El-B was a key instigator shaping the dubstep sound back when it was known as dark garage in the late 90s, so who better to compile and mix a new compilation called This Is The Roots Of Dubstep Vol 1. We spoke to El B about it, what’s happening with his Ghost label and what else he’s currently working on.
How did you come to be involved in This Is The Roots Of Dubstep Vol 1?
Apart from loving the chance to paint my own picture of what the scene sounded like in its infancy, I thought it a great chance to have some of the original unreleased Ghost tracks finally see the light of day, plus a chance to remaster certain tracks of that period that needed brightening up.
How did you go about selecting the tracks for the compilation?
I would have liked to have got hold of more tracks from certain artists and feature one or two more producers but I was swamped by public demand to put plenty of Ghost bits that are not possible to find anymore or unreleased and overdue material.
What do you remember most about the dubstep scene in London around that time?
It didn’t come around until almost exactly 2000, with the name “dubstep” not actually being invented until around 2001. It was very small community of producers, label owners and a few DJs.
Obviously the dubstep scene has changed a lot since the early days, what would you say is better and what is worse?
All the good things are still intact, there’s just a lack of want for the music nowadays, and many have grown and moved on to other music.
Tell us more about your recent Sounds of South America EP…
It’s simply to show my love and understanding of the music style they have across South America. The “S.O.S.A” EP focuses more on the music that comes originally from the favelas in Brazil. With talk of releasing a Part 2 that will focus more on the style from the west coast: Colombian salsa, rumba and cumbia.
Got any other releases in the pipeline we should look out for?
Yes! Look out for Running on Vex Records (TBA), Buck & Bury Remixes on Ghost Recordings and here’s always quality tracks being released on a new label that I co-produce for called Fraction.
What else have you been working on in the studio recently?
Song material, song material and some more song material! I’m currently based in a bigger studio recording with a range of different singers, songwriters and even musicians.
What’s happening with your Ghost Recordings label at the moment?
About to start arranging a second remix package of old classic Ghost track Amazon but it won’t see a release with all mixes in until 2015.
Where can people see you play in the near future?
Plenty of places including Bristol, London Coronet, Belfast, Hastings plus more.
Anything else you want to tell us about?
Check out my new sample CD, a handy tool for house and garage producers.