Justin Cantor, a.k.a. LOST, a 24 years old producer and DJ from Croydon, South London, has been one of the pioneers of the sound we know today as dubstep. To kick off our new “DUPLOC Podcast” series, which includes a guestmix alongside with an interview, we’re grateful LOST took the time to have a little chat with us about the underground dubstep scene and the future of his new label RVRSL Records.

Hey Justin, hope all is well and thanks for your time already! If we’ve understood correctly, you’ve first heard dubstep back in 2006, while listening to Hatcha’s radio show on Kiss FM. When exactly you started producing, and how you’ve got in touch with H.E.N.C.H Recordings? What was your best release so far?

I got into music production when I left school and started college, I didn’t take it seriously until I left college and completed my course. I’d say I started properly around 2008. I was making ‘wonky’, ‘wet’-sounding dubstep and at the time people were making the more ‘dub’-influenced dubstep. People were a bit sceptical about my style and they weren’t sure what to think of it. Then I met Kromestar at a record shop in Croydon and he liked what I was doing because nobody else was doing it and we teamed up to make the alias ‘I.T’. This happened before I had a chance to get my own name out there as LOST. Then I met Hatcha, sent him some tracks and he signed ‘Neck Back’ to his label Sin City recordings (SINS001) as my first ever solo release. Jakes, founder of H.E.N.C.H. Recordings, catched Hatcha playing ‘Neck Back’ and ‘Ironhide’ on Kiss FM and straight after the show I got a phone call from Jakes asking if I wanted to be a part of this crew called H.E.N.C.H. -Hard Earned Never Catched Hustlin-.

hat’s where the name RVRSL, pronounced ‘reversal’, came from, we wanted to bring back what we felt was the original sound.

At the time the crew consisted of me, Jakes, Whiteboi, Giant, Eddie K and Komunazmuk. Since then there has been many additions and artists like Beezy, Vodex, Minus, Subzee D, D Minds, MRK1 and Tek One joined later. I suppose it’s down to the fans to decide which my best release was, I can’t possibly answer that! Personally I always loved playing Metal Foot, Fuzzy Feeling & Body Bag’. I’ve got many others that haven’t seen a release yet which I consider some of my best work.

Last year you’ve also launched your own label RVRSL Records, with the release of “Bad Bitch” featuring Requake and “Debt”. Could you tell us a bit more about who founded the label and why you felt the need to establish your own label?
I started RVRSL with the help of 3 others, we all have our own individual rolls which help run things smoothly. We felt the need to create a platform to push the sound we felt was getting pushed to one side when the commercial side of dubstep was at its peak. That’s where the name RVRSL, pronounced ‘reversal’, came from, we wanted to bring back what we felt was the original sound. I also wanted to use the label to release my own music that might not fit the H.E.N.C.H. imprint as well as help new and upcoming artists establish themselves through a label with a legitimate foundation. Now it’s just me running RVRSL with some help of one of the originals.

My aim is to develop RVRSL into a movement, a sound. It will be a part of foundations in this scene. I’ll also be working with events to do RVRSL takeovers and more. Right now we have RVRSL radio which has been very successful so far and we’ve built up a fanbase of loyal listeners! We’ve had some great guests and friends play already such as Hatcha, Chefal, Bukez Finezt, Shiverz, Quest, London Nebel, Beezy, Von D and SubFiltronik.
Which producers do you have in mind to sign to RVRSL Records and are there any tracks or releases which are already confirmed or which we should be looking out for?

I have my eye on a select few. I cant mention a lot as it’s all in the pipeline but I can confirm that our next release (RVR003) will be the ‘One Day EP’ by Jakes. There is no date for this yet but it’ll consist of 4 tracks. I can also confirm an EP by Bukez Finezt & Deskem. We’ve also been invited by GetDarker to do a RVRSL takeover but that won’t be until we have a nice catalogue ready to showcase and deliver. Most of the forthcoming tracks are featured in the podcast!

You’ve had releases in the past on H.E.N.C.H., Sin City and recently via your own label RVRSL Records, what are the next plans for you regarding releasing your own tracks? Any new labels you’re planning to work with?

I’ve also released on other established labels such as BlackBox & GetDarker as well as many vinyl releases before the digital era took over. I’m just focusing on RVRSL for now. I’ve been hit up by some great labels but I have to look after my priorities first, though this doesn’t mean I’m locked down to a particular label. I’ve been speaking to SMOG Records and a few others as well so hopefully you’ll see something in the new year :)

In December 2012, you’ve spoken with our colleagues from FatKidOnFire, mentioning you had this feeling that “the commercial side will become less popular causing more demand for the underground scene”. Now 2 years after, what’s your opinion on the current scene and how do you see it evolving?

I should have put a bet on that quote. But it was blatant this was going to happen. I believe the community is becoming strong again now that most of the fake heads have left. It’s great, I’ve had more bookings here in the UK this year then I ever had the past years, so that tells me the real fans who love the music are still there. Now it’s up to us as DJ’s, producers, promoters and fans to build that community again. Its like a relationship, we have to go through hard times to learn from them but it only makes us stronger and we won’t be letting anybody come in again to ruin things the second time around.

We really appreciate you’re one of these fewer producers who are rather quiet on social media, though who are working hard behind the scenes and let their music talk for itself. What is your opinion about the use of social media and do you think it is influencing the scene somehow?
The social media is a good thing and a bad thing. It has helped producers to get recognition they deserve but it has also allowed internet producers gain ‘cyber fame’ which can mask the realness. I see that it is all about image now and what cool name you have and what logo you got. We didn’t need social media before…why do we need it now? I much prefer the scene before the social media hype. It was intimate, it was a community. Don’t get me wrong here… I’m not being an old man about it, I love moving with the times. I’m 24, I love technology and the convenience, but I think we have to keep it underground for a reason. How can we push underground music on a commercial media platform? That’s just asking for pollution… It’s a hard one because without social media I wouldn’t of had certain opportunities. I just suppose the scene was much more interesting when you didn’t see it posted on your timeline everyday.
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You can buy likes! you can buy plays!  And people look at your play counts as a sign of success? Especially promoters as that’s what they are booking artists off of, how many followers they have etc.. The positive is that I’ve discovered so much great music with the power of social media.
Which producers have inspired you the most and are there any remarkable upcoming individuals who we should keep an eye out for? Any last shout-outs?

To answer this question I’d have to go way way back. I’d have to say Mala inspired me a lot with his vibe. Every tune he made was a banger. Then I’d have to say Coki with tunes like ‘Spongebob’, ‘Bood first’, and the whole ‘Red Eye EP’ which came out on Big Apple records. His sound design were like no other. You’d know straight away if it was a Coki tune with his snares and basslines. Benga influenced me with his amazing drum work and percussion. He always had a strong mixdown too. All three of those producers were complete originators and pioneers of the dubstep sound! There are a lot of upcoming individuals making their mark. I’ve recently come across two guys from Sweden that go by the name of  ‘Kloudmen’. And a guy called ‘Noclu’ who I’ve recently discovered, very versatile. My boys London Nebel too!! Ohhh and a guy from Salt Lake city that goes by the name ‘Tsuruda’! I need to work with that guy. I’ve probably forgotten some really cool producers but I think the best way to check who I’m supporting is who’s tracks I’m playing!


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Credits to Theo Cottle for the press-pictures.