Is bass the final frontier? Teddy Duvall, who moved here from Philadelphia with his wife Jessica to attend Duquesne University's law school, certainly believes in pushing the subwoofer's envelope. That's why the pair -- also known as .rar Kelly and Natty Boh Peep, respectively -- decided to create the monthly Subdivision parties, which alternate between third Fridays at Lawrenceville dance club Remedy and second Thursdays at Barbary in Philly.
Prior to the Duvalls' arrival (and yes, actor Robert Duvall is Teddy's distant cousin) dubstep had been introduced to the area by Adam Boura (a.k.a. ABZ), who dropped the dark, low-end half-speed London style into sets at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern and Firehouse Lounge. But Subdivision is the first regular local event -- other than the BBT's Fuzz drum 'n' bass nights -- to make heavy bass music the mainstay of its programming. It offers not just dubstep, but also Miami bass, grime, bassline (the Sheffield offshoot of speed garage), and one would hope, the grandaddy of them all, electro.
"Jess had almost 10 years' experience as a drum 'n' bass DJ, [while] all I listened to at the start of the millennium was breakcore," recalls Teddy. "But when dubstep came in 2004, that really got us back into the scene. We started doing parties because there were so many acts we really wanted to see, and nobody was throwing anything exclusively bass-oriented."
The Subdivision team now coordinates details with Philly conspirators Alex Burkat (dubstep producer Rx, also known as electropopster Pfunkt) and Mike Flufftronix, as well as Chaz Requiña, who runs the blog/label Palms Out Sounds, and Vince Masi of local event production company Talk to Vinny.
This weekend, they've landed a big catch with U.K. dubstep hero Stenchman (real name Jack Carter). Stenchman, known for his signature Slipknot-esque mask with zippers on the eyes and mouth, touches down this Fri., April 17, at Remedy. The show starts at 10 p.m., costs $5, and features guest DJs ABZ and Arsenal.
"[Stenchman] has a heavy sound, but can also create gentler tunes and has a bizarre sense of humor," says Teddy. "We ended up booking his entire U.S. tour."
Indeed, the Duvalls' next steps include establishing an agency dedicated to bringing in up-and-coming U.K. heavyweights, and the June launch of a new division in Manchester, England, with the help of producer Jayou (a.k.a James Martin). "We're going to try to keep our roster eclectic, rather than pigeonhole ourselves. We want to pull many artists that don't have Stateside representation."
Check the crew's Web site at www.subdivisionbass.com.