OC Mixtape Series #28: Nick Catchdubs

BY Ezra Marcus | Fri. September 14, 2012 | 12:00 AM | OC Mixtape
From his first job selling beepers to his current gig running Fool's Gold Records (the Brooklyn-based banger factory he founded with A-Trak in 2007), Nick Catchdubs has made a career of supplying loud noises to those in need––just ask anyone lucky enough to catch his fearsome DJ set at PS1 Warm Up last month. His latest transmission for OC exemplifies the label's vibe, a hedonistic collision of dancehall, rap, and pure electronic heat from places like Kingston, Miami, and, of course, New Jersey (DJ Sliink, holla!). Summer's end may be fast approaching, but this mix provides the perfect excuse to drag a boombox up to your favorite rooftop and throw it down one more time. Peep my Q&A with Nick for his thoughts on the rap game, Australian crosswalks, and going HAM at corporate functions.

OC Mixtape Series #28: Nick Catchdubs by OpeningCeremony

Craze - Selekta VIP
Tae Bae Bae feat Wale - Teco (Remix)
JWLS - Bashin' (Nadastrom More Bounce Edit)
Gent & Jawns - Holler
Meek Mill - Rollin
Traxamillion feat Clyde Carson & Ya Boy - Boy
Brown & Gammon - How I Feel
Bingo Players - L'amour
Tony Quattro - Ray Ray
Crookers - Bowser
Astronomar - H3Y I C U PERCUL8-10
GTA - Booty Bounce
DJ Sliink - Put Ya Back Into It
Partysquad & Punish - Mash It Up
Nick Catchdubs x French Montana x Munchi - Pop That Party Break
Frank Ocean - Pyramids (Kastle Remix)
A$AP Rocky - Purple Kisses

Ezra Marcus: What new artists, labels, or scenes have you been been interested in recently?
Nick Catchdubs: There are so many young, do-it-yourself rap scenes all over the country––guys like IAMSU in the Bay, all the young gangster dudes in Chicago, the NYC generation that A$AP helped inspire this past year. They're super diverse and creative, no one is waiting to get discovered, they're just going hard making original music.

There's too much good dance music out now to single anybody out... I like anybody bringing together different sounds and making their own hybrids. A lot of the tracks I really love on this mix feature cut-and-paste sampling from different genres, whether it's Nadastrom and Crookers chopping up New Orleans Bounce for their own very different ends, DJ Sliink turning dancehall into ghetto Jersey house, or Rocky rapping over screwed Buddy Holly. Pop culture is everywhere and it's ours for the taking.

EM: What's the most played song on your iTunes?
NC: Right now it's really just new mixtapes: Grande Marshall "800," GLC "The Anti Simp," Flatbush Zombies "DRUGS," and the new A$AP of course.

EM: What was your first job?

NC: I sold beepers at Woodbridge Mall in New Jersey.

EM: What made you decide to devote your life to music?

NC: Jumping on the couch watching MTV all day long as a kid, I knew I was going to figure out how to get on there myself.

EM: What's your most memorable DJ gig ever?

NC: A holiday party for an unnamed multinational conglomerate. I thought it was going to be corny but it was live as hell! Just a giant room of people really cutting loose and losing their shit to everything, no pretenses or anything like that, nobody too cool to dance. I didn't have to play cheesy music either, they were getting down to everything! I looked up during a UGK song and this big girl had her arms in the air with gigantic pit stains through her turtleneck, and it let me know I was doing my job right.

EM: What song can you drop during a set that's guaranteed to set it off?
NC: Missy Elliot's "Lose Control."

EM: How did you and A-Trak end up running a label together?
NC: We met DJing a party together, realized we were kindred spirits, and became friends. Constantly sharing music and brainstorming/griping about how stuff could be better led to us releasing our friends' music, which is how Fool's Gold began.

EM: Can you tell us a little about projects in the pipeline from Fool's Gold?
NC: There's a lot of awesome things in the mix, but I'm particularly excited about a hip-hop compilation called Loosies, as well as my own records––I have a single with Gita that will be out this fall, and I'm working on a larger project with a bunch of different vocalists to drop early next year.

EM: If you could set up a collaboration between any two figures from music history, who would you choose?
NC: I love the late 70s/early 80s era of New York where hip-hop and disco and punk and new wave were all intermingling. People have talked about it to death, but that's because it was fucking awesome! An all Arthur Baker-produced Clash record would have been insane... or Malcolm McLaren with better rappers... or if Coldcut did an entire Rakim album (even though I know he allegedly hated their "Paid In Full" remix).

EM: What is your favorite... non-musical sound:
NC: The microwave ding that tells me my dinner is ready or the Australian TIKATIKATIKATIKA crosswalk noise.

EM: Item of clothing?
NC: My Nirvana Incesticide T-shirt.

EM: Piece of technology?
NC: It's a tie between my iPhone and MacBook.

EM: Verse on a rap song released by Fool's Gold?
NC: Without a question "I feel like Billy Corgan in a church playing organ / Covering Too $hort / Smoking a Newport," on Danny Brown's "30." But the whole thing is really powerful and awesome and heartfelt. Danny rules.

EM: Ongoing party in NYC?

NC: Max Glazer and co. have been running dancehall with Rice and Peas for years, and The Rub still run shit. There's a lot of parties that pop up and are fashionable for awhile, but I can't really have fun at those kinda things unless the DJs are actual DJs.

EM: Post-club snack joint in NYC?
NC: Cozy Soup'n'Burger on Broadway.

EM: Fill in the blanks.
NC: My name is Nick Catchdubs and I'm like a cross between Psyduck and the dude on the Polo horse. We'll probably get along if you know how to get down.

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