Recently, I began picking up Dub 45s from local record stores to supplement the void left by the ever decreasing Drum&Bass vinyl market. It allows me to get back to my roots of digging through crates of vinyl and the crates locally tend to run pretty deep. There’s something to be said for a good crate dig as opposed to pointing and clicking online. It’s more personal, more intimate and it takes me back to the days when we’d rush to the record store on Thursdays to check the new shipment before anyone else could. The new year is upon us and this moves me yet another year away from those golden days of record store scouring. For many, the new year means throwing away the mistakes of the past and starting all over again fresh. It seems everyone begins the new year with a resolution or two and I suppose I’m not much different. My resolutions, however, tend to be more focused on things that I’ve done in the past that I intend to continue, as opposed to trying to stop a bad habit. I should probably quit smoking, but I’ve resolved to buy more vinyl this year. It’s just easier that way.
Before I get too caught up in the new year though, allow me to recount some of the high points of the underground in the last year. First and foremost, 2011 was the year of Dubstep. Its various manifestations both stateside and abroad have exploded in a way that has redefined the genre itself and caught the interest of everyone from Britney Spears to Korn to the dreaded Justin Bieber. Locally, Dubstep has grown almost exponentially in popularity and helped bring the sound to a whole new generation. Parties such as Bassik and the weekly Bass Church have hosted some of the biggest names in the genre to massive crowds not seen in New Orleans in years. Secondly, 2011 saw the rise of quite a few DJs locally that have made a name for themselves in just a short period of time. Maddie Ruthless and Karo, DJ Pr_ck and Chump Change are just a few of the “newcomers” that I feel really came into their own over the last year. Varied styles and high energy are what these DJs bring to the tables, and with that combination, it’s not hard to move your booty. Finally, 2011 saw the release of the most important part of the equation, great new music. There’s almost too much to mention, and I’m not well-versed enough in genres outside of Drum&Bass to make an accurate mention of the big tunes of 2011. However, I do know that New Orleans artists were making plenty of noise, as per usual. The ever prolific Quickie Mart dropped more remixes than you can shake a stick at, as well as his most recent effort “Space Monkey Radio.” Numerous new producers began dropping beats in every genre from Juke to House to ElectroJukeHouse and beyond. Hell, Tony Skratchere even started the Yacht Bounce movement. Needless to say, 2011 was a big year for local producers across the board and if the trend continues, we should be hearing more in the very near future.
So that leads us to where we are today, 2012. The Saints are in the playoffs again, the weather is as bipolar as ever and Mardi Gras is knocking drunkenly on our door. Personally, I’m looking forward to coming off my self-imposed two month hiatus from production, continuing to write this article for your enjoyment and maybe enjoying a good beer or two. That’s not to mention all the great shows that are already in the works. If 2012 is musically as good as 2011, then I think we’re all in for quite a year. I’m sure I’ll see you out there.