Dubspot Radio Rewind: DNAE BEATS + Exclusive Mix and Interview!

For this episode of Dubspot Rewind, we take it back to revisit a bass heavy mix by DNAE BEATS, a San Francisco pioneer who splices multiple genres into a mutant sound all his own. DNEA also kicks back with Pozibelle for an exclusive interview about the Bay Area bass music scene, working with other artists, studio setup, his label, and much more.


Street Bass is a sound birthed in Philadelphia, but it acts as a sonic homeland for San Francisco’s DNAE BEATS. It’s a style that encourages a variety of genres to gather under its broad roof of grimey mid-range bass and hard beats. DNAE’s particular school of thought is one rooted in Hip Hop but jumps from Dubstep to House to Disco. It’s often described as ‘blap’ after a series of parties he threw with the same name. His sound is an invasion of weighty neon lasers that stomp on any obstructions in its path towards domination. The former child choir star has worked with rappers including Gift of Gab from Blackalicious and MF Grimm. DNAE has a particular fondness for grime emcees, and his preferences are as much at home in the Bay Area as they are in the Street Bass enclave. For this exclusive mix, he hit Dubspot with tunes as diverse as the producers on the come-up in the region. The music ranges from bleepy beats and 808 music to mutant House and Future Bass. Enjoy the invasion!




1. Intro
2. Stagga “We The Generals” (DNAE’s Keep It Grim Remix) [Forthcoming on Slit Jockey]
3. DNAE BEATS – “Red Curry Popsicle” [Forthcoming on Seclusiasis]
4. Pacheko “Everyday” (DNAE BEATS Remix) [Unreleased]
5. DNAE BEATS – “Death Comes Young” [Unreleased]
6. DNAE BEATS – “Never Know” [Unreleased]
7. DNAE BEATS – “Honey Dipped” [Unreleased]
8. Obsidian “Shine” fx: MelissFX (DNAE’s Holding Me Down Remix) [Hot N Heavy]
9. DNAE BEATS – “Atacama Sandstorm” [Unreleased]
10. DNAE BEATS – “Let Me Hit That” ft: Mistah Fab & Psalm One [Seclusiasis]


Interview with DNAE Beats


You’ve been interested in making Hip Hop beats from the start?

I’ve always been interested in different types of music. My passion from the beginning was to produce electronic music – whether that be Breakbeats, Hip Hop, or Grime. Being friends with MCs, who needed beats, it just formed that way. However, thinking back to my first beats, there has always been a grimey electronic influence.

How did you link up with Seclusiasis?

A friend of mine gave me Starkey’s Ephemeral Exhibits before going on a lengthy tour. I found myself listening to it the whole trip, and when I got home, I reached out complimenting him on his sound. He hit me back saying he has been following my music for some time, and it went from there.

What type of crowds in San Francisco dig the Street Bass thing?

I think people that enjoy our sound are a mixture of rave kids and Hip Hop kids. Street Bass is a smorgasbord of everything, but that’s what’s great about it; it’s genre-less.

Has the Bay Area Hip Hop scene begun embracing the sounds from the beats scene and bass music?

That’s a good question. Yes and no. There are a lot of people who see the evolution of music, but there are close-minded listeners who do not see the potential of what’s going on. I see that personally with my background working with MCs in Hip Hop then transitioning into bass music.

Do you find a certain thread between most of the rappers that are interested in working with you?

The ones I work with, we click and get into the same zone musically, whereas there are artists when you get in the studio you are in two different zones. It’s important that the respect is equal to make quality music.

You were going to make a grime album with Sound Ink before in shuttered. Do you still have any interest in working with grime emcees?

I love grime. I was super bummed when Sound Ink folded. Such a great label. I really believed in their vision. I’ve always wanted to work with grime MCs, and when I heard P-Money freestyling over “Brazilian Bug Bite” on Rinse FM I was more than ecstatic. There’s something special about the flow of a good grime MC.

What do you look for in a rapper?

Substance, delivery, humbleness, and a strong work ethic. It is hard to find though I’ve been blessed to cross paths with MCs like Mr. Lif, MF Grimm, Gift of Gab, and many others.

Have you started on the next Gift of Gab album yet?

Not yet, I’m focusing on solo projects, and Gab is focusing on the upcoming Blackalicious album. We are planning on doing some shows that’ll be a bit different from before with him freestyling over my street bass riddims and a tour in Brazil this December.

What is your studio setup?

In the studio, I’m currently enjoying a much more simplistic setup. I’m running Ableton with the MPC 2500, Korg MS 2000, Moog Voyager, Dave Smith Instruments Mopho, a circuit bent Casio 23OS, Moogerfooger Murf, MPK 49, MPD 32, and Dyn Audio Acoustic monitors. With my live setup, I started with three MPC 2500s, an MPC 500, and a Kaoss pad, but I can’t afford a roadie, so I’ve simplified to an MPD 32 with Ableton and a laptop. I plan to incorporate more outboard gear into upcoming tours but for one-off shows it’s too difficult to fly with all that stuff.

What goes on during one of your performances?

My solo set is usually 30 minutes to an hour of all tunes I produced blended with dubbed out delays and various vocal samples. With a rapper, it is definitely planned out with a similar setup but different queue points for the MC to freestyle and for us to improvise.

How has the Low End Theory party changed with its continuing growth in popularity?

I’m not a resident, but I am definitely extended family. I have known Daddy Kev since the days we were both producing for Existereo of The Shapeshifters. It’s dope to see the evolution of the party. It started out with 40 hip hoppers and junglists morphing into a line going around the block with Thom Yorke, Photek, and Eric Badu playing. It’s an honor to be a part of Low End Theory LA and SF for all these years.

You were going to start a label focusing on local talent. How’s that coming?

It is on the back burner for the next few months while I focus on the solo stuff, but I’m excited to be releasing music from hidden local talent. There are so many bedroom producers in the Bay Area that need to be heard. Low Limit, Salva, Benito, Slotr, Hxdb, Quitter, and Ground Control are all producing great innovative tunes.

Connect with DNAE BEATS on Facebook | SoundCloud | Bandcamp


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