OUT SOON: the June/July issue of INNERLOOP magazine dance music in D.C. and out there http://www.innerloopdc.com ON THE COVER: A. Skillz and Krafty Kuts INSIDE: Dieselboy, Ezekiel Honig, Critically Acclaimed, Suneel, the D.C. Sanctuary and more AVAILABLE AT: Washington, D.C.: Five, DJ Hut, Capital City Records, the Sanctuary Baltimore: Sonar, Modern Music, Midtown Records Virginia: Lemur Lounge (Alexandria), Turnstyle (Richmond), Plan 9 (Richmond), Noetic Records (Norfolk), Tower Landmark, Tower Fairfax, Tower Tysons Philadelphia: 611 Records Chicago: Another Level Records Minneapolis: Vital Vinyl San Francisco: Tweekin Records Los Angeles: Wax Records To order Innerloop for your shop, call Jerome D. at Groove Distribution, 1-888-GROOVE4, x104. Fuel Efficient Words: Mary Ishimoto Morris A girl is crying because someone stole her Dieselboy poster, so Im trying to help her out, explains a security guard at Buzzlifes Cübik at Nation in D.C. on April 16. American drum n bass has come to this? Ten years ago, when American d n b DJs were relegated to the siderooms at clubs and listed last on party flyers, it would have been hard to imagine Dieselboy (aka Damian Higgins) emerging from that lowly pack and becoming a global superstar. The first American d n b DJ to headline main rooms, he now has a large, diverse base of hardcore fans. Dieselboy (or DSL, as devotees often call him) has broken ground within the historically U.K.-dominated drum n bass scene, and also within dance music as a whole. With the single Invid, he became the first American to have a record played by the Metalheadz crew in London, and the first d n b DJ to break into Billboards dance charts. He was also among the first Americans to play drum n bass at Londons renowned Fabric. In addition to his role as a trailblazing DJ, Dieselboy has also achieved stature as head of HUMAN, the U.S. d n b imprint of System Recordings, and as promoter of the Philadelphia-based Platinum event, North Americas premier d n b club night. Fans love Dieselboy for the explosive energy of his DJing, the power and beauty of his producing, and the egalitarian message that his MC, James Messinian, puts forth. Beyond the rave and club circuits, Dieselboy has played radio festivals and other rock events, always eager for the chance to bring d n b to new ears. Making inroads into the video game industry, Dieselboy and fellow d n b producer Kaos have music in Sony PlayStation 2s Amplitude and more soon in Gran Turismo 4. Hardcore Dieselboy fans have his logo tattooed on their bodies, and have shown up in self-designed T-shirts that proclaim Dieselboy is God. Autograph-seekers often mob Dieselboy and Messinian after sets, as on April 28 at Baltimores Sonar Lounge. Each of Dieselboys mix CDs has leaped beyond the last in concept--and sales. The first mix over which he had full artistic control was 1998s 611 DJ Mixseries Vol. One. The following year saw A Soldiers Story. Dieselboy began experimenting with elements of film in 2000 on System_Upgrade, where he created an opening track sampling the movie Ghost in the Shell. The same year, on the double CD The 6ixth Session, he composed an intro to Kemal + Rob Datas Messiah, launching the mixs breakneck rampage. Dieselboys interest in film returned on 2002s double CD projectHUMAN, framed as a movie trailer with an intro and outtro narrated by voiceover king Don La Fontaine. With this mix, Dieselboy commissioned producers on each side of the Atlantic to remix tunes from the other. Dieselboys new release The Dungeonmasters Guide is both pinnacle and springboard, an adventure told in music and words. The double-CD package consists of an eighteen-track mix CD and a bonus disc, Rise of the Humans, with six tracks from the HUMAN label. On the mix, Peter Cullen, voice of Transformers cartoon character Optimus Prime, narrates a script written by Dieselboy. Like projectHUMAN, this offering is a monster remix project, this time with international d n b producers--Tech Itch, Usual Suspects, Concord Dawn, Evol Intent, Gridlok, Paul B + Subwave, HUMAN artists Kaos, Karl K and Jae Kennedy, and Dieselboy himself--re-envisioning tracks by non-d n b superstars such as Sasha, Tiësto, BT and Josh Wink. Drawing on the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, The Dungeonmasters Guide appeals both to gamers and to dance music fans, offering dynamite potential for crossover; Dragon, the official D&D magazine, will interview Dieselboy for its convention issue out this fall. Dieselboy says he played Dungeons and Dragons from third grade through his first years of college. He describes how The Dungeonmasters Guide came about: I let my subconscious work on it and it just came to me. Once I got the name down, everything started falling into place in my imagination. I realized this was going to be a lot different aesthetically from all my other stuff. Peter Cullens voice has such a serious tone and [by] using it interspersed throughout the CD rather than just at the beginning, I was hoping to take what I did with projectHUMAN and ramp it up to where Ive got an epic vibe throughout. When I first go in, I usually dont have a solid idea of how I want to take it. I sit down with the music and think about whats going to work together and whats going to sound best at the end. I dont like to start off too insane. I did that with The 6ixth Session, but Kemal + Rob Datas Messiah was a once-in-a-lifetime track. With the music I had for [The Dungeonmasters Guide], I thought it would be cool to start off deep and build up intensity, then take it into a different direction, and at the end to trance it out and bring it in on an uplifting note. When I heard [the Ill Skillz remix of Dumondes Human], I knew it would be a beautiful way to end the CD. That was the first thing I figured out; the second was the first track [Cartridges End Of The World], and then it was a matter of putting everything together so it flowed really nicely. The way I did the script, there are direct references to D&D that only gamers will get. One thing the narrator says is A gate beyond the prime material plain, during the Sasha breakdown. In D&D the prime material plain is Earth. If you read my foreword in the liner notes and compare it to the intro, I draw a parallel between being a DJ and being a Dungeonmaster, how a DJ creates a set or a mix CD, and how a Dungeonmaster creates an adventure for people to go on. Youll hear the Dungeonmaster come in with a description of what the character sees, the actions the character takes, so I wanted him to say things that would tie in with the sound that immediately follows. His voice makes those places sound more intense, like how Don La Fontaines voice in the Dom track in projectHUMAN says The planetary assault begins now! and it gets heavy. Discussing his collaboration with Optimus Prime voice Peter Cullen, Dieselboy becomes animated: Peter went to the studio in Los Angeles; I called and got patched into his headphones. I explained the project and the intensity I wanted him to use in his voice, and sat there while he read the script and told him which lines to do over again. It was pretty thrilling. I was literally shaking a little because I used to watch the Transformers and the D&D cartoon as a kid, and hearing him read what Id written, I cant even tell you what it felt like, it was fucking unbelievable. They uploaded the files to the server and within fifteen minutes I had all the files on my computer. Cullen was pleased to be part of the project; Dieselboy recalls that one week later, hed sent me an Optimus Prime toy in a box with a card saying he had a great time working with me. Definitely an experience I will never forget. Dieselboy did a run-through of The Dungeonmasters Guide before this years Winter Music Conference, and upon returning home mixed it mid-afternoon in the basement studio of his apartment with a Pioneer CDJ-1000 and the dual CD player Pioneer CMX-5000. Explaining his need for three CD sources, he says, There was one track I had to mix in, have cued up and ready to go as soon as one mix was done. It had to come in immediately, which is why I needed to have that third. The captivating artwork of Akira Takahashi perfectly complements the transcendent beauty and flow of The Dungeonmasters Guide. Accented with Gothic calligraphy, his richly textured Euro-Japanese montages of medieval and future, darkness and light, and fantasy and adventure are evocative and spellbinding. The artist previously worked with Dieselboy on the standout robotic images for The 6ixth Session. If Dieselboy currently receives the lions share of attention in the d n b world, he has earned it with his energy, discipline, creativity, perseverance and leadership. Modestly, he explains his place in the scene: I feel like Im just one person whos made his contributions to the scene, trying to push the music. Drum n bass is a joint effort by everybody whos involved in it. [With] my mix CDs, I feel Im in a position to do something different, raise the bar. When it comes to DJing, I feel like Ive been around a while and its my job, especially when I play out of the country, to represent the American scene, try to let people know that we have good DJs over here. I always feel the weight of that responsibility on my shoulders; its my job to help put a face to American drum n bass, hopefully a good, inspirational face to the music and scene here. Dieselboy returns to Cübik in D.C. on June 4, and to Sonar in Baltimore on June 16. For more information on Dieselboy, see www.djdieselboy.com.