2018 was an exciting year. Outstanding music by the boatload saw release, and myriad numbers of talented DJs and producers – some stalwarts, and others upstarts – made their mark. On a personal note, my blog has evolved, not only via more frequent updates, but content-wise it’s richer and more substantive than ever. Playing castaway on the distant island of Taiwan for the past 10 months has reaped rewards in this regard! Other ways I spent that time included guestmixes I made for DJ MiN’s Sub FM show on the Blackfox Records radio show on Onde Curt Radio, as well as for 140 Ninja at Bassport FM. I also made a guestmix for the Åbysmal Ẹntities family. I’m very grateful to my friends in Taipei and in Tainan for the chance to play DJ sets in underground club settings. Huge thanks to the Envelope crew (Taipei) and the RiceCake crew (Tainan)!
We made a huge leap forward by setting up a new label called ‘Frozen Plates’. The first release will be coming out very soon, and I want to write about this project in this irregular blog post.
Big changes have occurred at ‘FrozenDub’ thanks to our newly minted ‘Frozen Plates’ label. The plan is to begin a new release series which aims to support lesser-known producers who live in the Eastern fringes of the scene. Releases will be available on very limited-edition vinyl. Primarily I’d like to concentrate on the sound of classic dubstep, but I don’t want to pigeonhole the label, so any sounds that hover around 140 are fair game.
The first release ‘Frozen Plates 01’ (FZP01) is going to be available in the latter half of January or in early February, 2019. I believe it will be sold through bigcartel.com, though I’m still not entirely sure this will be the case, so please keep your eyes on the blog or on the FrozenDub facebook page for updates and info. Altogether, 25 records will be cut, but only 22 will be available for purchase, as we will be keeping 3 for posterity! The 10” vinyl record will be housed in a white paper sleeve, held in a raw/natural colour manila card sleeve. On the label we will number the plates, and on the other side we will stamp it. The self-designed logo is very simple, and is intended to mimic the appearance and spirit of ‘pu’er tea’ labels (普洱). The two Chinese characters in the middle of the stamp are written in traditional Chinese (繁體字). They read 凍盤 (dongpan), or ‘Frozen Plates’ in English. The stamp itself was made in Taipei. It is an object of great personal valule, because when a non-Chinese speaker writes a character, they are likely to get the strokes, ‘radicals’, and other components of the characters wrong, resulting in a hardly readable word. So, for this reason, it was very important for me to have it done in Taipei prior to leaving. I managed to find an old locksmith in Taipei, Beitou District, who was able to engrave this, and he made great work of it.
The shop of the locksmith, map.
I would like to offer a small but exclusive present to those who purchase our first release. Keith Brown, whose AB Koo crew did Taipei’s first jungle parties way back in ‘96, connected me with Zen, a local legend in Taipei design circles. She made us a nice calligraphy. On this artwork, the name of the label is presented in a traditional Chinese seal writing style. Otherwise, Zen herself is a big fan of jungle and bass music. After digitizing the calligraphy, we will print it in 25 copies on natural/raw paper, to make it as true as possible to the original. It will be given away with these initial copies of our first release. At the bottom left you can see the seal name of the designer, and under this her signature.
About the music. On the ‘A’ side there is an Eye Ark tune. It’s the first-ever release by the Romanian producer.
On the ‘B’ side the Hungarian dubstep veteran DST supplies a tune. We can say it is his long overdue comeback to dubstep, following a long break.
Visual made by Qybee
Both tunes were mastered by Hebbe, and the records were cut at Dub Studio, Bristol.
10”, lathe cut, 160 g.
The records come with a poster of Zen’s artwork and WAV files. Please note that there won’t be a standalone digital release. The files only come with the vinyl purchase. There will be no repress/recuts. Selling the dubplates is a non-profit endeavor; all income goes toward covering production expenses only.
Keith - Peter