Undoubtedly, if you’ve been paying attention to the world of dubstep in the last 6 months, you’ve heard the name Joker spouted repeatedly and his music played endlessly. His fresh, unique style of dubstep takes cues from hip hop, soul, funk and IDM with an almost joyful aura and backs it up with the harsh agressive, grimey basslines that has come to signify contemporary dubstep. I think if there’s one artist who embodies the bridge over the gap between dubstep and hip hop it is the one called Joker.
More recently we’ve seen a deluge of tunes from Joker with his somewhat new ally Ginz. Seemingly new to the dubstep scene from the perspective of those only recently getting into the music, Ginz has actually been part of the Bristol scene for quite a while. Originally hailing from Washington DC, he moved to Bristol in ’98 when he was only 17, went to school, started a business (Multiverse) and became a citizen. His label, Tectonic, founded with Pinch, has been pioneering the Bristol Sound since 2005 and their first release, War Dubs, was an early dubstep hit produced by Ginz (under the name P Dutty) and Pinch. He also gained quite a bit of notoriety for his work as 30Hz , with breakbeat genius Baobinga as The Body Snatchers, and his label, Vertical Sound.
For years Ginz has been a huge proponent of all things Bristol and was actually the guy who turned me onto dubstep. When he was riding in my car after a gig in chicago we had him out for and I was listening to a shitty 1xtra grime mix. He told me that I can’t truely get this music on tiny car speakers and that in Bristol they listen to it on giant subwoofers that rattle your brain. The next month i ran into him at Winter Music Conference and he handed me Tectonic Plates #1 and told me that this is the stuff he was talking about. The compilation had tunes from dubstep heroes like, Pinch, Digital Mystikz, Skream, Loefah, and Distance. I was immediately enchanted.
Now, the team of Joker and Ginz is changing the face of dubstep with their new soul/funk based sound. Think of it as if Zapp and Roger grew up listening to Roni Size and Timbaland. It is by far the funkiest dubstep ever created and destined to be co-oped and mimicked by the mainstream. As a taste of this breakthrough we have for you a remix they did for the indiepop band Zero 7. Originally a gentle dreamy tune, the boys add their pitch-bending, analogy twist turning it into a grimey, plodding banger that still retains the dreaminess and beauty of the original.
Be sure to pick up their recent release “Purple City/Re-Up” on Kapsize and their upcoming remix for Basement Jaxx new single “Raindrops”. Also, keep an eye out for an upcoming release on Hyperdub called “Stash” due out in September.
And as a bonus, to solidify my point about Joker being the bridge between dubstep and hip hop, here is South Philly underground hip hop supergroup Rap Pack’s remix of Jokers big big tune “Do It”.