With the imminent arrival of Youngsta's Rinse CD showcasing the continuing strength and appeal of deeper, dark dubstep it seems apt that our latest feature comes from a young producer pushing a more murky, sub-heavy 'dungeon' sound. Dr. Hugo's crisp and precise production fits comfortably alongside more established artists such as Thelem, Killa & Instinct and Sleeper, with heavy emphasis on the percussive and atmospheric elements of production, yet retains an originality that removes any notion of mere imitation. Widely acknowledged as one to watch out for in 2011, we caught up with Dr. Hugo for chat about his influences, beats and future plans. In addition, Hugo has laid down a 100% dubplate mix for our mix series, showcasing not just his own beats but an array of tunes from up and coming producers.
HEDMUK: For those who don't know, what's your name, where are you from and how would you describe your sound?
Dr. Hugo: My name’s Hugh, I’m from Reading but currently at uni in Bristol. Right now, I’d describe my sound as deep, dark and sub heavy.
H: What drew you to the deeper side of bass music?
D: There’s a lot of feeling and energy in the deeper stuff, which I feel like I connect with. You’re usually only exposed to this through the right sound system. In the right circumstances it feels like your experiencing the music, as opposed to just listening to it. I guess this is a mixed blessing. On the one hand it gives the music a special quality, you have to go out of your way to actually experience it and can’t do so in your bedroom, but on the other hand it means a lot people don’t understand the sound.
I like the fact that to really experience the music, I can’t just stream it off youtube through a pair of laptop speakers. This might give an interpretation of the sound but I know for a fact that through a decent sound system it would be a totally different story
H: Do you draw your influences from other Dubstep producers or do you more often take in influences from other areas? How important is it, in your opinion, to draw influences from areas outside of the type of music you're making yourself?
D: Surprisingly I don’t listen to a huge amount of what would probably be called dubstep. I listen to all sorts of music from hip-hop, soul, funk, jazz, grime to r&b. I think my most played album of the last month is ‘Baduizm’ by Erykah Badu. I reckon I’m more influenced by genres outside of dubstep, because I listen to more of it.
I think it’s vital in order to be an original producer to draw influences and listen to music outside the type that you’re making. To create music drawing influences only from the type of music that you’re making is a bit like inbreeding, reproducing from the same gene pool, and regurgitating existing ideas.
H: How did you get in to making beats? Are you from a musical background, or is it something you picked up yourself?
D: I do come from a musical background, and have had a go at playing some strange instruments that were lying around my house. I learnt guitar for about 4 years but I was too lazy as a youngster to consistently practise. I want to get back into it.
When I got into drum and bass and then dubstep music it was exciting because I had absolutely no idea how it had been made, but I knew it could be done from your bedroom. After going to dances and feeling the energy that is created by this music, I needed to have a go. Eventually I got my hands on a copy of Reason and began to learn how to use it.
H: The Dubstep scene, in particular the dark, moodier side of things to which your tunes fit, has a renewed energy at the moment: what’s been catching your attention recently?
D: There does seem to be a renewed energy for the darker stuff at the moment, I think a lot of heads are getting tired of the mid range stuff and getting into it. I recommend watching out for producers Gantz, Thelem, Hugh D, Compa, Collision, Obelix, RDG…..the list goes on. These guys have got some madness in the pipeline! Orientis Records and Sub Lab are definitely labels to keep a close eye on, anyone that’s heard any of their forthcoming releases should know this! Check out YouTube channel AJPUK to keep track of the darker bits.
D: I've put together a mix of darker stuff at around 140 bpm. Keep an eye on these producers in the future.
H: Finally, have you got anything forthcoming or in the pipe-line that you’d like to share with us?
D: Nothing is set in stone right now, but watch this space. I’m not in a rush to get anything out at the moment, I’d rather make sure my music is sounding exactly how I want it to first. I’m also working on a project with my mate Hugh D, using the alias Twogo. We’re making some weird funkier stuff at around 130 - 135 bpm – check it out
Download: Dr. Hugo - Exclusive Hedmuk Mix
Dr Hugo - Nightfall (Dub)
Collision - Hoodlum (Dub)
Kahn - Burnin Riddim (Dub)
Watson - Destroydon (Dub)
Thelem - Drones (Forthcoming Orientis)
Hugh D - Science (Dub)
Triky - Waves (Dub)
Triky - Lucid Nightmares (Dub)
Instinct & Thelem - Apocrypha (Dub)
RDG - Minacious (Dub)
Triky - Transition (Dub)
Compa - Saxon Posse (Dub)
Dr Hugo - Dungeon Sound (Dub)
Hugh D - Katacombs (Dub)
My Nu Leng - Fireflies (Dub)
Dr Hugo - Dungeon Sound VIP (Dub)
Dr Hugo - Class137 (Dub)
Gantz - Overact (Forthcoming Sub Lab)
Dcult - Sparce (Dub)
Dcult - Stowaway (Dub)
Bandicoot - Dawn [Tease] (Dub)
Fused Forces – Street Level (Dub)
Dcult - Particle (Dub)
The Formless – Hidden Gate (Dub)