The Aston Shuffle round-table
Fri 28th Oct, 2011 Featuresin
It’d be an understatement to say it’s been an exciting week having The Aston Shuffle on board as Guest Editors. Each day, they’ve given us a new fascinating insight into the dance industry: telling us their own favourite records, interviewing club owners around the country about the dance scene, shelling out tips for aspiring DJs and naming their picks for next years best new acts.
Today, The Aston Shuffle is going out with a bang and getting in-depth with DJs around the country. They’ve spoken to Nina Las Vegas, Cassian, Tim Fuchs, Wax Motif and Swick about commercial dance music, the impact of the internet on DJing, mixing technology and dubstep. Because, like anyone who’s as passionate about dance music as The Aston Shuffle would know, a lot goes into making good, innovative tracks. Noel Gallagher, suck on this.
The Aston Shuffle: New genres are always popping up, but do you think that the shelf life of these genres is getting shorter? “Electro house" was THE sound of dance music for a good few years. But by comparison, many other genres that were once the ‘sound of the moment’ have come and gone very quickly. For instance, breaks, Baltimore club, fidget, Dutch house – each one seems to have a shorter and shorter moment in the spotlight before getting tired. What do you think the reason is? Is dubstep destined to suffer the same fate?
Tim Fuchs – Bowler Bar (Brisbane): Definitely! Dubstep certainly has settled into the more 'commercial' side of club life and most Australian radio stations, but I think it has to have a limited lifespan. Australians seem to have an almost ADD mentality towards new genres – as a national audience, Australians like to listen to the new sounds coming from the rest of the world, but they only ever really seem to just be fads here. Dubstep, for example, would have a UK fan base in the millions with many established artists operating within the genre – but here, fan numbers would only be a fraction of that. In my opinion, we’re just trying out these new sounds because that's what's new overseas.
Wax Motif – Southern Fried/Nervous Rec (Sydney): This is a tough question and I don't think it’s necessarily due to one reason. New genres definitely surface a lot quicker now because of the internet and it’s pretty easy to jump onto the bandwagon and really establish your name under that banner. But without quality producers, the music becomes stale, gimmicky and/or under-produced. Each new genre needs that one artist that can take the raw element of the style and transport it to the next level.
I think dubstep is going to be around for a while. Some of the producers are extremely skilled technically and musically, and its fusion with elements of hip-hop, garage or Moombahton means it’s hopefully always going to be fresh. I feel like Moombahton is one of the newer sounds really carving out its place at the moment – Dillion Francis really took it to the next level and with people like Nadastrom and Mad Decent behind it, the support is strong.
Cassian – Bang Gag 12”s/Kitsune (Sydney): As time goes on, there are going to be more and more genres popping up as more and more people begin to produce electronic music. As soon as a sound becomes popular, you see an ever-growing number of producers out there who replicate it, badly. This has always been the case in all trends in music and genres throughout the years.
The real question is: what makes a genre prevail and maintain its popularity over time? Electro-house is still very popular, but sub-genres such as Baltimore, fidget & Dutch house seem to have been re-absorbed into house on a broader scale. For a genre to stay popular over time it has to be a sound of substance, not something that is based on a few loops (as is the case for Baltimore house) or a singular trademark sound (the Dutch house “car alarm" lead sound).
Dubstep is an interesting case as it is a much broader genre than most would realise. What your average punter would label as “dubstep”, many would say is not dubstep at all. The bro-step (or frat-step) sound that is pushed on the radio and is most popular in the USA and here in Australia has all the hallmarks of a sound that will quickly fade. The market is being flooded with lower and lower quality productions in this style and all of the “new" music coming out is simply re-hashing the same sounds/formula. On the other hand, it is unimaginably popular and is blowing up at an astronomical rate – and to compare it to sounds such as fidget, Dutch house or Baltimore club would be underselling it.