Renowned dubstep producer, Kode 9, played Richards on Richards July 7. CJSF volunteer, Kelsey Singbeil, reviews…
Slowly but surely, dubstep is inching itself into the mainstream. Thanks to the producing skills of Kode 9, Benga and Hatcha, the genre is making a name for itself on dancefloors around the world. Vancouver has a burgeoning dubstep scene led in part by the Lighta! crew of DubForms, and an array of other local producers and DJs.
What sets the dubstep DJ apart from the producer however, is their mixing skills - Kode 9 fits into the latter category. Playing to a small Monday night crowd at Richards, Kode 9 had the dancefloor moving with tracks like Snake Eater by Joker, and Shade Darker’s “Gatekeeper” featuring Grizla, but failed to string them together into a coherent set. Like their forefather, dub sound systems, dubstep nights are often a showcase for hot, new tracks, with little to no emphasis put on mixing and flow. It’s a great chance to hear some new music, but is often jarring as the DJ jumps from one dub plate to the next.
However, the energetic Richard’s crowd lapped up the British producer’s celebrity. They didn’t seem to mind as the tempo unexpectedly slowed or picked up pace, and hooted as Kode 9 played their favourite tracks. Dubstep finds inspiration from a variety of sources, and the influences of hip hop, drum and bass, dancehall and dub are easily seen in just a few minutes. Yet this mashup of genres often makes tracks hard to mix, and the Monday night show left me yearning for a dubstep DJ that can transform a range of baselines into a banging set.
Check out Kode 9 at www.kode9.com
Check out Vancouver’s local dubstep scene at the Lighta! crews’ myspace page.