Lean, deep and pulsating, Chubby Dubz create expansive house music for getting lost inside your head. Made up of Oliver $ and Gene Siewing, Chubby Dubz is a new undertaking for both. With Mr. $, real name Oliver Siebert, taking care of the production it’s a move away from the brasher fidgety sounds he is best known for with the added magic of some blue-eyed soul courtesy of Gene. We caught up with the pair to find out some more…
Hello Oliver and Gene. Please introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about your backgrounds.
Oliver Siebert: I’m a young producer from Berlin who started releasing on Jan Drivers Grand Petrol label which caught the attention of the label boss of Made to Play Jesse Rose who I started collaborating with and eventually started producing my own tracks on Made to Play. My love for electronic music started actually more with techno and trance but I also was introduced from my cousin Jan Driver to the whole Chicago crew like Cajmere, Boo Williams when they were touring as the Berlin Chicago Express.
Gene: I’m from St. Louis Missouri originally but after a short visit to Berlin in 2004-2005 I linked up with an amazing group of producers: Siruismo, Jan Driver, and Oliver. I grew up on the sounds that were coming out of my home-town which was Blues, Jazz, Rock n roll and Soul. After I caught the House music bug that was coming from Chicago and the surrounding cities I was lucky enough to have some seen some real pro Dj’s coming through like Terry Mullan, Derrick Carter and Josh Wink.
What is chubby Dubz?
A colaboration we started for the shared interest we both had in the deeper side of House music. We are big fans of dub house so its our take really on our roots and what we both grew up on as far as club music goes.
And how would you describe your sound?
Dubby, chubby house music.
How did you to first meet?
Around 2005 after Gene made a visit to Berlin and met my cousin Jan (Driver) who introduced us to each other.
And what lead you to making music together?
Because we both had a love for quality house music and wanted to keep the spirit alive. We started producing some tracks and a year later actually sent a demo out to DJ Jauche who decided he wanted to put our first sinlge out ‘See it Thru’ on his label Appeal. That was really the start of it all.
What do both of you bring to the table from your different backgrounds?
Oliver: I’m bringing my knowledge of producing the beats and having been influenced from from a wide-range of sounds that were coming out of Germany in the 90’s along with the House music that was coming from the States.
Gene: I bring a bit of soul, bluesy edge to the table as am the man on the mic in the project.
Oliver, how is this music different to your Oliver $ moniker?
This project is where I can explore the deeper side of House since my Oliver $ project is a bit more in your face.
What do you have lined up for your album?
A Direct Experience into the sound we call Chubby Dubz with full length versions on five different 12″s along with a CD album and some nice remixes from the likes of Tyree Cooper and Art Bleek amongst others
What else is coming up in 2012?
Expect to be seeing a few 12″ samplers from the upcoming Direct Experience album early this year. We are proud to be releasing it on Loungin Records! Also keep your eye out for some remixes that will also be released later this year.
How do you think you can make the album format interesting in dance music?
We always try to put our own twist on the deeper side of the dance spectrum while never forgeting the dancfloor is where we want to make the most impact.
What was the last piece of music you listened to?
Roy Ayers, The Drive Album.
Your studio is burning down and you only have time to save one thing – what would you take?
Tough one but we would have to say its gonna be the Back-up Drive. Even though we would rather have our eyes gouged out of our heads with hot sticks than to leave our record collection there. But wait! The 606!! Ahh…Forget it.
Download ‘Direct Experience’ for free below.
Boysnoize Records (BNR) was founded by Boys Noize aka Alex Ridha in the year 2005. Launched by Ridha in order to retain his full artistic freedom while releasing his own music under Boys Noize as well as under different monikers (Puzique, Einzeller, Eastwest) BNR became a home for multidirectional quality electronic music. Now BNR has a new Driver. He is called Jan.
Last week your new album Amatilda was released through Boysnoize Records (BNR), though it doesn’t sound like a standard BNR release.
Yes, this is not a typical BNR release: I think this album has a great variety of sounds and I think it’s a cool and forward-looking decision from Alex Ridha to release my album through his imprint and open up towards new beatmaking.
You’ve been part of the Berlin Bass Boheme for a while now. When exactly did you start producing your own music?
I did my first record when I was 15 years old, through the good old Formaldehyd label. I started with Industrial music, then I turned pretty much to trance for a while.
But that was not under your Jan Driver moniker?
Nope. My first Jan Driver single was released in 1995. It was a blue vinyl 12” for my own label Grand Petrol. Then I was more or less producing and mastering stuff for friends and clients. So you were really young when you started producing techno.
Were you inspired by early Berlin techno clubs like UFO, Planet, E-Werk or Tresor?
I really loved the Exit Club at Fischerinsel. I was really, really digging this club – and from time to time I was visiting the Tresor aswell. But after a while that was boring and I prefered working in my studio producing and mastering stuff.
Who were you working with then, can you drop some names?
I did all producing and mastering for my buddy Siriusmo, then I worked for Jesse Rose, Modeselektor, then the Ghost remixes. I was very busy with working for other people but then, in my freetime I started to work on material for myself.
How did you come across with BNR, who are relativly new to the long-established Berlin techno-scene?
It was Siriusmo, who presented me one to to Alex and then later I was inviting him to come into my studio. There I played some of my tunes and he instantly loved them. We had a good collaborative feeling and we stayed in touch. One day we were working on a single and after that turned out pretty much good, we decided that one day I might release an album on his own imprint. And as I am pretty much on a run the last couple of months, I came faster than we all thought and the album was ready.
And the result of his rush is the Amatilda album on BNR?
Yes, exactly. Of course I did some changes after playing the tracks to Alex, but this was no problem because I am on a run. What I’ve learned about myself is, when I have a run, then I gotta use this. And now you’re with BNR? I think BNR is a really cool platfrom. The people working for BNR are really professionals and very gentle. I like BNR a lot.
How would you describe the BNR status these days in Berlin? I think BNR is facinating. Sure, not everybody likes the BNR sound, there’s still a lot of minimal around, but BNR had always a great variety: from funk, to hiphop, to oldschool, jungle and 90s rave to deep house, techno and more. But for me it’s not really important to define this. I think my album is somewhat special. It could be an advancement of the BNR sound. I think it’s pretty cool that Alex opens the range and signs artist like me or Spank Rock to BNR.
Was there any special inspiration for your Amatilda album? Did you listen to some contemporary music? You can tell me.
I think my album is anything but influenced by modern music. More likely influnces from the 1990s. As I told you the album was produced in nearly one rush and during this rush I never thought that this will be music for a new Jan Driver album. That’s so strange. I’d really like to know how it would sound if I had known beforehand that this will be a Jan Driver album.
What can we expect now? Are you going to tour with your new album?
Sure, there’ll be a tour but I hate being on a plane, so maybe it’s more a European tour. We will see. Years ago I already drove by car to gigs in Scotland or Finland – you can’t imagine how the promoters react, when they saw me with my Berlin car in front of the clubs. So maybe, this will happen again.
Don’t miss to tune in for a two hours mix of Jan Driver at “Electronic Beats on Flux FM” today, thursday 22nd starting 10.00 pm European time.
Berlin and Brandenburg – 100.6 MHz
Stuttgart – 97.2 MHz
Bremen – 97.2 MHz