Dubstep Dubplates & CD-Rs - Healthy?

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2scoops
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Dubstep Dubplates & CD-Rs - Healthy?

Post by 2scoops » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:36 am

Anyone else think that tracks are taking too damn long to see general release?

Maybe I'm wrong here but its reminding me of the drum and bass situation a few years ago (before d'n'b turned in to dance music for Mixmag readers and students)

Just when things were getting really interesting and we had the likes of Bukem on Kiss 100 you'd hear him and the other big cats playing tracks for sometimes up to a year before they saw the light of day. So, as a punter or bedroom DJ by the time you got your hands on the tracks to play out at your mate's bday party people were bored of 'em. Whilst that was great news for the big DJs (who you had to book to hear the freshest cuts - thus maintaining their status) I think as a DJ you got a bit frustrated.

Now I'm not saying dubstep is following but I've been speaking to a lot of people and though this healthy scene is emerging perhaps there needs to be more consideration for the punter here.

How easy is it to get your mitts on tracks - vinyl or otherwise? Could it be easier? Obviously financial constraints on the labels mean they don't want to risk over pressing a title (I've run a label in the past - I know how it works) but perhaps the public need to be engaged a bit more? How do you stop people grabbing shit of Soulseek or Limewire when they can't get it in the stores or download stores? Bleep are only offering very limited downloads - and no new shit is up there. Is this the label owners not sorting out details quick enough or Bleep being slack?

Checked Dubstep allstars ages ago and it seems only are the tracks beginning to come out for the rest of the world to buy, play and mix.

I dunno - maybe I'm way off the mark.....Hurt me...

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Post by musty dust » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:52 am

na i know what your saying!

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Post by furiouz » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:11 am

Agreed, though some labels are real quick on the releases.
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Post by koma » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:18 am

indeed, longer that a year or never, it sucks :x

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Post by david_m » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:03 pm

Yeah, that's the main thing that keeps me out of being more involved with the hole dubstep scene, not only as a Dj, but as a listener.

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Post by boomnoise » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:11 pm

i guess the problem lies in the fact that the commodification of music didn't really exist to such an extent in the music where the roots of dubplate culture can be found.

i would argue though, that there would not be the level of excitement about dubstep without the culture of dubs. they serve to build hype and reputation.

in reality there are many reasons why it takes a long time for plates to come out; often simple economics dictates.

but also think about it: rock bands can play new material months and months before their album comes out. i don't think this is really that much different.

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Post by robjc » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:22 pm

I think the delay also so act to sort out the wheat from the chaf so to speak - producers and DJ's come out with new stuff all the time, and what sounds good to us individually might not sound good to them, or get the reaction they want out on the floor. I think that the overall feeling that producers are teasing us with new dubplates, and then not delivering a release plate is a bit far fetched, but at least we are getting access to new sounds all the time, keeping it fresh.

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Post by david_m » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:03 pm

boomnoise wrote:i guess the problem lies in the fact that the commodification of music didn't really exist to such an extent in the music where the roots of dubplate culture can be found.
Good point there. Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that the main reason for cutting dubplates was to use them in clashes, and I've never heard of a dubstep clash.

But I think the comparison with a rock band is not that right, in most underground electronic music the dj plays unreleased material to see the crowd's reaction (though not so excessively as in dubstep or D&B), I think that's not the problem. The problem comes when a dj-set is only dubplate based, giving more significance to the unreleased status of the tune that to the tune itself. Another problem comes when the dj/producer lets too much time deliberately to release a track, trying to build hype, as you say. And yes, maybe he does it, but for the people who has been interested yet and following his work, the only thing he does is making the crowd lose interest on the track (at least that's what happens to me).

PS: Sorry for my poor English, I think sometimes I can't express what I want because of the language :|

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Post by ramadanman » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:12 pm

yes dmz could release a new record every month, but it doesn't make financial sense. if your last release is still selling well, then it doesn't make a huge amount of sense bringing out the new one.

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Post by threnody » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:14 pm

I think that it is a good regulation on quality control. Only the best tracks get released so there isn't a backlog of half baked tracks as with other genres.

It depends how you listen to music. All these tunes are 'available' thanks to boomnoise, deapoh et al. Check Barefiles! You can listen to a tune albeit in a mix but surely if you just like the track then you have it (for free!)

On the other hand if you're a DJ after the vinyl then it can be annoying but on the whole these dubs are early versions/prototypes of tracks specifically being given to DJs who the artists respect in order for them to test it out on systems and promote the tune so people like you will want to buy it. This is how it works and if a tune goes down well and is doing the business then it will get a release somewhere down the line.

By release time the tune is oldish and it will inevitably turn up in every mans dubstep set which no one will really listen to because the tunes are old and everyone has heard it and moved onto Mr X producers next bomb. Having said that it is always good to have your favourites in your box as they could well be timeless or work in a different context or work well in a set with fresher material so people know a track within a mix. At the end of the day tho people want to hear fresh beats on the whole.

The solution: If you want fresh beats before anyone else then start making them or alternatively (if you have a social life!!) make friends with some of the excellent producers over on the production forum. Listen to the beats they post and then ask them for 320s and cut to dub. Not all tracks are great but some gems lurk and then you will be the DJ all the punters come up and ask 'what is this and how do i get it?'.

At the end of the day producers want a tight circle of DJs to test their music to avoid piracy and so they sell more copies when it is released. Tunes take time to finish. As well as the obvious sequencing there is mastering time and vinyl cutting and artwork and promotion (which starts when the 1st dj puts on the dub and lets the needle roll).

If you keep your eyes peeled then there are usualkly TPs 6 weeks - 2 months before the tune is out and then promos after that so if you are desperate to play it early this can be done.

Personally i think it's all good as it means everything is tested and perfected and only the best sees the light of day (in most cases!!!!). Only a small handful of DJs will have it that early so it doesn't reach saturation point and when it does get a TP/promo release bag it early and put it in a set before anyone else.

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Post by djgyn » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:29 pm

Maybe labels could release more double packs! The Skreamism volumes are a good model for that.
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Post by plastician » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:33 pm

I must say - I know a lot of you guys are new to the scene but its amazing to me how QUICKLY they're coming out if anything!

This time 2 years ago you were lucky if a good track got a release at all

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Post by djgyn » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:37 pm

Plasticman wrote:I must say - I know a lot of you guys are new to the scene but its amazing to me how QUICKLY they're coming out if anything!

This time 2 years ago you were lucky if a good track got a release at all
I think it has a lot to do with the regular online access to recorded DJ mixes featuring these dubs. I regularly d/l mixes just to get these tracks in some form, as I'm sure many others do.
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Post by subzer » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:42 pm

threnody wrote:Personally i think it's all good as it means everything is tested and perfected and only the best sees the light of day (in most cases!!!!).
what's only the best....
imo, if i listening i.e. to hatcha b2b skream & crazy d, i just wanna have em all and would buy em if they where for sale in the recordstore! that's it with dubstep, in this stage of evolution of the styl, almost every single track is wanahave!

i play F.U.K.T. many time as he offers his music free (thanxz 2000F)... lots of other new stuff i can't have coz i'm not 'in the scene'. it's frustrating sometimes coz i miss changes to get more ppl into dubstep (is that what we want? i think yes, coz it's just simply GOOD VIBE music)

on the other hand i do understand the historical context of the scene...

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Post by plastician » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:42 pm

djgyn wrote:
Plasticman wrote:I must say - I know a lot of you guys are new to the scene but its amazing to me how QUICKLY they're coming out if anything!

This time 2 years ago you were lucky if a good track got a release at all
I think it has a lot to do with the regular online access to recorded DJ mixes featuring these dubs. I regularly d/l mixes just to get these tracks in some form, as I'm sure many others do.
Good point - we never had this luxury 2 years ago either

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Post by marsyas » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:17 pm

Plasticman wrote:
djgyn wrote:
Plasticman wrote:I must say - I know a lot of you guys are new to the scene but its amazing to me how QUICKLY they're coming out if anything!

This time 2 years ago you were lucky if a good track got a release at all
I think it has a lot to do with the regular online access to recorded DJ mixes featuring these dubs. I regularly d/l mixes just to get these tracks in some form, as I'm sure many others do.
Good point - we never had this luxury 2 years ago either
but alos downloading mix after mix featuring similar tracklists can bury a song.
as much as i like monsoon remix, i heard prolly 200 times before i bought just listening to mixes, it loses alot of its luster.


right now i am cool with the release schedule, any quicker and i would be walking to work !!

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Post by misskatiemo » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:20 pm

I think that there will always be the conflict between quantity of releases and quality of releases - no matter the genre.

As more producers get into things, the number of quality tunes increases, and as they get booked - the times and venues these get played out in increases as well. If there isn't the business support and the avenue for release behind those tunes, the quantity of tunes being pressed never increases.

From a purely business perspective, it's all about supply and demand - things have picked up massively - and it's all about finding that happy balance.

As a DJ myself I know I HATE waiting for tunes to come out for ages and ages, but when they do finally hit the shelves, I buy a copy. I'm all about alternate avenues for release - IF - it is beneficial for all involved, not just the punter who gets it for free off a fileshare program - screw that.

At the end of the day, if I buy something online that I like, or if I run into something, I'll always pick it up either in a released CD version or on vinyl... but I know that a lot of people aren't like me, and there's where the whole "release on CD or vinyl" starts to come into play - something i'm not even going to touch.
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Post by drbluebeat » Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:45 pm

It's not a new problem either, Jamaican sound systems might cane a popular track for a year before releasing it in Jamaica and then it might be another year before it saw a UK release.

As a punter I am frustrated by the lack of availability but I also know that it makes for good marketing. Scarcity pushes up demand, when the stock arrives it sells out in a flash. As a punter I (could) then end up paying a fortune on eBay (or similar).

It used to frustrate me now I try not to let it, the DJ's keep their tunes exclsusive and not available and it means they are more popular at the "dance" - if you can't own it then you have to book/see the DJ. It's simple and effective marketing, it worked then and it still works now.

I guess the only way to not be frustrated is to make the music yourself.

On a positive note for punters (less so for *some* producers) the advent of file sharing means people can obtain pirate copies more easily, this can push a publisher into pressing if he feels he is really losing out. In actual fact all the file sharing actually does is increase awareness of, and demand for, the original. A fact sadly lost, imho, on people who weren't around to witness the "home taping will music" days...
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Post by seckle » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:41 pm

djmixes>demand>hype>tune release. this is the system, and i highly doubt it's going to change. be thankful we get these tunes on vinyl at all. and for the non dj's why would you need anything more than a 192kbs mp3's? bleep.com/road is HUGE now.

it's not labels making the delay, it's the whole distribution system. the vinyl distro business survives on rock music right now. dance music vinyl operates on losses, so expect delays.

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Post by unlikely » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:50 pm

i dunno things are coming out well fast at the moment, thats why so many unreleased gems like monsoon, ancient memories, star wars etc. are only coming out now

it used to be very slow indeed

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