Monday, 3 August 2009

Sekkle: a DMZ dubstep sampler

I posted this on the trusty but dance/electronica-shy Musicbanter forum a while ago, and I'm still rather proud of how it turned out. Enjoy!

Dubstep Label Sampler: DMZ
(click the banner above tracklisting for download)

DMZ is a label set up in 2004 run by producer/DJs Coki, Mala and Loefah (as well as MC Sgt. Pokes) out of Brixton, South London. DMZ is also inarguably the most influential dubstep club night and part of the bedrock of the scene's origins.

Coki and Mala are dubstep's most infamous producers under their pseudonym Digital Mystikz; the DMZ label being a platform for their music as a duo, as solo artists or the tunes of longtime collaborator Loefah.
They were present at the dubstep's beginnings in 2003 with producers such as Skream and Benga on the Tempa label, having a huge impact on it's direction with their incorporation of dub/reggae soundsystem aesthetics and values.

^Yes this a common reaction to 'darkstep' I imagine. Self-conscious shuffling
punctuated by the odd nutter who managed to sneak in some brownies.

This is a shot from the DMZ night at Mass, incidentally.

DMZ's speaker set-up has a fierce reputation. Before the England smoking ban, the sight of glowing spliffs protruding from the raised hoods of skanking bass-junkies was a common sight; and many of dubstep's most recognizable names made the pilgrimage here throughout the first half of the Noughties to experience the infamous sound and 'meditate on bass weight'.

Every budding 'scene' brings with it it's collection of pretentious arseholes and manifesto-writers and from what I've heard DMZ had it's share. These are the people that balk at the current state of the scene, where mid-range bass and a 'heavy metal'/ravey vibe have taken precedence... They probably have a point, but you can either move on and evolve or let the cement dry and stagnate, like grime did.
As the initial fervor of lost wanderers in virgin musical territory has diluted into hundreds of producers and releases every month, the DMZ dubs still take me back to the pure dread I cut my teeth on, sitting pressed to the wall of my flatmates room as he put the sub-woofer through it's paces practicing for the next set.
Their stuff is foreboding and deep in a way very few have imitated successfully... So here's the best of Digital Mystikz and the rest of the DMZ label for yooz to experience! All 12'' plates from the last 5 years.


1. Intro
2. I Wait - Digital Mystikz
3. Spongebob - Coki
4. Haunted - Digital Mystikz
5. Triple Six - Coki
6. Twisup - Digital Mystikz & Loefah
7. Hunter - Mala
8. Anti War Dub - Digital Mystikz
9. Horror Show - Loefah
10. Learn - Mala
11. Mood Dub - Coki
12. Goat Stare - Loefah
13. Ancient Memories - Digital Mystikz

A number of iconic DMZ tracks made it onto the Dubstep Allstars Vol.2 CD showcase on Tempa, which was largely responsible for popularizing the genre, and elsewhere, but here you will find just tracks from their 12'' back catalogue I have accumulated over the last couple of years.
Except for the odd mid-bass one to break up the mood this is a sub-fest so, as always, make sure you can amp it up to hear everything.

Loadsa sets @ Get Darker

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