For several years, Brooklynbased producer Dubbel Dutch (a.k.a Marc Glasser) has actedas a harbinger for American club music, often steps ahead of his peers in discovering and defining the proverbial next sound. As both a producer and DJ, Glasser has shown a willingness to study, reinterpret and recontextualize disparate sounds, transfixing hiss kills on a grab bag of genres, ranging from euphoric dancehall to triumphant grime with brief stops to experiment with UK funky, kuduro and Jersey club. A contemporary club shaman, Dubbel Dutch’s aim is to inspire transcendence with his ‘cosmic tone poems and club anthems from the abyss’.
In 2012, Glasser released the Self Help Riddims EP, his most cohesive, songfocused effort to date. Self Help Riddims signaled a new direction for the Dubbel Dutch sound, marked by breezy, trancelike melodic content within an instrumental dancehall framework. Strangled, pitchedup ragga vocals are set off against elastic, hipshaking percussion, derived in equal parts from Kingston and London. Situated comfortably around 100 beatperminute, the EP pairs nicely with his “Slow Club Mix” released several years before. Featuring slowed down edits of Jersey club songs inspired by his former Texas home this work garnered thousands of plays and gave many their first taste of the now ubiquitous genre.
Soon after, Dubbel Dutch let loose the “Cloud Club Mix” and, subsequently, the Cloud Club EP, both scenedefining efforts boasting original tunes, collaborations, and VIP edits with contemporaries such as Murlo, Rizzla, and Samo Sound Boy. Unlike the breezy melancholy of Self Help Riddims, Cloud Club is a direct, boisterous affair, a collection of energetic stabs that are impossibly infectious. Overarching pop motifs and Jersey club’s rhythmic energy take center stage on “Left Behind” and “Inevitable”, songs that might be Glasser’s most clubfocused to date. With Cloud Club, a hydra of influences coalesced into a singular aesthetic that is unmistakably organic and unmistakably Dubbel Dutch.
It wasn’t long before Glasser’s effortless vitality and coherent aesthetic drew the attention of players outside the dance music world. Starting in 2013, he began working with rising Jamaican dancehall star Popcaan and the result is an honorable marriage of Caribbean swagger, virtuoso production quality, and a socially conscious world view. “Everything Nice”, the first collaboration to emerge from Popcaan’s recently released Where We Come From LP has surfaced as a universal pop hit, trumpeting out of car stereos, clubs and block parties the world over. The song elevated Dubbel Dutch to rarified status in the dancehall world and Popcaan has become one of the genre’s most successful crossover stars.
Along with “Everything Nice”, Dubbel Dutch produced four other cuts off of Where We Come From, helping define the contours of an album that has sat near the top of the charts since its release. Exposed to a much larger pop consuming fanbase, Dubbel Dutch has become a sought after contemporary producer and was recently enlisted by Le1f for production on the rap futurist’s single “Boom”.
While his ascendency to the cream of pop music has raised awareness of the Dubbel Dutch brand to exciting new levels, don’t expect him to abandon his humble club beginnings. Never one to feel comfortable in a single lane, Glasser has stayed busy producing for others, cultivating his many sideprojects/aliases for Los Angeles based label Body High, and taking on eclectic remix duties. He’s currently working towards a debut fulllength album set for a 2015 release.
All in all, Dubbel Dutch has situated himself neatly at the crossroads of forwardthinking club music, Jamaican dancehall culture, and American pop music consciousness. With a massive, still bubbling single, an extended portfolio of euphoric solo material, and a growing stockpile of club munitions, the coming years look bright for this dance music polyglot.
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