November 23, 2014
If you are visiting this site, chances are you already know about Outlook Festival and how it stands out above any other festival, primarily for it’s commitment to sound delivery and an carefully selected lineup that (unlike other music festivals) it’s driven by music quality, regardless of what “top dj charts” say you should like or not. Hosting primarily all kinds of bass music the event is held just outside of the city of Pula, Croatia.
Lonnie Hill, founder at Mass Los Angeles was kind enough to accept our request to be the guest writer for the event, sharing his perspective on the 2014 edition of the event.
The vast majority of high level dubstep DJ’s follow one of two schools of thought. There are the more traditional DJ’s, who turn precision beatmatching and quick mixer work into a series of well-crafted blends and double-drops (or triple-drops if your name happens to be Youngsta), then there are DJ’s who focus less on blending and more on selection. Vivek is more of the latter, letting his tunes breathe and placing them in an order that allows them to lead up to and build into each other.
The challenge for selectors is greater than it seems – one misplaced tune can send a set in the wrong direction. Vivek knows nothing of misplacement. Everything is where it should be, and his set in Outlook’s darkest, heaviest area was nothing short of a masterpiece.
He draws our crew in with a handful of dubby, reggae-influenced tracks before moving into a section of deep and dark dubstep. The energy on the floor builds as each dub is laid down, the tracks getting heavier and heavier as the set runs along.
40 minutes later, he’s got us eating out of his palm, recognizes the crowd’s readiness to take it up a notch, and rewards us with “Under Control,” then pulls it back and lays down two different remixes. The Moat explodes. Vivek hard cuts into the drop of Kromestar’s “Mere Sher” and the Moat flat out loses it. It’s gone from a deep, heady experience to an all out war.
Vivek finishes his set by laying down “Over My Head,” and the combination of Mel Dymond’s haunting vocals and Vivek’s droning low frequency bass is one of the most overpowering musical moments I’ve ever experienced, more akin to seeing SunnO))) or Channel One Soundsystem than a traditional dubstep DJ set.
Mel Dymond’s voice says “I can’t breathe…” and she’s absolutely right. The Moat’s expertly-tuned sound system has rendered my lunges all but useless. My nose is shaking so much that even the deepest breath cuts in and out.
I’m rarely ever left so powerless and yet so inspired, but when a perfect environment meets a crushing sound system and a flawless selector, you give up all control.
Buy the ticket, take the ride. Bravo.
The Ballroom can be a rough place to play. Drawing from a field of resident DJ’s at various nights around the world, it’s less friendly to dub connoisseurs and more forgiving to jockeys who want to slam banger after banger through the Void acoustics stacks that smash against it’s concrete walls.
I’m more nervous than Homage and Subtle Mind are. I’ve seen what happens when a 10 PM DJ fires off a sea of hits while his 11 PM counterpart stands there with a bag of lesser-known tunes and a “what the fuck are you trying to do” look on his face. Grant, Austin, and Paul are so bright with anticipation, they completely miss the fact that the guys before them have just played the five biggest UK house tunes on the market and are currently wrapping their set with a DNB double drop of “Marka” and “No Problem.” If this isn’t an attempt to rinse the Americans off the Croatian shores, it’s at very least a fuck all to DJ etiquette.
Instead of leaving, the jam packed room agrees with the change of pace, and the floor begins to move to tunes they’ve never heard before. Homage pays tribute to LA with a dubplate from Pure Filth founder Sam XL, while Subtle Mind showcases a tune from Cris Fern, one of the US’ best up-and-coming dubstep producers whose life was tragically cut short this year. “I didn’t know Cris Fern,” Paul tells me later on, “but he was one of us. He was a head.”
The trio expertly mixes dub after dub and the audience is fully wrapped up in a sea of new music. Homage drops a Wulf tune and it goes so hard that MC Joe Raygun demands a pullup, and somewhere thousands of miles away, the Mass crew says hello.
One of the foundational concepts we built Mass on was the idea of religious gatherings, and the greater purpose of bringing people together and creating new friendships. Looking into the crowd, I see our friends from England lining the front, our Dutch housemates dancing in the middle, our Croatian friends cutting a rug in the corner, our American friends (mostly from San Francisco and New York, with bits of Florida and DC peppered in) smiling big to stage right, and the Mass LA crew going mad at stage left.
Despite this not being a Mass show, we approached it like one, and the greatest feeling of all was bringing this diverse group of people under the Ballroom’s open air roof and watching them go nuts to dubs that best represent our sound. Despite not being on the decks, it felt like I’d curated an hour of my favorite festival on planet Earth.
More importantly, the United States made its statement – we’ve got first rate producers who can DJ with the best of them. We’ve got labels like Tuba (bossman Ric Bakir was in the house) that push the boundaries of the sound as far as any of our UK counterparts. The rise and fall of the dubstep sound on US soil didn’t “kill” the music, it filtered out all the johnny come latelys and left only the most passionate people to determine the sound’s future.
Homage and Subtle Mind are pieces of that future. They may not be the last west coast dubstep DJ’s to play an Outlook stage, but they’ll always be the first, and everyone in that room learned just how high the bar is set in the pacific time zone. America… fuck yeah.
The first mistake people make with the Bug is thinking that he’s a “dubstep” artist. The second mistake is thinking he gives a flying fuck about mixes, blends, or anything else considered to be a part of traditional DJing. The Bug wants to make lots of fucking noise. He wants to impose his will. He wants to inspire violence. In short, the Bug wants to fuck your shit up.
A barrage of dub sirens and gigantic filter sweeps fills the Clearing’s big stage soundsystem, dropping into Bug & Death Grips’ abrasive “Fuck a Bitch,” and Outlook Festival has its “there goes the neighborhood” moment.
Down on the floor, violence begins to ensue. The Mass crew goes from happy go lucky dancing to downright moshing. Teeth are gnashed and man’s primal urge to destroy takes over. In just 60 seconds, The Bug has already accomplished his mission.
Four tunes in, a deep, booming voices emerges from the giant plumes of smoke on stage. “Yo… Outlook…” Flowdan has arrived. God help us all.
Red and white lights, representing the color scheme employed on the Bug’s Angels & Demons, blast the crowd at a seizure-inducing pace. “Skeng” brings about the kind of ravenous energy seen less in dance halls and more at Slayer concerts. It’s all out war, and as outnumbered as we are, the Americans are taking it to the Brits 1776 style, slamming into everyone and getting a lot of “what the fuck m8?” looks from our UK counterparts.
The Bug’s show is just that… a show. The Bug plays the role of satanic selector, while Flowdan’s intimidating presence makes him the perfect mouthpiece. It needs space to breathe and doesn’t always translate well in more traditional dance clubs, but the fully polished product on a big stage is an experience that’s both rare and incredible.
He leaves the stage to Mala and Coki, and for the first time ever, the Digital Mystikz duo are unable to match the energy and vibe of their predecessor. If there’s one place you can’t play “Anti-War Dub,” it’s the battlefield.
Deep Medi takeovers tend to follow very strict curation, paying close attention to the vibe each artist creates with their music and style and putting them in slots where their sound is best served. It’s unlikely you’ll ever see Gantz headlining with his brand of chilled out, experimental dubstep (mixed perfectly with experimental hip hop and the occasional MF Doom standard), nor is it likely anyone but Mala or Goth-Trad will be tasked with the most critical timeslots. At a recent Medi takeover in Denver, Mala played centerpiece while Goth-Trad took on the closer role. At last year’s Outlook takeover, the two played an inspired b2b set that may have been the best dubstep set I’ve ever seen. The combination of Mala’s massive dubplates and unrivaled stage presence with Goth-Trad’s pinpoint mixing and creative approach to production makes them Deep Medi’s central 1-2 punch. It also makes them a tough act to follow.
Tasked with bringing the energy up after two gigantic performances, Swindle wasted no time jumping straight into the chaotic, jazzy sounds that have largely defined his sound. All of dubstep’s traditional rolling basslines were present, but with a barrage of 808’s and colorful synths.
It was everything a successful follow-up to Mala and Goth-Trad should be – a high energy change-of-pace. Swindle peppers in some grime and the front of the floor goes nuts. He switches to a trap-ish-but-not-trap sound, and for a rare moment, the ladies dominate the dance. Dubstep’s ratio issues have been talked about to death, but they are ever-present, and it’s awesome to see someone break the mold.
The vibes are at their rowdiest when Swindle moves into classics, many of which he uses for effective double-drops. Despite it’s age, the “Midnight Request Line” becomes its own beast when pushed through the Mungos HiFi system, and the mostly British crowd is reminded why that tune became a game-changer in their home country.
After four days of partying through the night, walking up steep hills, stepping on sharp rocks, and filling our bodies with alcohol and substances, Swindle gave us that final blast of energy we needed and left us wide awake for what followed – a special Kahn + Neek grime set with Flowdan, Novelist, and Newham Generals on mic duties.
The ultimate test of a DJ’s worth is their ability to control the vibe. It was Swindle’s responsibility to take us from deep, meditational, experimental dubstep to the in-your-face, obnoxious, impatient (in the best kind of way) sounds of grime. There wasn’t a better man for the job.
I’ve written and rewritten this article a few times, scrapping each version before deciding to focus on a small handful of my favorite moments instead of trying to capture the entire festival in an article that isn’t 700 pages long.
We’re 2 months removed from the festival. I’m well past deadline. I’ve seen Miguel Dataset a few times since and almost wanted to hide. I’m normally full of words, but Outlook left me with so few.
Instead of telling you about the stunning Croatian coastline, or the amazing and hospitable people that inhabit Pula, the farm-to-table food, the affordable prices and western-friendly exchange rate, the beautiful women…
Instead of telling you about every single set, every single moment, every single time I looked at my friends and said “wow…”
Instead of going into great detail about the boat parties, the beach parties, and the 7 AM post-party hangouts…
Instead of talking about every amazing person I met, and the ones I re-connected with…
I’ll just tell you to stop questioning yourself and get on a plane. Go forth and get out of your comfort zone. Meet people from places you couldn’t point to on a map. Make friends with people you’ll miss. Bring your friends and create memories with them you’ll talk about for the rest of your lives.
Shouts to everyone we connected with on this journey, to our hosts Boris and Goran and their friends and family (with a special one-time to the homegirl Petra), all the US fam who reached, Ricci, Archie and the UK fam, the motherfucking Dutch, the NorCal tandem of Judy and Jake, to the Outlook Festival for sorting us out big time and taking a chance on our crew, and to my Mass crewdem family Homage and Subtle Mind for representing us so well.
We’ll see you next year.
November 13, 2014
We had a blast at the last MASS Los Angeles event, featuring the long awaited tour stop by the Artikal crew. As we arrived, a line going around the corner full of fans ready to experience the huge sound system that could be felt vibrating from outside as .indica welcomed the anxious spectators.
The legendary J:Kenzo leading a tour integrated by EshOne, Thelem & Sleeper on a mission to distribute the heavy sub-frequencies sounds designed to be felt. As expected, the Mass LA crew once again delivered the space, sound and atmosphere required for an event of this caliber to take place.
One for the books for sure, place was packed from start to finish and great vibes all around, make sure you check the Artikal tour in your city, this group of forward thinking producers are making deep waves and you don’t want to miss it!
Check out more photos on our Facebook Gallery.
October 30, 2014
Volume 19 of the Exclusive Mix series is here, this time coming all the way from Milan, Italy, to deliver a straight to the jugular dose of proper sub-rumblers full of atmosphere and percussive details. Selected and executed by the man known as Displace, a member of “The Hooderz” crew, who artistically originated between hip hop productions and beat boxing, until found his sound in dubstep music as soon as he heard it.
Take a listen to his contribution to the Dataset series by streaming or downloading his mix below and make sure you read his small interview below for some insight of what inspires and motivates this Italian producer.
DOWNLOAD MIX (110MB)
Best thing about mixing/ writing tunes:
When I’m in the studio I can easily leave my thoughts and problems outside, writing music has a beneficial effect on my mind, like an introspective journey about creating and searching for the right sound, editing till it reaches its perfect form, and merge all the elements to create something new from scratch, which has grown hand in hand with you. This is why I love making tunes, no matter how much time I spend on a track.
I like to have something concrete of the work I’ve done, something that people can listen to.
Your favorite studio gear:
I love my Virus TI2: bought it almost two years ago, and from that day I’ve been using it for everything. It’s fun to turn knobs and push buttons instead of using a mouse. It adds to the creative process, and the possibilities are endless!
Along side the Virus, I also love my Ableton Push controller: easy to use, and I can do everything on it without using the keyboard or mouse, better and faster.
What artist inspires/motivates you:
There are too many artists that inspire me, but if I have to pick a few, I’d say Mesck, Kryptic Minds, Biome, Warsa, D-Operation Drop, Distance, Demon, Kaiju, Perverse, Truth.. Everyone has something unique that inspired me in one way or another.
Also everyone who supports me and gives me the motivation to keep doing what I love to do.
Life changing album:
Again, It’s hard to name only one album that changed my life, cause a lot of them gave me something. Coming from a hip hop background I can say “The Platform by Dilated Peoples” was one of them. When I first heard it, I fell in love with Alchemist & Babu’s beats and from that day I decided to start producing.
Production tip for those getting started:
Start learning your tools, from your DAW of choice to your plug-ins. Less is better, so try to focus on a small range of equipment (software or hardware) and get to know them as much as you can. Doing regular sound design sessions, will help define your own sound, experiment on new techniques, Spend lots of time improving your mixing, it’s the most important part of production. Also, don’t get to hand up on having specific hardware or plugins, they won’t do miracles, it’s all about how you use what you have, that’s it.
Something people don’t know about you:
I love cook and drink coffee, and I don’t like butterflies.
01 – Displace feat. Ill Chill – In the basement (dub)
02 – Kaiju – Fall guy
03 – Perverse – Tempest
04 – Icicle – Minimal dub
05 – Mesck – Lucid form
06 – Mesck – No shelter
07 – LSN – Apollo
08 – Truth feat. Ill Chill & Lelijveld – Broken
09 – Living Proof & Mesck – Solidarity (dub)
10 – Dark Harmonics feat. Dubzee – Warning
11 – Sparxy, Karnage & MarkIV – City 17
12 – Taiko – Perfect wait (Biome remix) | Forthcoming Subaltern
13 – Dubapes – Africa calling (Sparxy remix)
14 – Daega Sound – Under pressure
15 – 207 – A sample (dub)
16 – Demon – Break point
17 – D-Operation Drop – Slammer (Sparxy remix)
18 – Killawatt & Core – Akusala
19 – Feonix feat. Kaya – Eon eyes
October 28, 2014
Artikal Music – USA Tour – begins this thursday October 30th. For more information, head to J:KENZO’s Facebook page to find the complete schedule and respective event pages. The legendary J:KENZO’s Facebook page takes command of a crew of some of the most innovative producers out there, including EshOne Thelem and Sleeper, each of them guaranteed to bring unreleased gems that will have the crowd wondering what just happened as they venture inside the deep sonic projections of the Artikal crew.
Check our own EshOne’s exclusive promo mix for Trusik to get a taste of what’s to come, lots of new tunes!
01. J:Kenzo (feat. Collinjah) – Straight Defeat
02. EshOne – Qualia
03. Skriptah – Unborn
04. Skeptical – Skavenger
05. EshOne – Monopoly
06. Sleeper – Bare Foot Dubbing
07. Sleeper – Coxone Dub
08. Ago – Backlash
09. EshOne – Cutty Dub
10. Mercy & B9 – Butterfly Kick
11. EshOne – Spar
12. EshOne – Scrap Night
13. Piecemeal (feat. Rubrica) – Miasma
14. EshOne – Sinking
October 18, 2014
Some news from New Zealand via our man Bulletproof, who just released this video for his track “Lessons (Feat. Tali)” from his latest full length Album, #Listen out now on EMI.
Make sure you follow Bulletproof for more updates on upcoming releases, including a BPDR Part 2 coming up shortly.
September 15, 2014
We are taking a few days off and we will be unable to ship orders till October 6th. We suggest you place your orders before September 18th at midnight (Pacific Time) so we can ship em’ on Friday 19th before the break.
Otherwise, please be aware that we won’t be able to ship your order till October 6th.
We apologise for any inconvenience!
August 26, 2014
The long awaited “Frequency Spectrum” Kit, is now shipping. Consisting on the “Black on Black” minimal snapback hat & the “3/4 Sleeve” Raglan style (super soft) t-shirt. We’ve been working on these two for quite sometime and we have small quantities available, so don’t sleep on these. Get yours now, exclusively at: feeldataset.com/shop
August 15, 2014
Bigups to our Japanese friends at KAIZAN Records reppin the Stretch Logo Tee on their latest video LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 – NEXT LEVEL / HEAVY1 REMIX for a really sick tune, to promote their new album LIBERATION, currently available via Amazon Japan, but dropping soon on Beatport and iTunes. Check the video below.
The album features 13 all drum n bass tracks, by LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 collaborating with a number of Japanese artists getting together to push their sound to the world.
01.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 – ANTI HERO
02.LARGE MOUTH & TLOC FEAT. MASTER-Z – CONTROL
03.LARGE MOUTH & ITTI FEAT. MC LEO & MC AOI FROM MOSTMCS – BURST
04.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 FEAT. MIYU a.k.a. CLEA – HOPE
05.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 – OUTSIDER / 100MADO REMIX
06.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 FEAT. MASTER-Z – JUDGEMENT / TLOC REMIX
07.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 FEAT. MC CARDZ – AWARENESS / 3X6 REMIX
08.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 – NEXT LEVEL / HEAVY1 REMIX
09.LARGE MOUTH & SUBB1 FEAT. MOSTMCS – INDEPENDENT VIP
10.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 FEAT. MC YUKAKO – SAME SCENE / VELOCITY REMIX
11.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 – ROLLING FACTORY / RREGULA REMIX
12.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 – OUTSIDER
13.LARGE MOUTH & MC D2 FEAT. MC YUKAKO – SAME SCENE
August 2, 2014
A few weeks ago, we asked our instagram friends to show us their production/ djing setup. We wanted to see where you guys write tunes, where you spin records, where the music was made and in return, we would select 10 winners for a free sticker giveaway, and the most creative photo will receive some free #DatasetClothing gear.
One of the rules require to either show something Dataset on the photo, or just write “dataset” on a piece of paper,
We thought NickGrimace deserved the most creative photo, for having a friend hiding on the photo wearing a Dataset camo hat while holding a piece of paper with his instagram name. So we sent him a bunch of gear!
For the rest of participants, we sent 10 free sticker packs that went as far a Hong Kong, we are super stoked that people are showing support from so far. Thanks for participating!.
Here are 2 other highlights worth mentioning from users BSWANKS and Ruben_RDG.
Stay tuned for more contests coming up, and don’t forget to find us on instagram if you haven’t already.
July 22, 2014
Because you need a place for store your hard earn money, but you want it stealthy enough for burglars not to find it. The new try-fold camo wallet by Dataset.
Check it out here