Doofs and bass music: 5 minutes with Dov1

Doofs and bass music: 5 minutes with Dov1

Dov1 is known for energetic sets that delve as hard into bassline drops and glitched-out frenzies as they do into a tranquil interlude. Whether downtempo or peak time upbeat, the sounds to be expected from him are always elevated and emotional. A Dov1 set always reflect the diversity of emerging bass music trends while paying homage to roots of dub and bass. We had a quick 5 minute chat with David Bruyns AKA Dov1 ahead of his performance at Let Them Eat Cake festival…

The last time you were in Australia was for Eclipse Festival, (as well as 5 or 6 times before that), which is a very different vibe to playing at Let Them Eat Cake. What Australian tour stands out for you?  I love coming to play in Australia, I first came out for a Winter Solstice Festival up near Cairns and then again that year for Deliverance, Shine On and Subsonic, I noticed the difference in communities with the edgier glitch and bass music at that time being quite new for Festival scene and yet I also played at thriving bass music nights in Melbourne and Brisbane. Of course a lot has changed in the past few years with a lot of Australian talent coming to the forefront of a few Bass music genres and larger stages now being dedicated to those sounds at the festivals.  

How did you find your experience in Australia when you were here last? Outstanding, Eclipse was epic with the amount of internationals from everywhere, I played a bunch of gigs with An-ten-nae, Eprom and FreQ Nasty who are all hugely inspiring for me to tour alongside and that tour culminated with a session at Subsonic. I played after Mark Pritchard, Eprom and An-ten-nae which was probably my favorite set of the tour. 

Are you looking forward to seeing a different perspective on the Australian dance scene? I’m really keen to see the Melbourne city vibes that come out to LTEC, it’s been one of the Australian events I’ve really been eager to come to, and the lineups are often full of some of my favorite artists. There are more artists whose music I buy on a LTEC lineup than any other festival I’ve been to in Australia. 

What are you looking forward to doing when you’re down here next? Outside of music and hanging with family / friends, I’d love to get my PADI license and do some diving. 

You play a lot of doofs, you know those outdoor raves with lots of dust and meditation and psy trance and tea. Rainbow Serpent, Burning Man, Eclipse. By now you’d have a survival guide down pat – what do you do to survive a doof? Favourite thing to do at a doof? At this point I think I have a special dust component to my lungs and if I ever have an autopsy I think they’ll open me up and it’ll go poof and have them all sneezing, but special survival skills would nclude hydrating between your liquor and then sun protection. My favorite thing to do is to play music and then have a good laugh and dance with friends. 

You’re the brains behind Muti Music which you founded in 2002. How is the label going? How do you manage to run the label with such a busy touring schedule? What’s in store for the label’s future? I honestly could not tour for many years whilst I was getting the label up and running,  and only now that Muti Music is a brand and has a solid stable of artists, can I afford to outsource or seek assistance for some of the work. The label is going well, we just did a really big release this past year with an Australian artist, ‘Mista Savona’, who made an album with Reggae artist Sizzla. We managed to get everyone from Dub Phizix, Skeptical, Om Unit, Liquid Stranger, Son Of Kick, Stickybuds, Ed Solo, An-ten-ae, Andreilien, David Starfire, Nico Luminous and many more on the remixes which has been an epic ongoing project. 

For the future you’ll be seeing some of the best material yet to come out of the label with artist albums in 2015 from An-ten-nae, Andreilien, Hypha and myself all in the first 4 months of the year, a lot more on the future-bass tip and drum & bass influenced stuff playing with halftime vibes.

Your sets are always a mixture of dubstep, drum n bass, glitch hop, melodies, ethereal moments and even jungle beats. That’s a whole lot of music to fit into one cohesive set. Do you plan your sets before you play? What’s your secret to making all that sound good together? What genre gets your favorite reaction out of crowds? Crowds change so my sets change accordingly (hopefully), for a dance floor I try to make it about sounds and a journey as much as it’s the impact of bass and rhythmic beats. I personally love polyrhythms and swing beats, so I try to use those to enhance energy and movement. 

As far as prep work for sets, I have loops and loop markers for parts of tunes that are either good for mixing or dropping straight into. I also tend to have little blocks of 2 or 3 tunes that I know work well together, which also then gives me some headspace to think about other transitions as opposed to looking at my computer screen and scanning through tunes during every tune to figure out what I’ll throw in next. I’ll also have those small groupings separated as tempo groups and a few loops or tempo transition tunes in between. 

You’re originally from Cape Town in South Africa but made the move to San Francisco and are now permanently based there. What’s the dance scene like in South Africa? It’s thriving, with a ton of talent in bass music. At this point there are veteran guys like Sibot and Markus Wormstorm who are smoking hot and who also provide a lot of guidance and tutelage for the younger guys. Then Mix n Blend and PH Fat are some Cape Town guys who each slay crowds in their own way - and then a whole plethora of bedroom producers and an insane amount of vocal talent.

What made you make the move to San Fran? I was a backpacking traveller for a few years and while living in Greece I met some folks who told me about Burning Man and I came and I guess I stayed.

Favourite thing about living in the US? I only came to terms with it being my home once I left for a while traveling  one year to Australia and back to South Africa. I was gone for about 3 months and realized what makes it home for me is the community of friends I know and love. I only just became a US citizen 2 days ago. 

A record collector and selector at heart, what’s your rarest most loved record? I don’t pay enough attention to what has become rare, and most of my vinyl is from a period when I played very different stuff to what I play now. Favorite would have to be possibly something like Tiny Reminders by Two Lone Swordsmen with some old FreQ Nasty and BLIM after that along with some Fuel, Sour, Hard Hands and Second Skin Records.

Are there any recent goodies that you’ve picked up? In addition to receiving a ton of free music, I still buy music every week, mostly digital. I guess I consume a ton of music, but I have quite an appetite for it.

If your house was on fire and you were only able to choose 3 records to save, what would they be? Aside from saving space, that’s why most of my vinyl is in storage! At home I’d be chasing down hard drives, artwork on the walls and my pet snake.