Q&A: Wanz Dover Talks About (Real) Dubstep and His Own Genre, Futro
Check out this week's issue for a feature on The Black Dotz, but multitasker that he is, Dallas DJ/producer/musician Wanz Dover has another project to talk about as well. Blixaboy is Dover's long-running techno/electronic moniker, and he celebrates the release of a new EP, Intro to Futro, on Saturday at Bryan Street Tavern. Convextion, Betdat and Keith P join him live for a pretty spectacular bill, and he says the show will have three parts.
"One section will be a DJ/live set using my laptop to perform a bunch of my new material. Another section will be an all-hardware affair with my buddy Cygnus. We will both be using a ton of hardware and kicking it old school with no computers. I am also doing one very long song with my friend Jerett Fulton on live drums.That tune is kind of my own tribute to the German band Neu."
I had a few more questions for Dover about what exactly dubstep means these days, and why it was necessary to create his own genre.
How long was Intro to Futro in the making?
I started writing material for the Intro to Futro EP and the Futro City album (out April 9) last January. My second album, Kliks & Politiks, came out in October 2010. I took a few months off after finishing it and got right back to work at the start of the year.
Do you have to get in a different headspace for the electronic stuff, as opposed to The Black Dotz? Do you have to shift your concentration?
I spend 30 to 40 hours a week working on my own tunes. Electronic music is my normal headspace nowadays, but I still listen to everything under the sun. A mixtape in my car will go from obscure German minimal techno to punk to old-school dubstep to noise to garage rock to funk to Krautrock to bebop and beyond. Through electronic music I am able to explore all of my various musical interests under one banner. I don't really believe in the concept of good and bad music anymore. Music can be a great window into different cultures.The older I get the more open I have become to different musical experiences in general.
That being said, I love to play rock music.I started playing in punk bands over two decades ago. There is a lot to be said about six strings and bit of rebellion. It's rejuvenating and playing in The Black Dotz is the most fun I've had in years. With Blixaboy and my other electronic aliases I am challenging myself to make new music that challenges the very concept of genres. Create something that is very personalized and original. In The Black Dotz, we just wanna explore all the great music we grew up with. The 19-year-old version of myself hated DJs and dance music and just wanted to rock.
Help me out with the dubstep dilemma. I know some of your Blixaboy material has been dubbed that, but I feel like since it's become "Americanized," it's taken on a different meaning. What is it to you?
I came to dubstep in late 2005. At that point in my life I was uninspired and kind of lost. I felt like I had done what I was gonna do musically and I had no idea what to do next. Then I found this little dubstep scene in South London and was blown away at the idea of a genre where every one really sounded different from each other.
Back then, the formula for dubstep was to take whatever music you were into and stir it in a pot at 140bpm, add special spices of bass and space and poof, dubstep. It was a genre that was not really a genre. it only had two rules. Lots of bass and 140bpm. The first two Blixaboy albums totally operated within that realm and all of a sudden I was creating music with more focus than ever before. I was able to funnel elements of Krautrock, shoegaze, techno, punk, electro, New Wave, film scores and dub under one hat and have it still make sense.
Then came the brostep. Around early 2008, the music started to get "Americanized." A genre that once prided itself on being original started to all sound the same. By late 2010, the drop-heavy, nu metal-ish version of dubstep had pretty much redefined the genre to the general public. The old-school guys that were still sticking to the original core ideas of dubstep were starting to be overlooked. Dubstep always had a heavy side, but the deeper side of it used to be just as important. I have nothing against the new generation of dubstep. It's just not my cup of tea. If I was 20 years younger I would probably love the stuff, but it simply does nothing for me. That's OK. The young peeps need their music too.
I had always operated somewhere between techno and dubstep. Over the past few years, I have kind of fallen in love with techno again. Specifically classic Detroit techno and various types of German techno. When I started working on new material, I decided I wanted to make my own rules so I created my own genre to operate in. I call it Futro. As in the opposite of Retro. True future music. It definitely leans heavier on the techno influences, but still brings in other ideas from all the music I really get excited about.