2010: Grimelock

Grimelock have been steadily building a name for themselves throughout Europe as Belgium’s finest bass-music export, and in 2008 they set up Stainage Records, a label aiming to promote Belgian productions worldwide. We speak to Grimelock's Kalib to find out more...

Who and what is Grimelock?

Grimelock means Hush and Kalib, two DJ/producers based in Brussels. In the past 5 years we have been playing a deadly concoction of grime, dubstep, UK garage, bassline and dub-techno. Before starting this project we had been mixing DnB for some years.

2009: Big Toe's Hi-Fi

In August's feature we talk to the original Mr Big Toe and long time friend of Dub Studio, John Farrugia, about sound-system business, music and culture, in Scotland and his native Canada.

Its all good - Big Toe's HiFi with LHT Sound System

How did you guys get together?

Well I am originally from a farm in Ontario, Canada and I had been living in Canada two thirds of the year and St Lucia, West Indies for one third of the year throughout the 1990s. After arriving in Scotland back in 2003 to pursue art and music, I set about building speaker boxes and sculpture, and Big Toes Hi-Fi came to life. The name Big Toes was a handle I got whilst DJing in a wee fishing-village dancehall in St.Lucia in the late ‘90s. I had broken my big toe on my right foot earlier in the week playing football with some kids. So needless to say my toe was all black and blue and swollen. During the course of the dance that night, a Rastaman singer stepped up and took the mic, he had riddim & style… but he couldn’t pronounce my surname, and while attempting to big up the selector Johnny Farrugia, he looked down at the ground… saw my big swollen toe and declared - Big up to the BIG TOE!!!

2009: Mr Bang-e (NeuroFunktion)

Mr Bang-e on the decks

A lot of DJs use dubs because they fit in with their label operations, not so with you, what's the attraction?

For me it's all about the opportunity to play the best music in the best format. I've been cutting plates of various descriptions for around 15 years now. I started cutting down at Music House in the mid nineties - all the main players used to visit and cut new tracks there. I've heard some of the biggest Drum & Bass tunes ever produced cut in those studios.

2009: Danny Byrd

Danny Byrd promo photo - Danny looms over some buildings

Where are you from? Being near Bristol, do you think that has an influence on your production?

I'm from the city of Bath, its about 12 miles away from Bristol. I would never have said Bristol influenced my sound until recently. I've always appreciated the way the Full Cycle guys approached their production, and now the newer school of producers like Distorted Minds and TC. I've got sick of that generic D&B drum sound and it feels like the Bristol guys still have some flava in their drums, they sound more funky, more organic, so in this sense it has been influencing me. Also when I DJ I play a lot of Bristol-style rollers amongst my more uplifting euphoric sets which I guess I'm most known for.

What inspires you to produce?

For the last year it hasn't really been about being inspired, its having work to do. I've always had this remix to do or this VIP, or changing a version of an old tune. So it felt like I had stuff to complete/finish rather than feeling any creative urge to do it. I think you can read a lot into being "inspired" but truth is you just have to get your head down, even if your not inspired. I'm more inspired to watch TV all day and go and buy clothes! Hahah! So I know I just have to get my head down sometimes regardless of whether I'm in a creative zone or not.

So how does the VIP thing work? What's the motivation behind it?

Well the motivation is usually born out of DJing and having a big tune that goes down well, but you want your own exclusive version to play out. Luckily the VIPs I've done have actually got released, so I guess its more like doing your own remix, but you don't usually start them knowing your gonna get paid, they just start out as DJ tools.

What would you say the main reason for cutting dubs is from a producers point of view?

2008: Ramadanman

How would you describe your sound?

The stuff I make is music with a lot of bass in, at various tempos!

Would you use the term dubstep?