BASSMONSTERS TOUR DEBUTING at SPIN NIGHTCLUB
By Leslie Terhorst
PLAY ME RECORDS, a Los Angeles based digital record label founded in 2009 by Reid Speed & Alexander Rosson. Drawing on the strength of Speed’s decade plus career as a pioneer of multi- genre bass music in the USA. 2010 saw Play Me rise to the top of the US dubstep market, with 3 #1s, over half of their releases hitting the top 10, and so much bass it spawned a sister label, Play Me Too.
It’s time to unleash the power of Play Me upon the world. Play Me Records and Play Me Too bring you the “Bass Monster” tour presented with BEATPORT by Hippo & Squeeze hosted by Eric Yo! I sat down with the fem-phenom, dancefloor destroyer, the Bass Boss, Ms. Reid Speed. Her precise genre mashing mixing skills has developed a synergy with her crowds that are matched by none.
Here’s what she had to say:
RIS: Tell me a little bit about the style of your music. I’ve heard you say, “it’s Hip-Hop, take out all the words, and add a lot of bass to it.” Can you elaborate, or does this about sum it up?
REID: I’d say that to describe Dubstep to someone who knows nothing about dance music at all. To someone who knows, I’d say what I play is high energy, full-frequency response bass music. (Since I always play multiple genres per set)
RIS: You are originally from NYC, and now you live in LA. How does the West Coast scene differ from the East Coast scene?
REID: The scale of events is bigger on the West Coast, even in slow years, than the East Coast ever was at its prime. There are simply more people in SoCal who in turn have created larger subculture groups that sustain themselves in ways impossible with fewer patrons. And the general vibe is definitely more laid back in the West, except at the “Hollywood” type clubs.
RIS: From your experience, how has DJing changed since you started back in 96’?
REID: The whole industry has changed in so many ways! First off, the formats have changed multiple times in a very short time, from vinyl to cds to computers and beyond in half a generation. The paradigm of how music is sold- and how musical artists makes a living- has also changed. DJs used to work on mixing to get gigs, build up a reputation, and try and get a mix cd deal, which would get you touring. Today, if you want to be a touring DJ, you have to make tunes that chart to get an agent, who can get you gigs. But you are only as viable as what your music is doing right now.
RIS: Do you think you have a lot more barriers to hurdle being a woman in this industry?
REID: I think the barrier I find the worst is that of communication style. Women and men communicate differently, almost opposite at times when it comes to business. Men are more prone to ego trip, and this often induces frustration during business interactions when I simply wish to communicate and be respected as a peer. But being female or male, each comes with its own set of barriers. It’s how you deal with them that define your character.
RIS: What’s your typical routine before heading onto the stage?
REID: Land..eat dinner..shower...go to show 45-1 hr before set...have perhaps one drink (vodka redbull if its before 10:30, vodka soda if after), listen to opening DJ, go pee, procure water, rinse out the club.
RIS: Is it true, that you really don’t know what you are going to play before you go on?
REID: It is true that I have never planned a set in my life. Half the enjoyment of DJing for me is feeling what the crowd wants and just vibing.
RIS: Let’s talk about Play Me Records. You started it back in 09’, and in 2010 you were Best Dubstep Label. Such a huge accomplishment in such a short amount of time. What made you decide to start your own label, and what do you attribute such success to?
REID: Thank you, and thanks for being tuned into and feeling what we are doing. It is an effort of the heart to bring beautiful gifts of music to the world. I started the label because I wanted a place artists who’s music I felt was sick could have a platform to be heard by enough people to make it worthwhile for them, and hopefully get a leg up into the mean world of dance music by way of someone who wasn’t out to take from them. I think the success has come from 2 things: from us being nice and doing things the opposite of how we saw it done for ages, and from my taste in music. Everyone has their own taste, and music is completely subjective, so the only measure of success is how much they sell. I am good at hearing what sounds good and what will work for us or not.
RIS: You have such an amazing list of artist under your label. We’ve actually had a couple of them play for us (DJ Rabbit and Lea Luna) several years ago. How would a new, and up-in-coming artist submit their work to you?
REID: We prefer that artists submit via private soundcloud link to soundcloud.com/playmerecords or by attaching an mp3 directly to us at email@example.com. Links to download mediafire, etc, are not appreciated- we will often skip those. If the song has been shared with many others on soundcloud, its not likely we will consider it unless its only a clip, and that clip would have to be amazing... we prefer full songs, if artists are worried about theft they should fade in and out the intros or add drops, but we never share people’s music that is submitted to us.
RIS: So what’s new, and what’s next for you?
REID: First up, I’m dropping a new mix for Borgore’s buygore.com site, over 40 tracks in 70 minutes of dubstep, moombahton, drumstep and drum & bass. We kickoff of the Bass Monster Tour sponsored by Beatport on June 3rd, then FS & myself have collaborated on a Bass Monster EP, featuring us singing on “Bass Monster” and a melodic number called “To The Sky”, which drop July 4th. There will be a video for the single and also a fun video promo for the tour. I am also working on an EP with our new signees Ishe & Dirt Monkey as well as a track with DJ Rap. And in addition to the Filth.fm “Bass Station” internet radio show we do each week, I will be starting to do a show on KISS FM DJ Skee’s new 24/7 internet radio station at skee.tv starting next week. Finally, New Blood of Dubstep Volume 2 will be released this summer, to unleash a brand new crop of producers from across the world.
RIS: Tell us about your label party happening at Spin Nightclub
REID: The Bass Monster Tour is sponsored by Beatport, and after the success of our pre-party in LA in April, is kicking off June 3rd at Spin. The tour features myself; FS and Cyberoptics, as well as supporting cast of Play Me artists in each market. We are hitting most of North America this summer/fall.
RIS: Any shout outs to friends, family, artists.
REID: Big shouts to Alexander Rosson, my better half in life and Play Me, to all the amazing Play Me artists we have had the pleasure to work with in our time, and biggest shouts to all the fans and unsigned producers working tirelessly to be the next big thing, we are listening for you and love you!