Bassweight: A Dubstep Documentary by The SRK

The story of dubstep has been caught and written in silver on screen in a documentary just released by the SRK team. Bassweight is the latest film of The SRK, London-based modern chroniclers of key urban movements.

Dubstep is a London music child, shaped and produced by beat makers and rhythm players who built, from the foundations of dark dark garage and 2-step, a bass line so wickedly spellbinding it enraptured music lovers and spinners across the globe, from the UK to Amsterdam, Russia, Brazil all the way back again.

To tell the story of dubstep, the SRK zoom their lens close-up on this underground world as it once was, and has now become, taking for their narrator the voice of all the major players of the movement: from Dirrty Goodz of the Big Apple record store (vintage footage), Benga, Skream, Hijak, N–Type and Mary Anne Hobbs of Radio 1’s Dubstep Warz, to an ensuing impressive line up who subsequently picks up the narration.

Shake hands with Boomnoise and Sgt Pokes who welcome Goth-Trad on SubFM for one of their (many) iconic shows, on silhouettes of large cones winking, and with Heny G of Anti Social Entertainment who recalls the particulars of pirate radios. Jason Goz, of Transition Mastering, talks dub plates, mastering and subtleties of frequencies.

The international scope of dubstep is opened by Deapoh of Barefiles and Bare Dubs records, who takes the audience to Amsterdam for a phenomenal rave – with Kromestra, Hijak and Mala spinning amongst many others – and we go as far as Brazil to meet DJ Bruno Belluomini, who does not charge money and does not want to charge people for the parties he spins, as he believes dubstep has to be heard live to be felt.

The SRK’s style defines Bassweight. I had encountered them previously through their court métrage Graffiti Asia. Their sped up, accelerated footage shakes cuts, the grainy and the sharp. The slope of time, past-present-future, is gently tinged; black & white for what has come and gone, monochrome-bronze and full colour for the present and future tenses.

The photo-essay aesthetic of static photographs where the onlooker is zoomed slowly out from on reverberating soundscapes, illustrates perfectly the hazy memories of rave parties.

Certain views and angles capture our forever-changing tech world spot on: there is a fantastic shot of Benny Ill, of Horsepower production, chatting before shelves upon shelves of videotapes (remember that, videotapes!).

As Mary Anne Hobbs says, Dubstep is a meeting place for all, in dubstep there is something for everyone.

Bassweight Trailer:

“The minute you’re involved in producing music, you take control of your local sound space. The minute you’re making sound, instead of just being a passive victim of your environment, you actually start to carve an environment, That is why it is so empowering to make music.” –Kode9

Bassweight is available now from bassweightdvd.com. Find out more about The SRK at thesrk.com.