Michael from Foreign Dub still likes it hard but these days the crew is taking it at all paces. If you were a forty-year-old housewife from Gunnedah you might be forgiven for thinking that all Drum n Bass sounds the same, though not for voting National, but if you’re into electronic music at all and you’re still biased against DnB you haven’t been listening hard enough.
The scene is changing, evolving like a slick virus in the nightclubs of our brains. Dubstep has shaken things up a bit, artists are popping up from every country where there’s a scene and, now that the original rush of the dancefloor smash is over, it’s time to diversify.
On the 30th of this month Foreign Dub will be launching their website with Sole Food: Food For Your Feet. This night will see the funkier, more soulful side of DnB playing – hopefully to soothe the sweating masses.
“DnB is influenced by dub, funk, reggae, soul, every kind of music. With Sole Food we want to change the style a bit, so we will be concentrating on the jazzy, soulful, smooth-style sets rather than the hard edge, but don’t worry, there will be one or two sets that go harder.”
Says Michael, “Foreign Dub evolved naturally. We started doing events, mainly house parties at first, then moved into doing it commercially. It was a bit of a learning curve for us, having to abide by a venue’s rules and guidelines etc. We then moved on to working with some great artists. Sydney didn’t really have an output for the various types of DnB at that time.”
“We had a compilation that we were gonna release through another label but Inertia picked it up and told us to run it under our own label so now that’s going on. Some good new artists to check out are Dubwise and The Bird. So yeah, things are going well. We’ve got more releases planned and more nights coming up.”
Many of our interviewees complain about the situation in Sydney. It seems to be getting harder just to find venues appropriate for loud music. People move in to refurbished terrace houses next to classic pubs and clubs, then complain when they can hear the music.
It’s like those bastards who moved into the apartment blocks next to Luna Park then complained about the rollercoaster! If you move into an apartment block on Mercury, nobody wants to hear you complain about the heat.
It seems that councils look far more favourably upon residents than commercial venues.
“A lot of crews have taken it into their own hands and moved sideways into the (potentially illegal) warehouse scene. In Perth, a lot of young crews are attending raves out in illegal venues, which builds the scene, which is why they have a bigger scene. I see it as a positive thing but whether they do when they get arrested is another story.”
Like electro pioneer Mark Pritchard, Michael thinks the Sydney scene is in danger of scoring itself into a rut. “The harder and dirtier it is the more props you get, ya know. It is a bit of a rut and it keeps getting deeper. I like it hard as well but I’m missing the many variations, the eclectic style of drum and bass.” Luckily there are crews like Foreign Dub out there, keepin it real, or at least real interesting.
I get bored very quickly if a dance set doesn’t mess with my head. It doesn’t need to be a Dickens novel, but I want a bit of a narrative. “One genre all night does your head in. We only put on stuff we really like ourselves. Like I said, DnB is influenced by a lot of dub, reggae, all of it, so we try to incorporate it all.”
Foreign Dub have been fucking with people’s heads since 2004. They can teach you many things about the arcane business of club promotion.
“Watch your stuff, sometimes things can be lost or ‘go missing’. Also, use contracts when dealing with international artists and venues, it gives you peace of mind and something to back you up if things fall apart. On a couple of occasions things haven’t worked out as agreed upon, so we fall back on contracts and take the loss. It holds you back if you dwell on it though, so yeah, always stay positive.”
Michael has only one thing left to say to you. “We’re all still kickin and we’ll be bringing you more parties throughout the year” so beatmonkeys, stay tuned.
Foreign Dub’s Remedy night currently plays every second Thursday at the UTS Loft but will be moving to every second Friday in June – you should also check out Sole Food at UTS Glasshouse Bar on the 30th.
Keeping the beats tasty.