Dubstep artist Mikrodot, with a compelling blend of traditional reggae and innovative electronic beats, has been a driving force on the music scene this year.
We sat down with him to gain an insight into his creative journey, musical process, and the evolution of his unique brand of dubstep.
As 2023 unravels, Mikrodot shared his experiences and plans, stating, “This year has been a snowball effect of good things for me and the project. So far I have 4 EPs lined up to release this year, with some singles in between!”. Amid the waves of creativity, personal challenges were also part of his journey. He shared the stress of house-hunting and the joy of his son’s first steps, showing a personal side to the artist behind the music.
On the topic of his latest EP, ‘Are U Mad,’ Mikrodot dived into his creative process: “My process on this one was to create an offbeat synth pattern that had enough space to utilize percussion in between the gaps…Instead of having different synths take up the empty space of a phrase, I’m really keen on using percussion and other live instruments. It keeps the beat feeling more minimal and organic while still keeping it interesting.”
His musical journey began early, and his passion for the violin laid the foundation for his love of music. “I really wanted to play an instrument, and even today I still have this memory of hearing Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the first time…it seemed the best choice at the time to try learning violin.” He transitioned to producing beats in middle school, and after exploring various genres, he found his calling in dubstep.
Mikrodot’s exploration of the minimal, dub-flavored sound system tradition within heavy dubstep was inspired by his love for this particular subgenre. He mentioned, “I think it’s honestly just the type of dubstep I love to hear. It’s important as an artist to create the type of art you want to see in the world.”
While discussing his influences, Mikrodot credited the early pioneers of dubstep and the hip-hop music he grew up with. He said, “I also feel like the hip-hop I listened to growing up has its own place within the tunes I make, especially within the drums. Project Pat and Memphis rap in general really motivated me to start making beats in the first place.”
As a DJ, Mikrodot spoke about his approach to engaging the audience, saying, “My sets are generally all 140 BPM, so to keep things interesting I try to use the energy of the tunes to either help an audience take a break when it feels needed or really create some excitement!”
Mikrodot also spoke about his record label, High Vibration Audio (HVA), stating, “It doesn’t matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000, if it’s genuine music that I vibe with, I’ll take the time to promote and release it.” His label provides an avenue for up-and-coming artists to make a name for themselves in the industry.
When discussing the demos he receives, Mikrodot emphasized the importance of authenticity: “I really feel I’ve developed an ear over time for genuine dubstep… Individuality is an extremely important part of being an artist.”
Mikrodot’s secret to achieving a heavy bass tone is rooted in his simple yet effective processing chain. Without revealing too much, he said, “I will say multi-band compression and delicate use of the stereo field can make some truly massive bass… My processing chain is generally pretty simple when it comes to sound design. I always include a filter, compressor, EQ, and reverb, and sometimes distortion or delay.”
Lastly, he described his current studio setup with pride, boasting, “I have Adam A7X monitors and Avantone Mixcubes which are great for mixing… I have a 27” iMac with upgraded RAM, an ICON control surface for mixing, and an Arturia Keylab 61. My 10” KRK sub is daisy chained with the Adam monitors, and I have a switch that allows me to turn it on and off, which I’ve found to be important for mixing.”
Through this conversation, we get a vivid glimpse into Mikrodot’s journey and his contributions to the dubstep genre. His dedication, innovation, and authenticity shine through, serving as an inspiration for artists everywhere.