As one of the purveyors of the wobbly and staticky glitch sound known as dubstep, Flux Pavilion's contributions to contemporary electronica cannot be denied. And with dubstep's dominance in today's mainstream music scene, it's not surprising that his music recently caught the ears of Jay-Z and Kanye West, resulting in the use of his song "I Can't Stop" on last summer's Watch the Throne album. Working on an album of his own for release next summer, Flux Pavilion returns to Atlanta this weekend after a performance last June at the Quad. This time the Circus Records co-founder will be rocking a more expansive stage at the Tabernacle. As the U.K. favorite prepares for this tour, he takes a moment to talk about the Kanye/Jay-Z thing, dubstep's overwhelming popularity and his last show in Atlanta.
You're probably best known for your contributions to the current dubstep movement. As someone who has been responsible for helping create this movement, what do you think are some of the main reasons dubstep has exploded into the mainstream so much over the past couple of years?
Flux Pavilion: For me the main thing that's gotten it to where it is is how important social media is in daily life. The music just came at the right time to be part of that. I think there was a moment where all of a sudden people realized they could find music online and if they liked it they could just download it and listen to it. I don't know if it was the first, but dubstep is definitely a genre that kind of thrived from that whole new thing, and dubstep was quite new as that was going on. So I think that's the main reason it's gotten out there.
Dubstep also tends to borrow from other genres of electronica and melds them together. So it seems to have a little something for fans of almost any genre of electronica.
Yeah. The fact that I can be playing a show and there can be a piled-up raver, a stoned hippie, and a full-out goth all within the same square meter dancing together, I think that makes it a very community-based genre. There's a little bit in it for everyone and even if you don't know what you like there's loads of different parts of stuff in dubstep, and electronic music generally, that can help you along the way. For people that weren't necessarily into the music, I think it's been an opportunity for people to find out what they love. And I think that's what's great about it.
How did the whole thing with Kanye West and Jay-Z come about?
They were over in the U.K. working on their album doing bits and pieces and on Radio 1, MistaJam played "I Can't Stop" and they heard it while they were in the studio. So they hit us up and asked if they could use it and I got some bits and pieces together and they sampled the core of my track. It's almost like they remixed my track, pretty much. It's strange to hear my dance production turned into a hip-hop track. It's usually the other way around where it's a hip-hop track or house track that gets turned into a dance track. So it was really interesting to hear it in the reverse. I'd never really thought of it like that.
How has that collaboration affected you in terms of your fan base and career?
I think it's helped. I haven't noticed a direct effect because it's all such a gradual thing. It doesn't really put my name on the map. I was already doing loads of stuff and it kind of just gave me a kick in the ass, I think. I wasn't really doing a lot of tunes or a lot of shows and now all of a sudden I'm doing loads of shows. Just to be associated with Jay-Z and Kanye West is great. What I like about those guys is what they choose to sample and the tracks they choose to work with. That's why it's an absolute honor to have been chosen by them because I think they've got really good ears for music and maybe they've added some credibility to my stuff and the dubstep stuff we're doing.
It's a strange thing to look at as an artist because I'm just loving writing songs and playing shows. I try not to look too much into my career because when you start looking at your career you start working out plans and all this stuff. I'd rather just carry on doing what I'm doing because that's what got me here in the first place.
Atlanta has a big underground dubstep scene. What's your previous experience in Atlanta been like?
We played there last year and the place was fucking loaded. It was right at the end of the tour and people had been hammering me on Facebook and Twitter saying, "Come to Atlanta! Come to Atlanta!" We were tired because it was the end of the tour, but I was so hyped to finally be coming after years of people telling me to come there. It was amazing. It was one of those gigs where I kind of switched off from the whole world and was completely involved in what I was doing. That was definitely a memorable show and I'm definitely looking forward to coming back. As long as the people are the same, I don't care what room I'm in. There's definitely good energy in Atlanta.
How will this live show compare to the show you did here last summer?
I'm still just DJing. I'm working on a live set that's more orientated around the album. It's less balls-out dance floor. It's more about the intricacy of the music, but there's still quite a lot of dance floor element in there. The band is a lot more about playing songs whereas the DJ set, which is what I'm doing on this tour, is just literally going all out and trying to hammer as many things as possible. I've got Terravita and Brown & Gammon coming with me, so it's pretty much an all-out ridiculous bass music festival. We're going for three hours of nonstop warble and ridiculousness. That's the best way to do it.
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