DJ to Watch: Badklaat
August 9, 2018
August 9, 2018
With almost four years of producing under his belt, SoCal-based Ubur has recently burst into the spotlight thanks to his wonky beats and growls, bringing some love back to the dubstep scene. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ubur after his epic set at Phoenix Lights this past weekend, during which we talked all things dubstep, riddim, and… college?
I think it’s safe to say everyone thinks of the ride-share company when they hear your stage name, which has clearly launched the clever caption seen on your Instagram, “I turn knobs not wheels.” What was the inspiration behind the name Ubur?
Well, I’ve been rocking that as a username for quite a while. Like ever since I played Xbox Live, I was rocking Uber Dolphin but when I started producing I decided to drop the dolphin portion. I was thinking that should be fine – I mean it means “super” in German, you know? It’s not going to be an issue, and that was actually before the rideshare service started.
Oh, so you were the first Uber?
Yeah, technically, maybe, I don’t know, haha. I wasn’t really aware of the rideshare service. Maybe it was happening in NorCal or something, and I was just unaware of it, but I definitely remember producing and taking that name like a good six months before I even heard of the rideshare service.
Your style seems to be a blend of wonky riddim, dubstep, and trap, and you don’t shy away from heavy basslines.
Yeah, I just really enjoy bass, well anything that’s really aggressive as far as dubstep goes is what I really enjoy and when trap blends that together I think it works really well. I just really like growls for the most part haha. That’s what got me into producing because I sort of thought there weren’t enough growls in dubstep. It got to a point where a lot of people were doing it but it wasn’t refined or as aggressive as I wanted it to be so I sort of thought “There’s not enough of this. I have to fucking make this myself – that’s stupid.” Haha.
Do you see yourself staying within that genre then?
Yeah, of course, I still very much enjoy the music and I’m very happy that it’s really catching on.
I know you’re currently with the Never Say Die: Black Label, alongside some of the biggest names in bass music. Can you hint at any big collaborations coming up this year?
I love working with those guys. Really great dudes. I think my sound works really well with them and I love all the releases they put out. They support the underground a lot and I like supporting that as well. Umm, not as of now. Right now I have a lot of tracks I’m sitting on that I’m planning on releasing real soon, but nothing as of now.
I dig your recent “Rabadon” (VIP) release. Did you have the idea for this revamp during the original recording of “Rabadon” for your Welcome to Heck EP or did the inspiration come later?
No, what happened was I just really liked the track and a couple of people were like “Yo I wanna remix it,” “Yo this is cool, you should stem it out to me,” and I was just thinking to myself one day, “You know what, I probably should make this myself first before I send it out to anyone cause I realized, “Yeah I could get some easy clout off that.” Haha.
Do you think now you’re going to send it out?
Oh yeah, I think I might make some stems but I’m pretty happy with the version I have right now so maybe when I’m feeling ready for it cause I like giving VIPs and remixes some time to breathe.
You made your formal introduction to the scene about two years ago, correct?
Well, I’ve been producing for almost four years now but I’ve been producing under Ubur for three and a half, but I feel like only recently I started catching on to a lot of people. For most of the part, for most of these guys that have been producing, like Subtronics for example, he’s been producing for like eight years, but only recently started catching on, so a lot of these people that have blown up real quick have the years of work put into it.
How have things changed for you since day one?
Not much really. The only difference is instead of going out to shows I’m flying to them. I still go to school and everything and I still make music at home, it’s just that now I get a lot more calls from my management and more bookings where I’m like, “Yes!”
Wow, so is it hard to balance all this with school?
Sometimes, like last semester, for example, I was taking 15 units and I’m an Econ major too so it’s not easy stuff and I was doing that with a tour, so it was probably not a good idea in hindsight.
Do you go to school in person or online? I’m just curious how that would work.
Both. Pretty much what happened during the tour is the first four days I would have school and then Friday I would fly out and I’d fly back home Sunday and I did that for a month, just back to back shows every weekend and then school and then shows and then school and then shows.. It’s real tough.
That’s pretty impressive. Was this your first time performing in Arizona?
This was my second time. I can’t remember my first time, I think it was part of the Riddim house tour I did with Subtronics and SQNTO and that was a really good show. I was really excited to come back after that. I think it was in October.
How do you think Arizona crowds compare to other places you’ve played?
I like them. I like them a lot. For the most part, I’m very fond of the west coast crowds. I feel like my music appeals more to them. But some crowds, specifically like Detroit, Orlando, the Midwest, Philadelphia, those are all like really good cities that I feel like are getting really big into dubstep.