As a kid growing up in New York City, Trouble & Bass was a revered institution to me and all my friends. I even snagged an internship with them for a few summers. We looked up to the label, its founders, and its roster of artists for the strength of its local pride—a small Brooklyn label with a not-so-small message: "Heavy Bass Champions of the World."
For a significant point of time, Trouble & Bass were the loudest kids on the (proverbial) block of dance music. When the label was founded in 2006, America was going through a unique period of (re) discovering electronic music. The blog-house scene, comprised primarily of the indie/hip-hop mash-up and French electro sounds, was in full effect. Girl Talk was taking his dance party college to college. MySpace music was the jam, and everyone was singing along to Justice. Oh, and there was talk about some "new" sound from the UK called dubstep. (We all know how that went.)
Trouble & Bass were at the epicenter of it all, holding up signs that said things like "I Can't Feel My Face" and "Rave to the Grave." The founders—Drop The Lime, Star Eyes, AC Slater and The Captain—created an extended family who spread not just their big, Brooklyn sound, but also their spirit. Nowhere else was this more readily felt than at Trouble & Bass' final party at Verboten in New York before the label shuts down for good.
The night was nostalgic journey back to a raw period of dance music—walls shook with early stripped-down dubstep and the classic wobble baseline, a trademark sound that the T&B crew championed. UK garage-boss DJ EZ took us across the pond with a slew of grime, 2-step and garage classics, from rewinds of D Double E to Benga & Coki. Head-honcho Luca Venezia revived his Drop the Lime alias from the dead, dropping early Trouble & Bass low-frequency classics from "What I Need" between Baltimore club tracks. Meanwhile in the Cabaret Room, Jubilee and Addison Groove held down with tropical booty bass and UK vibes alongside labelmates Tony Quattro, Doctor Jeep and Petey Clicks.
It was a night of celebration for a local crew turned global: the Verboten security team sported T&B pins while greeting fans at the entrance, a smiling A-Trak watched his friends share the decks, and Anna Lunoe danced on stage in a T&B shirt. You could feel a collective energy in the two rooms—one of excitement, pride, and thankfulness for more than eight years well spent.
Although we say goodbye to Trouble & Bass, the spirit of that crew and its extended family will continue to reverberate through today's dance music. I wouldn't be where I am today without Trouble & Bass, and for that, I am eternally grateful.