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DJ Hatcha interview

Dubstep pioneer on '100% Pure Dubstep Volume 2'

One of the founding fathers of dubstep, DJ Hatcha is widely considered amongst the leading DJs in the genre. With a weekly show with MC Crazy D on Kiss100 and regular spots at FWD>>, plus of course the incredibly entertaining HatchaTV, he has undeniable authority amongst the scene and is surely the man to impress.

Now Hatcha is showcasing his dark and dirty world of dubstep in the form of '100% Pure Dubstep Volume 2' (available from iTunes here), a three disc CD selection of tracks old and new, even including a rare track from Artwork which was previously only released on vinyl nine years ago.

We asked him about the nitty gritty of helping take dubstep from a tiny underground sound to chart topping success.

Hi! How are you?
“Yo, I'm doing good, I’ve been keeping busy doing this album, I’ve got a couple of big remixes under my sleeve over last few weeks and have been heavy on the touring so good times all round!”

Was there always a plan to do second ‘100% Pure Dubstep’ after the first one?
“Yeah this was always the plan. When we first looked at the idea, me, the guys at the label, and management were all on the same level and keen to try and create a really successful series that kinda helped define dubstep at this level. The first one obviously did great too, so hopefully we can keep building that with this one and on to a third and more.”

Did you enjoy creating these mixes? Were they all recorded in one session or did you take a substantial break between recording each?
“Yeah I really enjoyed doing these mixes for New State, it's always a laugh in the studio with the guys. I definitely had to take a break between each mix though! As with the last one, I mixed one a day to make sure it all sounded the nuts.”

How stringently did you plan each mix beforehand? Did you know what tracks would be in each and in what order, or did you have a rough idea of what you wanted and just mixed in what you felt at the time?
“Well I had 60 tracks to work with so there was quite a bit of prep needed to get it sounding how we liked with each CD having its own kinda style. A lot of planning and listening went on, but it's all worth it as that's why it sounds so good!”

As one of the pioneers of the scene are you  happy with its gradual progression over the last ten years and it's all out explosion and domination of bass music in the last couple of years?  Why do you think dubstep began gaining popularity steadily but has now taken a sudden upsurge?
“It was the slight crossover into the mainstream with producers like Skream, Benga, Caspa, Rusko, Joker, followed by guys starting stuff like Magnetic Man and doing the big vocal remixes and stuff. It was the sound catching the public eye and then once new people started to hear and understand it, it just all spiralled from there. It's not been a quick process though, people have been working on the sound for years for it to get where it has and reach so many people.”

Since its conception, dubstep has mutated into many different forms. Some tracks hold a tight grip to its 2-step roots, then you have mainstream radio worthy Nero type artists, and there's also the deeper minimal sound of artist like Burial or Synkro. Why do you think unlike other genres dubstep has the capability to produce so many different sounds under one umbrella?
“I'm not too sure why it's been able to be so much more diverse than other genres to be honest, I think the boundaries have always been quite loose and maybe that’s also partly a reason for the sound’s success. I think it's brilliant that it’s all under the one category though. For example, you have the option to book a dubstep line-up where everyone is playing such a different sound within the genre, or obviously just go full out hammer and tong with one style if you want to!”

What type of dubstep sound do you feel you have represented on this compilation?
“The good stuff!”

What have you got up and coming in the near future?
“I’m about to do a US tour with N-Type for the Sin City label we run together and we’ve got loads of heavy releases on that label coming up too. Hopefully there’ll be ‘100% Pure Dubstep Vol.3’ and I’m going to be getting in the studio a lot for more original stuff and some more big remixes. I’m keeping on pushing the Kiss show every week too and just repping the dubstep scene all-round!”

Words: Nicola Elliott