By David Couch
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where pimps and thieves run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” H.S.T.
The best thing about any night is the vibe. No matter what, you can always boil down a good night into a few key elements, and the most important one of those is the vibe, the atmosphere, and what feeling you can take away. The promotion group Organix put on the Dubscover Valentines’ Special at the Gramaphone in East London and this was a fantastic vibe to take part in and take home. If you weren’t sure what you were doing, chances are you were having a good time. The underground venue felt half trendy and half practical as it became a hive of activity with all everyone grinding, sweating…
The nights spin a mixture of commercial and home grown dub-step, with DJ’s and hosts working together in a kind of hosting/battle style keeping the night rolling. The set-up works like this: each DJ is given an hour slot to get the crowd pumped up, and an extra twenty minutes to battle the other DJs of the night. Then, the winner is decided by the crowd’s appreciation or in this case a sh*t load of noise dictating the winner who gets to come back. I use “winner” in the loosest sense of the word, because as far as I could tell the competitive element only made the DJs up their game, and for an extra half-hour at the end of each set you got a dirty, yet comprehensive schooling in dub-step. It was hard to tell where one good time ended and the next began.
These Dubscover and Techscover nights abandon convention and make a bit of a shift from what you might normally hear on a night out. The constant theme is their dedication to promoting new material and new artists to new audiences as well as promoters, labels and the music industry. They highlight artists who deserve recognition and use these nights as an open forum, reinforced with mini-mixes and podcasts available from the Dubscover/Techscover Facebook Group.
The best thing about this night is that you can enjoy for whatever reasons you may have: the free entry, the good music, and the competition. As a relative newcomer to the dub-step scene, it was all you could ask for and more, no preconceptions about what you do or why your there, just grab a beer and enjoy the show as the master of ceremonies conducts the night’s bacchanal of sound and good vibrations. For all purposes this is the best way any night should be. However, the Gramaphone is a halfway step as Dubscover and Techscover gets bigger and badder with each show. They continue to upgrade their premises because of the growing masses of misfits, students, and music heads who flock from all over London and southwest England to attend and will be putting their 1st birthday show on at the Rhythm Factory on the 28th of May.
The fact is, Valentines’ Day had nothing to do with it other than the name. Go to one Dubscover night and you’ll swear that it was the best show you’ve seen in a good long while. It’ll be because of the dynamic on stage; each time you get a different vibe and the beauty of dub-step is the vibe takes you prisoner and as the hours pass in a mixture of heat and booze you are left with nothing but the after-glow of post-coital music union.
There will always be people looking to exploit honest work, Dubscover and Techscover have fallen victim to the perils this new media age with their material being used – without their consent – to promote racism in the UK. But, where others have failed, lost hope and given up, Dubscover have risen anew, like Lazarus, and have joined the Love Music Hate Racism campaign so that they make sure their music is enjoyed the way it was meant to be enjoyed. We’ll discuss this more with the Organix group soon.
If you really want to see Dubscover and Techscover in action then you’ll have to get there to feel the vibe and see this next step in music evolution. As another sign of the times, this amazing underground music is no longer held back by the popular main stage. To see what I mean you should check out their 1st birthday bash at the Rhythm Factory on Friday 28th May.