Hatcha's Dubstep Chronicles
Happy New Year to you all! Hope you all had a wicked time and a great Christmas! I don't mean to make you jealous, but I'm writing this from the luxurious setting of my hotel pool in Mexico. For those who read last month's column, you'll know that I got married at the end of December and I'm now enjoying some time on my honeymoon with the new Mrs Hatcha! The wedding itself was obviously incredible and, music-wise, we had DJ Oneman play a set for us...
I performed back-to-back with Oneman in Croatia before, so it was an honour to have him spinning all the rare grooves and disco to get all the old girls up on the dancefloor (laughs). The stag was as wild as I expected it to be. I can't tell you what went on during that (laughs) but, to be honest, the whole of December with the US tour was crazy! This was my sixth year in the States. I've done the last five by myself and it's always been brilliant. I'd seen a few other labels go out there, so I got the artists together for Sin City and made it happen with my agent.
It was me, N-Type and Crazy D who went out. As it was the first time we'd toured there with Sin City, it didn't make sense to take ten DJs and four MCs, but every night was excellent. For those States I hadn't visited previously, we hit up smaller clubs, about 3/400 capacity. We didn't want to throw ourselves in the deep end with huge venues that we hadn't touched with dubstep previously, but we also did a lot of 1,000/1,500 capacity venues that I had played at over the years, as we knew they'd be absolutely rammed.
Every show on the tour was a great vibe, but the ones that stood out were The Vagabond in Miami, the show in Denver, Mad Classy at Club Barcelona in Austin, Texas, and Smog in LA! Vegas was obviously insane and the Canadians really took to the show, too. We had a couple of great nights there. The crowds were really feeling Jakes track, 'Cadi', Skream's new remix for Rusko, Benga's 'Journey' and Mala's 'Ancient Memories'. Along with mine and Lost's 'Al Barsha', they were the most well-received.
The US has just embraced dubstep more and more every year. I actually did the first ever dubstep show in America in 2003, playing the ‘Starscape’ festival in Baltimore with Zed Bias, Emma Feline, Benny Hill and Jada Flex. The arena was huge with DJs like Judge Jules and Roger Sanchez headlining, but our stage wasn't even promoted as dubstep – they'd billed it as something along the lines of 2-step and electronic garage, but the stage was rammed from start to finish. Joe Nice heard us play dubstep for the first time there and he hasn't stopped playing it since! That's really how it was introduced to America and grown, along with the touring, through people like him. In the States now, there are artists like Skrillex and 12th Planet doing massive things under the dubstep term, opening more and more doors over there.
Some States are bigger than the whole UK so, no matter how hard we push here, as it breaks in the US it's going crazy and that's just beneficial for the scene as a whole. Last New Year’s Eve, I did a set in Australia with Skream and Benga, and they've also just finished a dubstep tour there. It's fantastic to see all four corners of the globe digging the music. It's wicked that all of these people can now lock in to my Kiss show using the KissKube app and listen anywhere in the world. Whether America, Australia, Poland or Russia (where I'm off to over the next few months), people can follow the scene as it gets stronger and stronger and listen to the newest tracks, as well as catch vibes with the special guests who drop in.
As a wrap-up of 2011, and before I head back to spend some quality time with the wife, I wanted to give you my top ten tracks for the whole year, the ones that have stood out for me and had awesome feedback wherever I've dropped them. Ready? Here goes...
1. Subzee D - 'Hold Me'
2. Caspa - 'Buraka'
3. Skream - 'Profuse'
4. Cato Feat Ruby Lee Ryder - 'Spotlight'
5. Lost vs Saddam - '5 A Day'
6. Surge - 'Leech'
7. Taiki & Nulight - 'Pure'
8. Stinkahbell - 'In Your Eyes'
9. Benga - 'The Intro'
10. True Tiger - 'Eye Ball'
There are also five people who I feel will be more and more on people's radar over the next twelve months, and they are:
2. Taiki & Nulight
4. Subzee D
So, that's it for another month. Thanks for reading, and be sure to keep your ears peeled for those artists and I'll catch you all in four weeks!
DJ Hatcha was speaking to James Walsh (@JW_DittoMusic)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)