Friday, December 30, 2011

Losing Games

So it's been quite some time since we here at La MoDa Mixtapes have posted a podcast.  Oh, we've been staying busy (check out Mo's most recent deep-as-a-Chilean-mine offering for BrooklynRadio here), but it HAS been more than a fortnight or so since we last dropped a La MoDa Mixtapes exclusive for y'all.

Since our last official post, the Occupy Wall Street movement was born, the Enormous Room closed, Muammar Gaddafi was ousted, Kim Jong Il stopped looking at shit and Steve Jobs ascended to the great App store in the sky.

Oh, and Justin Bieber and/or Korn killed dubstep.  Or something.

I've been trying my best to avoid this topic since I last picked that scab back in January.  Being a little long in the tooth, I've tried to take the long view on this whole "dubstep is dead/brohstep makes me sad" topic.  I really have.  I mean, it all sounds so familiar to me (see:  death of jungle, death of trance, death of UK Garage, death of grime, death of hip hop, and on and on and on).  But, after a few recent articles/posts from other writers/artists making some valid points, I figured I'd strap on my hip boots and wade into these murky waters.  (If you're just here for the music, please feel free to skip to the bottom of this post).

2011 was a big year for dubstep.  We saw Britney dip her toe in the pool, we saw Skrillex pop up on the playlists of every high school kid's iPod Nano (and score a grip of Grammy nominations in the process), we learned that the Bieb was going to bless us with his particular brand of wobble pop, and by the end of the year we learned from washed-up nu-metal "pioneer" Jonathan Davis that Korn had in fact "invented" dubstep.  In 2011, dubstep sold us cereal and outerwear and cameras.  And, depending on who you talk to, this all added up to the "death" of dubstep.  And the haterade came out by the GALLON, especially for the man of the moment, Sonny Moore, aka Skrillex. 

The "dubstep is dead" keg has been tapped pretty frequently this year (seriously, Google that shit), from a variety of different angles.  Rather than rehash the whole trajectory of dubstep, I will just link to an article that I think really captured the whole debate rather succinctly:  Who Killed Dubstep? and the follow up article posted on the From Eternity to the Next Beat blog.  As the author stated, "Mainstream acceptance doesn't make good music any worse. The purists might disagree, but personally, I don't need to be part of an elite crowd to enjoy music."  That pretty much summed it up for me.  I don't love Skrillex, but I don't fault that dude his success.  

More importantly, some of the djs and producers I respect and enjoy, who are not exactly Johnny-come-latelys in the world of subsonics, seem to feel the same.  I mean, if Skream can tip his cap to what Skrillex has done (as he does rather effectively in this interview), then who am I to judge?  Anyone who follows DMC Champ and stateside D'n'B player DJ Craze's Twitter feed knows he's also on Team Skrillex.  Hatcha, one of the universally recognized pioneers of the sound, seems just fine with Skrillex's success.  And Skrillex himself argues that he is not a "dubstep" artist, but an electronic musician who incorporates dubstep tempos and formats into his work.

But the blog commenters and forum posters just can't hate him enough.  He has come to embody everything that is "wrong" with "mainstream" dubstep, or "brostep" as the cool kids like to call it.  Being rather uncool myself, I find this whole debate tedious, and a little confusing.  If the people who "invented" dubstep don't give a shit, why should I?  From where I stand, the whole debate can be reduced to a few main beefs:

1.  "it's not REAL dubstep."  Who gets to define "real" dubstep?  And how is it defined?  Because as soon as you define it, you set limits, you build walls.  Is there a dubstep "formula" one must follow to "qualify?"  Doesn't that sound terribly boring?  Or, worse, something music writers sit around lamenting because, let's face it, they're the ones who invent these sub-sub-sub genres and they've got deadlines to make and dilettantes to look down upon.

2.  "s/he is too young/new to the scene."  This line of criticism would argue that anyone who didn't buy white labels from Big Apple Records or go clubbing at FWD>> or tune into pirate radio to hear their dubstep is not authentic enough.  This argument always puzzles me.  I remember the first few raves I went to, and how enamored I was with the sounds of New York house and Detroit Techno.  I'd never been to a NASA party or heard Juan Atkins or Kevin Saunderson play techno in Detroit, but I knew what I liked.  And I paid $20 to get in, just like the cool kids....

3.  "brostep is ruining the scene."  Again, this one confuses me.  If 1000 kids show up to see a Skrillex show, and get their faces melted to "brostep," how is this BAD for Mala or Silkie or Von D?  If your argument is that those 1000 kids don't know the history of dubstep, or don't care to learn, who gives a shit?  Those kids are there to party, not learn.  If 100 of those kids leave that show and do their homework, that doesn't make the other 900 kids stupid.  But it DOES have the potential to open those 100 kids' eyes to the deeper, more underground sounds of the genre.  Is that a bad thing?  Furthermore, if 500 kids show up to see N-Type at a club, and only 50 of them actually know who N-Type is, and 50 more think N-Type sucks because he doesn't play enough face-melting drops, who gives a fuck?  All 500 of those kids paid the cover at the door, so if anything, N-Type is BENEFITING from "brostep."  Skream says as much in the above-linked article:  everyone benefits, if only a little, from the expansion of the scene.  Maybe they have to put up with a few more stupid requests each night, but really, is that so bad?

4.  "s/he doesn't have the proper pedigree."  This argument supposes that, unless you have crates full of underground UK Garage/futuristic 2-Step records in your basement, unless your playlist includes sufficient offerings from Horsepower or Tempa, you're not "coming at dubstep properly."  One of the main knocks against Skrillex is that he was a metal/emo kid until 2008, and this metal/rock influence brings the "wrong" sort of fans to the scene.  Again, this implies a certain level of unsophistication of his fans, due to their lack of pedigree.  In addition to #2 above, this argument also dismisses those who arrived at dubstep from a place that didn't include the original Dubstep Warz broadcasts.  So if your CD book includes more System of a Down than Digital Mystikz, if your crate contains more Leftfield than Loefah, you're disqualified.

Anyway, as I've stated before, I enjoy all sorts of bass music.  Though I've been repping breaks for the last 15+ years, I thoroughly enjoy dubstep in ALL its variations, and I wanted to put together a mix that really covered a broad spectrum of sounds, especially those of the 140 bmp variety.  There may be some "brostep" in here, some "fake dubstep," I'm not sure.  I don't know, and I don't care.  

One of my favorite magazines is Waxpoetics, and the editor's note from issue 46 keeps coming back to me as I consider the "dubstep is dead" argument from this last year.  Editor Andre Torres, in discussing the effect that "purists" had on jazz, states "...So though some think they're doing jazz a service by protecting what they feel are traditional elements of the music, they're also doing it a terrible disservice by so narrowly defining jazz that it's forced to stay a niche music forever."  To me, purity is boring.  And it would be tragic if, in 10 years, we look back and realize that this vibrant, diverse, storied genre called "dubstep" was sacrificed on the altar of purity.

Plus, sometimes you just want your face melted.....

1.  Amy Winehouse - Love is a Losing Game (Lucian X & NAPT Redub)

2.  Fugees - Ready or Not (Rastah Mouse Remix)

3.  FJH - Borsche
4.  George Lenton - RDD
5.  Skream - Rollin
6.  FJH - Enter the Dragon
7.  Torqux & Twist - Relentless (16bit remix)
8.  Datsik & Bassnectar - Elevate
9.  B-Phreak - Body Check (Random Scarves Remix)
10. RackNRuin - Skanker Riddim
11. NAPT & Lucian X - Blow Your Mind
12. Freestylers - Say Yes (Ben & Lex Remix)
13. 601 - This Year's Champion
14. Ellis Dee & DJ Twista - Touch Me ft. Marie Louise
15. Shakes - Gangbusters
16. Pyramid - Feel Like Jamming
17. Schema - Move
18. Iman - Only You (RackNRuin Remix)
19. Queen Latifah ft. Al Green - Simply Beautiful (Pyramid Remix)
20. Jose Gonzalez - Crosses (The Boogaloo Crew Bootleg)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


took this one back to '94. what!?! I asked my boy Mo the other day, "Do they make classics anymore?" Well, do they? 

That was the theme of this mix, the question I pondered. Classics. Means something different to everyone, right?

I'm not saying every song on this mix is a classic, but they sure is a grip of electro jams, nu skool breaks, and techfunk classics from MY formative years sprinkled throughout. Classics should be able to stand next to a track from last week and bark back at 'em, hold their own, right? Never leave your crates, right?  A lot of these never leave mine (or wouldn't, if I ever left my basement or still carried crates...) 

Don't forget to sign up for the podcasts by following the instructions to the right of this page.  ---->  

Relaunch is imminent.  

Stay tuned....

1.  B.L.I.M. - Loonies (2003, TCR)
2.  Stanton Warriors - Dakota (2011, Punks)
3.  Thunderball - Rio Mescalito (Mexicans with Guns Remix) (2011, CDR)
4.  Florence and the Machine - Drumming Song (Boy 8-bit Remix) (2010, CDR)
5.  Left/Right & Digital Pizza - Organizized (Hunter Vaughn Remix) (2011, Sound of Habib)
6.  Adam Freeland and Kevin Beber pres. Street Technique - Down (1998, Ultimatum Breaks)
7.  Steve Bug vs. DJ T - Monsterbaze (2000, Poker Flat Recordings)
8.  DJ Tokyo - Soul Oddity (1996, Astralwerks)
9.  Rebirth (Xpando & DJ Trance) - Go Off (1994, Bassex)
10. Metro LA - Hold Your Wig (Bassbin Twins 96 Remix) (2011, CDR)
11. Freestyle - It's Automatic (Dastrix Remix) (2000, Pandisc)
12. Ming & FS - the Human Condition (2001, OM Records)
13. The Martin Brothers - Duck Face (Elmo is Dead & HEDS DubDuck Edit)(2010, CDR)
14. The Young Punx - Ready for the Fight (the Young Punx Gutter Remix)(2010, MofoHifi Records)
15. Groove Diggerz - Rock Da Beat (2010, ADHD Digital)
16. Daft Punk - TRON Legacy (Adam Freeland's 303 Remix) (2011, Marine Parade)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What is SOUL?

What is soul? How do you define it? for that matter, what is "neo soul" here's the wikipedia definition of it. for me i would define it as "soul music after the 80's". with that in mind i put together a collection of my favorite neo soul artists and some of their best songs -erykah badu/ raphael saadiq/ joss stone/ andre 3000/ and a handful of others i am hoping you'll be able to identify. sure, i left out sade (was never really into her music), and r. kelly ( i dont support that bum ass bum) and others who would most certainly fall under the neo soul banner, and of course folks is gonna grumble about who i did include in this mix, but like i said - its my definition and i am sharing its audible interpretation with you. i hope yall enjoy it! peace and mad love!

mosart212 presents: neosoul

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I don't do this for money. I don't do this for fame. I don't dj to pay my bills. I have a job and a family, and I am blessed to be able to go out once in a while and listen to the music I like played on loud hi-fi soundsystems. I am even more blessed to be able to go out once in a while and dj with my friends, to drink beer and mix records that I love in a club on a loud hi-fi soundsystem. It's fun. FUN. It's rarely lucrative. Sometimes it's not even that cool (you ever gone up against two or three competing nights and lost? played to 10 people in a 150 capacity club?). But I try to make sure it's always fun. Should I take it more seriously? Maybe. Could we get more heads in the club if we treated it more like a job? Probably. Should I be spending more time promoting and hustling and grinding and getting my name out there? Definitely. But that doesn't sound fun to me. That sounds like work, and I already got a job.

So rather than go on a long winded rant (I've had one brewing for a minute now), I'm going to cut to the chase and post some music. This shit is fun to me. I hope it is fun for you. If you don't like the mix I posted below, whatever. Not your bag. No big deal. It's OK. 75% of you stopped reading as soon as you figured out this wasn't Mo. That's cool. This mix has been melting my face for a few weeks now, and I thought I'd share. I hope it melts yours too....

1. Band of Horses - the Funeral (Butch Clancy Remix)

2. DJ Shadow - Mongrel Meets his Maker (Sonotech Mix)

3. George Lenton - Makura

4. Muse - Knights of Cydonia (Parker Remix)

5. Gella - Vapour Trail

6. Ashes & Dialect - Burning

7. Desmond Dekker - Israelites (Freear Remix)

8. Bassbin Twins - Blow Em Up

9. Peo De Pitte - Burning Up (Bassbin Twins Remix)

10. Far Too Loud - Bass Association (Torqux Remix)

11. Ways & Means - Kick a Hole (Hellfire Machina Remix)

12. Flux Pavilion - I Can't Stop

13. M.I.A. - Internet Connection (Flux Pavilion Remix)

14. Mark Instinct vs Greenlaw - Go In Peace (Dubstep Vocal Mix)

15. RacknRuin - Dazed & Confused ft. Janai & Illaman (SKiSM's Baroque Out Remix)

16. RacknRuin - Pull up That

17. Gella - Wrong Turn

18. Rennie Pilgrem - Erica's Fix (Breakspoll Mix)

19. Squarepusher - Red Hot Car (Girl)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

here come the judge!

aight so with every mix them LMDA boyz put out they try to try something different, and this is no different. on this mix, mosart212 (are you friends on facebook? if not, let me be the first to say, "welcome back, glad you were able to get from under that fucking rock you've been living at for all them years..." click this link) leaves behind the bleeps and bloops and computer sounds (ok, not completely) and hangs out at the dance partay for a bit, he also tries out some different blending techniques. so like, usually, he will let two (sometimes three, sometimes four) beats just blend and blend and slowly come to a bubble then subtly and slyly - BOOM - new song. but in this mix the blends and mixes happen quickly. not exactly "on the one" but close enough to that concept to create nice transitions. the mix features a couple more edits from mosart, most awesomely, a "voices inside my head" edit by the Police (oh Sting... remember when you were just a creepy, pedophile, weirdo with a cool little trio?) oh and i almost forgot! the mix starts off with a little intro beat called "jeesus break" which features a sample from Ben Folds (oh Ben Folds, remember when you were just a whiney, twee, weirdo with a cool little trio?) and Lefties Soul Connection... oh and bobby brown is featured in this mix too. oh and whitney houston is back in rehab.

on a side note - one of the things i want to work on this summer (moved back to portland yall) is being able to write more expressively (that some shitty writin right durr) about my mixing - i find my self, struggling to explain what it is that i am trying to do differently and what it is that is happening in any given mix, that you should be paying attention to. you know what i mean?

ok without any further ado, here comes the judge yall.........

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A.D.I.D.A.S. (all day I dream about samples)

Been rocking this mix in my headphones for a month or so, and I've decided that tonight, on the eve of Boston's Together Festival (which, like last year, started up JUST after our monthly residency went down), I would drop this promo on the old bloggy blog. This mix gets back to my roots: pure, unadulterated party breaks. Lots of updated takes on classic samples/riffs/tracks on this mix, some cheeky, some sublime, all worthy of a Frosty Freeze with a side of Boogaloo Shrimp scampi. I'll be hitting up Breaker's Paradise this week to do some flyering/stickering/promo, pretty stoked about an all-breaks party. This should get y'all in the mood for some kick-snare-kick-kick-snare, hope to see you there.....

mantisounds - A.D.I.D.A.S. (all day I dream about samples)

1. Makesome Breaksome - Bong

2. Jurassik - Guns n' Ravers

3. DJ Hero & Matt B - Baddest DJ

4. Kid Kenobi - Breakers Revenge 2010 (Drumattic Twins Remix)

5. Ruby Goe - Beat Breaking Boy (Stanton Warriors Remix)

6. La Roux - Bulletproof (Foamo vs DNF edit)

7. Adele - Hometown Glory (Adsorb Breaks Mix)

8. Stanton Warriors - Seeker (What What What Remix)

9. Odissi - Empty Vodka Bottles (Pyramid Remix)

10. Dustin Hulton - FCK Your Bassline (Curtis B Remix)

11. Lee Coombs & Uberzone - Right Now (Scott Remedy ReRub)

12. Skrillex - Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites (Zedd vs Original)(REL-1 ReDub)

13. Jinx - At Last (Breaks Mix)

14. Stanton Warriors - Still Here ft. Eska (Club Mix)

15. Noisia - Alpha Centauri (Elite Force ReVamp)


(cross-posted at Mantisounds)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

the revolution is here?

as we continue to see dissent, revolutions, executions, white collar robberies, governments crumble, bloggers blogging, fox new yapping, jon stewart speaking truth to knowledge, etc, etc, we ask ourselves here at La MoDa, whataboutus? what are we doing? what are we (and by "we" we mean "us" and by "us" we mean "you") doing about this whole crazy ass crazy train? We, meaning the Mantis and me, we dont know what else to do other than make mixtapes... so with that in mind - here is the latest in a long line of revolution tinged cmopositions. This time i take a couple of interviews about dissent and revolution, from the last couple of years and splice them this way and that, throw em into a mix that is clunky, chunky, wobbly at points, but never falls down. the views on this mixtape are the thoughts of the two men behind the workstation called LaMoDa, if you dont like it, less us know, lets start a dialogue, lets do something... and if you dont like well dont just sit there talking shit about "us"... do something about it....

Sunday, March 6, 2011


It has been a bad few months for the powerful on this planet. From Tunisia to Egypt to Libya to Madison, Wisconsin, the underserved and underrepresented have been making their voices heard. These are not your parents' revolutions: information-driven, secular, and televised. It's been amazing to see entire societies cast off the yokes of fear and oppression armed with not much more than smart phones and social networks. History is writing itself as we speak, and it sure reads like a new chapter for millions of people on this planet.

It is against this backdrop that I put together my newest mix. I've been vibing HARD on the new "140bpm jungle" sound that's gripping the underground, harnessing the raw energy of amen madness with the wobble of dubstep and the surgical stutter of top-shelf breaks. This mix starts off with a call to revolution from Ghetto Priest (remixed by man-of-the-moment RackNRuin), which is quite fitting for all my brethren in the Middle East. Skull-cracking dubstep/140bpm flavors get it rinsed right up through Ed Solo's MONSTROUS version of "Egyptian Horns," which I included as a little nod to all my January 25th Massive, and because it's arguably one of the greatest "rave" anthems of all time (I first heard the original on a DJ Overload mixtape from 1995 and the rest is history). Then it's all 140bpm jungle/breaks tomfoolery up through to the last track, Hybrid's epic remix of FSOL's classic "Papua New Guinea."

A wise man once said "If you make nonviolent revolution impossible, you make violent revolution inevitable." Get up. Stand up. Word up.

1. Ghetto Priest - Evolution (RackNRuin Dubstep Remix)

2. Skream - Lightning VIP

3. Magic Mash - M.A.G.I.C.

4. Karton - All You Need (Mars Remix)

5. Schema - Savage Henry

6. Ed Solo - Egyptian Horns

7. RackNRuin - Soundclash

8. Altered Beats - Bad Man Soul

9. HeavyFeet ft. MC Mad Rush - Vs Up (RackNRuin Remix)

10. Schema - Rat Bastard

11. La Roux - In for the Kill (Skream Remix)(Future Funk Squad Rerub)

12. Mobius - Champion Hounds

13. Ben & Lex - Soundboy Step-Up

14. Schema - Turn Off the Lights

15. Future Funk Squad - Shakedown

16. Future Sounds of London - Papua New Guinea (Hybrid Remix)

Monday, February 14, 2011

this is a man's dub

I was going to do another post on the further escalations in the dubstep wars (commercial/brostep vs. deep/underground/"intelligent" dubstep), but I decided against it, because it seems like too much energy to spend focusing on things people don't like, on division, on negative energy. So the theme for this evening is: the glass is half full. Because, really, does the world need more cynicism? Negativity? Nah. Put some positive vibrations out there. Ponder what you LIKE...the glass is half full...

What do I like? I like bass music. All sorts. I like my bass music like I like my hallucinations: kaleidoscopic, dipped in chrome and neon, aurally expansive, and infectiously groovy. I like combining bass musics of different types to create interesting spectrums and combinations of bass music. Do you like bass music?

You know what else I like? Motown and soul music. I also like face-melting drops, and jump-up-and-grab-you builds. They're a blast (come on, admit it, they make you want to smile)....the glass is half full...

This mix combines elements of a bunch of things I like (bass music, soul music, melted faces, Foreigner, reggae, raves, and funky robots) into one chrome-dipped sonic hallucination. Can you dig it? If this mix makes you want to tap your feet, or nod your head, I am honored to have contributed to and/or assisted you in your sonic-kinetic vibrations. And fair enough if you don't like it, it's not for everyone (hallucinations rarely are). But either way, don't expend too much energy trying to categorize it or put it in a tiny little box: dubstep, brostep, chillout, wavestep, lovestep, future garage, post-dubstep, 2step, drugstep, soulstep, drumstep, sinestep, broken beat, broken heartstep, it's all sort of irrelevant.

A lion doesn't know the word "lion" but he still knows he's a lion...

The glass is half full.

Drink up....

mantisounds - this is a man's dub

1. James Brown - It's a Man's World (Regrooved by Parker)

2. Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman (Cutloose Remix)

3. Brenda Lee - I'm Sorry (Woodhead & Blenda Remix)

4. Gramaphonedzie - Why Don't You (High Rankin & Evolve or Die Remix)

5. Ashes - Dubvine

6. Bassnectar - Magical World ft. Nelly Furtado

7. Jean Jacques Smoothie - Two People (Jay Robinson's 1 Hour Bootleg)

8. Don Diablo ft. Dragonette - Animale (Datsik Dubstep Remix)

9. Bassbin Twins - Eat Em Up

10. SKisM - Power

11. Foreigner - Cold as Ice (Specimen A Remix)

12. Linton Brown - Horndog (Kinzy's Frisky Dog Remix)

13. Jinx in Dub ft. Rider Shafique - Meditate & Relate

14. Althea & Dona - Uptown Top Rankin (Hostage Remix)

15. Chop Shop 45 - Hyphy Gotta Learn Sometime

16. George Lenton vs. Mr. Little Jeans - On Repeat

17. Hostage - Sweet Sweet Riddim (instrumental)

18. Jurassik - Baby (Jurassiksravingmonsterloonymix)

(cross-posted at mantisounds)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

is it all good?

delete delete delete. i have tried writing this post several times throughout the day and all i come up with is delete delete delete. im deleting lots in my life right now. from my job to where i live, tons of things are getting the backspace key. clearing the air for new things (i think)


i keep telling myself that there is no way a year that starts off this tumultuous can possibly end the same way. and so i keep my eyes on the future. hopefully i will figure out a way to physically reunite with Mantisounds and get back to making sweet music in person, hopefully i get more gigs and spread the sound to a wider audience, hopefully i figure out why a grown man makes 3 to 4 mixtapes a week and gives them away for free... hopefully you'll stick around long enough to see how all this plays out.

from the first snippet of dialogue "prosperity for who, not for me not for you..." to its schizophrenic song selection, this mix deals in confusion, it doesnt know if it wants to be happy or melancholy. there's change in the air, but the mix..., the mix dont want nothing to do with that, it would just rather put its head down and pretend nothing is happening. the samples in this mix come from old movies dealing with factory life, and automation, and the oncoming future which at times looks as if it will have no room for the children of men...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ender's Game

So dubstep has arrived. Officially. I don't say that because it's being used to sell cereal and sneakers and electronics (it's not...yet). I don't say that because Diplo has finally slapped the Mad Decent stamp of approval on the genre with Blow Your Head: This is Dubstep (he has, and it's not bad). And I don't say that because Madonna's new album is all dubstep produced by Skream or Rusko or whoever else might be the go-to dubstep producer of the moment (though I will not be surprised if that's EXACTLY what Madge's new album eventually sounds like, given her flavor-of-the-month output of late).

Dubstep has arrived because it's beginning to eat itself. For all you drum n'bass heads out there who are a little long in the tooth (like me), what's happening in dubstep now is beginning to look an awful lot like what happened to jungle after its initial underground explosion in the late 90s. Jungle was starting to blow up, you started hearing it on main stages and peak-time slots, rather than side-rooms. Artists from different genres started "experimenting" with the sound (cynical interpretation: trying to cash in on a budding new market). The music press started trying to churn out endless sub-genres (jump up, ragga, trance & bass, darkstep, techstep, etc.). And then along came Roni Size and Reprazent: a stable of "old school" jungle cats performing dnb "live" with a drummer (Si Begg) and live vocals. Suddenly, jungle wasn't side-room niche drug music, it was "respectable." (BTW, I saw Reprazent twice live, both times they absolutley murdered it!).

With the rise of all of this "respectable" attention, and the need to compartmentalize everything for the music press, the genre began to split into different camps: the posers who heard the Aphrodite/Jungle Brothers single and decided they liked jungle and/or could sell it to lots of new fans, and the "intelligent drum n'bass"/intelectuals who were "pushing the genre forward" and who looked down on all the jump-up hip-hop sounds, the kids who loved them, and the producers who were making it.

(SIDEBAR: is there a descriptive term MORE obnoxious than "intelligent drum n' bass"? Like, not all that stupid UNINTELLIGENT shit, it's "intelligent." I always felt bad for LTJ Bukem, purveyor of that smoother, broken-beat/liquid/atmospheric jungle sound, because record stores and magazines would aways slap the "intelligent drum n' bass" sticker on his cds and make him seem like some pretentious asshole, which I'm sure he wasn't, and I'm also sure he didn't think his music was "smarter" than anyone else's)

I think that's about where we are with dubstep right now (seriously, google "dubstep" + "commercial" and take a gander at all those complainers!). You've got a lot of people making ear-scorching wobble tunes at 70 bpm that sound great on a soundsystem with hands in the air and pupils dilated, and then you've got a lot of people claiming that the "scene is changing" and the music is getting diluted because the sound is starting to be appropriated by other artists/genres. You've got folks trying to distinguish between "legit/underground/artistic" dubstep and the pervasive (and some would say formulaic) wobble of the more "commercial" stuff. And with the release of Magnetic Man's self titled debut, and the critical acclaim it's received (including from me, who loves me some Magnetic Man), it appears dubstep is having its "Reprazent" moment, and tribal boundaries are being drawn.

I mention all of this for a few reasons. One, I was around for the explosion and subsequent implosion (and rebirth/realignment) of drum n' bass, and I am very interested to see if dubstep follows the same trajectory. And two, this new mix would probably be considered a little more "underground" than previous dubstep sets, embracing artists and sounds that I've heard described as futurestep, future garage, lovestep, breakstep, junglebreaks, 140bpm jungle, etc. To me, it's all bass music, and there's a time and a place for all of it. Like, I generally enjoy microbrewed/homebrew beer, but apprecaite that there is a time and a place for a 30-rack of light domestic beer. Same with bass music in general. Some of it is all drops and builds and face-melting wobble bass designed to slay a dancefloor, and some of it is a little more subtle, a little more intricate, maybe appreciated more in your headphones or in your car. But it's ALL GOOD, homie.

Usually in my mixes I try to incorporate a little of everything (a splash of Anchor Steam, a dash of porter stout, maybe a pint of cider, and a can or two of Bud Light), though this mix is light on Bud Light and heavy on the microbrew. But that doesn't make it "intelligent" or "underground" or better than any other style or micro-genre or sub-category being pushed by the latest issue of Knowledge or Mixmag, because, really, in the end, this is DANCE music, people, not an anthropology class. Don't worry about how "commercial" something is, or how "underground" it sounds. Look around. Are people dancing? Are you? Isn't THAT what's important?

Mantisounds - Ender's Game

1. Liondub & Matt Shadetek - the General Riddim (OG Riddim instrumental)
2. BangaTang - Bashful
3. Bill Withers - Ain't No Sunshine (Indaskyes & Tracksmyth Remix)
4. Hunter Vaughan - High Hopes
5. Eric Hassle - Hurtful (George Lenton Remix)
6. Bertie Blackman - Peekaboo (Marco del Horno Remix)
7. Excision & Datsik - Swagga (Homegrown & Nils Jumpen Mondays Afternoon Mix)
8. I.D. - Flay
9. the S.K. - Bass
10. George Lenton - Cold Rocker
11. Nero - Something Else
12. Downlink - Moonrock Badman
13. Nero - Bad Trip
14. Excision - Obvious
15. Skool of Thought - Heart of the Hood
16. I.D. - Akusative
17. JSaxton - Kick Snare Ganja Buddha
18. Ludwig Coenen - Green Movement (XI Bas Vapour Dub)
19. Doorly - UK Geee
20. Ramadanman - Offal
21. Redlight - Rock the House ft. the Voodoos
22. Foamo - Centavo (Warrior One Remix)
23. BSD - We Are Elektro


P.S. All you sci-fi nerds out there might recognize the cover artwork appropriated above. "Ender's Game" was one of my favorite books growing up. It's the story of Ender Wiggin, a child prodigy recruited into Earth's "Battle School", a training camp orbiting the planet designed to develop the planet's next great generals and warmakers in the ongoing battle against the evil alien "bugger" race (kind of Harry Potter meets Starship Troopers with less campy bullshit and magic wands). If you have not read this book, cop it in paperback (or eBook like the kids on their Kindles) and get busy!