Datsik: The tipping point for dubstep has been reached… trap will take over
Like a lot of DJs, Troy Beetles has amassed an arsenal of street wear. ‘I collect shoes and hats… that’s my guilty pleasure,’ explains the 24-year old dubstep producer. Actually, a lot of UK dubstep purists who won’t stray from the atmospheric and brooding output of producers such as Kode 9 and Burial are likely to even dismiss what Datsik releases as being dubstep.
His records, loud, screeching samples, lots of drops and on the whole, very loud, are favourites among American EDM fans and those farther afield – which no doubt means plenty of opportunities to go shopping for more shoes and hats. But when the 24-year old is asked if he thinks this abrasive sound is nearing its tipping point, he replies: ‘I feel like it’s already been tipped. I think that from dubstep new genres have already started to emerge. Especially in North America and obviously in the UK it’s been passed out for a while.
‘In the US dubstep is starting to get stripped back to its more minimal form and there’s a type of music blowing up called trap, which is basically bringing it back in a full circle and making it more accessible for everyone, as opposed to dubstep which is kind of an acquired taste.’
Canada has produced several notable producers since the EDM explosion that reinvigorated their club culture, including Excision (Jeff Abel) who features on Datsik’s latest single, Vindicate. The track is taken from Datsik’s new EP, Cold Blooded, which is released on his own label Firepower.
‘The great thing about the dubstep industry is that mostly every other single artist is a peer and friend. It’s a very open genre and everyone is super nice and collaborations happen really easily,’ says Datsik.
Of course, going into the studio with the British Columbia born musician would mean a long night – and having to turn a blind eye to a man leaning over a mixing desk in just his underwear. ‘I do eat a lot of cereal in the studio, I produce a lot in my boxers and mostly my work gets done at around 5 – 6am,’ he reveals.
It’s not the first time fans have been treated to a Datsik and Excision double production but it is the first time that one of their joint efforts is released on Troy’s label as opposed to Jeff’s.
‘Jeff is a good friend of mine, we’ve known each other since about 2008. We have written a lot of music together, and for this EP I felt it was necessary that he put something out on my record label this time… He kind of owed it to me, so we did a collaboration and instead of dropping it on Rottun this time we put it on Firepower and it turned out cool. It was a different approach for us doing some 110bpm stuff as apposes to dubstep, but I think it turned out pretty sweet.’
Most artists get a good reception when they play on home turf, but can you objectively describe what Canada’s dubstep scene is like?
‘It differs in the fact that they’re very open to a lot of stuff,’ he says. ‘You can pretty much throw whatever you want at them. You can play a set of minimal stuff, they might not get it but they will totally appreciate it for what it is. You can play all heavy stuff and if you’re doing that they’ll all go crazy. They are really open minded and really kind I guess, they’re open to whatever you want to throw at them.’
Datsik’s approach to dubstep, upping the volume, extending the drops, adding samples and over enthusiastic wobbles, has also made him a popular remixer. In the past he has worked his magic on tracks for artists including Wu-Tang Clan, Coldplay, MGMT and Lil Wayne, which he did with Excision.
While Troy, who is ‘extremely lazy, ambidextrous, a cat lover and doesn’t have a favourite colour’, was growing up, there was no dubstep. There was however rap and that is still a big passion of his. ‘I had two older brothers that were really into hip-hop, so I got all their hand me downs. All the old school/90s era type stuff like Snoop Dog, Doctor Dre, that was the kind of stuff I was listening to when I was growing up… that being said my mum didn’t really like it.
‘I went to a Snoop Dog concert when I was really young and the whole place was filled with smoke but it was good.’
Working with lyricists – instead of merely sampling them – also seems to be on Datsik’s agenda. He reveals: ‘later today I’m going to meet up with DJ Green Lantern and working in his studio. He’s got all the hip-hop connections, we’ll do a track together and hope it leads to something cool.’
One previous collaboration of his that will interest fans of the now long forgotten genre of nu-metal, is his work with Korn frontman Jonathan Davis. ‘I was on the tour bus with him and Downlink and every night before we would go to sleep he would always tell us these crazy stories about him being on the road,’ says Datsik
‘He’d always tell us these stories, and myself and Sean would be laying in our bunks and John would be standing in the hall way pretty much like telling his kids bed times stories. We were always so excited, if you had a picture… it would be really funny to look at.’
When he’s not touring or producing, Troy can be found on the slopes. ‘I’ve been snowboarding since I was really young, snowboarding and music went hand in hand for me. So, I do a lot of snowboarding and I watch TV and play video games.
‘I also like to take long walks on the beach… (joke).’
Datsik’s Cold Blood EP is out now on Firepower Records. Hear more of Datsik’s music on his Soundcloud page
Tagged in: coldplay, Datsik, Dubstep, hip hop, Korn, lil wayne, mgmt, Snoop Dogg, Wu Tang Clan
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