Monday, February 28, 2011

It Came From The Cloud - Interview and Sounds with DJ UMB

It has been a few weeks since my last SoundCloud profile but the wait is going to be well worth it. This week I am going to share with you some of my favorite mixes from Dj Umb, one of the founders of Generation Bass. He was kind enough to give us an interview so I hope you enjoy the wordz and the sounds....

Generation Bass Presents Transnational Dubstep Compilation Promo (Excerpt/Taster Mix) - 1 FEB 2011 by djumb

If you liked the sounds in the teaser, make sure you pick up Generation Bass Presents Transnational Dubstep here

SBA: First off, congratulations with your blog's first compilation album. Just based on the mini-mix and title alone "Transnational Dubstep", it sounds like you are going to be featuring artist from around the world. How did you got about finding these artists?

DJ UMB: Thank you.

Most of the artists on the compilation I discovered almost 2 years ago or some discovered me knowing what I was into. Some like Celt Islam, Bandish Projekt and Barbarix I’ve known personally and for a longer period too. Others I found on soundcloud and some were introduced to me by various people in the industry after they heard my mixxtapes.

I’ve been into global sounds for as far back as I can remember. There’s just something about music from foreign shores that excites me so much and so I have always been interested in that. I suppose in way, it’s my way of finding my own utopia on this earth through music.

For me, as a DJ, I have always found African, Arabic, Indian, Balkan, Latin and Far Eastern sounds far more fascinating and when fused with Western beats, it’s like my idea of heaven.

Also for me, it’s like to trying to paint the kind of world I’d like to live in through music. Where there is no prejudice, racism and intolerance and where people take each other for what they are without pre-judging on the basis of skin colour, ethnic/religious background or nationality. It’s a perfect world for me. I know it sounds a bit hippy but there isn’t anything wrong with that in my opinion and I just want to live in that kind of world.

SBA: With such an international vibe found on it seems that you are on top of the global movement. Where in the world is the next hot spot for bass music / dubstep productions outside the US / UK?

DJ UMB: Mexico seems to be doing its thing atm, not with dubstep but with Tribal Guarachero/Hurrache, 3ball & Pre-Hispanico which seems to be some of the most exciting new stuff coming out at present. However, there is a dubstep offshoot too created by Sheeqo Beat called Guaracherostep!

Of course the States too with Moombahton and in the Netherlands with Monsieur Munchi who is gonna kill it in 2011 with Moombahcore!

Moombahcore is gonna be one of the next big Dubstep sub-genres, created by our very own Generation Bass genius Munchi.

Munchi is Holland’s next Tiesto, with one major difference, he’s gonna piss all over him!

Africa is still doing it on so many levels with stuff like Kuduro and also South Africa with it’s sublime deep house and shangaan electro.

I think we might see some very interesting dubstep coming from all over the world in various forms!


SBA: In Atlanta, Dubstep is now becoming the sound of the counter culture. When I was growing up it was punk rock that the displaced youths were gravitating to. Now it seems like Dubstep is becoming that scene here. What is the Dubstep scene like in Birmingham / Britain?

DJ UMB: Yeah it’s still pretty underground and you’re right. For me, it has that same kind of tribal element that Heavy Metal had way back in the 80’s.

In London the scene gravitates more towards the deep soulful/post Dubstep club vibe and producers and dancers are attracted to that.

In Birmingham and other areas, the more brostep/popstep type of vibe seems to be most popular with artist like 16 Bit, Datsik, Flux Pavilion, Bare Noize etc etc killing it.

SBA: What direction you see Dubstep music going in 2011?

DJ UMB: I think the more poppier elements, Magnetic Man, Nero etc etc will solidify and start becoming very commercial worldwide and not just in the UK.

I hope for more song based compositions like James Blake (without the hype) and our boy GoldRush who is demonstrating melodic/romantic song based dubstep/bass .

I think there will be a movement towards more chill out grooves as the brostep will force that to happen.

I feel there will be far more Global/Transnational experimentations with it too and so I still see a very exciting future for it.

Also of course, I’ve already hinted at Moobahcore and that’s already being confirmed as dubstep heads are gravitating towards it .

Skrillex is playing out Munchi Moombahcore tunes!!! Skrillex is in the process of creating original Moombahcore tunage himself!!!!

So, remember that word, MOOMBAHCORE!


SBA: I first heard your work on the Maddecent blog during the World Cup when they posted your African Deep House Mixtape. How did you get linked up with those

DJ UMB: We’ve been following Mad Decent from the early days of the blog and you just get to know each other, it’s inevitable.

We’re at a stage now we seem to be giving back the influence they gave to us in the early days but of course we’re no way near being on the same level as them from a commercial perspective. Diplo’s become very bankable and has a huge and very celebrated musical history behind him.

They’re signing a lot of the talent we’re breaking and also showing us a lot of love on their blog and that is appreciated. Man, I think we do deserve it too as we’re not just following. Indeed we are leading the way in a tastemaker way and doing things our own way too.

HOUSE OF AFREAKA VOL II - THE DEEEEP HOUSE SESSIONS (JULY 2010) Free track but click BUY 2 get free! by djumb

SBA: I really like the multi-genera dubstep sounds on Transnational Dubstep ranging from Indian influenced to Jamaican in sound. Were you exposed to global music growing up or is that something you grew into?

DJ UMB: I’ve been Global/Transnational from day 1. I had no choice. I am a product of post-colonization and my parents were asked come to the UK from Kashmir in the 60’s. I was born and brought up in the UK feeling very English but not feeling fully accepted by everybody because of my background. This did not manifest itself in an overt racist way (occasionally it did but not too often) but in a more unwitting way. So I found solace in Transnationalism, I prefer to keep company and socialize with people of all national backgrounds and I always found their music/cultures enticing and attractive. It’s my world and that’s how I’d like to see the world and society progress, where we are all, ONE!

SBA: What types of music influenced your production and dj style?

DJ UMB: Great quality music from all over the world. It just needs to hit me emotionally or physically.

French DJ Claude Challe was really the guy who was the most influential person to get me into dj’ing though his creation of the Buddha Bar sound. He was one of the first guys, after David Mancuso, to really give music from around the world any credibility in the dance world. You know the guy has sold over 10 million albums as part of the Buddha Bar brand and man that is HUGE!

I love all sorts of stuff really but for mixing, obviously something with consistent ranges of Bmp makes the task of mixing hugely enjoyable. I go for melodic stuff and always try to create a journey when laying down a mix to listen to. Live, it’s different as the main task is to get people moving.

House music was really the first thing that grabbed me, dance music wise and essentially some of the House inflected with a global feel in some way. But since then I’ve got into all sorts.

SBA: Your profile says that you have been djing for 6 years now? Are you a vinyl guy or have you moved onto laptop technology? What type of equipment / software are you using now?

DJ UMB: No I’m a strict CDJ guy. I don’t use vinyl and I’ve never used a laptop in my life to dj with, I wouldn’t know where to start.

I still use CDJ’s.

For production I just use my mind and somebody else does all the hard technical work..ahahahaha I don’t have the time to be a fully fledged producer and I don’t want to be either. I’m the “ideas” guy!

HOUSE OF AFREAKA VOL II - THE DEEEEP HOUSE SESSIONS (JULY 2010) Free track but click BUY 2 get free! by djumb

SBA: I am always interested in Dj's favorite artists. Who are your favorite producers / artists out there? Do you have any "guilty pleasure" artist that your fans wouldn't expect?

DJ UMB: Favourite dj’s – Claude Challe and you know I never listen to many dj’s at all.

Favourite producers – At the moment it’s guys like GoldRush, NastyNasty, MartyParty, Schlacthofbronx, Liquid Stranger, FLeCK, Celt Islam, Bandish Projekt, Datsik,.

Guilty pleasures – Dj Cremoso, a guy who does cheesy covers of pop tracks in a Brazillian style called TecnoBrega.

Favourite artists are peeps like Zeppelin, Tom Waits, Cowboy Junkies, Radiohead, Rush, Prince, REM, Flaming Lips etc etc and I love bands such as The Fleet Foxes and so at present anything with a baroque gothic vocal harmony is my guilty pleasure.

SBA: You spin a bunch of different Generas. Do you have a favorite to listen to or a favorite to mix?

DJ UMB: I love mixing dubstep atm and also Moombahton/Moombahcore and Deep House!

SBA: If you had the chance to spend an afternoon with one musician living or deceased, who would that be?

DJ UMB: I’d love to spend an afternoon with Jeff Buckely listening to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

This video is always the easiest ways to get me to shed some tears. Buckley was not just a vocal/song-writing genius, he was a genuine, sincere and passionate music lover too! He knew the truth!

SBA: What's next for generation bass? Now that you have a compilation out, is a record label next?

DJ UMB: We already have a label and are on our 5th release already.

We’ve had 4 dubstep releases:

Herr Muller




and 1 footwork release:


We go some mega releases coming this year. Some really innovative stuff, Dubstep, Moombahton, Moombahcore etc, so watch out for it.

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