This is it. MakeItGood and FatKidOnFire have reached the #50 mark! To celebrate, we’ve lined up an interview and a mix with arguably one of Sweden’s biggest dubstep outfits, the Dubstep Bastards, and then in the feature that follows this one we have an exclusive EP to give away from the fantastic Killwatt. Don’t go anywhere! We first met Carl, otherwise known as TRPR, through Tony Content (formerly known as Tony Drama) back at Rood FM and Orientis Records’ Re:Fraction event earlier this summer. They’re both part of the Swedish(-based, but international) dubstep collective known as the Dubstep Bastards who have seen some of the biggest names in dubstep perform in Gothenburg and internationally. They definitely know how to put on a good party (more on that later)! We got chatting to Carl and ended up getting him and the rest of the Bastards down for an interview.
Who’s TRPR and who or what are the Dubstep Bastards?
TRPR, trooper spelled with no vowels, is my alias, but I’m Carl to those who know me. Just your average, mid-twenties-something, bloke from the Swedish west coast. I’m part of Dubstep Bastards and we are based in Gothenburg, Sweden, but there are Bastards in Malmoe, Paris, Amsterdam and London too. We host a monthly self-titled night in Gothenburg as well as DJ, both solo and as a collective. A few of us also produce music, mainly Teknichan, Tafuri and Content and another bunch of us do visual arts and graphics design.
What got you into mixing dubstep? What’s your style - big, dark basslines or as filthy as possible?
I first came in contact with dubstep through grime in general and the night Get Up here in Gothenburg in particular. That was back in 2006 or so, and to me it was the ultimate genre with key ingredients from many of the genres I was listening to at the time. For me personally it is all about the deep, rolling bass. Reggae and sound system culture has always been an interest of mine and I feel like dubstep keeps that tradition alive while adding contemporary flavours and techniques. I do enjoy a bit of rough textures, but I avoid the term filthy, as I’m no fan of the ‘filth’ style of dubstep. However, at our night, we try to stay as open minded as possible and not limit ourselves to any particular style of dubstep. That said though, as all of us came to the scene quite some time ago, I feel we all have a respect and understanding where the music came from and that does effect what tunes we play (or don’t).
Turntables or CDJs?
I’m a vinyl junkie myself and actually just recently started getting dubs cut. I wish I had done it sooner but, like many others I guess I’ve been torn between the formats available these days. I’ve always loved vinyl though and kept coming back to it even after trying out the alternatives, so when I now can afford it, cutting dubs felt like the obvious choice. As a collective we are pretty much equally split between vinyl, Serato and CDs.
How long have you guys been running the Bastard nights?
We had our first night as Bastards in February last year. The premiere was a crazy night with a proper blizzard outside but such good vibes inside. Before we all joined forces, we ran nights under different banners and in different genres. Finally we came together in one of Gothenburg’s top venues, Röda Sten, which is located just by the water, under a huge bridge, making it very memorable for fans and artists who come out.
What’s been your best lineup and if you could book anyone, who would you choose?
Our best lineup is a really tough question because every night has been great in its on sense. But if I had to pick one it would be either last July with Amazing A, Pinch and Revolva (Buf & Ghettozoid) or September with Swarms, Drama and Goli & Ashburner. There are still a few big names that we feel need to be able to introduce themselves as Bastards; Youngsta, N-Type, Distance to name a few.
Have you guys got any long term plans as a collective - record label; international events etc?
Being a group of creatives there is no lack of ideas. A record label with music from various Bastards, local and foreign, is something we have been discussing for quite some time and that will happen at some point for sure. We are also planning an ‘excursion’ to our nights, primarily from London, hopefully starting soon. Link up with us on Facebook or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep you in the loop. Seing that we already have representatives in a few different cities around Europe, it would be great to link up with like-minded people outside of Sweden and do some collaborations. Anyone interested can just post to the wall on Facebook and we’ll hit you up. Hopefully we will also be able to do something in collaboration with FKOF/MIG in the not too distant future.
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why?
- DJG - I’ve been a big fan of DJG for a long time. We just recently had the honour to have him over and his set blew my mind. It was a brilliant mix in both styles and tempos and I stood there feeling I’ve just caught a glimpse of dubstep’s future.
- Cyrus - With so much mid-range nonsense coming out, I’ve been focusing on the more old school, bass heavy and minimal sound. On a recent trip to Berlin I was stoked to find a few gems on Random Trio I’ve been looking for in the crates. No-one knows low-end like Cyrus.
- Mala - To be as consistent as Mala, from the early Mystikz stuff to the last album, is just utterly impressive. And that while running one of the top nights and a solid label. Mala is pure dubstep vibes and to not mention him as part of a ‘top 5’ would just be fundamentally wrong.
- DJ Madd - Being into reggae before I really go in to dubstep, I first started listening a lot to Madd’s bootlegs for War and I got stuck. DJ Madd is very much dubstep at its core. Deep bass and rolling drums, a natural progression from the roots in UK dance halls, via the garage days and to where we are now. Funny then, that he is not English.
- Addison Groove - From the artists experementing with other tempos than 140, I like AG’s sound the best but there are others that is worth mentioning too; Boddika and Ramadan man being maybe the obvious names. The rolling kicks from Headhunter used to be standard in my sets and now the progressive vibes of Addison Groove are getting the same play. To me, producers like AG push boundaries and open new doors which is an important factor in the scenes growth and evolution.
What’s the future of dubstep - where do you see the genre going?
Dubstep is breaking into the big league at the same time as I feel it is breaking up in multiple sub-genres, still to be named I guess. The genre has finally reached a point where it is too wide and covers too many different angles. DJG even told me he no longer says he plays dubstep when speaking to people in the US, as the term means something else to Americans now. To an extent, I hate that it come to this, because the one thing I loved about dubstep when I first got in to it was the fact that the where very few rules and no formula. It was all about the tempo and the bass. Still, I feel the break is inevitable because the term is too confusing now, and pretty much every DJ I talk too, including myself, have had people come up to them asking for ‘real dubstep’, while playing Mala…
Have you got any advice to DJs/ Producers looking to get booked?
Just hit us up (on Facebook or send us an email) and send us a mix. We are serious about booking good DJs and where in London you might have to be a producer to stand out and get recognition, we are open to anyone with a serious passion for the music and who’s up for a night of silliness in Sweden. Shoutouts First if all, shouts to all our great regulars. It’s a cliche, but without you there’s no scene and no night. Also much respect to the All Out Dubstep crew; IRK, Trickykid, I&I, Gena, L-Wiz, and all the other DJs and crews around Sweden; Tri-funk, ALX, Linny Hex to name a few. Big up the incredible Ghettozoid and all the One4Ho crew. A special shout to the party crew; Goli & Ashburner, Darkside with his dirty dozen outta Croydon and all the other DJs who come out to play tunes, have a laugh and down a few beers with us.
So we’ve had the interview. Now we’ve got the music - courtesy of Amazing A's mixing skills and two tracks chosen by each of the Bastards. We've had it on repeat since we got it and it's superb. Grab the free download and let us know what you think!
Track list: 1. Addison Groove – It’s Got Me 3024 Lara
2. Benton – Videodrome [Wheel & Deal]
3. The Spit Brothers – Beg to Differ (DJG remix) [Tuba]
4. Tafuri – Fixed Width [Unreleased]
5. Chasing Shadows – Odyssey [HENCH]
6. Goli & Ashburner – Field of Vibrations (VIP) [Unreleased]
7. Pinch & Loefah – Broken [Tectonic]
8. Kutz & DJG – Hella tight [Wheel & Deal]
9. Farkas – Keepin It [Unreleased]
10. Skream – Exothermic Reaction [Nonplus]
11. Requake – Pilgrims [Dubstar]
12. Hatti Vatti ft. Cian Finn – You [New Moon]
13. Lost – Escape from the Womb [HENCH]
14. Lung – Afterlife (Kryptic Minds remix) [Kokeshi]
15. Tafuri – Diffusion [Unreleased]
1. Addison Groove – It’s Got Me 3024