Text Christian Schwanz
Image Dom Fleming
Some people say the dubstep scene is dead, but in Asia, especially this region, the scene is still growing. Monsoon+ and Budculture in collaboration with Laundry recently brought down Japanese dubstep god Takeaki Maruyama aka Goth-Trad last 8 December 2011. Dubbed “a one-man army mutating the UK hardcore continuum in Japan,” it wasn’t surprising that the event was one of the bigger dubstep gigs in KL. On behalf of JUICE, Cee of Monsoon+ Fame has a chat with the dubgod about the dubstep scene in Japan and Malaysia, his introduction to the scene, and New Epoch, Goth-Trad’s debut album on the DEEP MEDi MUSIK imprint due this February…
How is the dubstep scene in Japan right now?
It’s still small. I am doing my best though to build up the scene and to push this kind of sound. Since 2006 I am running Back to Chill and since 2007 international DJs are coming to perform. Another big event pushing the sound is DBS. More and more people are getting into dubstep. Nowadays a lot of people know about dubstep. James Blake played in Tokyo and people who had no idea about dubstep are now getting into it.
Tell us a bit about your new album. It’s coming early next year?
It’s coming on DEEP MEDi. A triple vinyl package, of course a CD and also 12 inches. On some songs I featured reggae legend Max Romeo. The title is New Epoch, which has a lot of different meanings to me. First of all the dubstep scene is changing. A lot of the new directions differ from what I want to express. Some of the new dubstep out there has fewer subs, less depth and more is more pop. The tunes are very similar, so I wanted to show my directions. A new beginning. On the other hand the title New Epoch refers to the big earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in 2011. I was so shocked. Japan lost a lot of people. So now the people of Japan are trying to build up the country again. People also noticed something is wrong with the Japanese government, which tried to hide a lot of the facts about the catastrophe. This is the big Babylon. A new epoch is coming and the people have to build up a new Japan. I hope people see what needs to be changed about our society.
When did you start working with DEEP MEDi?
In 2006 I met Mala at FORWARD. We got along really well, exchanged a lot of fresh tunes. When I was back in Japan I uploaded many new tunes to Myspace and Mala immediately contacted me and asked me to sign up with DEEP MEDi. I was very excited.
Are you also planning to start your own label?
I would like to start the Back to Chill label in the near future. I want to focus on local sound and push the Japanese scene further.
What did you think of the Monsoon+ & BudCulture collaboration and what do you think about the Malaysian dubstep scene?
I was very surprised about the party in general. The crowd, all performing artists and the sound system was awesome. The DJs played a very good set. Amazing selection. The crowd is really up for deep and proper dubstep. The response for DEEP MEDi material was great. The Monsoon+ & BudCulture crews are educating the crowd. Sometimes the more pop dubstep helps to introduce the sound, but these two crews are really pushing the proper meaning of dubstep. It’s the same with my Back to Chill night in Japan. It takes time to establish the deep sound. Dubstep is very progressive music and will always be changing. The last two years brought forth a lot of pop dubstep. I know that the scene needs some of that pop stuff, but that can be just the gateway or a way of introduction. It’s up to the DJs to educate and push things forward. Monsoon+ & BudCulture is doing exactly that. Proper stuff! I like the people here.