Saturday Six: Week 007

When delving into dubstep’s dense history, any exploration will eventually lead to DMZ. As one of the most seminal imprints to arise from the genre, their influence on the movement is totally indisputable.

Formed by producer/DJ duo Mala and Coki (Digital Mystikz) with help from Loefah, DMZ was responsible for forging a culture with an unrelenting mantra: the louder it is played, the better it sounds. First and foremost, as a label with a back catalogue championing the swampy, dub-influenced early styles of dubstep by its owners. Secondly, as the clubnight that incubated a network of like-minded producers and DJs at both a 200-capacity Plastic People bunker and 1,200-capacity Mass. A night so scene-famous that people would travel from Europe, America and even Australia to experience its brilliance. Like the Jamaican Selectors of bygone years, DMZ were vinyl experts, meaning unreleased dubs and a chest-rattling soundsystem.

Dubstep eventually waned, but DMZ remain as a beacon of its better times. Its members have remained active. 2012 saw the release of Mala’s long awaited album Mala in Cuba. The project combined Mala’s style of dubstep with traditional Cuban music, a product of several months spent working in Cuba with local musicians. Mala has also continued to sign and promote new artists through his label Deep Medi championing solid unions between dubstep and neighbouring genres. Just think about the jazzier approaches of Swindle and Silkie and Kahn‘s grime-tinged efforts as evidence.

As they celebrate their tenth anniversary, we select six, DMZ-influenced Boiler Room moments for your viewing pleasure. Come meditate on bass-weight.

V.I.V.E.K (Sep 30, 2011)
The Deep Medi disciple drops in Mala’s “Explorer” nice and early on in this 2011 effort.

Mark Pritchard (Jun 26, 2011)
Half of Africa Hi-tech, but nothing half-arsed about the weighty Coki rejig of Busy Signal’s “Badman Place” that Mark plays.

James Blake (Jan 20, 2011)
James Blake’s unforgettable, reload-filled showcase from early 2011 was peppered with dubby entries from both Loefah and Coki. Heavy.

Silkie B2B Quest (Oct 4, 2011)
Deep and bassy from two of Deep Medi’s patrons of jazz-flecked dubstep.

Zed Bias B2B Loefah (Dec 16, 2014)
Loefah’s last appearance was our final show of 2014. A high energy sparring match with fellow visionary, Zed Bias. 

Raji Rags (Jan 7, 2014)
Raj was Bleep’s record label manager before becoming our head of music. This 3-hour mixdown of the top 100 Bleep tracks of 2013 had a heavy hitting tracklist including Mala’s “Changes”. Oh, and a certain pepperoni pizza based incident.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.