I think dubstep has become so huge because it’s a complete bastardization of electronic music,” exclaims rapidly emerging young producer and artist DATSIK. “There’s a little bit of everything thrown in the mix and dirtied up. There are pieces of hip-hop, the bass from electronic dance tracks and the roots of U.K. garage and drum & bass…Dubstep is totally the punk rock of electronic music.”
If DATSIK (born Troy Beetles) sounds more like a young rapper than one of the world’s preeminent young dubstepstars, it’s for good reason. The Kelowna, British Columbia, native grew up a hardcore rap fan that still pledges allegiance to classic Wu-Tang Clan and it permeates his dark, aggressive music.
DATSIK’s future-tech dance-floor detonators exploded on the dubstep scene almost immediately, racking up a series of seven #1 tracks on Beatport, including at one time owning five of the ten tunes on their best-sellers chart. He’s also had smash hits on other music sites like Juno, Red Eye and Chemical Records and early remix credits include works for the biggest names in the game like Diplo, The Crystal Method and Bassnectar.
Now he’s produced a dozen new tracks for his debut full-length album, VITAMIN D on Dim Mak Records, featuring collaborations with Infected Mushroom, DJ Z-Trip and Jonathan Davis of KORN. “I’ve been a KORN fan since back in the day,” DATSIK explains about Jonathan Davis who reached out to him directly to collaborate on KORN’s 2011 genre-defying album The Path of Totality. “He was so complementary about our music and how much he loved it. So when he said he wanted to work with us, we couldn’t say yes fast enough.”
The spooky resulting track “Evilution” was built from another Jonathan Davis collaboration, this time with Israeli psy-trance band Infected Mushroom. Collaborating after a chance meeting backstage at New York’s massive Electric Zoo festival last summer, the pair brought their wildly disparate sounds together as one. “Blending dubstep with psy-trance and Jonathan Davis sounds kind of insane,” DATSIK admits, “but the track came out great and I’m stoked on it.”
Next to manic dubstep tracks like the menacing “Napalm” (featuring rapper Messenian), the grimy, hip-hop swagger of DJ Z-Trip collaboration “Double Trouble” and the devastating first single “Fully Blown” with rapper Snack the Ripper, DATSIK’s debut album VITAMIN D is poised to set a new standard in the wild world of dubstep. Loaded with bone-rattling beats and enough energy to power the Vegas Strip, it’s poised to be the dubstep full-length to beat in 2012.
It’s important to me to have my own style,” he stresses, citing Method Man as the one artist at the top of his collaboration “bucket list.” “I will always have a strong hip-hop element and be heavy as f—, but it’s always going to sound like the future.
DATSIK cut his live teeth in 2011 as one of the featured artists on IDentity, North America’s first-ever all-electronic music tour, as well as support for KORN on their ‘Path of Totality’ tour. On the eve of the extensive DEADMEAT tour with Dim Mak label owner/DJ rock star DJ Steve Aoki, and with scheduled sets at festivals like Ultra Music Festival and Coachella, DATSIK’s already-legendary live shows will be hitting more than 40 North American cities just over the next few months.
Lately, I’m focusing on creating memorable songs, so it’s always real music and not just a collection of cool beats,” DATSIK says finally. “Of course, it’s gotta be funky so people can dance to it. More than anything, I want people to be able to hum my songs, robot noises and all.