Dub Wars is back! This time it features none other than… Skylark, Rizzle, Molecular, Lavance, Subtle Element, Black Barrel, Invadhertz, Glyph, Jestah, Waeys, Dunk, DBR UK, Melysma, Primitive Instinct, Thematic and Future.
One of the most successful and compelling online D&B projects to launch during the first lockdown, Dub Wars kept us sane throughout the month of May. Established by OB1, Creatures and the Rebel Music collective, it pitched 16 acts against each other in a weekly knock-out tournament.
The concept was simple: rounds are drawn each Sunday night, the contestants are given a specific set of samples and have to present a tune just five days later. Not just any old tune either, but something strong enough to properly grab the D&B loving public by the short and curlies and win over votes.
All tracks can be heard and voted for on Metapop, and voting lasts just two days from Friday night to Sunday night. Most importantly, the tracks are presented anonymously meaning the music is the only winner.
And boy, will there be music. Following on from the inaugural Dub Wars battle, the level and range of artists is a precision snapshot of new-generation and underground drum & bass talent from across Europe and beyond. Also following on from the inaugural contest are some decent incentives for the winner as Native Instruments are on board with some tasty loot and sponsorship for the champion and the return of scene sergeants DJ Chef and Darrell Invaderz on running commentary and in-depth analysis with hosts OB1 and Creatures via the Dub Wars Facebook group and Rebel Music Instagram
“The most entertaining and exciting drum and bass production battle to take place in 2020!” grins Chef. “The competition brings out the best in every producer involved, season one proved that with showcasing some amazing new and established names to the D&B world who have all shown their strengths and technical abilities to proceed through the rounds.”
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how this second season unfolds,” agrees Darrell. “I thought there was some real quality music that came out of the competition. Honestly, I was expecting a couple of the artists to drop something nice, but the standard was so high, consistent and impressive that the bar has been set really high for the new competitors!”
Chef and Darrell will be bringing fellow artists and DJ mates to chat in their IGTV commentaries over the weekend. If last Dub Wars guests were anything to go by (Klute, Marky, Fabio, Dom & Roland) these broadcasts should be a schooling in themselves. Rising star Creatures has also been brought on board to host and manage the tournament.
“I’m really excited,” says Creatures. “One of the main reasons is that I was a competitor last time, so I had a different view of it all. But this time I’m part of the team that got it all together and it’s a completely different experience so far and will be throughout the competition! Looking at the line up I think this one is going to be particularly special and will certainly bring some amazing new music! Hold on to your seats for this one!”
Seats held: the rounds drawn last Sunday are intense and pitch some big names against each other from the off…
SKYLARK V RIZZLE
MOLECULAR V LAVANCE
SUBTLE ELEMENT V BLACK BARREL
INVADHERTZ V GLYPH
JESTAH V WAEYS
DUNK V DBR UK
MELYSMA V PRIMITIVE INSTINCT
THEMATIC V FUTURE
Ouch!! Voting commences at 9pm Friday October 30 and closes 9pm Sunday November 1. All tracks can be heard right here (including last tournament’s tracks) Get involved and listen as the future rolls out before your ears.
Big up and good luck to all competitors, here’s what each of them have to say about the contest…
Skylark: “Glad to be part of this alongside talented producers and friends, I’m sure it’ll be fun and friendly, big basses and tiny snares coming your way.”
Rizzle: “Really looking forward to getting involved with this, I missed out the first time cause I had a shed load of music I needed to finish. But now that’s out the way I can’t wait to get stuck into this. It’s a really interesting concept and I love the idea that we get pitted against each other but have to use the same samples. It’s going to be really interesting to hear all the flips and different ideas. And definitely going to be a challenge with the short turnaround!”
Molecular: “I feel very grateful to be involved in this with lots of other talented producers… Pretty sure it will be very fun and very productive to work on a tight schedule ‘against’ all these other like-minded producers. All of them are doing serious damage right now so I’m very curious to see how this will unfold! Biggest of ups also to the guys who are making this happen as this is such an awesome concept… may the best artist win.”
Lavance: “I’m always up for a challenge and the Dub Wars are just that. Having been on a bit of a hiatus myself, it seemed like the perfect way to step out of my comfort zone and spark my creativity. Also, who wouldn’t want to be on a line-up like this? Some mad things will come from this I’m sure.”
Subtle Element: “I think Dub Wars is a great incentive for artists to be able to perform outside their comfort zone and really get creative with the set of samples in such a short amount of time every week. I’m really looking forward to hearing all the entries and seeing what approach the different artists take when using the samples. There is a big roster of forward-thinking artists so it should be a very interesting and inspiring competition. Big shouts to the Rebel Music gang for putting it all together, can’t wait to start getting involved!”
Black Barrel: “It’s cool to be part of such an event in the midst of the second wave of the pandemic. We live in such an incomprehensible and rapidly changing world, let’s give this world and our listeners a cool vibe. I do not expect to win, and I wish everyone incredible inspiration and great results. Come hug Black Barrel lads <3”
Invadhertz: “Since the first Dub Wars edition we have been big fans. We think that the concept is amazing. It is something challenging and fun at the same time. We felt very stoked when they asked us to join the second edition. The artists involved are some of the most exciting producers in the game nowadays so we feel blessed to be part of it. It is going to be a big challenge for us, matching these great producers and using the same samples, but it will be so interesting to see what the other artists ideas and processes will be. We’ re going to do our best and we’re sure that it is going to be loads of fun for everybody, both the artists and the audience. A big thanks to Rebel Music for having us we’re looking forward to beginning.”
Glyph: “We are super excited to have been chosen for the competition to represent our Belgian kingdom with Lavance. In this strange period, it gives us a real motivation and a good warrior spirit. It’s a pure line-up and the concept is heavyweight! We can’t wait to get to the heart of the battlefield and live the war together! Bip up guys and good luck for everyone.”
Jestah: “I’m really proud to be a part of such a talented group of producers in this tournament. I really rate the concept and I think it will produce some real heavyweight bangers in the process. Everyone will be bringing out the big guns for this one as it’s a chance to show each other what you’re made of. Native Instruments have come in with the goods on the prize front too so it’s all to play for. Big up to Rebel Music and NI for making this all possible. I’m super excited to get going with it and hear what people are going to come up with. Bring on the war! Let the games begin!”
Waeys: “Really excited to be joining this competition. I think for me personally it’s really going to test how fast I can work under pressure of time and also pressure of competition. I’m generally a pretty quick worker, but this adds a couple different dimensions to that whole process. Efficiency will be put to the test. There’s a ton of super talented producers on this season so the bar is set high and I can already tell it is going to be a close one haha.”
Dunk: “In this difficult time, there’s nothing better than a wicked diversion to focus on good things, let’s go and good luck.”
DBR UK: “We feel this is a great concept Ben OB1 has created, especially in times like these which are affecting the whole music industry. After seeing Dub Wars 1, we knew this was a great idea and would definitely be involved if Ben ever decided to do a next one. The next thing we knew we got a call asking if we would like to take part in Dub Wars 2, so obviously we jumped at the chance. Rebel Music are making some real noise at the moment, so it was a no brainier to jump aboard. It’s great to see fellow producers like Black Barrel, Rizzle, Skylark and many more all fully involved as they have mad game and will make Dub Wars 2 really interesting. We also love the fact that Native Instruments is fully supporting the concept, offering so many great prizes throughout and sponsorship for the winner!”
Melysma: “Dub Wars is an innovative new platform which makes a lot of sense for the scene. It allows young producers to flex their competitive edge and puts them under pressure to produce something of quality in a short amount of time. It’s also great for the experienced hosts and special guests to get the best out of young talent and hear what they’ve got to offer. The discussion element on the stream opens a window to behind the scenes of this music. It expands the conversations and gives the producers a connection to DJs they might not have otherwise. Summed up, it’s a great use of technology to put a modern twist on an old idea!”
Primitive Instinct: “I am really humbled to be taking part in round two of Dub Wars alongside such a wide array of talent. I followed round one closely and didn’t expect to be given the opportunity to take part. Big love to the team at Rebel Music and everyone else involved! The concept of a production competition is new to me and will push me as an artist. Having the tracks judged by the public without knowing whose work is who’s is the fairest way something like this can be pulled off as it eliminates the ‘popularity competition’ element. I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone’s contributions! Big up!”
Thematic: “I’m really glad to be a part of this. I’m sure it will be very interesting. I can’t wait to see what guest sample packs we’ll get in the tournament. Thanks for the invitation!”
Future: “Dub Wars; bringing great talent together for one common goal. To make great music is why I got involved. Producers from all walks of life doing their thing. For me it’s about exposure of my sound and to push myself with the conditions of the competition rules, also to learn from others and meet new artists for Future endeavours (pardon the pun lol)”