When Azealia Banks’ Diplo-produced track Fuck Up the Fun hit the net over the weekend some listeners initially picked up on its clear similarities with a riddim by a little-known Dutch producer. Fuck Up the Fun’s dominant marching drums were taken from Mad Drumz – a recent Bubbling hit by DJ Master D. Denying any claims of foul play, the globe-trotting DJ stated that the track was in his set for years to help break a largely unheard sound and billed it as a collaboration. Bubbling has hit the headlines and the little-known sub-genre looks set to make big noise with Diplo announcing the release of a track by Bubbling producers DJ Master D and DJ Shaun-D on his Jeffrees label.
Hailing from port cities in the east of The Netherlands like Rotterdam and The Hague, the Bubbling sound was borne from a happy accident in 1988 when a DJ named Moortje played a dancehall record at the wrong speed and the crowd went wild. DJ Moortje came from the island of Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean and the West Indian influence is very strong, with the earliest tracks sounding exactly like the twisted Frankenstein monster dancehall they are.
Bubbling DJ’s were also accompanied by MCs and dancers who kept up with the frenetic pace of the music with provocative lyrical content and dance routines. This, however, also worked against the genre with Bubbling tapes outlawed back in Curacao because of their barbed political attacks and the violence associated with the scene leading to the banning of DJ Moortje from playing in some cities.
Despite its problems and its adoption and absorption into the Dutch 90s rave explosion, Bubbling has stayed in the hearts and minds of its earliest proponents with the occasional track breaking through to the mainstream and new producers like Kentje’sz Beatsz – who released a compilation on Planet Mu last year – taking the genre to new places. With Diplo’s mega-sample and new material promised from Master D and Shaun-D the march is set to go on.