EXCLUSIVE MIX #23 | CHORUX

Tuesday
April 28, 2015

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Long overdue, volume 23 of the Exclusive Mix is here and this time we increase the tempo to match the sounds of Chorux. A San Diego based producer / dj that I was fortunate to see DJ at a few events here and there, before I just had to extend an invite his way to do a mix after hearing a couple of really good tunes I’ve never heard before being dropped during his sets.

The tunes in question were written by him and just got released on none other than Warm Communications as Chorux‘s debut EP entitled Polaris which is getting lots of support from big names in the scene.

Chorux – Exclusive Mix | #023 by Dataset on Mixcloud

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DOWNLOAD MIX (122 MB)
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Real name: 
Alex James Page

What is the best thing about making/mixing tunes: 
The best thing about making tunes is when someone is moved by your music. I got into making music because of songs that really moved me, and the release on Warm Communications has given me the opportunity to have my tunes heard by people all over the world, even artists I’m a fan of. Some of them are now playing them out in their DJ sets, which is amazing. It’s always been mostly just to have fun, but when others are really feeling something you made, that’s the best part. 

In regards to your Polaris EP release, I know you have been getting lots of support by some big names like Blu Mar Ten, Quadrant & Subtone to name a few, did this come by surprise? How does this impact you as an artist and your motivation to continue to produce more material?
Oh yea, it came as a huge surprise! Them as well as EastColors, Stealth, Mutated Forms, even Jenna G on her radio show on Reform Radio in Manchester, and a lot of big names who have given great feedback. To hear that and to have my tunes being played out by artists I look up to is amazing and totally surreal. It’s definitely something I could get used to, and certainly motivates me and encourages me to keep going.

What’s next for you on both the production / dj fronts?
Not a lot of gigs at the moment, but I should have some stuff lined up pretty soon. I’m working on some new music which I’m really excited about. I have started the initial plans for a second release on Warm Communications, which will come out on vinyl and hopefully by the end of the year if all goes as planned. So keep it locked for that.

I may have read somewhere that you also play in a non-electronic music project, is this correct? If so, can you tell me a bit more about this other project? What are elements of playing in a live band that you find useful when djing and vice versa?
Yea, I play in a sort of punk surf rock band with some buddies of mine called Mooncrier on the side. I play synths and keys in it, so it is a little bit electronic and not too far off from dnb in that regard. :) Obviously all the synthesis and sound design stuff I’ve learned from making dnb helps in writing stuff for the band, but I think most of all, it’s just really refreshing to jam and play music with others in a live format. In dnb I produce solo and DJ to perform. I used to play in bands in high school before I got into electronic music, and when I got into production, it was refreshing to not have to deal with other band members. Just make beats and be in charge of everything. I guess it does get lonely sometimes though. Haha.

Your favorite studio gear:
Virus TI2, NI Komplete, Serum, UA Plugins, Camelphat, Cableguys and Addictive Drums. I use lots of different stuff to try to keep things fresh, but these are always my ‘go-tos’.

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What artist inspires/motivates you: 
I’m always trying to hear new music as often as possible, and I’m inspired by tons of artists from all different styles. 

As far as dnb, I definitely have to give it up for Break. He’s been putting out tunes with his own signature sound that, in my opinion, have always been on a whole other level, for as long as I’ve been listening to drum n bass and he’s STILL leading the pack. Without question, the most influential for me. DLR has always been at the top of the list as well since Octane & DLR, and his new album is ridiculously good. And Spectrasoul are definitely some of my all-time favorite producers. Their complete sound over the span of their catalog has been like nothing else, and I can’t wait for their new album.

Outside of dnb, I’m a big fan of anything from Burial, Four Tet, Bob Moses, Bonobo, Tycho, Of Monsters And Men, Matrimony. I’m really loving Sufjan Stevens and Death Cab For Cutie’s new albums. I love Interpol and Imogen Heap’s newest albums (though not so new now). I love everything I’ve heard from Jamie XX’s new forthcoming album. And a rather brand new band that I’ve been loving, The Erised, is a group that I can’t recommend enough if you haven’t checked them out yet. So good!

I like that your musical influences are pretty broad overall, this makes me wonder, what made you dive into dnb? What do you get from it that perhaps you don’t get from other genres?
It’s just simply the most intense and stimulating music I’ve ever heard to this day, and it only gets better the deeper you dig. I got into it through going to raves and parties in LA and SD, and like many people I found that the music in most of the rooms were okay, really nothing special, but the dnb room and the vibe I caught early on was totally different and just really made a huge impact on me. Having said that, I do think it’s important to keep your tastes varied when it comes to music. Listening to just dnb or even just electronic music is not for me. I get really bored of only listening to one thing. There’s so much great music out there and I think that the more broad a range of styles you can learn to appreciate, the better each one of them sounds when you hear them. We all know what happens when something gets overplayed, right?

Life changing album: 
Sigur Ros – ( )

Production tip: 
Don’t get into the habit of becoming too wrapped up with certain tricks or techniques and thinking that you should always be using them. This is true for pretty much everything, and the best examples are the common tools like EQ and compression. Obviously there are a few hard and fast rules here and there, but you should always remember to EQ, compress, process, etc WITH purpose. 

Something people don’t know about you: 
I have a serious fear of heights. 

Favorite food joint: 
Man, that’s a tough one. There are literally too many good places to eat in San Diego, it’s always so hard to choose. Tacos La Mezcla is a gourmet street taco truck that comes to a bar right outside my place almost every weekend, and I seriously eat there two days in a row if they’re out there. Amazing.

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➜ Follow Chorux on Facebook / Soundcloud / Instagram / Twitter
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Dataset Exclusive Mix #023: Chorux from Dataset on Vimeo.

TRACKLIST:

01. Kelis – Change (Quadrant, Kid Hops & Iris Remix) [Ninja Tune]
02. Mefjus – Blame You feat Zoe Klinck (Ivy Lab Remix) [Critical Music]
03. Mako – What A Little Moonlight Can Do (Break Remix) [Warm Communications]
04. Chorux – Away From The Light [Warm Communications]
05. Future Signal – Monopole [IM:Ltd]
06. Noisia, Mefjus & Hybris – Clusterfunk [Vision Recordings]
07. SCAR – Call It What You Want [Dispatch Recordings]
08. Cursa – Distance [Invisible Recordings]
09. Sunchase – Thing feat Electrosoul System [Med School]
10. DLR – Human Error feat Break [Dispatch Recordings]
11. Trilo – Voice Freak [Dust Audio]
12. Spectrasoul – Organiser [Critical Music]
13. Ivy Lab – Gomeisa [Critical Music]
14. Gerra & Stone – Long Game [Dispatch Recordings]
15. Break – Strictly Entertainment [Playaz]
16. DRS feat Enei – Count To Ten VIP [Soul:r]
17. Lockjaw – Obsidian [Invisible Recordings]
18. Spectrasoul – Guardian [Metalheadz]
19. Artificial Intelligence – What You Had feat Steo (Lenzman Remix) [Metalheadz]
20. Chorux – Don’t Even Know [Warm Communications]
21. Ulterior Motive – Tape Pack [Metalheadz]
22. DLR – Ask The Question feat Fokus [Dispatch Recordings]
23. Quadrant & Iris – Genesis Wave [Dispatch Recordings]
24. Villem – Splinter In Your Mind (Break Remix) [Ingredients]
25. Lynx feat Fats & Deeizm – All For You [Detail Recordings]
26. Chorux – Polaris [Warm Communications]
27. Gerra & Stone – Running Back [Ram Records]
28. Eastcolors, Traffic & Noel feat Messy MC – Dreams [Demand Records]
29. Chorux – It’s All Happening [Warm Communications]
30. Bredren – Source Code [Proximity Recordings]
31. Octane, DLR & Break – Murmur (Break & DLR VIP) [Dispatch Recordings]
32. Nymfo – On A Chase [C.I.A. Records]
33. Quadrant, Kid Hops & Iris – Obsolete VIP [C.I.A. Records]
34. Spectrasoul – Always [Shogun Audio]

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➜ Preview Polaris EP, Out now on Warm Communications
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➜ Support this release on Beatport / iTunes / Juno / Digital Tunes
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EXCLUSIVE MIX #22 | PAVAROTTI

Tuesday
March 10, 2015

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Volume 22 of the Exclusive Mix for Dataset by LA based DJ & Producer, Pavarotti. A seasoned DJ, handpicked by the legendary Smog crew to preserve the original dubstep sound, push it forward, and maintain dubplate culture.
We’ve asked him a while back to share a mix for us, but due to school, a busy schedule of shows and finishing some new tunes, it took a bit longer than expected but after hearing it, we can see it was more than worth it. Pavarotti‘s drive to deliver a strong mix can be felt on the speakers with every track selection.

Pavarotti (feat. Ill Chill) – Exclusive Mix | #022 by Dataset on Mixcloud

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DOWNLOAD MIX (65 MB)
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Real name:
Daniel Vecchia Bisbing

What is the best thing about making/mixing tunes: Complete creative freedom and giving life to sound.

Your favorite studio gear:
UAD products

What artist inspires/motivates you:
Influential People:
Drew Best, Jared Pittack, Joe Knights, Taurus Scott, John Dadzie, Cory Artsay, Danny Johson, Chris Morley, Mitch Dryer, Eric McEntee, Finnoh Bangura, Jemayel Khäwåja, Salar Saeidi, Organized Grime family, George Adrian, Casy G.

Producers:
Pete Rock, Alix Perez, J Dilla, Lost, G Jones, Thelem, Sleeper, Joker, Deafblind, Biome, Kromestar, DMZ, Bukez Finest, Bisweed,

DJ’s:
Roc Raida, A-Trak, Youngsta, N-Type, Joe Nice, 12th Planet, Shivers, Hatcha, Megalodon, The X-Ecutioners, J:Kenzo

Life changing album:
Jaylib – Champion Sound / Kromestar – Colorful Vibrations / A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory / GZA – Liquid Swords / Nirvana – Bleach / Daft Punk Alive 1997

Production tip:
Fix everything in the mix, never the master.

You have been working on a few new tunes for sometime and wanted to get them ready before jumping on this mix. Can you tell me a bit about the tracks?
I have been in the process of wrapping up Lion Dub and Tiger Claw for quite some time. Tiger Claw was nearly done then I reached out to III Chill to jump on it, I really love his addition to the song. Lion Dub is one of my favorite tracks, yet I don’t know if I will ever be happy with the mix down.

Can you tell me a bit of your production process?
My production process always starts with creating the atmosphere and getting the vibe going. Once I have this formulated everything usually flows freely and I am then able to get all of my ideas out.

Something people don’t know about you:
Im from Takoma Park, Maryland

Favorite food:
Hot Wings / Nachos / Burritos

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➜ Follow Pavarotti on Soundcloud
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TRACKLIST
01.Breakage – Hardcore Music
02.Sleeper – Check It (Forthcoming Crucial Recs)
03.Oxossi – The Beginning Of The End (Dub)
04.Pavarotti – Astro (Dub)
05.Content x Deafblind – Shanghai Noon (Dub)
06.Bukez Finest – Dungeon Dave (Dub)
07.VGB – Twist (Dub)
08.Sqz Me – Desert Eagle (Dub)
09.Wulf – Ego (Dub)
10.Pavarotti – Tantric Bells (Dub)
11.Indica – Pineapple Dub (Dub)
12.Squarewave – Mega City (Dub)
13.Lost & Hatcha – Gaint Orbs (Dub)
14.Chad Dubz & DTR – Durga (Dub)
15.Malleus – Vodun (Dub)
16.Chad Dubz – Transcending [Ill Chill VIP] (Dub)
17.Indica & Wulf – No Limit (Dub)
18.Bisweed – Magnetic Field VIP (Dub)
19.Lost – Make Me So (Say Yes) (Dub)
20.Lost – Titan Riddim (Dub)
21.Squarewave – Energy Systems (Dub)
22.Pavarotti – Tiger Claw feat III Chill (Dub)
23.Helktram – Motion (Dub)
24.Mershak – Bedlam (Dub)
25.Genetix – Dreadbomb (Forthcoming)
26.Bukez Finezt – Under Control (Sleeper Remix) (Dub)
27.Mershak – Know Dem (Dub)
28.Pavarotti & TLZR – Untitled (Dub)
29.Disposition & JSM – Japan (Dub)
30.Genetix – Feelings (Dub)
31.Arkwright – Detroit (Dub)
32.Pavarotti – Lion Dub (Dub)

NEW TRACK: ESGAR – YO!

Monday
March 9, 2015

Southern California based producer/ dj ESGAR (you might remember him from his Exclusive MIX) just dropped a new tune/ video and it’s sounding really dope, 92bpm vibes.

Check out Esgar’s Soundcloud page for more of his productions, always heaters!

And if you haven’t heard it yet, check out this remix he did for DJ Pound

MASS – Bassweight Battle

Sunday
March 8, 2015

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We got some photos from the 6BLOCC VS. JOE NICE – MASS VS. SUB.MISSION show by MASS LA.

Apologies for the delay, it took a while but they are up now and you can check em out on our facebook page. Massive soundsystem and nothing but great vibes as expected from the MASS crew, always from the heart!

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EXCLUSIVE MIX #21 | CRIX SAIZ

Monday
February 23, 2015

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It’s been a while since our last feature and we are stoked to welcome Crix Saiz, representing the Alburquerque, NM area. I met Chris at one of the Freaky Tiki Bass nights by the Rude Behavior crew, after a visit to the Elk Beats HQ. I’ve heard great things about this crew and was great to experience the great vibes, a passionate community the knows how to throw it down. During the night I remember asking Donnie EshOne if he knew the tune being played and he kept saying it was all original from Cris himself (or some collaboration between both of of them as well). But enough chit chat, let’s get down to the tunes, on this 21st installment of the Exclusive Mix series.

Crix Saiz – Exclusive Mix | #021 by Dataset on Mixcloud

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DOWNLOAD MIX (82MB)
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Real name:
Chris Saiz

What is the best thing about making/mixing tunes:
The best thing for me has always been the feeling you get when you start to control a crowd and make them move to your sound. Then, to top that off, once you start throwing your own tunes into the mix its game over!

Your favorite studio gear:
Lovin’ my Mackie studio monitors, I’d be lost without them.
Sound game strong.

What artist inspires/motivates you:
If I had to go back way back, I would say Dillinja was always one of my biggest inspirations even still to this day. The sounds of Matty G and J:Kenzo have also been huge inspirations as far as my 140 production goes.

Life changing album:
Generation Dub – The Deliverance EP blew my mind when I was younger and definitely changed my life in some way.

Production tip:
Always try and switch the style up even if it be the BPM of a track or a sound you’re not familiar with.

Something people don’t know about you:
I am one of the original founding members of the ‘Burque Shore House’

Favorite food joint:
I am a huge fan of sopapillas, and there is a local joint called El Modelo that makes the meanest stuffed sopapilla you could ever ask for!

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Follow Crix Saiz on Soundcloud
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TRACKLIST
01. Crix Saiz – Clavomatic
02. Chase & Status ft. Delilah – Time (Crix Saiz Refix)
03. Crix Saiz – Chyeah Mon
04. EshOne Vs Trim – Notice Now Bootleg
05. Crix Saiz – Dun Know
06. Crix Saiz – Creature Talk
07. Crix Saiz Vs Big H – Been Doing This (feat. Flirta D, Meridian Dan & Footsie) Bootleg
08. EshOne – Scrap Night
09. Crix Saiz Vs Wiley – Boom Boom Da Na Bootleg
10. Crix Saiz & EshOne – White Lion
11. Crix Saiz – Papa Skengba
12. Crix Saiz & High-Fi – Throwd
13. Crix Saiz – Buckshots
14. Crix Saiz & Cstepa Vs Tempa T – Next Hype Bootleg
15. Crix Saiz – Burd Game
16. EshOne – Rungs
17. Crix Saiz & High-Fi – Wax Bowls
18. Crix Saiz – Lil Yellow
19 Crix Saiz Vs Lethal Bizzle – Pow Bootleg
20. EshOne – Monopoly
21. Crix Saiz & Cstepa – Power’s Stoopid
22. Crix Saiz Vs Skepta ft D Double E – Thats Not Me Bootleg

COACH JACKET – PRE-ORDER NOW!

Monday
January 26, 2015

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The long awaited Coach Jacket by Dataset is now open for pre-order in our shop. Comfortable and water-repellent, pair it with a hoodie in the winter or wear it open with a shirt underneath on warmer days. Made of polyester shell lined with thin jersey fabric with mesh insets for a beathable / lightweight feel. Featuring a hidden “Stash Pocket”.
Black “Low Frequency Resistance” label in the front, minimal typographic print in the back, so you can rep, front row at the next sound system show.

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:: PRESALE ITEM ::
Available for pre-order till Feb. 10th, should be ready for shipping by the end of February.

We think these jackets run a bit baggy (compared to our fitted style shirts) so you can pair it over a hoodie on colder days, Consider order a size down, Please check the measurements below to make sure you get the right size.

PRE ORDER HERE

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CUFF BEANIES – NOW SHIPPING

Wednesday
January 21, 2015

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Out now! The all new Cuff Beanie by Dataset goes for a rustic look. The acrylic / wool blend regulates the temperature on your noggin and keeps you lookin’ all steezy, never bro!
The Low Frequency Resistance woven label on the cuff for extra style,
available in black or burgundy exclusively from the Dataset shop.

International Orders:
Hit us up via Facebook.com/dataset2010 if you would like to purchase any item from the store.

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ACOUSTIC RESEARCH SNAP | OUT NOW

Wednesday
December 17, 2014

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One of our most sought-out pieces of headwear makes a comeback with a color way twist. The Acoustic Research snapback hat, in black on dark gray is all about looks. Sound waves with a retro twist are embroidered on the front and a Small ‘Dotted D’ logo on the left center panel for extra style.
6-panel Flat visor cap with fused buckram sewn into the crown. 3 ½” crown, 6 sewn eyelets.

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Available exclusively from our shop.
International Orders: Hit us up via Facebook

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EXCLUSIVE MIX #20 | HALU

Sunday
November 30, 2014

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We got another Exclusive Mix up for grabs, this time coming all the way from Tokyo, Japan by Halu.
All in, on a mission to spread the sounds of Drum n’ Bass in the land of the rising sun, she is full of energy and her passion for the sound comes through on this mix. Don’t let the innocent looking cover deceive you, volume 20 of the Exclusive Mix series comes down HARD! Check the interview below while you blast this one on your system.

Halu – Exclusive Mix | #020 by Dataset on Mixcloud

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DOWNLOAD MIX (86MB)
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Real name:
Haluna Toyoda

Best thing about making/mixing tunes:
Trusting yourself and your senses is important to create art, same goes for DJing.
Sometimes even daily frustrations come into play and I channel them into my music. It’s a relief, a way to express myself.

What should we know about Tokyo’s bass scene?
In Tokyo, bass scene is going well. EDM is what’s most popular, but bass music events are getting stronger. People in Japan are getting more interested in the sound. I want to make a difference for Drum’n’bass scene in Japan!

Your favorite studio gear:
Right now, I’m really enjoying my Audio technica ATH-PRO5MK3 BK. Great sound and looks, size and padding are great for me!

What artist inspires/motivates you:
Mefjus, Rockwell,and DJ MIYU on the music side, but I’m also very inspired by visual artists like
Hokusai Katsushika, BANKSY, Keith Haring and photography.

Life changing album:
Netsky/2. was the first time I was able to buy a full drum n’bass album.

Production tip:
I think, performance is art. You have to be able to keep an open outlook.
If you wanna be a artist, feeding the mind is important to grow your sound.

Something people don’t know about you:
Besides being a Dnb DJ, I’m also Painter, and a Dancer.

Favorite food joint:
I often go to Hubbie Bubbie shops to hang with friends, burgers, sodas and hubbie bubbie with chai!

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Follow Halu on Soundcloud and Tumblr
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TRACKLIST
01. Frozen (feat. Diane Charlemagne)/S.P.Y
02. 64 Thousand Dollar Habit (feat. Secret Handshake Club)/June Miller
03. Transmission/Prolix & Mob Tactics
04. Dissuade/Mefjus
05. Operation Ivy/June Miller
06. Some Kind Of A Psycho (Original Mix)/Eleventh Sun
07. Eden/Computer Artists
08. Lead Us (Audio Remix)/Black Sun Empire & Noisia
09. Buffalo Charge/Dub Phizix & Strategy
10. Bounce/Dub Phizix & Strategy
11. Deadlock/Misanthrop
12. Timeloop/Hybris
13. Melt/L 33
14. Hot Plate/Enei
15. End of kingdom/TLOC & HALU
16. Sirius/Agressor Bunx
17. Flink/Fre4knc
18. Timeline (Optiv & BTK Remix)/Dementia & Rregula
19. Doom Loop (Mefjus Remix)/Rregula, Dementia & Disphonia
20. Hyperion (KNOXX Remix)/Dubscribe

OUTLOOK FESTIVAL BY LONNIE HILL

Sunday
November 23, 2014

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

- Lonnie Hill