The dubstep OG shows his range.
Daniel Lockhart is the workhorse of the dubstep scene. A DJ since the age of 12, he spent his teenage years working at the influential Black Market Records as well as putting out some of the dubstep's earliest records. Lockhart dropped out of school to focus on his career in the genre. His dedication paid off: look through the annals of dubstep history and Lockhart's Youngsta alias is one of the most common names you'll see. He played at the earliest FWD>> nights and mixed the foundational entries in the Dubstep Allstars series. He lived dubstep, and as others in the scene drifted towards house and techno, Lockhart remained loyal to a traditional idea of the genre—a dark, brooding strain once dubbed the "dungeon sound." As a result, Lockhart is a leading figure, inspiring both veterans sticking to their guns and a new generation pumping out classic dubstep beats. But he's far from a navel-gazer trying to relive glory days, nor is he a purist.
Lockhart is a noted perfectionist, known for asking artists to adjust the sounds of hi-hats and other minute details before he'll play their tracks. That careful style bleeds into his DJing, too. He's not the kind of DJ who cuts quickly between tracks and races to the drop. Instead, he lets the tunes breathe, which makes his sets feel more dynamic. His RA podcast is a great example, moving through cuts from Addison Groove, Boddika and Paleman before diving into a deep dubstep session marked by his steady hand and impeccable taste.
What have you been up to recently?
I've been in the studio a lot recently making music with a few different artists. One project I'm working on is with Truth, another with Markee Ledge (Kosheen) and I just finished a new tune with a newer producer called Cimm. Finishing music has been my primary focus over the past couple of months.
How and where was the mix recorded?
1 x Corsair, Survivor Stealth, 64G USB. 1 x DJM900 Nexus. 3 x Pioneer CDJ 2000 Nexus. Recorded in the Rinse FM pre record studio.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The idea was to record a mix around the same time as the Tempa 100 release. I haven't recorded a mix for a long time so it gave me an opportunity to have something fresh out which showcased my broad taste in music outside of my Rinse show.
Most people associate you with a traditional idea of the dubstep sound. Do you think the scene is in good shape? Who are some producers we should look out for?
The dubstep scene has down-sized now the massive hype it created is over. It's no longer fashionable or the trendy new thing in the UK. This left the original DJs, producers and key people who were involved from the very beginning of the scene a purer audience that truly love the sound. The artists that got involved just to make money around the time dubstep blew up have now moved on to other projects, which I'm sure has provided more of a financially viable option for them. The people that went to the dubstep raves or supported the scene because they were simply following trends have also moved on to other types of music.
There is a lot of great talent breaking through and the development of the scene feels very natural again. There's some amazing dubstep being made that is different to the style created in the early days. It's evolved. New and original DJs and producers are pushing the sound forward with new ideas, styles and hybrid creations. It's very exciting.
Your mix includes artists from all over the bass music spectrum. Would you still call yourself a dubstep DJ?
I guess I'll always be known as a dubstep DJ, even if I stopped playing the genre completely. Dubstep is where I made my name in music. I'm definitely a DJ that plays dubstep and always will as long as it continues to make me happy, but that's exactly why I'm playing other genres of bass music now, because it makes me happy and it feels right.
What are you up to next?
I''m doing a USA / Canada tour in January. Arranging more Contact events in and out of the country. Back in the studio asap and I'm gonna learn how to play the piano.