By Michael Hamersly
Those of you who like your dance music with an edge surely will want to catch the Brooklyn DJ crew Trouble & Bass, which hits Bella Rose Sunday night for its CD-release party.
The members - Drop the Lime, AC Slater, the Captain and Star Eyes - see themselves as a “futuristic mob of DJ/producers playing hard-hitting beats with no rules.”
Catch their raging but playful mix of heavy bass, electro, dub-step and squelching synths at 10 p.m. at the Miami Beach club (423 16th St.) - it's free with RSVP here.
Drop the Lime (a.k.a. Luca Venezia) took time to talk about his crew - and talk up their gig.
What does Drop the Lime mean?
It's from this old Sicilian ritual, this tradition where they pull out a lemon and they would throw it into the sea for good luck, and it would bring you good fortune. And they don't have limes over there, so it's a little play on words there, keeping the tradition of the Italian superstition of the lime and the lemon.
What is Trouble & Bass' musical mission?
To take over the world and destroy it with bass. It's all about mixing any genre that has the same attitude: energy and strong and tough, like a punk attitude, but dance music. It could be dub-step, Baltimore club, electro, bassline, new house, old house, whatever - as long as the energy matches itself and keeps it going.
Were you influenced by The Prodigy?
Oh, definitely - I used to listen to them as a kid, and go to raves. They were a big influence.
What can we expect from your gig Sunday night?
The Miami gig will be the whole crew - The Captain, AC Slater, Star Eyes. And all four of us will have little mini-sets, but we'll tag-team and mess around. Maybe one of us will mess with the mixer while one is beat-matching, doing little tricks here and there like putting an a capella over this. Just having a good time and getting the crowd to have fun.
When did you realize you could do this for a living?
I'd say a couple years ago. I started DJing a lot and got an agent, and my remixes were coming through and people were picking up on my own production. The same thing happened with the crew, because it's our own record label. We really pushed our sound through the Internet and record shops and that allowed us to really expand our party and our vibe.
You also perform regularly at the superclub Fabric in London. How did that residency happen?
I think the same way. I've always been influenced by the U.K. club sound, since jungle music and drum 'n' bass - that's what got me into electronic music. So somehow my sound went across the globe, and I played over there a couple times and one thing led to another and I just started going over there every couple months.
Are the crowds different over there?
The U.K. alone is a very dance music-oriented culture - we're very rock 'n' roll and hip-hop. In the U.K., you turn on the radio and you've got every type of dance music going on. And the kids are more open and really get wild and get down. You'll have your crazy crowds in the States, like Miami's one that's definitely into bass music, like Miami bass and that sound. But in the U.K., it's a different approach - they get a little wilder.
So you've been to Miami a few times?
Oh yeah - I love Miami. We've been there for the Winter Music Conference a few years and played a couple times. The White Room, the Gansevoort Hotel, the Fontainebleau, Bacardi B-Live, and the Vagabond as well. You've got some good spots in Miami.
How influential was Miami bass to you?
It's got that raw attitude, you know? And combined with the rapping and that summertime vibe, bikini girls getting wild - shaking that ass, you know what I'm saying?
Are you working on anything now in the studio?
I'm working on my album right now - I don't have a title yet, but the single called "Devil's Eyes" will be dropping in July. And other stuff with Trouble & Bass as well.
What's on your iPod that might surprise people?
Probably Prince. But it's the B-sides - on his B-sides, he gets crazy with the production, a little bit more experimental. The beats are glitchy and he'll be singing about over-the-top sexual things, taking it somewhere where the radio can't take it.
(L-R) Drop The Lime, AC Slater, The Captain, and Star Eyes of Trouble & Bass. Photo: Peggy Ann McDonnell