We’ve had a pretty hectic weekend charging around London and Leeds but we’ve finally found time to sit down and get the last MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire feature of today lined up. If you missed the first with Leeds’ Submotion Orchestra, read it and listen to the album stream here!
We’ve hit 60 MakeItGood x FKOF features. It’s still hard to believe that we’ve had the opportunity to catch up with some of the biggest and freshest names in dubstep; and our 60th sees us continuing that awesome run of form.
Denmark’s RDG is one of the best producers around at the moment and for those who don’t know him; he also runs Surfase Records, has a set on our favourite dubstep radio show (ROOD FM) every Sunday afternoon and co-produces under the moniker ROOT with JB. RDG has some serious skill both producing and DJing so we were stoked when he was interested in doing an interview and dropping us a guest mix. You’ll understand our excitement when you peep both below!
Who is RDG? RDG is a 22 year old male from Copenhagen, Denmark, called Ruben Dag Nielsen.
What got you into mixing and producing dubstep? What’s your style – big, dark basslines or as filthy as possible? I’ve always been that guy that’s sat next to the sound systems at parties, so I guess I’ve always been a DJ! Jokes jokes… I guess I thought I had something to add as a DJ – I’ve always been interested in music and its production (much more on later).
My style… Hmmm… I guess it’s minimal actually – I always try to strip my tunes down as much as possible; so only the important things in the tune stick out. I want my tunes to sound good on a system, not a laptop. So I always produce a lot of lowend in my tunes [believe Ruben when he says this, check the lowend on the RDG tracks in his MakeItGood x FatKidOnFire mix if you don’t believe him!] – no matter if it’s a crazy wobbler, emotional one or a dark roller. And sub bass has always been where it is for me…
What software do you use to produce your tracks? Ableton Live. A lot of people ask me how I make my bass sounds – I use a sampler and any random samples that I find interesting and think could create a good bass sound. I can tell that I used a dial tune many times haha! I’m not a big fan of Massive, Albino and those ones, I find them too plastic and a bit boring to use.
Turntables or CDJs? CDJs because of dubs. Sometimes I get a new mixdown sent the day after I’ve burned the CD and I have to be able to play my own productions and test them out on systems and dancefloors! I still love vinyls –got loads of dubstep, DnB, hip-hop, jazz and other stuff at home…
How long have you producing and DJing? I remember when I was like 10-12 years old and my dad had this Roland drum machine. I used to stand there for hours with his headphones banging out beats on my own (and I actually still got that roland machine)! As I got older, he bought me Ejay and I moved to producing on a computer and start banging out horrible techno, hip-hop and DnB loop beats haha! I then spent a few years away from production – when I started playing punk and metal in a couple of bands (but with no big success)!
I also spent a couple of years making hip-hop tracks with my mates having a laugh, that must have been around 2006 – and then I discovered dubstep. It was at this DnB party and I was like “what is this, it’s so slow and weird”. I was HOOKED like a junky on crack! I couldn’t get enough of it but my friends hated it haha!
After a couple of years listening to other producers and buying records, I started DJing and producing in 2009. I got Ableton Live and started learning. I learned my sound when I was forced to move into my studio – which was a small room with a mattress and my studio gear. I got antisocial and made beats both night and day. I still don’t sleep some nights! So I must have been producing more seriously for about 2-3 years now.
I’ve also been producing with JB as ROOT for roughly one year now.
What’s been your best gig and if you could DJ alongside anyone, who would it be? So far I think the best gig has been an All Out Dubstep night in Malmô, Sweden with JB, I&I and Trifunk. Such a good vibe and everyone were feeling every single tune! Another DJ that I could DJ alongside hmm… I actually don’t know… But it would be sick to have Talib Kweli on the mic!
Who are your top 5 dubstep producers at the moment; and why?
- V.I.V.E.K.: He keeps the original vibe to the track and has a unique way to make simple things sound so powerfull.
- Dark Tantrums: Just smashing the scene at moment, with disgusting stinkers and emotional rollers!
- Subreachers: Bringing weight and dark vibes all the times – look out for them.
- Cessman: Still keeping it real and bringing new vibes to the genre, big respect!
- Kromestar: He is twisted.
What’s the future of dubstep – where do you see the genre going? I always say to myself that you should never expect anything – as you’ll always be disappointed. But after that I always do it anyway haha!
I see a lot of new producers on the dark vibe, but then again dubstep is becoming much more mainstream. So, I guess it’s going be like this for some time. But for me the best years of dubstep are still 06-08…
Any forthcoming releases we can look forward to? Got the first release for my label with JB with the track ‘Black Hole‘.
My All Out Dubstep EP, with the tracks ‘Ironman‘, ‘Copenhagen Midnight‘ and ‘D-J‘, is dropping soon as is ROOT’s track ‘Project 4‘ (which is coming out on Cloqworq). I’ve also got a tune with JSL/RUF called ‘Funky Moped’ coming out on BOKA.
And much more to announce soon!
Have you got any advice to upcoming DJs/ Producers? Be patient and don’t force anything through. Don’t put everything you do up on the internet – you need to keep people hungry for more!
Try find your own samples and don’t just download the first and best dubstep sample pack; go hunt for the unknown stuff and tweak your samples. Also choose your type of VST plugins etc. Try something else, other methods to make your sounds more personal.
And don’t send your tunes to everyone, this’ll bite you in the ass eventually!
Any shoutouts? JB, Triky, Server, Subreachers, Curzed, Hitman, Fenger Sway, Plastician, Antics, Chef, Cessman, Potentz, Jay5ive, G Double, Daniel Irk, JSL, Razor Rekta, Von D, Albert, Serbern, Kanan, Perverse, Crisp, Curzed, Jazzy Jazzy, LCSS, Beastie Respond and anyone else I forgot!
We’ve been slamming this mix on a proper stereo for the past few days and it is one of the biggest we’ve had in a long, long time. Ruben wasn’t kidding when he says he makes his tunes for a club sound system – this is 40 minutes of some serious subweight. And, if that’s not enough, 17 of the 22 tracks in this mix are dubs! Give it a listen and let us know what you think.