10,000 Watts of Culture: Interview with Dub-Stuy’s Q, soundsystem creator

dub stuy records launch party friday paper box brooklyn Tour de Force ft. Brother Culture Joe Nice TrueNature (reconstrvct) Matt Shadetek (Dutty Artz) Atropolis (Dutty Artz) Hahn Solo

Exciting things are happening in Brooklyn. While armchair critics cry the death of dubstep and the coming of the EDM overlords, those with their ears to the ground know better; the local scene has never been more vibrant. There are more bass music parties than ever reaching the tenure of second and third years, gaining notoriety both nationally and abroad. And we’re starting to see an awareness of soundsystem culture coming back into the dialogue (shouts to all the hard work of Outlook, reconstrvct, and Tsunami Bass crews).

Upon hearing there was a 10,000 watt soundsystem being built in Brooklyn, engineered specifically for bass music,  I had to know more. A bit of sleuthing revealed these stunning build pictures, showing luscious wooden cabinets reminiscent of the legendary Mungo’s Hifi Rig. We got in touch with the folks behind the bass to chat a bit more about the Tower of Sound project, the Dub Stuy record label, and music and culture driving it all.

This friday, you have a chance to see and feel that soundsystem at the launch party for Dub Stuy Records in Brooklyn, with performances by Tour De Force Soundsystem ft. MC Brother Culture, Joe Nice (Dub War), TrueNature (reconstrvct), Matt Shadetek (Dutty Artz), Atropolis (Dutty Artz) and Hahn Solo (Dub is a Weapon).


WB: First of all, introduce yourself for all the folks at home – who are you, and who are the other folks behind the record label and the soundsystem?

Q: My name is Q and I am the founder of Sound Liberation Front and Dub-Stuy Records. SLF is an event production company I started about 5 years ago and Dub-Stuy is a label dedicated to promoting bass music and sound system culture stateside. I am also a DJ going by the name of Q-Mastah. My partner on the label is Jay Spaker aka Double Tiger. He is a talented producer and oversees the creative direction of the label.

WB: How did the soundsystem come about? What was the inspiration for it and how did you make it a reality?

Q: I’ve always been fascinated by sound system culture because it is at the foundation of Jamaican music and indirectly the broader spectrum of bass oriented music. I believe a proper sound system is an integral part of the bass music experience and I knew that building a sound was the missing piece to my puzzle. I did a lot of research and met a skilled speaker builder in Brooklyn with whom I collaborated on the design. It took almost a year to get the sound up and running.

WB: Pissed off any neighbors yet?

Q: Ha… I only have neighbors upstairs and thankfully they’ve been really chill about the whole thing.

WB: Do you have any plans for a recurring Dub-Stuy night with the Tower of Sound? What about renting the system out or collaborating with other parties?

Q: At this time, anything is on the table and I’m sure our plans will develop organically after the launch event.  We’re open to collaborations ideas and definitely will be looking to produce our own events. Right now, our focus is on building the right partnerships and developing the infrastructure and network to better support progressive bass music in the US.

WB: Tell me a little bit about the Tour De Force EP – how did the international collab with Brother Culture come about? There’s a lot of emcees in the world, how did you end up with him?

Q: Tour de Force Sound System is a musical project which started after I met with Jay, my partner on the label. He and I both had similar creative visions and complementary skillset, him as a producer and me as a selector/sound system owner. Together, we started developing a hybrid sound rooted in the tradition of the sound system and with a distinct Brooklyn flavor.

Brother Culture is one of the top MC on the scene today and probably one of the most versatile stylistically. He is a true veteran of the sound system world with a deep respect for the art form. When I met Jay, I had just returned from touring with him in Asia and thought he would be great as one of the main vocalist for the project. His style really fits our musical vision and he also brings an incredible amount of energy and stage presence to the shows.

WB: So for the show on Friday – the lineup features core members of some of the most legit bass music crews in NYC: Dub War, Dutty Artz, Reconstrvct, Sound Liberation Front. Did you set out to put together a bass music all-star team or did it just come together organically?

Q: This event is about uniting bass music under the lens of the sound system. Rather than taking a purist or exclusive approach, we wanted the launch party to be community building both from the standpoint of the artists and the people attending. I wanted to involve organizations which I respect for their integrity and for having similar visions to ours. We’re all about bass music in the end so there was an opportunity to build bridges and connect the dots musically. I’m really excited to see what comes out of this collaboration.

WB: Anything else folks should know about the show/the label?

Q: RSVP now and come early!


You heard the man! This friday the show starts at 9PM, and rolls on till 3AM. Admission is only $10 with RSVP. More details here.

Thanks again to Quoc and Linh at SLF for makin this happen.







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