The end of one and the beginning of another year is usually the time when you look back on what you did and take a look into the future to predict what will happen.
Dubstep Blog Austria started in January last year - a perfect timing for a quick look back and outlook.
When I started Dubstep Blog Austria (short DBA) in January 2013 I wanted to shed a light on what's happening in the Dubstep scene in Austria. I wanted to promote that deep, dark and minimal Dubstep sound that is still very much rooted to its origins. However, I was aware that I had to start from almost zero since there wasn't anything like a community I could connect to. Surely, there were some bits and pieces I thought I could put together and present it to a broader audience. Only a few months ago Vienna based DubApes became Austria's export hit with their first release on UK based label Bacon Dubs. No Bass No Fun - a crew and label from Linz - also moved more and more into the deeper end of Dubstep. And of course there was still dubstep.at - the forum run by Vienna's primary rock in respect of Dubstep Atomique.
Keeping in contact with people was not always easy and being located in London did not make it easier neither. However, after months of chasing down people it was possible to draw a more or less complete picture of the Dubstep (sensu stricto!) scene in Austria. Initially individual DJs and producers as well as crews from all over the country were hardly or only loosely connected to each other. The blog aimed as a platform to introduce and showcase the talent with podcasts and features. But even that turned out to be much harder than I thought, but given the fact that I run this project in my spare time it was sometimes my own fault. I for myself might have expected to write more content over the course of a year but taking the circumstances into account I should be and I am well proud of what was achieved within the last 52 weeks.
On 30th August DBA turned over a new leaf: DBA Radio. Starting a radio station to promote a certain type of music is an obvious thing to do especially if there is already a network of DJs that are eager to play out and to be heard. So it wasn't a big leap at all to throw together a schedule of 2 evenings (Wednesday and Thursday) a week.
The radio broadcasting service Mixlr makes it easy to start a station without the hassle of setting up your own infrastructure. In my opinion an important part of radio is the interaction with the audience - the listener - who makes playing on a radio station worthwile. Our - the radio DJs' - philosophy is: A single happy and interactive listener is worth much more than a silent audience of hundreds, because this one listener is much more likely to become an advocate for your endeavour.
We've seen a lot of great things coming out of the Austrian scene in the past year and I am very happy and proud to be part of it, but I'd also love to see more people showing interest into the sound. I think a lot of people simply do not know about it (yet). That is the problem I want to tackle with Dubstep Blog Austria.
An important thing I've learned over the last year is the fact that the core Dubstep scene in Austria is very small (and I mean that literally). I "feared" it already when I started to search for up and coming talents. However, there is a certain amount of activity going on around that scene. Reaching out to people there might be a good starting point to grow.
Quite a lot of people are into that garish midrange sound that decoupled from Dubstep years ago already and does not have much in common anymore. But there are also quite a lot of people that are into a sound that is not strictly Dubstep but is connected kind of closely to it either because of its common roots and origins or because of people who do not think in genre or tempo but do whatever they like. You could say that it is the attitude towards "bass music" that is the common denominator.
Our crew New Town Bass showed us lately that is indeed possible to span the bridge between Dubstep, "UK Bass" and Techno. Another good example is Graz based label and artist collective disko404 who are also part of the Sub FM family with a biweekly radio show. And there are many more!
There is also another possible way to grow the audience of DBA: reaching out to people outside of Austria. Nowadays no one is bound to administrative areas and borders any more. People are strongly connected due to the power of social networks. Back in the days when Dubstep was coined and it grew out of the suburbs of London the ability of worldwide connectivity was surely an important factor to become what Dubstep is today.
Taking these thoughts into consideration, the goal for DBA in 2014 will be to expand by opening the strict musical style and getting friends from outside of Austria involved. The strict boundaries at the beginning of last year were important to lay the foundation on which we should build upon now to discover new and exciting sounds.