Bud Culture

Bud Culture are:

Tubby: creator of bud culture, DJ and promoter. You may also recognize him as the owner of Pink Sage Restaurant on Jalan X in KL.
Reza : an art director, Reza puts his skills to use as the in house designer, in addition to serving up DJ and MC duties.
Hanif : a creative new media student, Hanif is also a DJ, designs the flyers and handles promotions.

According to Wikipedia:
Dub is a music genre, evolved from reggae, that involves revisions of existing songs. The dub sound consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, emphasizing the drum and bass frequencies or ‘riddim’, adding extensive echo and reverb effects, panoramic LR delay, and dubbing occasional snippets of lyrics or instruments from the original version.

Dubstep is a genre of electronic music that has its roots in London’s early 2000s UK garage scene. Musically, dubstep is distinguished by its 2step rhythm, or use of snare sounds similar to 2step garage and grime, and an emphasis on bass, often producing “dark” sounds, but just as frequently producing sounds reminiscent of dub reggae or funky US garage. Dubstep tracks are generally produced at a tempo of around 140 beats per minute and in recent years have developed signature half time rhythms, often heavily shuffled or syncopated, and usually, though not exclusively, including only one snare drum hit per bar, often on the third beat. Such factors make dubstep rhythms markedly different from four-to-the-floor rhythms used in other styles of electronic dance music such as house music, which usually have two snare hits accompanying the second and fourth kick drum. Often, the sense of rhythm in dubstep is propelled more by the bassline than by the percussive content.

So how did it start?
it was a friend that got Tubby into dub and it was love at first beat. With no dub scene in existence locally Tubby wanted to make things happen, and Bud culture was born. The 3 boys agree with Reza, “we are addicted to bass, man.” But as Hanif points out, the other reason they were driven to start it up: they wanted to demonstrate that the scene needn’t just be driven by electro and commercial sounds.

Technically speaking, dubstep is new in KL, despite this the sound has been reverberating all over clubs, if in small doses. According to Reza, “hip hop, electro and trance tracks pick up elements of dub and tweak in with a little bit of electronica.”
Despite it’s infancy (2 going on 3 events at time of print) Bud Culture has already drawn a lot of interest and a toasty response. Not surprisingly it was the open – to – experiment bar-restaurant-art space Palate Palette that gave Bud Culture their break. While nearby the equally open-minded Cloth & Clef offered up space for Bud Culture’s 2nd outing. “We bombed Palate Palette real hard!” Reza recalls chuckling. Hanif quickly chips in, “Everytime we do our event, we need extra sound system because we can’t depend on the in-house sound system. With dubstep you really need to focus on the bass.”. It’s a point the trip emphasis over and over. The bass, the clap of the snare…dubstep is a full-body experience. Which is why size is everything. So while in Jamaica, they build their own sound system to specs, and in UK the sound system are so monster they need to be transported in a container, here in Malaysia the Bud Culture team do what they can to maximize.

So dubstep will start getting heard in a big way. But will we start hearing it from city limits to suburbs?

Tubby answers, “I don’t see why not. There’s always a new form of techno-house or electro. Dubstep too is always evolving, and as it’s the spawn of dub, hip hop, techno, reggae, drum ‘n’ bass and jungle, there’s a crowd that can already relate to dubstep anyway.”
Tubby makes a good observation when talking about crowd support- success of a night or otherwise hinges on whether that crowd will go that extra mile to come check you out, and check you out regularly. The only problem is that because the city’s scene is largely a commercially oriented one, getting crowds to make that leap of musical faith is a toughie. To that end Bud Culture has no interest in staying underground. They want to share the love and use Lapsap as an example of a crew that started small and made it big. “Lapsap is tearing it up and they started in Palate Palette as well,” says Tubby drawing a comparison and giving credit where it’s due.

So Bud Culture are committed to converting you. And not just the clubbers either. Constantly scouring for more dub players, Hanif explains, “not all of our drum ‘n’ bass friends wanna play dubstep.” However on the flip the Bud Culture crew also point out that some of the Rogue Squadron boys are into dubstep and that the hip hop producers can switch gears into dub step once exposed to it. Hanif has guested on Arabyrd’s ‘Capital Jam’ on the city’s Capital FM station (88.9FM), while even Tubby has been approached by radio. “You’d be surprised to find out how listener- friendly Dubstep is,” exclaimed Tubby, although when it gets deeper, it can get a little hairy. Hanif smiles when he remembers a clubber commenting: “Dude your tune is so scary man.”

But can you dance to it?

People say dubstep is stoner music. Reza relates “because it runs at 140bpm,” before Tubby chips in “Any music can be stoner music! It’s whether you really wanna be a stone or not.” Word.
For those not yet familiar, Tubby is quick to educate you on what you are about to hear at a Bud Culture night and the big difference between dubstep and early UK garage. “Dubstep…. it is not the Artful Dodger or Craig David Sh!t.” instead expect a more bass-emphasized and reggae- dub influenced kind of garage.

Further to that, at the first Bud Culture event, the crew convinced Palate Palette to switch the lights off. The idea was so that people wouldn’t be so self conscious about dancing to a sound they are still making friends with. Hanif tells the story, “When i was filming the gig, i needed to turn on the night shot mode. At one point when the lights came on, everybody froze.” The darkness can also add a lot of mood and ambience. Hanif in particular loves to work this to the max as he tends to spin the harder stuff.

But ultimately when the Bud crew play dubstep, they are in their element. “i probably get the same feeling as when i played my first drum ‘n’ bass gig in town. There was nobody dancing, but i was happy to play. I get the same feeling every time i play dubstep,” Tubby trills. Reza also agrees, “Dubstep is all about the sound system. It is not the same practicing in your own room. When you play at a gig with 6 subs…you have to experience it yourself!”

On what the ultimate Bud Culture venue would be when asked, Tubby chooses the forest. “Have it completely deserted, away from any homes and tones and tones of speakers, a big @ass set up, with lots of people rocking to choons for days.” Reza concurs, while Hanif prefers a gig in an abandoned warehouse- that gritty underground touch. Dark though both places may be, with such enthusiasm from the Bud Culture crew, we can only see light at the end of the path. Come out in support people.

For more Bud Culture and Bud Culture events find ‘Bud Culture’ on Facebook.