‘Dubstep is here to stay’ - Gomes x FatKidOnFire

‘Dubstep is here to stay’

Gomes x FatKidOnFire

Gomes is a renowned figure in the Dutch bass music scene. His involvement over the last ten to fifteen years has been quite a fruitful one, having been responsible for the establishment of both Oi! Recordings and the Oi! nights in Amsterdam venues like the Paradiso and Melkweg.

His love for UK garage has taken an prominent role in his current plans –  a move that caught our attention as the genre seems to be getting a lot of attention. While the Oi! events ended last year, Gomes is still active with the label and as a DJ. We asked him a couple of questions to shed more light on both Oi! and his current plans…

DJ Gomes

What was your initial motivation to really get involved with the scene? Music has always been the number one reason. And the sharing of music with others, like: “this is really decent; you got to check it out.” In a sense it’s about educating people, but also to letting them experience something new. It’s about seeing that reaction, while creating a certain atmosphere.

Could you tell us about how you got started? At the very beginning I started with hip-hop. Those were the first plates that I bought; I played the genre for about three or four years. Then I went to a night in Amsterdam where they were playing UK garage. I was instantly sold to this sound! There were certain similarities between UKG and hip-hop. I also was into breakbeat at the time, so from then on I decided to focus on UKG. I played it for a long time and was resident at the Speedfreax nights (the biggest garage event in Holland.)

At a certain time the music began to shift in a new direction. This shift made the sound darker and more underground. Dubstep had its roots in some of the garage sound.  It appealed to me at the time, during those very early years of dubstep. Early grime was tied to it as well. Dubstep really started to evolve and to branch out and it attracted me.

DJ Gomes

What’s your current plan for the Oi! Recordings label? Last time we spoke you’ve mentioned things coming from Subzee D, Jakes and a Dutch grime producer. How are these releases doing? The Subzee D EP has been mastered and will be released on 30th june. After that, the grime release is coming from this Dutch fella called JLSXND7RS. There’s a track with Flirta-D on it. The release by Jakes is basically ready and will be released after these.

I can imagine that it’s quite interesting to see UKG making a comeback these days. Was it ever really gone? The genre is really gaining momentum. It was never really gone, but when dubstep exploded UKG was overshadowed somewhat. In the recent years it’s been on the rise though. The impact of Disclosure has somewhat contributed to that. Since I quit doing the Oi! parties, I’ve noticed that I needed a change of vibes. I am mostly active in garage now and have done a release on bmkitsch rec.

I’ve played dubstep (and grime) for about ten years and it felt like it was time for something different. I’d really liked to do UKG classics sets on requests. These requests have been growing recently, so I started to focus on the new sounds of the genre.

Actually, there are a lot of new and interesting things developing in UKG. Mixing this with the oldskool makes really fun sets! Dubstep and grime also have certain tracks that will fit into that mix.

Who in Holland is really pushing garage right now? Besides me there’s Boom Selector. He’s always been going at it to a certain degree, but is focusing more on the new sound right now. Mister Blond as well, he’s one of the resident DJs at the Decoy parties in Amsterdam. In Rotterdam there’s this Milkyway party, which focuses on UK bass and UKG. More people are getting involved, but not many can be described as pure UKG DJs yet.

So there’s still a lot of room for growth. Do you expect garage to keep growing in the future, or do you think this is uncertain? It always remains a question. I have thought this before, but it wasn’t the case. I do believe that right now it is a very good time for this genre. A lot of people are looking for something new as well. Dubstep previously was most known as a genre without rules, but this has changed in the recent years. It often involves a 140pbm tempo and a half-step signature. With garage the beats seem more diverse and the tempos have a broader range.

Dubstep is here to stay. It’s just that it has been going through a change in a sense. Things will probably change again in the future; it’s just like with DnB. A lot of people have been making similar sounds. There was a time that the tearout sound (for lack of a better term) really got popular. Initially I liked it, but suddenly eighty different producers started making that sound. It started sounding like generic loops of four minutes. At a certain time, roughly 90% of the visitors just wanted to hear the rough stuff. I sometimes do like that, but I prefer to go deep. When you’re playing at a party and you see that it doesn’t work; I don’t really like that…

DJ Gomes

You are engaged (congratulations!) and have a daughter. How does combining your current lifestyle and career work with having a family? It’s pretty easy to combine really. I am mostly quite busy in the weekends, but it’s not like I’m some international superstar haha! It’s not like I’m playing from Thursday until Sunday every week. When I get home after a show, I don’t sleep in until late afternoon – I wake up early enough and I’m there for my family. So yeah, it goes pretty well.

Where do you see yourself being in five years’ time? I mostly don’t look that far into the future. I do hope that garage will be a bit bigger than it already is. I want to keep doing my thing, that’s the most important goal. Also to play things that I like and that the crowd hopefully likes too. As well as staying busy with production – I get a lot of satisfaction from that. I’ve quit Oi! parties for many reasons. Among them was the intention to focus more on DJing and production.

What has been your most memorable DJ performance this year and why? I think that would be the Tunnel Rave in Amsterdam, during Kingsnight a couple of weeks ago. I played a dubstep set that night, but mostly the oldskool sounds; DMZ and Distance vibes. It really went off. The atmosphere of an illegal party is quite tense; the police might show up and shut it down. I wasn’t organising the party, but I could feel the tension. Before arriving I really hoped that things would pull through. Once there I saw how crazy it was, there were about 2,000 people! I could really do my thing there.

Click to DOWNLOAD (72MB)

Track list:

  1. Drone – Rough_Hands [U Wot Blud]
  2. Preditah – Black Ice [dub]
  3. Distro – Deep_Down [Kicks & Snares]
  4. Dr Cryptic – Gully [White Label]
  5. Preditah & C4 – Red Bull [dub]
  6. Riddim Commission ft. Mr Hudson & Newham Generals – Battle (Cause & Affect remix) [Free]
  7. DJ Q – Get Over You [Local Action]
  8. Joker – Digital Mainframe [Kapsize]
  9. Flava D – In_The_Dance [Formula]
  10. Tee-Bone – Fly Bi [White Label]
  11. Panteros666 – Baby F-16 (Cause & Affect remix) [dub]
  12. Alex Parkin & Chris Lorenzo – Prove 2 U [Kicks & Snares]
  13. Suckfake – Dumbell [Four 40 Records]
  14. Preditah ft. Zoe Kypri – Let’s Take It Back [dub]
  15. Swindle – Smash N Grab [dub]


Interview by FKOF contributor Michael
Subzee D’s OIRECS019 is out 30/06/14; with OIRECS020 following.

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