skyrocket in the game, Jacob Plant getting his tunes played on Radio 1 and LIVE by Ms Dynamite, and Tru:Tek getting their first release out on the legendary Lo Dubs label aswell as producing a fantastic mix for us two posts below! Bigger Than Barry and Basslaced also deserve a big hand for holding down 2 of the rooms from the last event, Brum and Notts stand up!

So here at dbe it felt only right to look back on 2010 with a retrospect of what really mattered, the music. Us head honchos have put our collective heads together and scratched out a short-list of our favourite tunes from this year and have tried to form a list that says as much as it says for dbe and our manifesto as it does for electronic music. We hope its not a select-by-numbers kind of list but you never can please everyone so we hope you enjoy it regardless...

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10. Mosca - Square One

Mosca's tunes are sonic adventures. I cannot even begin to describe the b-side of this, his first release of the year, and where its starts to where it begins. In fact, it was so difficult picking a Mosca tune for this list because every excursion sounds so different. But, in the end, it came down to the one tune that stood as a statement. Night Slugs first release set a standard for the rest of the label's output throughout the year. Square One squirms thorough different places and environments throughout its length, but its a squirm which navigates through different eons of dance history through its use of samples. It's also a record which for me typifies what has happened this year in music. Tropical drum sounds? Neon synths? No-one really knows what the fuck is going on. But sometimes that's a good thing... right?

Square One by DeejayMosca

9. Magnetic Man - Perfect Stranger ft. Katy B

Magnetic Man blew up in 2010. Everyone knows this. 3 super-prouducers teaming up to create one of this years crossover hit album wasn't the headline though. What was surprising was how enjoyable it actually was. Underneath all the hype their debut album is well produced sure, but their song-writing capabilities shone through superbly. A group that got on the cover of NME from THEIR background deserves to be in whatever Top 10 their is. Hopefully whatever comes from them in the future will stay grounded and true to their roots but for now they deservedly are the poster boys of dubstep. Perfect Stranger edged it for us as Katy B has had a fantastic year too, this being her finest vocal performance.

Magnetic Man Ft. Katy B - Perfect Stranger by CITYLIGHTS

8. Girl Unit - Wut

This tune got (and is still getting) MULTIPLE REWINDS. The word of mouth about this tune on the internet and clubs building up to its release was chaotic, which led to whenever it got played out, the whole room erupted whoever and wherever you were. A tune that does that to people really affects them and the tune deservedly stuck in heads until its release where it got full recognition. Deeper into it though is its blend of pure hip-hop crunked-out synths, MPC type beats, and pitched-up vocals. This is a hip-hop instrumental! Along with Deadboy, Bad Autopsy and a host of other inspiring djs, Girl Unit helped people break out of their ties with strictly dubstep music and discover a new sound.

Girl Unit - Wut by WeAreBlahBlahBlah

7. Joy Orbison - The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow

Beyond the confides of sound lies Joy Orbison. The man responsible for the most anthemic tune of last year came back with but a handful of new tunes in 2010. It's worth taking his time though. Working at a slower speed seems to suit him and after the hype (mngo) died down from last year Joy Orbison's stellar house workout 'The Shrew' stood out as a curveball, yet a welcome one, in his growing arsenal of subtle dance music. Influenced by house 'The Shrew' is the sound of a producer embracing pure emotion in suppressed form. Synths expand and then die down slowly, then come back again in a different format, rising and falling like emotions through a night at the club. Vocal samples seem distant yet close, summoning you in then disseminating beneath the textures of beats and rhythm. It's an old trick the best house producers have perfected over the years, but whilst Joy Orbison seems to have escaped the 'dubstep' tag, chances are he won't be producing either next year if his current output metamorphoses like this.

Joy Orbison- The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow by Wild North

6. Deadboy - If U Want Me

Like Mosca, Deadboy seemed to typify 2010 in the calibre of dance music output. 'If U Want Me' on level terms is a modern 2-step/garage love song. However, it's THOSE synths that really bring it right up to date. Rising and falling, then exploding nobody perfected that sound like Deadboy. The bursts of vocals throughout the song still harks back to the 90s though and Deadboy is clearly indebted to that time, which is refreshing to see. His upcoming releases are more R'n'B focused, which seems to be 2011's trend, but let's not jump to conclusions yet... 2010 was jam packed with enough trends to build a beaver dam.

Deadboy - If U Want Me by aminormass

5. Skream - Listening To The Records On My Wall

Skream’s second album, Outside The Box, was one of the most eagerly awaited albums of this year. This, the lead single, firmly put into practice his newer more epic sound which covers most of the album. The jungle break throughout once again typifies the different junctions producers were travelling down in order to stand out, but the uprising swells of synth sounds and bleeps signalled a newer more polished sound for the London lad. Producing a solo album aswell as the Magnetic Man group was deemed all too much at the start of the year and many people laughed... only Oliver is laughing now, this year is his.

Skream - Listenin' To the Records On My Wall by simonkemp

4. Roska - Wonderful Day Ft. Jamie George

If there was one tune that got us all dancing around our living rooms like lunatics and singing out loud in the car with the windows down this summer, it was this one for sure. Roska was always on our radar and we were so glad to have him smash up the last dbe. 'Wonderful Day' in a perfect world would be top of the charts. Featuring Roska's trademark bubbling production and synth stabs the track rolls on for 6 mins on a wave of good vibes. On top of that Jamie George's casual delivery not only allowed us all to sing it, but allowed singer and producer to work in wonderful synchronicity. JG's lyrics also hark back to the days of being a little kid, and who can resist acting a little childish sometimes...

Roska & Jamie George - Wonderful Day by JamieGeorge

3. Ramadanman & Midland - Your Words Matter

It's hard to believe what a year David Kennedy aka Ramadanman has had. Always being on the cusp of something different, this year he managed to explode whilst mining a whole new sound palette. Whilst most of his 2010 catalogue delves into dark, emotive 808 sounds, in particular 'Glut' and 'Work Them', our track which we most enjoyed was an all-together more simple jaunt with friend and collaborator Midland. 'Your Words Matter' contains almost none of what most drew us to Ramadanman's bleak, emotive yet hopefull output, yet those vocal cuts and superbly crafted house drop excited us every time. It's again, another example of someone who refuses to be categorised and never stays still. His impeccable attention to detail always demands multiple listens though, and there is plenty more yet to come from our man Rama.

Ramadanman & Midland - Your Words Matter by simonkemp

2. Breach - Fatherless

'Fatherless''s unforgettable flute loop and ominous tribal beat together made THE hardest dance track of this year. It's tense build-up ridiculously goes on for nearly two minutes, yet within its first half it strangely keeps you hanging on. It's understated atmosphere at the beginning always threatens to erupt and when those flute trills swarm its a warning to get ready. The beat finally drops and sure enough everyone loses their shit. Clubs erupt to this kind of tune and the kind of reaction it got in 2010 deservedly puts it at No.2 in our list.

Breach – Fatherless by Sunday Best

1. James Blake - CMYK

James Blake makes music for your heart and your soul. Whether or not you follow him dearly, no one can deny the effect his music has on people. His relationship with R&B/gospel, soul and vocal music is the most charming aspect of his character. And it's his character which really shines through in all of his music. It would be tough to find a track that epitomized the hyped post-dubstep sound more than 'CMYK', but coming from a man like James Blake it only serves to be the genre's most deserving and defining track.

James Blake - CMYK by Nubs

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DJ Rashad - It'z Not Rite
Forest Swords - Glory Gongs
Kyle Hall - You Know How I Feel
Soulclap - Extravaganza
D-Bridge, Instra:mental & Skream - Acacia Avenue
Tensnake - Coma Cat
Andrea - Ever Since You Came Down


Commix - Be True (Burial Mix)
Jamie Woon - Night Air (Ramadanman Remix)
Drake - Fireworks (Deadboy Remix)
Andreya Triana - Lost Where I Belong (Flying Lotus Remix)
Krystal Klear - Tried For Your Love (Hudson Mohawke Mix)

Sorry no links for these yet. All hugely recommended though!

Nuff love y'all. We couldn't have got through 2010 without any of you.

Thank you!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Monday, 6 December 2010

Tru-Tek: Off The Beaten Track

“Forms break down, they cannot last forever...”

Shackleton - Blood On My Hands (2006 - Skull Disco)

One might imagine that techno and minimal are a world away from the growling basslines and post-jungle/garage madness from which dubstep permeates. However, techno is no stranger to dub. From the early analogue crackles and warm sub-bass arrangements of Basic Channel to the epic subtleties of Ricardo Villalobos, many people see a natural bridge between techno and dubstep. And when Villalobos started playing out Skream's 2005 breakthrough, 'Midnight Request Line', the dicophony of sound seemed all too perfect. But whilst dubstep exploded, techno went on as it began, building steadily under dubstep's meteoric rise.

Promisingly though, dubstep is starting to wake up to techno. What once was a flirtation is now becoming an orgy of cross-pollination of sound. Artists such as Shackleton, Scuba, Pinch and Ramadanman are prime examples of artists blurring boundaries between what we initially mistake for dubstep and then later realise its not at all. Pinch describes why this dual-pact works so well;

“In techno I think people achieve that meditational head-space through dancing to a repetitive, slowly-developing beat, whereas in dubstep it comes from the bass and its presence - both are hypnotic in different ways.”

And no one at the moment hypnotises as well as triple threat production/dj unit Tru:Tek. Rutile, Panza and Senate form deep and melodic arrangements of sound mainly between 130 and 140 bpm and the members musical backgrounds stretch as far as Dub, Drum and Bass, Hip Hop, Dancehall, Metal, House, Garage and Techno. And whilst this diverse range of influences has helped Tru:Tek to develop a truly original sound within their production, two stunning live sets at the past dbe's have proven to be their calling card.

Whether it be dubstep, techno, garage, 2-step or minimal, Tru:Tek manage to navigate countless sounds and styles within their sets, whilst crafting perfect mixing due to their knowledge of their material. We at dbe loved their sound so much that we invited them to do an exclusive mix for us, which they kindly obliged! Full of new bits, some stuff we here at dbe would have glossed over stupidly, and also some old classics, the mix highlights Tru:Tek's depth of sound and vast and wide interest of music, and we are very proud to present it to you.

Trutek dbe promo mix by dbe


Skyhook (SCB Remix) - Phil Kieran (Phil Kieran Recordings)
>> Phylyps Trak II - Basic Channel (Basic Channel) You - Ben Klock (Klockworks)
Defect (Peter Van Hoesen's Twisted Spine Remix) - Ed Rush & Nico (Perc Trax)
Spastik 2010 (Dubfire Rework) - Plastikman (?)
Napoleon Hill - Ben Klock (Ostgut Ton)
The General - Orphan 101 (Unreleased)
Change (A Made Up Sound remix) – Commix (Metalheadz)
Pace Yourself - Maya Jane Coles (Loco Records)
Liebe Suende - Cosmin TRG (Rush Hour Recordings)
Miniluv - Martyn (Ostgut Ton)
Void 23 - Ramadanman & Appleblim (Aus Music)
Pigeons (Blawan's Bare Bones Remix) - The Hundred in the Hands (Warp Records)
Untitled - Joe (Applepips)
I Try - Vessel (Unreleased)
In My Color - Jimmy Edgar (!K7)
Boddika's House - Boddika (Naked Lunch)
Monster Island (Christian Martin Remix) - Claude Von Stroke (Dirtybird)
Glut - Ramadanman (Hemlock Recordings)
Batak's Groove - Julio Bashmore (Soul Motive)
African Rainforest 2010 - Rishi Romero (Spinnin' Deep)
Dread - Jack Sparrow (Tectonic)
Techno Dread - 2562 (Tectonic)
Lean Forward - DMZ (DMZ)
Korg Back - Guido (Forthcoming Tectonic)

You'd also be a fool to miss out on Tru:Tek's newest single available digitally here:


and on vinyl forthcoming here:

Piccadilly Records
Norman Records

and we don't have to remind you to catch them live at our next event which will blow the socks off the Loughborough sock-man once again:



+ Pasquale // Samiad // Mike Mases

ROOM 2 (Basslaced):

+ Standfast // Tru-Tek

ROOM 3 (Bigger Than Barry):

+ Knicker Bocker Corey // Tiger Lips



Advanced Tickets £10 // More Expensive On The Door

L/Boro Students: Lufbra.net
Other: Gigantic

The Orange Tree: 01509 238852
LSU Box Office
Pasquale: 07921 023082
Tom C: 07969 665705 (Campus)
Sasha: 07824 468812
Martyn: 07799 414854
Byron Smith: 07734 331749
Liam Levin: 07504 739322
Ed Jones: 07816 863350
Austin Driscoll: 07769 904882


For more information...

phone: 07921 023082 / 07703 063805
email: dub-boro@live.co.uk
twitter: @dubboroevents

Peace, SK

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Only ONE Can Win

So by now you should be plenty educated and read up on this month's eminent dbe lineup. The albums and singles have been downloaded (or bought if you're a good boy or girl), and the mixes have been rinsed thoroughly. But, some of you might find trouble getting information on one particular headliner. And we here at DB HQ understand you plight! Yes, the one man bad boy known as Oneman seems to be quite an online enigma, and for those outside of our capital city or perhaps those who don't know of the seminal pirate/not pirate radio station Rinse FM, let me give you a brief rundown...

Whereas many line-ups put on from ourselves come from DJs and producers that have been killing the game with singles/eps/albums with a huge array of dubplates, Oneman is an exception to that rule. Known for being simply, a hugely talented, exciting and enigmatic personality on the decks, Oneman has carved a name for himself without any releases or upfront dubplates from other producers. Known for playing both modern bass, dubstep and garage tunes, Oneman also integrates older garage from the mid and late 90s, specifically what he listened to growing up.

“I don’t find there’s enough classics out there... I’m happy making (mixes) as I do (because I) feel that way. The lack of 'classics' over the past five years has kind of lead me to go back around to garage and bring some of those tracks back to life"

It's a refreshing way to play out and create mixes and one many people have looked up to and are now flipping the "always looking forward" mentality of djing. With the classics in mind, Oneman always suprises his audience with mixes that shouldn't work but do, often producing smiles from people who havn't heard a certain 'classic' for a looong time. He claims that the best tunes to dance to are the 2step beats, the tunes with rhythmic energy and a certain groove injection. His mission is purely to create a good vibe and to not stop your feet moving.

Not only is Oneman an incredibly varied DJ, he is also an incredibly fast DJ. Oneman is content switching the crossfader over to another track without checking the BPM whatsoever. Headphones are often left on the side which allows him to mix fastly but with incredible skill. This abilty is pure balls out DJing and something that someone who mixes themselves can highly appreciate. Fast mixing also allows for 'more classics per minute' and is one of the main reasons we booked him, we know we're getting ALOT of tunes!

So whether he's playing new Funky, starting off with dub-house, classic 2 step or just plain ol dubstep, Oneman is certainly a purveyor of the rejuvenation of classic garage sounds and a continuing force in blending the parallels between various genres. And between those lines and mixes comes moments of pure perfect magic. "The Third Space" as it is becoming known is the place between two tunes where a transition becomes a new amalgamation altogether (but blended so well it sounds like a new song). It's something you will have to search out yourself, and it's not hard to find. Whether you choose to buy his latest Rinse Mix CD, which compiles the latest in new dubstep and garage, or listen to his shows on Rinse where his varied palette for tunes forms a very exciting show, or of course catch him live where his knowledge of his audience backed with arsenal of great records will get the whole crowd moving, you are sure to be highly surprised and intrigued by the UK's latest music don.

Peace Out!