Sunday, 26 July 2009

DJ Umb - Apocalyptic Dubstep

Now this is actually an edition of our Sunday Morning Hangover series of posts that we try to get up as regularly as possible, in order to aid the important recovery process, believe me after the weekend I've just had I really need it.
Thursday night was spent in my local indie club, for a warm up night with a few drinks with mates and some solitary tooons. However, things officially got kicked off on Friday with myself turning 20 and attendance to Fabric to see Adam Freeland, Evil Nine, Alex Metric, Goldie, Friction, Shy FX, Drop The Lime, Starkey, Tayo and 16 Bit. Then last night was spent in the company of The Count & Sinden for their Mega Mega Mega Warehouse Party in Shoreditch with Kissy Sell Out, Plastician, Jack Beats, Example & DJ Wire and Dollop Dollop DJs supporting to disgusting effect, a review of both night will be coming up tomorrow so stay tuned!
However, here come the dub!

DJ Umb, which stands for 'Una Musica Brutal', taken from a song by french group called Gotan Project... I think, has been around since before I was doing my GCSE's, ok so maybe not that long ago, but the man has enough experience to think of himself as an established DJ in his own right. He's the brains behind Generation Bass, whose sole aim is to explore and in some ways educate others about some of the joys in non-western dance music, quite a unique site in my opinion.
Back in December 07' (cheers for the heads up on the date dude :D) he was responsible for an Electro-House compilation called Global Electro under his guise of Shisha Soundsystem, which has become some what of a classic in the past 6 months, earning heaps of praise from none other than the man himself Pete Tong, who also played one of the tracks featured on the compilation on his In New Music We Trust show.
We thought we'd let the man introduce himself better and give you an insight into his style.

So... who exactly is DJ Umb and for someone who hasn't heard of you before... what can they expect?
Well, I’m a bit of a chameleon, I think you could say. I DJ just for fun mainly and have done so for around 6 years. Throughout that 6 years my dj’ing style has changed and continues to evolve as I’m very open-minded in terms of music and I’m always searching for new sounds/vbyz/beatz.

I’m not a follower of fashion or trends, if I’m feeling it then I’ll mess with it, if I’m not, I won’t.

Of course, as you are aware, Generation Bass is my home at the moment and there I’m doing everything from Global Ghettotech through to Dubstep. I’ve done a fair few things in my brief foray into dj’ing and played at some pretty awesome and exclusive places around the world to the rich kidz…..haa.haaaa…

I’ve had some commercial compilation releases and even had tracks from my first mixed CD played on Tong’s show.

I’ve always been in the underground where I feel most comfortable but I’m kinda like more in the overground underground nowadays and that’s why peeps like you are getting to hear what I do.

Always expect, the unexpected, I seem to have a great knack for doing that.

Talk us through your influences, what has defined your current sound?
Man, I have so many influences, impossible to list them all:

Bands/Artists – Led Zeppelin, Tom Waits, Radiohead, Cowboy Junkies, Oum Kalthoum, John Coltrane, Kraftwerk, Mahler, Astor Piazolla, Hossam Ramzy etc etc

DJ’S/Producers – Claude Challe, Eno, Leckie, Diplo, Switch, Said Mrad, Bobby O, Phil Spector, Bar 9, L-Vis 1990, Moshic etc etc.

Obviously everyone has their reasons, but when was it that you realized; I know I want to become a professional DJ
After I heard Buddha Bar 1 by Claude Challe, which was like a divine revelation to me. It was first time that I’d heard Ethnic music like Arabic, Indian, Balkan and African music fused with Dance beats to really great effect. That left a lasting impression on me and also inspired me to start dj’ing as I love music of the world and of different ethnicities.

We try to establish a quick indent for those, you know 'challenged' people... the ones who define their taste by artists... so Skream or Benga?
Well Skream seems to have the upper-hand at the minute but in the long run I would have to probably say Benga as it’s more of an intellectual sound and I’m not saying that in an elitist way…

Were you surprised at the way 'Habibi' was received?
Dude, I’ll be honest with you I got into Dubstep fairly recently and I ain’t no expert on the genre and I have no problem in admitting that. I have not been there since its start, albeit, you could say I have in a way cause my bro’ and remix partner, Celt Islam, has been doing a kind of Sufi-Dubstep for a little while now.

Dude, I have no idea who “Habibi” is by but man it sounds interesting, please let me know who has done that.

Unless of course you’re talking about the track, Habibi off my Global Elektro mixed CD that got on to Tongy’s show on the BBC….haa.haaa

Well, you know that I did that mixed CD way back in December 07, did it at home on my Pioneers and then it was mastered in a studio but essentially it’s a proper LIVE home mix. I was surprised that it got the sort of attention it did, sort of almost 16 months after I did it because I’d left that Electro sound behind shortly after I did that mix. But everybody who heard that mixed CD went a bit bonkers about it, even though I’m kind of only 70% happy about the overall mix.

The label I did it for are still having some trouble getting it sorted world-wide as their distributor went bust. But as I understand it’s available in France & Canada but nowhere else at the minute and there’s no promo behind it whatsoever and it’s gonna end up in the bargain basement bins…haaa.haaaa especially when you can get so many amazing mixes free on the net nowadays.

So I think the sound is old hat already but by the time it hits the UK Proper, its maybe going to be even more irrelevant than it already is in my mind.

What can we expect from you in the future?
The unexpected, I can’t be more than truthful than that bro’

The only thing I’m quite sure about is that there will always be a global flavour to whatever I do, so always expect a sprinkling of Indian, African, South American, Arabic, and Balkan flava’s in my sound.

Oh and also I hope to start making my own mark with some of my own productions within the next few years. I have not had the time to do that before, still don’t have the time and have never used any of the Ableton/Logic software ever in my life but just like when something was telling me to start dj’ing, something is now kicking me, saying produce, produce, produce, you prick!....haaa haaaa.

Lastly, who do you think is defining the Dubstep sound of 2009?
Well, I think artists like Bar 9, Babylon System, High Rankin, Bassnectar, Ghislian Poirier, Villa Diamante and Datsik are doing some of the most interesting stuff alongside new boy Jayou.

But watch out for Indian Dubstep via the Bandish Project too and some heavy Arabic Dubstep too courtesy of my combo-Sufi-Dubstars, coming at ya soon ;-)

1. Hamas Rule – Shackelton
2. Benga & De La Guetto feat Randy – Villa Diamante
3. Roller – Benga
4. Control Room – High Rankin
5. Retreat – Datsik
6. Gangster – Babylon System & SPL
7. Murda Sound (Riskotheque Remix) – Bar 9
8. Pull Up – Bar 9
9. Belgrade Riddim (DJ C Remix) – Sub Swara
10. Riddle of Steel (12th Planet & Tea Long Remix) – Guns n’ Bombs
11. Toxic – (Yael Naim/Britney Spears) – Champion Sound
12. Eastern Jam ( High Rankin’ Remix) – Chase & Status
13. Inshallah (Ghislain Poirier Remix) – Sub Swara
14. Ghost – Jayou
15. Lollipop (Lil Wayne Dubstep Remix) – Nasty Ways
16. Hide & Seek (Enigma Remix) – Imogen Heap
17. Bulletproof (Foamo’s Dubstep Remix) – La Roux

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