Sep 2011 30



SMOG@LET116When it comes to Pawn, he’s always done it his way. The SMOG representer has funneled his influences into a unique sound that’s encompassed everything from the breakneck breakbeats of the jungle scene to the sub-loving sounds of dubstep. And if his story is indicative of anything, it’s that he’ll always find new ways to express himself.

Los Angeles-born Pawn’s story starts in the mid-’90s, when he discovered is an artist that got breakbeat hardcore and trip-hop. This lead to discovering the jungle scene via the mixtape circuit; when he found out that the insane sounds of this genre was actually being played in venues near him, he started hitting up parties in the LA underground, even picking up the art of DJing and providing his spin on the sound as well. Like many DJs in the scene, the desire to add his unique touch drove Pawn to pick up the producing trade on his own in 2004, making everything from IDM to jungle and hip-hop tracks.

It was around 2007-2008 that dubstep really hit the American electronic music scene, and at that time the then-Bay Area beatsmith Pawn linked up with 12th Planet’s massive SMOG collective; it was an obvious marriage, as Pawn’s sound had moved toward the dubstep realm on its own. Being a member of SMOG helped expose Pawn to a number of new crowds, helping him bring his distinct sound throughout Los Angeles, as well as opening doors to some impressive collaborations, which included original tracks and remix work for the likes of 12th Planet, GZA and Ras Kass, The Glitch Mob, and CC Sheffield, all helping Pawn spread his wings throughout the scene and in the public. 2011 also saw Pawn release his first studio album, the broad-structured Close The Lights. Even before the release of this project, however, that Pawn’s sound start to walk down the juke/footwork lane(s), and with his background in jungle very handy, Pawn began a self-described redefinition of his sound, which has brought in an entirely new set of ears to his tracks.

With the 160BPM zone being shared by the sounds of juke and jungle, it makes sense that Pawn’s pulsating rhythms and background could attack this lane in exciting new ways. Labels started to to listen, with releases for 119 Sound, Brap Dem, and of course SMOG picking up on the differing tempos that Pawn has been producing. He’s also become affiliated with fellow juke/jungle curators like Calculon, who has release two tracks from Pawn on his new Shoot Recordings imprint. Their partnership makes sense, as both Pawn and Calculon come from a drum & bass background, and have ready knowledge on the intricacies and nuances that bring styles like juke and jungle together better than others might realize.

Pawn moved from LA to the Bay 2010, but he now calls SoCal home once again, and has projects in action, ranging from a forthcoming vinyl release on Modern Ruin to (obviously) more material for the home team, SMOG. What might excite you most, however, is the fact that he has his second album in the works; with the leaps and bounds that his sound has taken since Close The Lights was released, it’ll be interesting to see where Pawn’s future material will take listeners.

The Foals – Spanish Sahara (Pawn Remix) – FREE DOWNLOAD
The Glitch Mob – Drive It Like You Stole It (Pawn Remix) – PURCHASE
Pawn, Lukeino & Calculon – Dubwork / Harlot – Levitated Records – PURCHASE
Pawn & EMU feat. Werd2Jah – Headshot / Know YaSelf – Smog – DIGITAL / VINYL
GZA Feat. Ras Kass – Lyrical Swords (Pawn Remix) – IHipHop – PURCHASE
Mark Instinct – Sketchy Maxx (Pawn Remix) – Betamorph Rec. – PURCHASE
Pawn feat. Sonic D – Fallin’ In Love – Dubstep Records – PURCHASE
Pawn & EMU – Gone – Perk Recordings – PURCHASE
Kelly Dean & Pawn – Space Funk – Filthy Digital – PURCHASE
Pawn and Sonic D – Roots / Dutch – Hum Fi Dub – PURCHASE
Pawn & EMU – Periscope EP – Smog
PAWN – Big Up Magazine Big Up’n’Comers Promo mix
PAWN – Summer Mix 2010 for Media Contender
PAWN – Live @ SMOG 01/28/09
coming soon
coming soon


1 Comment

  1. […] ★ ★ ★ MINI-MIX SERIES ★ ★ ★ ★ Our first installment of the series comes from SMOG Dj Pawn. His album Close the Lights came out on SMOG last month and is being praised by his peers […]

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