Today, Dutty Artz is proud to present in celebration of its 6 year anniversary, the 6 Years Deep compilation:
After spending several months helping bring it to fruition, this compilation has become really close to my heart. It’s a collection of tunes that we think really sums up the Dutty Artz experience in 2013.
The simplest description of Dutty Artz is that it’s an independent record label, formed in the ashes of the major label hey day, set to explore a brave new digital world of creative possibility. It’s been a wild six years for all of us, and our extended family alike, as we’ve gone through a series of line ups and phase shifts. For example, blogging retained supreme importance towards the beginning of Dutty Artz’ existence, now it’s less so. The exciting digital community that emerged in the early MP3 blogging days, that lived in the comment section on this and so many other blogs has migrated to less tangible fields. However, the archive is alive (albeit deteriorating in some places), and we’re very excited to re-present it to you next month in the form of a series of digital memorials to the immediate past. However, today is about the present!
The arrival of this compilation is in a sense a revitalized mission statement for Dutty Artz. This global musical movement we find ourselves intwined with has been called many names since the early blogging days: Tropical Bass, Global Bass, Global Ghettotech. Our mistake early on was to identify the emergence of new sounds as a musical genre. It is in fact a social movement, driven by new means of production and distribution of creative products. It is a movement of global participation and belonging intertwined with the issues that globalization forces us to think about and deal with.
What’s become evident in recent months for me, is that while we are all the children of civil rights movements, and the post-colonial freedom struggles, our reality is not that of the previous generation’s. We no longer fight for social inclusion as a community, but for the right to express ourselves as individuals. How we deal with the legacy handed to us by our elders changes based on our inherited (or earned) social positions. This is not as sinister as it may initially seem.
By referencing post-colonial authors in the roll out of our EP series over the past couple of months, Dutty Artz has proclaimed which side of history we sit on, but this does not mean we are stuck in the past. We recognize the legacy that the great freedom fighters have left us, while at the same time we choose to push new ways of thinking about freedom and belonging in the world. Wherever we are located, digital music cultures have allowed many of us to participate in a more democratic global society. This is a society in which social boundaries defined by national borders, language, race, gender, and cultural difference are melting away, revealing a world where we are able to celebrate the diversity of human experience via Hip Hop style, punk attitude, computer hacking, bass frequencies, futuristic dreams, queered up identities, new economies, and DIY aesthetics. While we celebrate the ability for digital communication to facilitate new social possibilities, we by no means want these new possibilities to be contained to the digital realm. We want our revolution in real life too!
However hidden the social mission – of global belonging for historically marginalized peoples – may become in the contemporary world of the Internet, Dutty Artz aims to always recognize its central importance in the production and dissemination of creative products. Our ultimate aim is to make you more aware of the dynamics at play! That is to say, we hope for this compilation will spark similar thinking thoughts in you. Let them serve as a dedication to 6 years past, and a preview of many more to come!