Borgore's Dubstep Takeover Will Stop Only at the Olsen Twins
WUB WUB WUB WAUUUUUGHHHHH.
If merely scanning these words gave you chills just now, then you probably love dubstep. Don't worry. You're not alone.
24-year-old Asaf Berger, AKA Israeli turntable wunderkind Borgore, loves dubstep. He's also a super friendly, good-humored and perpetually productive dude. When not touring the world as Borgore, managing the squad of talented artists on his Buygore record label, and churning out epic remixes of Britney and other pop show-stoppers, the classically-trained multi-instrumentalist-turned DJ barely has time to douse models in champagne. It's a grind, but as Asaf admits in one of his rare Safe For School lyrics, it's all for a good cause: to "buy the Olsen twins and a private beach."
Today Borgore's Misadventures In Dubstep is available via Buygore records, featuring new tracks from Borgore and a crew of other dubstep dilettantes that populate the label. After a busy weekend of playing back-to-back shows in London, Vienna, Portugal and Los Angles (no biggie), Borgore chatted with us about the dubstep takeover, the Olsen twins, and the disappearing standards of geekiness.
Hey Asaf! So, you have a line in the song "Money," and written on top of your Facebook profile, about "buying the Olsen twins and a private beach." Is that a legitimate fantasy?
Well, more or less. My real dream is to make money and be with a beautiful lady, yeah. The Olsen Twins are just kind of place-holders because they're twins (laughs). I haven't even checked them out in a few years, to be honest. I mean, I don't even know how they look now. Are they still hot?
Actually, there's a third sister now named Elizabeth Olsen. She's even bigger than Mary Kate and Ashley right now.
Damn! So it's not even the Olsen twins anymore, it's the Olson family (laughs). Thank you for letting me know. Now I need to find a rhyme that goes with family.
What would you say your geekiest habit is?
In general, I look like a geek. If you see me in the airport I have big-ass glasses, and I don't wear my hat, and I look pretty Jewish (laughs). I don't know, what's geeky anymore? When I was a kid I used to play "Counterstrike" all day. Getting together for a LAN party on Saturday used to be super geeky. But today everyone's playing video games! It's not a geeky thing anymore, you know? The hottest chicks can play Xbox all day long, you know? It used to be geeky to be on MSN instant messenger, but now everyone's on Twitter all day. I don't know what's geeky anymore.
You're from Tel Aviv, right? What's the music scene like there?
Israel, represent! It's so much fun, man. The electronic dance music scene is huge. Massive. Dubstep was in Israel probably before anywhere else. In 2006 we already had big headliners playing dubstep.
How did you get into that scene?
Probably through Prodigy. What's the name of that famous album? The Fat of the Land. I was listening to that nonstop, and then whatever Israeli stuff was available to me at the time. That got me into house and drum and bass at a time where I was playing a lot of death metal.
Was it a weird transition from death metal to dubstep?
Well, I was playing with this metal band called Shabira—we started as an At The Gates cover band and then we started writing our own music that sounded kind of like Lamb of God—but for different reasons we had to break up. But I feel there was a phase when dubstep was very dub influenced, and then there was a phase around the time I started playing when dubstep was really heavy, heavy metal influenced. Now it feels like dubstep is more house influenced, you know all this electronic Wheeew! Wheeew! Wheh-wheh-wheeeew! stuff, and the bass chords and the big intro. But dubstep is still super heavy. Dubstep still drops like metal in that heavy way, you know?
What was your first experience with music?
I started playing piano when I was three. I mean, I sucked. It's not like I was a phenomenon, like one of the Japanese kids on YouTube who are playing classics in front of an audience when they're 8. But I can play everything except the guitar. I grew up learning jazz and classical, so mainly saxophone, drums, piano. The only thing I have trouble with is strings because you have to be very accurate, and gentle. I cannot do this. I have big clumsy fingers.
Do you have a favorite kind of music?
All music is my favorite kind of music. I love metal, and I'd love to make a legendary Metallica remix. But I find Lady Gaga amazing, too. I find Amy Winehouse amazing. LMFAO is produced very well—they sound great, and have a good sense of humor. Britney Spears, well, her older stuff is better but she used to sound great. "Womanizer" was sick. Whatever sounds good is my favorite, you know? I don't like to put stuff into categories.
You made a pretty sick remix of "Womanizer." What do you look for in a song when you plan a remix?
Oh, you might look for just a couple of words that sound fun together, or something to put just before the drop, or just an amazing melody you'd like to play with. It really depends on the tune. There's a lot of different things that you want to take into consideration when you're doing a remix. "Womanizer," for example, I just like the fact that she's talking about being a womanizer (laughs), and I like the dum-da-dudda-da dum-dum, da-dum-da-dudda-du dum-dum… you know, the intro? It's SUPER heavy. So I was like, you could put metal drums on it and turn it into great dubstep.
What's your favorite dubstep track?