The next guest in our DUPLOC Podcast series is no one less but ENiGMA Dubz. ENiGMA Dubz shows us some of his newest tracks and talks about his forthcoming album “The Journey So Far”.

We’re happy to welcome James Vine, better known as “ENiGMA Dubz” or some even might know him as “Enigma”. Due to some copyright issues he was forced to change his name a few years ago, but as he explained earlier, the name changed but the music didn’t. To follow up the great podcast from LOST, we couldn’t pick a better producer, as James is probably the main producer who really opened doors for us, as he was one of the first producers we worked together with. When we launched DUPLOCpromotions in October 2012, ENiGMA Dubz’ track “Aliens” was one of the first few tracks which we premiered. Now 2 years later as we’ve build up quite a nice community and featured several premieres and exclusives from the man himself, it’s time to show our listeners the person behind ENiGMA Dubz.

Hey James, hope all is well and thanks for your time already! If we understood correctly, even though you’ve been making garage and bass music since the early days, you’ve first heard dubstep back in 2007, by simply going to a local club which your girlfriend introduced you to, moreover “a club which people went to to hear good music, and not just to be part of the picture.” What do you think is the effect of clubs on music and producers? Does it determine what genre is popular at that time, or can a genre be established simply online as well?

Indeed that’s correct, it was a night in Leeds called ‘Exodus’ which was held at the West Indian Center in Leeds. I think being out and hearing music on a big system can definitely inspire and sway producers towards different genres. I think until you’ve heard “dubstep” on a weighty system, you can’t fully understand the genre. Bass and weight is so important within the Dubstep scene, and when you experience certain tracks on a system, you start to understand them compared to what they might sound like through headphones or monitor speakers. However, I think platforms like Soundcloud have helped genres and producers progress by introducing listeners to countless new tracks.

When you started out, what were the labels who supported you from the beginning? You’ve had releases in the past on several labels, but from a promoter’s point of view, new producers always try to get signed with a label, what benefits have they offered you?

One label springs to mind straight away, and that’s Dank ‘N’ Dirty Dubz. Sashwat, the owner of the label, contacted me in around 2009 giving me feedback, asking for dubs etc. and we’ve kept in touch to date. He simply loves music, and also wants to help and push the genre and producers as much as possible. It’s been great working with him on various releases over the years and he has supported my music a lot. He’s also very prompt when it comes to sales from releases and keeps all his artists up to date. Other labels like BassClash, Subdepth, Second To None, Sub-Concentrate, Tsunami Records, Dubstar, Drop Dem Records, L2S and LU10/Four40 (alongside others) have been supporters and have helped my name grow too. In terms of sales on releases, producers can’t expect to make big money, it’s just not there in the underground scenes unless the genre is in the limelight and your making what people class as ‘popular’ at the time. Leaking hasn’t helped this either, there are many forums and file sharing sites allowing people to get hold of music for free, which has obviously taken an affect on producers profits. To be honest though I tend to approach a lot of projects as a way to express myself, and a way to keep the scene evolving and growing. If you’re in this for the money, then you can’t stay true to yourself all the time, and that’s something I have to do.

As from our point of view it seems like you’ve never actually been really interested or looking actively for being on a label. Don’t get me wrong but the quality is there, as well as there is consistency and maturity, but did you never thought to contact labels such as Tempa or any big promotional outlets? It actually seems like you’re not trying to fit in the “dubstep scene” at all and you just make music you like (which we appreciate).

Its not that I haven’t been interested in being signed, I have just let things unfold naturally. I have hit up labels like Tempa in the past, but had no reply. What you said is very true though, I don’t make music to try and fit in, I make music to express myself and the fact people like it is a real bonus, especially so many! If I’m being completely honest I don’t think I’ve pushed hard enough to get releases on the more established labels and get features on the popular outlets. The problem I have is I spend so much time already composing and producing music and keeping up with my inbox, I try and take time out from being glued to a screen. Plus I’ve got a pretty busy life, I’m married with a baby on the way and I work full time as a sound engineer, alongside my personal producing work. Luckily my music has reached out and spread naturally, which I’m really proud of. It shows my listeners are following me purely because they feel the music, rather than because I’m popular. I definitely would like to work on material for labels such as Tempa though, alongside uploads on channels like UKFdubstep, perhaps I need to push for it more. It’s the same with GetDarker, I’ve messaged them numerous times but still I haven’t been featured on there. I sometimes wonder whether some labels and channels find me a tough one to feature due to my versatility, and maybe they hear sounds from me which they don’t feel as much and they are put off? It’s a weird one.

Talking about labels, earlier this year you’ve launched your own label “From The Vine” where your new album “The Journey So far” is forthcoming on. Could you tell us a bit more why you felt the need to establish this label?

Launching my own label is something I’ve wanted to do for quite some time so I managed to get on it this year finally. My new album is almost done, in fact it’s been quite a project. There are 2 more tracks to be finished, just waiting on vocalists but they will be done soon I think. I’ve ended up producing too many tracks for one album to, so I decided to split it into 2 parts, with 10 tracks on each. I’m hoping to release part one in February next year but I’ve got no release date yet. I’ll post any info on my artist Facebook though as soon as possible. I’ve also used some forthcoming tracks from my album in the Podcast!

We will definitely keep an eye on that release. Apart from this album, which producers do you have in mind to sign on FTV Records and are there any more tracks or releases already confirmed?

Well, so far I only plan to release my own music. The name ‘From The Vine’ works really well as I can release music under any of my aliases and they will fit in, as they will all be from the ‘Vine’ (my surname). After my ENiGMA Dubz album I’m planning to release an album from my other alias ‘Lam-Scape’. I do plan to feature other artists on the label though but I’m yet to look into it properly. (to be continued..)

Next to releasing music, what are your next ambitions and plans with ENiGMA Dubz? Also with your rich background and aliases, why you have such a love for dubstep in particular, as you’re able to produce so many genres? What it is about dubstep you’ve been attracted to and are attracted to still?

I just love Dubstep, grime, garage and most other styles around 130-140 bpm. I’m also a massive bass head, if you hadn’t already guessed, and Dubstep is the perfect genre for a bass lover. I’m hoping to see my following continue to grow as time goes on, and I’ll always be bringing out new music, its my biggest passion besides my family and friends and will never stop. It would be sick to get some more radio plays on stations like Radio 1/1xtra, Rinse and also some releases on bigger labels. Saying that though, I’m always up for supporting new labels if I like the direction they are going so I think the future for ENiGMA Dubz will be to keep the music coming and let it do that talking.

Last year you said that because Dubstep moved out of the top charts, we would see the real love for dubstep coming through again. What is your opinion on that right now and what do you think about the influence of the scene in the United States?

Every genre that becomes popular in the underground scenes will eventually get commercial support, and when they do they will change to suit the general public. I do think that Dubstep has suffered a bit from the success its had commercially, and I think that a lot of people who found Dubstep from this ‘boom’ don’t really know what Dubstep is. They probably wouldn’t like it either if they did, as you see countless times on social media with comments like ‘This isn’t Dubstep’, and ‘Where’s the drop?’. Although you see a lot of talk about America changing the sound, ‘brostep’ ruining things etc, but there are so many producers over there making ‘Dubstep’ and killing it! The Dubstep scene is still going strong and it will carry on that way I think, there’s so much talent in the scene and the true heads will carry on pushing it. After all, us producers do it because we love the sound! If you don’t like it then cool, find something you do like, there’s plenty of music out there!

Talking about social media, nowadays it even seems like people are attracted to drama and many producers are aware of that and try to use it in their advantage to get more bookings and attention etc. We really appreciate you’re one of these fewer producers who are rather quiet on social media, though who work hard behind the scenes and let the music do the talking. What is your opinion about the use of social media in general and do you think it is influencing the music somehow?

Social media is vital if you want to progress as an artist in the scene today, and although I don’t use it as much as others, it is important. Drama online, even in real life is something I just don’t deal with if I can help it.I sometimes see the odd Facebook post but I don’t get involved unless it involves me, if people have problems then let them sort it themselves I think. I don’t really know half of what goes on in the scene, I just follow the music and get involved in that. Maybe that’s why I don’t get as many bookings, I probably would if I was on social media more, but I’m happy with things as they are. Although I love playing out, it’s not my main focus. I’m a producer and that’s what I want to stay my main focus, DJ sets are a bonus and I do my best to keep up with the demand. It’s a shame I can’t play out as much as many people would like, but alongside a busy schedule, it’s not the lifestyle I want, especially with a baby on the way. I will continue to play out when I can though, the last year has been tough as I’ve been out of the game due to a bad back problem, but I’m hoping to have that sorted by early next year so any promoters and fans wondering why I’ve been a bit absent, that why. I’ll be back on it ASAP!

enigma dubz interview

To end with, which producers have inspired you and are there any remarkable upcoming individuals who we should keep an eye on according to you?

It’s hard to say which producers have inspired me the most as I find inspiration in so many styles and also experiences. Saying that though, I’ve definitely been inspired by producers like Burial, Coki, Mala, Wookie, Todd Edwards, MJ Cole, Zinc, Sticky and various other Garage and Dubstep producers. I also think that many upcoming producers in the scene inspire myself and many other producers. I really enjoy listening through my stream on Soundcloud when I get chance, it’s refreshing and keeps me on my toes. I think some producers to watch are, in no particular order, Sorrow, ZES, Proxima, Commodo, Mr Carmack, Drapez, Mostapace, B9, Darj, J:Kenzo, Shack D, LOST, The Widdler, Jambow, Minzo, AD, Deemed, Arkwright, Ponicz, Soloman, SubFiltronik, BloodThinnerz, Benzmixer, Definitive…..I could keep going but there’s just too many producers killing it!

Lastly I want to thank you DUPLOC for the feature, great to see the channel and brand growing. Also big up to all the DJs, Labels, promoters and listeners enjoying and sharing my music, it really means a lot!

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