Collective Conversation: Dubbyman & Malcolm
Debra Jones-Davis, Director of Marketing for Altered Moods Recordings, sits down with Dubbyman—aka José Alvarez—Director of Deep Explorer Music and Malcolm Moore, Executive Director of Altered Moods Recordings. They talk about their parallel 26th releases (for each label), “Love and Rhythm” and “Love’s All Right” and get to the nitty gritty of what’s really happening in the independent Deep House and underground music scenes. The interview covers everything from how the two DJ-musicians met, to how they view the music scene overall—haters, pretenders and wannabe-players scattered among a few really talented musicians who manage to make beats without playing the ego game.
More than a mutual back-slapping fest, they give props to the folks who stand out, highlighting the real truth of working in the arts: it’s the work, not the hype. The old “three quarters sweat and one quarter flash” still plays on the turntables, but most folks forget the work part, as these two have discovered living their lives in music.
The interesting thread through the whole interview is the notion that these fellas respect each other for their dedication, commitment and integrity more than any noise made about them. Playing down compliments to themselves and praising the other and their peers, their biggest hopes are for working together, the long term and partnerships.
Debra Jones-Davis: To the best of your memory how did you two meet… or how did this dual release get started?
Malcolm Moore: Well, dubs emailed me talked about doing a release swap.
Dubbyman: Yes, I did the first step.
Malcolm Moore: It was in our “info@” email in box, which we are bad at checking, haha, but I looked in there and forwarded it to myself.
Debra Jones-Davis: Why did you want to do a release with AMR/Malcolm Moore?
Dubbyman: First of all, because I really liked the label.
Debra Jones-Davis: Malcolm, why did you agree to do this with Dubby?
Malcolm Moore: I was surprised that Dubby would want to do something with me!
Dubbyman: Why? Your label is dope!
Malcolm Moore: Yeah, yeah I know…but back then it wasn’t feeling very dope to me…everybody wants “heat, heat, heat” and I didn’t really make AMR for “heat” so I felt like I was doing it wrong.
Dubbyman: What means “heat”?
Malcolm Moore: Dubby: “heat” is what all the DJ’s out there want to bring to the clubs to make people dance…
Debra Jones-Davis: Malcolm how do you feel about Deep Explorer?
Malcolm Moore: Deep Explorer is fuckin’ dope! Unfortunately, AMR is not really a label you will hear in the clubs much because it’s kinda slow and introspective, more of a chill and laid back kind of thing.
Malcolm Moore: When I got Dubby’s email, I was surprised because Deep Explorer is very successful.
Debra Jones-Davis: How did you decide what to do with the swap?
Malcolm Moore: There weren’t any real specifics about it—honestly, we just started trading tracks… Dubby gave me his a while before I gave him mine. We started talking about what we liked most… this was about September of 2010.
Debra Jones-Davis: Dubby… do you think AMR is successful?
Dubbyman: Not only that… AMR is a cult label… from my eyes and from many others. Anyway, before I contacted Malcolm, I read the things on his webpage …and I saw that he was very clear about the direction of the label, also I liked the artists.
Malcolm Moore: Haha, yeah, I heard you say that before…why do you think it’s a cult label?
Dubbyman: It is really complicated to describe a Cult label… for example Eargasmic is too… could you explain why?
Malcolm Moore: Haha, yeah Eargasmic definitely puts out some deep cuts
Dubbyman: Same as you, fool…
Debra Jones-Davis: Why did it take so long? I remember you working on this early 2011.
Malcolm Moore: We were busy in particular, and moving to Thailand was intense.
Malcolm Moore: I don’t know… I guess I judge my own success on labels like Sistrum and Aesthetic Audio and even perhaps My Love is Underground. Those labels get talked about, you know? Us… not so much. How do I say it without sounding jealous… haha
Debra Jones-Davis: Under the radar?
Malcolm Moore: Hah, yes. We are definitely that. Now is that a good thing or a bad thing? Who knows?
Debra Jones-Davis: We are like a well kept secret… that is about to be exposed…
Debra Jones-Davis: Dubby, you have been following AMR for how long?
Dubbyman: OK, I discover AMR by the double pack.
Malcolm Moore: That was a magical release—the first vinyl.
Debra Jones-Davis: Love …Lost and Found?
Malcolm Moore: I’m surprised at how well that came together.
Malcolm Moore: We took a bath financially on it, but it gave us some exposure.
Dubbyman: My next one was 2Loop “Deep Blue”.
Malcolm Moore: Yes. Deep Blue is one of my favorites.
Dubbyman: I am gonna say something that maybe you will not like, but for me I think this is an accomplishment.
Malcolm Moore: ok..
Dubbyman: AMR is here to take (in the same way) the space that Deep4Life left empty.
Malcolm Moore: Yeah. I’ve heard that comparison more than once.
Malcolm Moore: I don’t take offense to it.
Dubbyman: You shouldn’t.
Malcolm Moore: I modeled my label to be similar to Deep4Life. ‘Course, now, Chris is recording music again, so…hope we don’t clash!”
Dubbyman: Everybody has his or her heroes.
Debra Jones-Davis: Who are your heroes? Both of you… please answer.
Malcolm Moore: In what context?
Debra Jones-Davis: In the deep house context.
Malcolm Moore: That’s easy for me… Larry MF Heard.
Dubbyman: Larry Heard.
Malcolm Moore: HAHA!!
Dubbyman: Hahahahha, no more questions MS Debra
Malcolm Moore: Hahaha – okay?
Malcolm Moore: END INTERVIEW
Debra Jones-Davis: Yes… more questions…
Dubbyman: I think this one answered all the questions
Malcolm Moore: He’s about the only one I would change my whole style for really. Larry is THE man.
Dubbyman: Haha… some humor to “heat” the interview…
Malcolm Moore: Hahaha
Debra Jones-Davis: Ok… Lets get back on point…
Debra Jones-Davis: Now that you have completed both releases what do you think of this project?
Malcolm Moore: Dubby and I traded tracks back and forth for a while… he’s very patient, I liked that.
Debra Jones-Davis: So now that they are both close to being released are you both satisfied and excited about them being released on the same day?
Malcolm Moore: We’re all busy, I know, but I really appreciated that he wasn’t pushing hard to get the release done.
Dubbyman: Let me get back to one interesting thing that Debra exposed minutes ago…..there is something that connecting the dots about the under the radar thing
Malcolm Moore: You’re one of the few people in this biz that did what he said he was going to do. I can’t tell you how much I value that.
Dubbyman: Thank you, amigo.
Debra Jones-Davis: What really matters, Malcolm?
Malcolm Moore: I have a saying, “Just because I like your music doesn’t mean I have to like you.” I mean that, with every fiber of my being. In the past 14 months, what really matters has become very clear to me.
Debra Jones-Davis: Dubby—you were going to say something about being under the radar.
Dubbyman: Yes. We can go back to this after (cause for me this is important too…I was almost 2 years waiting to read your kind words, brother)
Dubbyman: So… before we talked about “Under the radar” artists and heat artists… Larry Heard is exactly the confirmation that to be under the radar can be successful, too…. their tracks are not “heat” exactly…. but you can’t find people that say “I don’t like it” so .. in some way…. he is our hope and that could be the same for Theo Parrish as a “No heat DJ”
Malcolm Moore: He is very much everything that the underground music scene wishes it could be, but is most certainly not.
Debra Jones-Davis: Why do you think the underground is not together and supportive of each other and the music like you and Malcolm are?
Dubbyman: Can I answer? Can I answer?
Debra Jones-Davis: Ok… give me something I can use?
Malcolm Moore: Yeah, use that.
Malcolm Moore: EGO. You see a lot of people sit around here and talk about how they are about the music.
Debra Jones-Davis: More than one word please?
Dubbyman: MUCH ENVY.
Malcolm Moore: But their *actions* prove that they are not about it in the slightest.
Malcolm Moore: Ahahha Dubby, serious answer though, there is a lot of talk in this industry, but not a lot of walk.
Dubbyman: Malcolm is on fire! Sorry… I cant help it….;)
Malcolm Moore: You got cats that want to see their name in lights, see themselves at parties all the time, see people lavishing them with praise. Hey, I GET THAT. I like it too, sometimes.
When I was gigging in Berlin and Oslo, I liked the fact that I proved that I was able to move a crowd.
But this music shit is not about only moving a crowd and how well you can do that. It’s about being able to connect with your audience on *any* level.
Dubbyman: OK, just to give an example, I like jazz…but I can’t play it. I like heat tracks too…but I can’t do it. So I do what I do… many people like it, too.
Malcolm Moore: Right, the question to ask is, are people feeling your vibe? Sometimes you can lead them to it, sometimes it doesn’t work.
Debra Jones-Davis: Amir said something very profound about these releases, which I am going to put on a t-shirt. Alliances made… Bonds formed. Bridging Underground Movement… Do you think this project is doing that?
Malcolm Moore: Absolutely. Amir, man…now that’s one cat that has his head on right. Great to deal with, hungry, humble, all about the beats. I like to see people like him succeed. Unfortunately, a number of people in this biz are in it for the wrong reasons.
Dubbyman: Another example, since Minuendo and Deep Explorer joined forces a long time ago…we felt that everything got better.
Malcolm Moore: Oh, hell yeah. the Bliq guys…they’re holding it down too…
Debra Jones-Davis: Alliances?
Malcolm Moore: That’s what it’s about! Let’s do this shit together! I don’t lose because you win. WE win.
Dubbyman: For me it’s not alliances…I don’t like that word…reminds me of the war. For me it’s common sense
Malcolm Moore: Explain.
Dubbyman: The word “Alliances” is like we would have enemies… and enemies in music is something really weird. But I think that we do have enemies because you know for sure (and that brings us back to the Bullshit subject) that some people were trying to fuck with your project from the beginning.
Malcolm Moore: That’s a good point. So what do we call it, then? If not alliances, then what?
Debra Jones-Davis: Partnerships made….
Malcolm Moore: Partnerships. I like it.
Dubbyman: Better, hell yeah!
Malcolm Moore: That would be fair.
Debra Jones-Davis: Now that they are done… how are you both feeling about this project… and can we expect more in the future?
Malcolm Moore: Looking forward to a long partnership just spreading deep music.
Dubbyman: You will have it. It’s that basic. OK, this is how I see the LOVE EPs’… I think this is a release that people will dig… cause I was playing the TP and people love it, many people are asking “When, when, when?”
Malcolm Moore: Sweet.
Debra Jones-Davis: In conclusion… job well done… we can expect more projects down the line… looking forward to working with you Dubby… is it everything you thought it would be?
Dubbyman: Bang! About the LOVE.