Published: February 11, 2013
By: Jordan Calvano
When it comes to continually pushing the boundaries of dubestep’s unstoppable evolution, Dubba Jonny (Brian Dunn) is always looking to put his two cents in. The Bournemouth-based producer’s relentless work ethic has quenched the appetite of fans across the globe, busting out three EP’s and multiple remixes in just over a year.
Dubba Jonny’s most recent release, The Drinking Man EP via his Liyan Records imprint, sees him broadening horizons in a whole new way, lathering the rich sound we’ve come to love with snatches from a broad spectrum of genres.
Aggressively kicking things open is “Blockbuster,” laying waste to listeners with sporadic synths that scream heavy at the top of their lungs. Floor-rattling snares and a humorous spoken intro solidify the track’s anthemic qualities, amalgamating to create the rowdiest five minutes of your life.
“Drinking Man” sets a new standard for the world of dubstep. How many times have you heard a producer combine bluesy guitar tones and mournful lyrics with beastly instrumentations? The answer is never, unless you live in “The Dirty South” and there are some crazy underground producers we haven’t heard yet.
“Ampalamps” raises a big middle finger to all those trap haters out there, unleashing raunchy 808’s in abundance throughout. The Duke (aka RJ Duke) than laces the club-worthy banger with his playful hip-hop vocals, launching this trap-a-thon to uncharted territories.
“Dead To The Dark” coalesces venomous soundwaves with CubeKin’s wildly passionate vocals, leaving listeners speechless with crafty lyrics like “I flipped a coin to turn some heads.” Visceral piano sections complete the tune’s jaw-dropping fluctuation, showing off Dunn’s inexplicable ability to balance heavy with heartfelt components.
Dubba Jonny strikes gold on a multi-genre release that unceasingly keeps you guessing. To learn more about Brian Dunn and his recent EP, check out our exclusive interview with him below.
Big ups on the new EP! What was the creative process like compared to your last few releases?
Cheers! This time around I decided to do something a bit different. I got kinda sick of always making really serious music and sticking to what I think of as my “sound,” so I decided to take a different approach. Before I was doing this Dubba Jonny stuff, I was producing all sorts of music: house, trip hop, dnb, and poppy stuff. Most of it was pretty crap back then, but I figured with all I've learned in the last 3 years or so could be applied to some other styles, and just generally actually have a bit of fun with my music, which is something I rarely do!
Where does the spoken intro in “Blockbuster” stem from? Is that something you created yourself?
It's actually my voice. I find it horrible to listen to but I figure it's probably funny to other people, at least I hope! I found some old demos from before I was getting any attention as an artist, and found this old one where I'd made this crazy film advert style intro about some dubstep producer who goes round killing people with his crazy tunes. That idea was absolutely horrible and too cringe worthy, but I still liked the concept and wanted an intro track to play live at the time, so I kinda recycled the idea!
What inspired the “twangy” Southern feel heard throughout “Drinking Man?”
I've been playing guitar for about ten years now, and am really into open tuning bluesy stuff, always found it fun to play. I bought myself a nice condenser mic earlier this year and I wanted to test it out recording my guitar. I just jammed this out and then suddenly came up with the idea of mixing it up with a dubstep track. I love the idea of mixing genres in general and this is something I intend to keep up on future releases.
The EP features vocal appearances from RJ Duke/The Duke and CubeKin. How was working with them?
Interesting bit of info actually. RJ Duke and "The Duke" are actually the same person. The Duke is a Character him and myself created for a comedy hip-hop project we worked on just before Dubba Jonny started up. Me and Ross/RJ/Duke/whatever have been friends and collaborators for years, so we're actually really comfortable working together. It helps that he's my housemate too, so I can record parts myself and sometimes aid the writing process a little to make sure things are all working together stylistically.
As for CubeKin, it's a dude I went to school with who's been a drummer on the rock scene where I grew up for years. I recruited him to drum for my live show I did at Cable last year for my previous EP No Stopping, and it transpired shortly after that he's a great singer/writer, which I had no idea about. I really like his dark twist on a kinda commercial indie vibe here. Really gives the track something special I'd like to think!
We’ve seen some incredible Dubba Jonny videos drop over the years. Anything planned yet in the music video department?
There's actually a load of footage waiting around to be made into the next video as we speak. That is literally the extent of the info I can really give at the moment as my general lack of organization skills have made life really difficult for my mate who's making it (Chai Rolfe, the same person who made the "What Have You Got" video and collaborated on the "All In" video). So, that'll be out for the next release hopefully!
The release features heavy references to drinking, from the EP’s title to tracks like “Just Wanna Party.” What’s is your drink of choice when out on the town?
I'm just finishing up that whole “dry January' thing that a lot of people are doing, and the month of sobriety has given me an interesting insight into the EP actually. At the time I made this I was partying a lot, and generally trying to have the most fun I could possibly be having at all times. This EP kinda accidentally seems to reflect that! As for my drink, I'm a big bourbon fan; at the moment my favorite is Jack Daniels Honey. Most countries don't seem to have it right now, which is really annoying as I want to put it on my rider for every show!
Are there any other artists from Bournemouth we should know about?
Embarrassingly, I don't really know many! MC's Skydro (who featured on “Rinseout” on my last EP) and Juma are both doing big things at the moment. Also my mate Russla is an absolute badboy DNB DJ well worth checking out if you're ever in the area.
What were your favorite releases of 2012 in any genre?
Killsonik's “Girly/Bloodlust” is by far my favorite dubstep release of last year. So original and so heavy! Buchan and Bloodfire's “Bump That” was also one of my favorite’s this year, really proud to have put that out on my label! Not much else comes to mind right now, but I'm sure there are millions I'm missing!
Any North American festivals or venues you’re dying to play after getting a visa?
EDC, I need to hit that shit before I die.
What can we expect to see from Dubba Jonny after your EP comes out?
I'm actually already deep into some new stuff, got four or five tracks I'm feeling really excited about already! You can definitely expect more multi-genre stuff from me. I'm currently sat on some trap I'm working on with Inja and Captain Crunch, some dubstep, dnb, electro, 110, who knows how much of any of this will actually see the light of day though, there were about 15 tracks short listed for this EP!