I’ve had my eyes and ears on Tribe12 for quite a while now, so when I got talking to label boss J.Robinson about possibly doing a MakeItGood x FatKidonFire feature and he said he was interested I was pretty damn stoked. Tribe12 have been releasing some fairly hefty tribal bangers for a while now (T12EP003 being a personal favourite of mine) – and J.Robinson’s mixed together a selection of label dubs, personal dubs and a whole host of other beauties. He’s even gone as far as giving one of his dubs away at the end of the feature as well…
Who is J.Robinson and what is Tribe12?
I am a 21 Year old Experimental producer from Just north of London and Tribe12 is my Record Label.
What got you into mixing and producing music? How would you describe your production style?
Well it all started when I was coming to the end of secondary school when i met my good friend Adam (Shima). We both shared the same interests in music at the time which was hip-hop and UK garage. When visiting Adam’s house he would play his brothers old jungle and DnB records which sparked my love for it. I was intrigued the first time I saw scratching over jungle and the way that the samples would be chopped in between bars in such a complex way and at some times a half time speed. It inspired me that maybe I could use my influences from reggae, hip-hop and grime to create something at the same tempo. I discovered Fruity Loops 6 through my cousin, who was making grime instrumentals at the time, and decided to get a copy for myself and try it out. After a short while, in around 2008, I discovered dubstep and really took a liking to it, to me it was the grime I always loved but without the vocals and more care taken on the beats and rhythms. I would say my production style has evolved to a better quality than then but hasn’t really changed. I have always tried to create something that sounds like you are in the room with the music – I think giving a track a live feel is very important and the simplicity for me is much more interesting than a complex electronic composition (that sounds like robots going crazy).
How long have you both been producing and DJing?
I have been DJing since 2007 and producing since 2008.
How do you go about building your tunes – is there a process behind each one? What software do you use? If you could collab with anyone, who would it be?
When I’m building my tracks, I usually start by creating a kick and bass that fits and then move onto the hat & shaker grooves. After this comes the percussion. I am usually very fussy when it comes to these sounds and spend a long time changing my mind and going through a lot of samples. I have used a lot of software in the past (like Fruity Loops, Reason and Cubase) but I currently use Logic 9 Pro – as it, for me, is the best DAW out there. It’s quite hard to say who I would like to collab with, I think it would be either Rhythm & Sound or Lee Scratch Perry; just to experience the atmosphere in the studio because in their productions, it always seems so relaxed and has such a live feel & analogue feel!
Turntables or CDJs for when you play out? What’s been your best gig?
I do have a vinyl collection of dubstep & DnB releases, and I have definitely done my part of carrying a record box a mile on foot to pirate radio every Saturday morning. Once other aspiring artists started sending me their music to support, I had no choice to use CDs to play the unreleased music. My best gig so would have to of been the recent Cylon night in Belgium, hosted by my good friends Mental Forces at their night Mentality. The vibe and crowd was just right and the bass was so loud it shook the foundations!
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why? Any labels you’re feeling?
At the moment, I would have to say my favourite producers are people like
- Commodo &
But there are to many mention who I’m feeling!
What’s the future of dubstep - where do you see the genre going? Can you explain the ‘tribal’ sound?
I think the scene will evolve and it will become more and more experimental. But I think the initial dub influences to the underground dubstep will be the reason it will never really change as such. I hope the deeper stuff does start to get the representation that it deserves, as I thin, at the moment, too many people are watching the charts for dubstep – and as my label (along with others) – are trying to release music closer to the roots of it all, it would be cool if people could discover it.
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? Who can we expect to see release on Tribe12 in the future? Any plans to expand genres the label supports?
Well the next release on Tribe12 will be Quantum Soul’s ‘The Self Knowledge EP’. Guy (QS) and I planned this EP as a way for him to express his love for dub music and create a package to deliver to his listeners. We also have many more exciting plans and releases from artists including myself, Gantz, Darj, Konvex, Hugo & Vaun, Concealed Identity – and many more. Later in the year, Wayfarer’s 4 track EP will drop along side a 12” of ‘Shaman’ backed with another track. There’s also a very special artist LP in the works at the moment with plans of a release the start of 2013.
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ producers looking to get their music heard or signed?
I think the only real advice I can give is just not to give up and believe it is hard. Nowadays, with so many other people being able to create music at home at not a very high cost, I would say just try to be original and do your own thing. This, for me personally, is what makes me want to sign a track so I’m guessing other labels will be the same.
Shouts to all the artists on Tribe12 Music and every supporter/ DJ supporting the label.
Can you tell us how to build the best dubstep tune possible in three steps?
- Be original and always try to think out of the box
- Spend a lot of time on the drums and think about velocities (to achieve a more live feel)
- Keep things simple, try to capture the creative moment you have in your mind. Don’t wind yourself up if it’s not working. Take a break and come back to it!
Following on from the above question, in your opinion, what’s the best dubstep track ever produced?
Mark Prichard’s ‘Elephant Dub’.
J.Robinson was kind enough to sort us both a MakeItGood x FKOF mix and a FKOF free download to accompany this feature – you lot are seriously spoilt with the following audio brilliance…
Click to DOWNLOAD
1. Pheral ft. Beezy - Paradox [dub]
2. ???? - ???? [Tribe12 dub]
3.???? - ???? [dub]
4. Perverse - Somber [dub]
5. Shreddex - Transporta [dub]
6. Konvex - Pangea [Tribe12 dub]
7. Catacombs & Knowledge - Exodus [dub]
8. Pier - Informer [Bad Mood Recordings]
9. TSMV ft. Beezy - Crashing [dub]
10. Truth - Babylon London [Artikal Music]
11. Quantum Soul - Hark Back [Tribe12 dub]
12. J:Kenzo - Invaderz [Tempa]
13. V.I.V.E.K - Kismet [Deep Medi Musik]
14. Congi - Cult (Gantz remix) [Tribe12 dub]
15. J.Robinson & Gantz - Misread [Tribe12 dub]
16. Occult - Assasins [Innamind dub]
17. J.Robinson - The Maasai [dub]
18. ????? - ?????? [Tribe12 dub]
19. ???? - ???? [Tribe12 dub]
20. Commit & Histibe - 23:59 [dub]
Click to DOWNLOAD
On a short side note, Tribe12 offer mastering services – email Jack@tribe12.co.uk for more information. If you wanted to support the label (along with buying the releases), drop email@example.com for more info about the T12 t-shirts and hoodies!
Let us know what you think of J.Robinson’s interview and mix via Twitter or Facebook.