DJ Oneman is a DJs DJ. On a balmy summer night in Brisbane, i was lucky enough to catch a secret show with Oneman thanks to the DubThugs crew. Following a set featuring everything from The Police to Prince and Township Funk to Garage; we found out about his new record label, producing his own tunes, DJ’ing at Rinse FM, and that London Garage ‘ting.
Along with his contemporaries in the DMZ sound system crew, Oneman found the nexus uniting golden era Garage and Dubstep, connecting it with Bassline, Future Beats and House; setting the trend for fine tasting crossover fans to pen the term ‘Bass Music’. Watching Oneman mix within arms reach, i was able to see how Martin Clark observed that Oneman can mix two tunes very quickly by riding the pitch in the mix. Oneman, doesnt push the record plate, he corrects the mix via pitch once they’re already public – he knows he can correct the mix as it happens.
When Loefah put him forward for Mary Anne Hobbs’ pinnacle Generation Bass showcase in 2008, his talent as a DJ was undeniable, yet mixing early DMZ releases into old UK garage records will only take you so far. Instead he spent the next two years walking a new path, eventually ushering in a new generation of producers and sounds distinct from the grime, funky, dubstep, and garage scenes that inspired them.
By summer 2010, armed with peerless mixing skills and new Serato tricks, Oneman broke one of the records of the year, Girl Unit’s “Wut” and Sbtrkt’s collab with Jessie Ware, as well as launching his 502 label with two fresh new artists, Fis-T and Jay Weed.
As we near the end of the hyper arc of Dubstep, Oneman reminds us how right from the start he placed the true musical lineage of Dubstep – UK Garage and Grime – at the centre of the mix. More importantly, he has stayed true to this over time whilst embracing the newer Garage sounds and so had long ago arrived at the place that uninformed media are now calling ‘post-Dubstep’.