[Q&A] DMVU: The Young & the Restless
[Q&A] DMVU: The Young & the Restless Photo by Eyediola Photography

Despite being only 23 years old, Denver producer DMVU has been toiling away in the studio for over eight years. As such, even he was shocked when his grinder of a dubstep track, “Bloccd,” took off the way it did late last year. Since the track dropped on Truth’s Deep, Dark and Dangerous imprint in November of 2016, the likes of Bassnectar, Flux Pavilion, Borgore, Bleep Bloop, Boombox Cartel and even Noisia, just to name a few, have been playing the wobble-heavy cut everywhere they go. The track has earned him bookings all over the country, recognition of his back catalog, and collabs with some of his favorite producers and labels.

The minimal vibe of the track, replete with ravey intro and stripped-down percussion, may seem sparse at first glance, but DMVU works the space in between the beats to create tension by filling it with pitched-down vocal samples, ravey drum machine progressions, and even an Amen break or two. The result is a dancefloor head-twister that has enough grimey, grinding elements to make it both versatile and cutting-edge.

As the festival season gets rolling, “Bloccd” will likely continue to be all over the dubstep and trap stages. To see what else the youngblood has in store for the coming year, we sat down with DMVU (real name Matt) to talk about the surprise success of “Bloccd,” his love of hip-hop and dubstep, and his plans for future releases and tours.

Congratulations on the success of “Bloccd.” How long have you been producing tracks before this one became so big?
It’s been almost eight years, since I was in like 10th grade. I’ve just always been messing around with [producing] since I can remember. I was into electronic shit pretty much from the get-go, but I actually started with hip-hop. I was super into hip-hop growing up, and I’d say it’s still my biggest influence. I think I still write more hip-hop beats than I do electronic, but I love dubstep so that’s what I think I put the most effort into now.

Were you expecting “Bloccd” to do as well as it has?
No, not at all. This has been such a surprise. I usually make tracks that I think are going to do really well and then no one fucks with them at all, but then I make a lot of tracks that I just think, you know, whatever it’s another track. That’s what “Bloccd” was. I was seriously just like “Whatever, I’ll just make another dubstep track,” and then it’s just been crazy.

What do you think it is about that track that had everyone going nuts?
It seems like a super palatable track, you know? Like not really radical in any specific direction. It’s really chuggy and has solid eighth notes and you can nod your head to it and it keeps a solid rhythm, and maybe the sort of repetitive nature of it helps a little bit, but that is literally just a stab in the dark.

Is there now pressure to reproduce that vibe or deconstruct what made it successful in the first place?
It does cross my mind a lot when I write tracks now. I think, “What did people like so much that I could do again?” and I still have not found an answer to that. I’m not sure I ever will. At first it did kind of fuck with me, because I was like, “Oh shit, am I a one-hit wonder? Is it over for me now?” I used to get tagged on it every two days and it was just a constant reminder. Now that it’s kind of died down, I feel a little more comfortable in just producing again.

I think I still write more hip-hop beats than I do electronic, but I love dubstep so that’s what I think I put the most effort into now.

Do you know how it got into the hands of the big guns so fast?
It actually started with Noisia on their podcast. They actually hit me up which was bizarre and I feel bad now because I kind of interrogated them because I thought it was someone messing with me. Before that, it started with Yeti and Diskord (from Circus) who both gave it to a bunch of people. Yeti gave it to Bleep Bloop and Space Jesus and then Diskord gave it to Flux Pavilion and Cookie Monsta, so I think everything in between came out of either those two factors or the Noisia thing. Noisia pretty much tripled the effect of everyone playing it.

Do people still go crazy when you play the track in other cities?
I’ve been to New York, Portland, L.A., Las Vegas, Northern California and Austin, and I have all sorts of dates still coming. I actually tried to keep it out of my track rotation when I played out but I’m pretty sure most people expect it. People definitely go crazy when they hear it but I kind of got bored with it. I’ve heard guys like NGHTMRE and Boombox Cartel play it at like 150 BPM and I was like, “Should I have made this at 150?” But I decided I like it at 140. I just love dubstep. I can’t help it.

I imagine the success of “Bloccd” has led to a lot of opportunities. Hit us with your final thoughts and any other projects we should be keeping an eye out for from you.
I actually had a lot of stuff set up beforehand with Circus and Sleeveless so from my perspective it was more like a bunch of stuff just came together at once with “Bloccd” just setting it off. I actually have a few EPs coming out on Circus, and I’ve got an Encrypted Audio vinyl EP coming out called “Pouring Up with Dolphin Tears.” Those should both be out this spring.

 As for final thoughts, I really am just so stoked on all the travelling I’ve been able to do and all the awesome people I’ve met. There have been people that I’ve been talking to or following online for years that I never thought I’d meet and now I have. It’s been totally crazy and I’m so thankful for the opportunity and want to just keep doing what I’m doing, so thank you to all those feeling the beats—the best is still to come!