Big Up Mix 99 ~ Orson [+Interview]

podcast_orson_blog

Holding down the Deutsch dubstep movement since 2006, Orson has done much to earn the reputation as Germany’s 140 ambassador. Between releasing vinyl on his Version imprint and throwing nights with the Swamp81 crew, the man himself found time to sit down with us and discuss snowy nights and Stella Sessions. Don’t sleep on the mix, which will bring you straight back 2 FWD>>

[toggle title=Tracklist]Orson – White Nights (version)
Mala – Drunken Swagga (dubplate)
Coki – Thief in the Night (Benny ill rmx) (dubplate)
Loefah – Natural Charge (dubplate)
Orson – Rise 6 (version)
Mala – Eyes VIP (white)
Pinch – Swish (deep medi)
D1 – Crack Bong (Loefah rmx) (dubplate)
Orson & Skratch – Lights Off (version)
Mala & Sgt Pokes – Answer Me (dubplate)
Orson & Hops – Dread Drumz (version)
Compa – Bass Drum version (dubplate)[/toggle]

Interview by Teo Leibowitz

You’re currently based in Berlin but you grew up in Düsseldorf. What’s the dubstep scene like in your hometown?

[quote_left]

I think that was probably the most sound pressure I ever felt in that space, we seriously almost blew the window out.

[/quote_left]I started the VERSION nights back in 2006 at the Salon des Amateurs in Düsseldorf, with Mala/Digital Mystikz as the first guest. I invited Skream, then Loefah and Sgt. Pokes the same year, followed by Benny ill in 2007. We had a massive Funktion One rig for those nights; well over-sized for the size of Salon! I think that was probably the most sound pressure I ever felt in that space, we seriously almost blew the window out. That was the beginning of VERSION, a direct homage to what I experienced at the DMZ all nighters (starting at 3rd Base) and the FWD>> sessions at Plastic People.

As far as dubstep is concerned in Düsseldorf, there’s a lady known as Penelope who has been running a regular night for the last couple of years – that’s consistently the current scene.

You have released two records, Version 004 and Version 005, in quite quick succession, especially considering that Version 003 and 002 came out in 2011 and 2010, respectively. Have you been sitting on these tracks for a while or were they made fairly recently?

[quote_left]

I remember bouncing it down after an all~night session in the studio, very early, and when I looked outside it was completely white from the snow that had just fallen!

[/quote_left]I actually wrote “White Nights” around Christmas 2009. I remember bouncing it down after an all–night session in the studio, very early, and when I looked outside it was completely white from the snow that had just fallen! “Rise 6” was done around 2012. I played both tunes on acetate for a while and wanted to put them together on a 12″, but like with everything music, it just took me a bit to actually get them released. “Nucleus” on Version 005 by Skratch and myself is fairly new, we wrote it last summer at his studio in Berlin. I still like to cut my music onto dubplates, so I can test them in my sets and get a feeling for how they sound and work.

Has your production method changed since the last releases? Have you got more coming soon?

As far as my production goes, it has always been a mix of hardware and software. “White Nights” features the Juno 60 and a Yamaha CS30 that I acquired around that time.

Since moving my studio to Berlin in 2014, I’ve been working on some 128 half-step stuff. Skratch and I are also working on some new material. There’s a track that I did with Benny Ill and Mat from Horsepower, that you might hear on their new album (coming out on Tempa). I’ve also got a remix 12″ planned for Version that I will be sharing so still more to come!

You’ve been throwing a Version x Swamp81 party every other month since January. How did this night come to fruition and are you hoping to make it a long-term fixture?

There are VERSION nights that I run with DJ Hops (from Hard Wax). We teamed up in 2009 through the legendary Horst Kreuzbrg club events, sadly the venue closed in 2013. We then re-launched VERSION in a club called Ohm in 2014. In June we have a VERSION meets HYPERDUB special that we’re really exited about. Hops and I are resident DJs at Loefah’s bi-monthly 81 Berlin sessions, taking place at Ohm, Wednesdays. Loefah fell in love with the venue when he played there with us in January. The next 81 Berlin is on May 20th with Benny Ill, Benton and the legendary DJ Ron.

As well as being a producer and DJ, you work as a documentary photographer and visual artist. Do you find that these different media intersect and influence each other at certain points?

[quote_left]

…I come from a visual background, so when I went to the first DMZ and FWD>> nights it seemed natural to me to document those special moments in time.

[/quote_left]They really do, I come from a visual background, so when I went to the first DMZ and FWD>> nights it seemed natural to me to document those special moments in time. I have loads of video and photo footage from that era including Kode 9’s FWD>> show and Skream’s legendary Stella Sessions at the old Rinse FM studio, back when it was still a pirate radio station and before Skream & Benga’s Radio 1 residency. So yeah, I think my visual work has a direct influence into my sound and vice versa.

Where do you go when you need to get away from everything?

I am still searching for that place.

What’s your favorite book?

There are a couple, but one of them is definitely William Gibson’s Neuromancer Trilogy. I read this as a teenager and it left a lasting impression on me.

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