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Doctor Dub

13 September 2012 | 4:45 am | Troy Mutton

“It’s been a while since I last performed as/with Slum Dogz, we usually just try and get the crowd hyped up! My own sets have a bit more of a dancey feel.”

The term 'dubstep' has an epic page devoted to it on that oh-so-glorious bastion of legit information, Wikipedia, charting its history from the late '90s and even giving the much-derided 'brostep' tag its own paragraph (hint: Skrillex features heavily). As the genre began to really take hold of a generation of young clubbers around '08-'09, looking for whatever was next following the electro explosion in the years previous, a young UK DJ/producer named Shaun Brockhurst, aka Doctor P, released one of his early forays into the genre with Sweet Shop.

It was by no means a landmark release, but as club kids started wandering into some heavier sounds, it was almost unescapable. Actually beginning life as drum'n'bass lad, Brockhurst's Sweet Shop – along with Tetris – was one of his first tracks in the 140bpm realm, and really set the tone for what was to follow. “We did a bit of d'n'b with [his other project] Slum Dogz,” relays Brockhurst in the midst of tour preparations. “But we haven't done a new d'n'b track in about 18 months. I feel that d'n'b can be a bit restrictive, and it's a nightmare to engineer!”

Brockhurst is headed to Australia, and he's bringing some cohorts from the label he founded with fellow producers DJ Swan-E, Flux Pavillion and Earl Falconer, Circus Records. And while the producer was “…quite lazy at school”, and has “…since become more of a workaholic”, he has very much grabbed the bull by the horns, like many young DJs and producers in 2012. “I dealt with a few underground labels when I started making music, and I found that they can be pretty difficult to deal with,” he tells. “Swan-E suggested that we start our own dubstep label and I thought, why not? It's been nice to have creative control over our own stuff, and control our own destiny.”

It's no secret the digital age has completely changed the way we find new music and obtain new music, but from the other side of the fence it's almost meant the release of music has shifted dramatically, to the point where – in dance music especially – many artists would rather just take control of how their music is distributed. And while it may take a little longer to separate the wheat from the chaff, Brockhurst is all for it. “I think it's better that people release their own music, the Internet is a much better platform for music than big record companies. I think the days of large record companies are numbered. It's not fair that a few companies should completely control an industry like music.”

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Along with the release-method revolution comes, what Brockhurst believes, a musical revolution in its own right – dubstep and its associated genres. “The music industry has been due for a revolution for a while; I think dubstep is what everyone was looking for. Who knows where it will go, or what it will turn into? All I know is that it's way more interesting than most chart music.” An interesting point to make, given the genre is most definitely seeping into the charts with any number of pop acts bringing out their take; Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg… “Nobody can predict where a genre will go. I certainly wouldn't have predicted it becoming what it has become, so I don't even want to try and guess,” Brockhurst argues.

And while dubstep has already enamoured the general club-smashing public, Brockhurst himself is in love with it just as much. It seems the room to breathe within tracks and really flex one's producer muscles is something he really enjoys. “I feel like it's impossible to make a cheesy or bland dubstep track. Something about dubstep just seems to be edgy and interesting. I never felt like other genres suited my style until I found dubstep. Something about it just clicked.”

And as for the sound's detractors? “I think people hear dubstep and assume the focus is on the random noises and aggressive drums, but they forget that music is actually supposed to be pleasant to listen to.” And while the merits of that statement could be argued to no end, the impetus lies in understanding those elements of some of the more aggressive elements of dubstep, and piecing them together to actually formulate a quality listening experience.

It's these elements that Brockhurst is of course looking for when it comes to Circus Records. “We don't have any really specific things to look for in an artist, just creativity and good music,” he states rather simply, before adding: “Also, they must be a nice person!”

And which artists are doing it for Brockhurst at the moment, in the creative and good music realms? “Brown & Gammon is a favourite of mine. His music is so strange, but it works on lots of different levels. I'm also a fan of people like Koan Sound, and Feed Me; they are masters of what they do.”

There will be a whole bunch of Circus masters when the tour hits Big Ape this Wednesday for the Circus Tour, and Doctor P is joined by good friends Cookie Monsta, Funt Case and the abovementinoed Slum Dogz – his “slum'n'bass/dogstep” side project with Circus co-founder Swan-E and Krafty MC. And the producer is looking forward to getting back in the booth with the twosome. “It's been a while since I last performed as/with Slum Dogz, we usually just try and get the crowd hyped up! My own sets have a bit more of a dancey feel.”

No doubt some tracks from his new EP Animal, Vegetable, Mineral Pt.1 will be getting a spin, including the lead single, Galaxies & Stars, which features reworked hooks from Blondie's classic Rapture and Ini Kamoze's Here Comes The Hotstepper. Is part 2 on the way? “I'm just finishing up the tracks at the moment.”

Doctor P will be playing the following shows:

Wednesday 19 September – Villa, Perth WA
Thursday 20 September – Coniston Lane, Brisbane QLD
Friday 21 September – Roxanne Parlour, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 22 September – The Metro, Sydney NSW