Established in 2004 by Caspa and a few like-minded friends, Dub Police has proved a vital outlet for producers to showcase the finest elements of dubstep, whether that be heavy, deeper, darker or more innovative cuts. Since its inception, the label has presided over 80-plus releases from a roster of more than 30 artists and set the benchmark for aspiring imprints to follow, solidifying itself as a truly global imprint in the process; Japan, Australia and even Mumbai have all been played by Dub Police artists. Dub Police continue to redefine expectations at a considerable rate of knots.
This month sees the release of "Past Present Future" a 45 track release showcasing the most exciting tracks on the label from across the dubstep spectrum. To celebrate such a milestone release we caught up with the Dub Police family who once again have kindly given you the opportunity to download a free EP featuring The Others, Trolley Snatcha, Mydas and Ethic as well as an exclusive 35 minute mix of past present and future Dubstep anthems and killer club cuts. This one is too good to miss... Get Involved!
This is pretty special - Dub Police have turned in a leviathan of a compilation which spans dubstep's early days, to the golden years and beyond.
There's a whopping 45 tracks of mutant bass delight and head-nodding fun to be had here, and is all you could ask for from a dubstep compilation - plenty of thumpers from the
likes of the mighty Caspa, the innovative Rusko and Emalkay! Recommended and pretty damn essential in our books...
We caught up with Caspa,
Gary J (label manager) from Dub Police for a quick chat about the new release...
So you were kind enough to give away the Trolley Snatcha EP to our customers for free earlier in the year and now you are doing the same again! With a free EP from Trolley Snatcha, The Others, Mydas and Ethic, what is with all the generosity guys?
GARY J: The idea behind the EP is to give our loyal supporters a little something back. We have a lot of quality music that does not always get released – so we want to use this opportunity to do it. It would be a shame for such good music to rot on the hard drive.
Can you tell us a little about the Free EP?
GARY J: It’s a small collection of Past, Present and Future tracks from select Dub Police artists, and it gives an idea of where we’re currently at. They’re being released for free download for the first time through Juno.
How did the idea for the label came about and did you ever expect it to turn into the global musical powerhouse that it is today?
CASPA: The idea was to start a label alongside the one I already had (Storming Productions) to push a different side to the scene & make a platform for unknown artists. Next was to take the label & build it into a respected & recognised name.
Can you guys run us through your top 5 releases from the label throughout the years?
And what track if any do you wish was signed to Dub Police?
CASPA: Flux Pavillion - You Got 2 Know – it’s such a big tune but it was overly forward thinking and musical for its time. I had a lot of back and forth with Flux about the layout and he was keen on doing some tunes for Dub Police. You can’t have all the classics ;)
So the Past Present Future release is very exciting indeed and is certainly causing waves of excitement throughout the scene, we have been lucky enough to take a listen before release date here @ Juno HQ we can tell why! It is a very pertinent time to release a project like this as Dubstep seems to be in a state of Transition at the moment, can you tell us where you think the sound is heading in the future?
CASPA: I think it's going full circle & right now it's in the transition of going back to it's roots & foundations, it's taking things back to basics & making people realise & remember why we did this & why we're still doing it. I'm the most excited & relaxed I've been in a long while, not only as an artist but also as one of the main figures in the scene.
GARY J: Dubstep as a scene has hit the reset button – time to go back to basics. Having become a little too cool and a victim of its own success, it is time to just do what comes naturally. As a label, the sound will be heading in the same direction we have always strived to reach. We will continue to release music that we love to listen to and share between ourselves. We have released such diverse music it would be impossible to predict the one direction. We hope that our fans will not be disappointed.
We know that Dub Police have been pioneering the Dubstep sound across the globe for almost a decade now, have any of you had any strange reactions from crowds who weren’t quite prepared for what was about to hit them?
CASPA: With the way the Internet & social media works, people are really clued up on what’s going on & usually know the new styles & sounds that are coming through on our label. But there's no feeling like playing something new & it tearing up the dance! Seeing people go crazy - that's the best reaction!
What countries are your favourites to play in?
THE OTHERS: Every country I've played in has been great for different reasons, it's hard to pick out one in particular. But playing in America is definitely lots of fun, especially in Denver where the crowds are so accepting of all the sounds and will follow your set in whichever direction you want to take it in. Also pretty much every show I've played in Holland has been amazing because the crowds go so hard, I'm pretty sure they are the craziest ravers on the planet!
Where can we expect to see the Dub Police family in 2013/14?
GARY J: Dub Police as a label and the individual artists will continue to play the sound of Dubstep across the globe. We are about to embark on a 13 date North American tour, which will help to keep our strong foundation across the Atlantic seas in place. Outside of this we expect to be doing some key European shows next year and maybe a run in Asia & Australia (keep checking the website for more information).
What artists should we keep our eyes and ears peeled for in 2014?
GARY J: I can’t really pinpoint only one artist – I would like to just say keep an eye out for some major Dub Police activity in our 10th year of running. #FUTURE
Finally we know that you guys recorded a very special mix to celebrate Past Present Future. Can you tell us a little about how the mix was recorded and the selection process for it?
VARIATIONS: 'Past Present Future' is a killer showcase of how Dub Police has developed over the last ten years and what's happening right now. Rather than put together a fairly typical promo mix, it was a great opportunity for us to put together a mix showcasing some of our favourite cuts from the label and mix the old with the new. It's all Dub Police and a crazy selection of 43 tunes in just over 30 minutes. We wanted to include our favourites as well as include nods to tunes we couldn't quite fit in. We do this live so it was great to approach this in a similar way. The label has such a huge back catalogue so it was impossible to include every great tune but it was great fun to play some absolute classics again and remind ourselves why we fell in love with the label and the genre. We bet there are a few tunes in here people will have forgotten they loved!
Having sold out his debut Horo single ("Reaching The Source") and appearing on the mindblowing Scope LP, Mindset boss Indigo continues to develop his relationship with the ever-essential Samurai crew. Manchester's master tempo flexer, with a pedigree in techno, dubstep and autonomic, here he showcases his widest abilities that stretch from jittering subby jungle-tech ("Volta") to somnambulant, sludgy slo-mo 4/4 ("Condition"), elsewhere we get iced out by deep synth cosmosis ("Spirit Of The Winds") and get all slinky to the stripped back, naked mechanical funk of "Storm". Spotless.
Released just weeks after his debut album on SectionZ, Ohmtrix continues his rich vein of form with a trio of absolute killer grooves on the ever-tasty Bacon Dubs. "No Tears" flips and twists around a dark vocal that sounds like it was taken from Metal Gear Solid. Gnarly, gritty and blessed with an understated breakbeat buried deep in the background, it's both deep and demonic in equal measure. Elsewhere we get jaunty and harmonic with the head-turning "Mammoth" while "Inside My Head" goes straight for the jugular with its slamming half-step and punishing bass plunges. For added value Mesck jumps on board for a sharp and savage take on "Mammoth". All bass bases covered - and more.
If 2013 was the year that classic house made a comeback, it could also be viewed as the time when artists like Scuba drew on this source to drive their own creativity. That's not to suggest that Update - a "story so far" compilation from Scuba's back catalogue aimed at newcomers - is all about Kerri Chandler grooves or Larry Heard's drums. Indeed, tracks like "The Hope" and "Never" see the UK producer head in a decidely commerical direction and on "So You Think You're Special" and "Before" he turns his hand to slowburn ambient pop. But there is an underlying element from yesteryear on Update, be that on the soulful vocals of "Adrenalin" or the sweeping keys and dramatic break down of "You Got Me". 2013 belonged to classic house, but Scuba's ability to adapt was never far behind.
Killawatt and Osiris continue to push electronic boundaries with this extensive release. With initial roots as an album, Watt decided to scrap the LP plans and put it together as generous EP. Surging to the very fore of bass and techno, much of this is more of a listening experience than a dancefloor sensation. The best contrast can be found between the Villalobos-like harrowed textures of "Backed Into A Fucked Up Recess" and the thumping Regis-flavoured uncompromising techno. Elsewhere we get funky to the nagging clicks and whirs of "Square Trip (Round Trip)" and muffled loop insanity of "Highway Hypnosis". The walls are well and truly down. Let's keep them that way.
The young and enterprising Teefreqs proudly present the 25th instalment of the Smokin Sessions series, a glorious parade of only the most ethereal of dubstep sounds and as the name suggests, strictly proving a another fine meditative excursion (wink, wink)! "Loose Control" and "Deep Future" are both serious head-nodders but it's "Colores", with its intricate drum loops and flexing percussion whirls which really hits the spot. Highly recommended for fans of Hessle Audio...
The fat kid just keeps on burning. Slowly kindled with deep dub burners, the bass portal's new label venture has warmed our very cockles each and every month. Here we find them at their deepest, most meditative state with AKX (AKA Nottingham's Gutcha). Operating with smouldering, slo-mo ambience, there's a lush sense of atmosphere that sits somewhere between ASC and Jamie XX. Highlights include the snoozy chord washes and lolloping riddim on "Tiger Eye" and the far-away cries and processed Burial breaks on "Define". "Part One (Sunlight)", meanwhile, sounds like it could've been used on Massive Attack's Protection. Comparisons genuinely don't come any higher than that. Stunning. Shove another log on the fatty, let's keep him burning.
Their third release and already Annihilate Audio are playing at a prize-fighting album level. Following the themes and vibes of their first two successful releases, here find them digging deep into the realms of dubstep's next-gen to unearth 15 nuggets of solid bass gold. Each well-considered track acts as a highlight, but stand out honours to go Okubi & MarkIV for their spine-melting cosmic crusade "The Harbinger", Rufus! for his stark, angular funkiness on "Dagga" and Subex Dubz for their use of a stunningly dark vocal on "Make It Hurt". Vibes abound, Annihilate Audio are in this for the long game. And right now, they're winning.
Following extensive releases on KFR, Moscow-based Creep N00m jumps aboard the good ship Phantom Hertz for a quartet of truly unique bass gems. "Swing" sets the tone with processed funk guitars tailored deep into the riddim and a jazzed-out break that oozes flute power. "Bluff Factor" continues the organic motif with sweet trumpet parps that mirror the jaunty drum arrangement and dramatic synth-horn stabs. "Pursuit" is much more minimal in its make-up where a bellowing sub, snake-like LFOs and heartbeat kicks create a hypnotic effect throughout. "Cyberton" completes the set with authentic dub cheer. Well-measured with bounced-out sub shots and ricocheting snare licks, it's yet another example of Creep's creative abilities. It don't mean a thing if you ain't got this "Swing"!
There's a great sense of space travel to Commit's productions. Taking off from the iced-out planet he left us on with "Saturn Return", here he jets us into the thick misty synth fog of "Lunar Cry" before crash-landing on the unforgiving world of "Eyes Down" where industrial bass and crisp-but-subtle guitar rhythms are the main currency. Later on in the journey he switches of the headlights and flies blind into a cosmic sea of piano-based space debris ("Deadlights") before taking us into hyper speed with the stunning, hunch-backed pneumatic riddim "Extrasensory". Plotting the course for the next universe, we can't wait to see where he's taking us next.
With the festive season upon us, Dub Police have been filled with charity and goodwill to all men. As a result, they've decided to give away an EP of classic label cuts, recent tunes and future gems completely free of charge. Not bad, eh? The real killer - to these ears, at least - is the cyber-funk meets intergalactic dubstep bump of The Others' "Move Your Body", though Ethic's far-sighted, occasionally dreamy and always robust "Be With You" isn't far behind. Check out, too, the mangled, pitched-up and pitched-down cut-up vocals and dubstep-goes-garage flex of Mydas' "Want It", which rounds the EP off in fine style.