August 23rd, 2010 by Joel Hietanen

Right then, the following is quite a bit overdue, so I guess its better to jump right in. After our little escapade to meet the New York dubstep scene, we all quickly washed the most important articles of clothing, rezipped our bags, and headed back out there, this time to London to do what we set out to do across the pond in a dandy British setting.

Don’t get me wrong, this videography hustle does come with a wealth of new experiences and amounts of a kind of hard-pressed fun (with all the hurry and the gear-related hassle), but having been out on our videographic odyssey for close to a month does lend itself to certain abuses. Yes, we were beginning to become somewhat fatigued by being crammed together in our (certainly too) modest hotel rooms. One must say I have to be traveling with the greatest team of all time, as we eventually seemed to endure our hasty run in London without any major hitches.

Again, our agenda was filled with interesting places to be and people to meet. We would be attending the legendary DMZ dubstep party night in Brixton, meet up with Oneman during his Rinse FM show, talk to Benny Ill at the place of the pioneers – the Horsepower Productions studio, catch up with Blackdown, Cyrus, Distance, Boomnoise, and finally cut some dubplates at the renowned Transiton Mastering Studios.

At the DMZ night we got to hear the influential sounds of dubstep pioneers the likes of Loefah and Coki, and in addition, we had the privilege of shattering our eardrums to the refreshingly minimalist sound of the up-and-coming James Blake. Whilst we were unable to get any in situ interviews during the night, we were (surprisingly enough) able to get ourselves into the party mood to an extensive degree. This was not a shortcoming however, as our planners were heavily booked through the coming week.

DMZ

James Blake

James Blake on decks.

Meeting partygoers outside the DMZ in Brixton.

Loefah

Loefah on decks.

The following night we got to sneak into the legendary Rinse FM show, and Risto under his producer alias, Desto, ended up spinning his plates too. Quite the world premier for him in such a context. After the show (in the very late night) we got chat with Oneman and Asbo in the somewhat rough (somebody actually tried to do some business-a-bit-on-the-shady-side with us while we were shooting) streets of Brixton. Yet, it was especially interesting to get Oneman’s and Asbo’s knowledgeable take on the present state and future of the culture in an ever-digitalizing world. Thanks for the ride guys!

Desto and Oneman

Desto and Oneman in front of Rinse FM radio.

Oneman, Desto, Asbo

With Oneman and Asbo at Brick Lane in the early hours.

The next notable (and very much so) setting for us was the Horsepower Productions studio of Benny Ill in Southern London. This was another great highlight for us, as Benny and his Horsepower Productions studio is touted as a true place of origin for many dubstep sounds. During the course of the interview, Benny invited Lev Jnr to join us. We had a great time discussing primarily about the history of the scene in their old-school surroundings complete with heaps of gear topped off with the worthy addition of an old Atari ST. Big thanks to Benny and Lev for letting us into your home!

Horsepower Productions

Benny Ill and Jay King

Benny Ill and Lev Jnr of Horsepower Productions

Horsepower Productions studio

Horsepower Productions studio Pt.1.

Horsepower Productions studio

Horsepower Productions studio Pt. 2.

Also, we were able to quickly meet up with Blackdown and Boomnoise to get some truly analytic accounts of the fast-paced developments in the scene, along with a visit to the studio of Distance and Cyrus, for more historical accounts spiced up with an analysis of the economic rationale of being a contemporary dubstep producer, as the sound is undergoing increasing pressures of commercialization.

Desto and Blackdown

Blackdown came with gifts.

Desto and Boomnoise

With Boomnoise in front of the Plastic People club.

Cyrus, Distance and Desto

With Cyrus and Distance at their studio.

Finally, we took the tube to South East London Forest Hill to Transition Mastering Studios, where we were able to get both LD and Jason into the view of our lenses along with an interesting experience of truly professional mastering work as LD cut two dubplates for Risto including tunes from Late, Kfka, and Tes La Rok. At Transition the topics mostly hovered around the role of the dubplate culture in dubstep and the implications of ever-increasing digitalization and the effect of digital DJ technologies such as Serato.

Transition

The Transition Mastering Studio.

Plates

Nothing beats the smell of new dubplates.

LD and Jason

LD and Jason of Transition Mastering Studios.

Again, thank you all! Now back in Finland, I have to say I’ve had my fill of running around the world touting various recording equipment with my arm constantly reminding me of a developing camera-elbow. Fortunately, one can now feel some preliminary accomplishment, as the bulk of our material is done. With now just a couple of places to visit in Finland, it seems the editing table is the next embedded cultural context for us.

While we continue to have our sights set to the ACR submission in February 2011, we have, being the busy little bees that we are, started to think about a much wider array of uses for our material than the ACR alone. Stay tuned!

Desto

Lots of time spent on the train.

Joel and Joonas

For the whole team.

Cyrus and Distance

Plastic People

Boomnoise and Desto

August 18th, 2010 by Joel Hietanen

Remember my gripes about the automatic gain control (AGC) ‘feature’ on our Canon 550D, which effectively makes audio recording, even with a professional level external microphone, absolutely useless? Here I was testing the Beachtech solution, which was not only expensive but bulky and inadequate in term of effective monitoring. Well, I’m certainly glad that I (for once in my life) summoned my challenged abilities of patience, as it seems that Magic Lantern are coming out with a hack for the camera after all. I was all but ready to buy an elaborate rig for the camera and glue the up-and-coming Samson H1 onto it. Perhaps its time to re-evaluate the situation now.

Magic Lantern – 550D/T2i port from Trammell Hudson on Vimeo.

And I for one was under the impression (after following a myriad of obscurant discussion threads) that this project was iced.

Thank you Magic Lantern! Can’t wait!