I first became aware of OldGold about a year ago when he replied to one of my comments on a post from the Facebook page for TRUTH's label: Deep, Dark, and Dangerous. There was this immediate friendliness from the guy. He wanted to swap dubs and I felt compelled to oblige. My story of meeting OldGold is the same story you'll hear from countless other producers and industry members. OldGold, real name Rolando Ramiro, is a ferocious networker and an all around character. His larger than life and frequently trollish social media presence in the newsfeeds of the scene often define him to those who don't know him personally or know him only by association, but he is a truly genuine artist who has no issues with speaking his mind or messing with yours. An up-and-coming Deep Dubstep producer from the United States, OldGold is also co-founder/ manager of the rising Dub imprint, Silent Motion Records. OldGold has been putting in serious work for the past few years, and through a combination of shameless self-promotion, extreme hours of track digging, and shutting down his personal life to focus on music, the Texas based producer has jumped headfirst into the deep scene and truly become a force to be reckoned with. With his last official solo release, Threat EP, (which features a remix from the infamous Widdler) charting in the top 40 Deep Dubstep releases on Juno, and selling out it's limited pressing vinyl run it's safe to stay that OldGold is here to stay. Having frequently chatted with the man behind the persona in the past year, I felt it was high time we did a proper interview about his online antics and steady stream of serious tunes.
How did you get connected with the scene?
You're in virtually every member of the scene's mutual friends (in fact I think I remember a homemade meme about that floating around the community on Facebook), were you introduced by someone, or did you just put yourself out there?
I wasn't introduced to the scene unfortunately, I had to lurk Facebook/ Twitter and figure out who did what and where they lived to get a grasp of who they were. It was rough at first because nobody would really take me seriously, but I had a mission and I had to complete it. Eventually I just became homies with some of the locals that host events in other states and moved from there to [Austin, Texas] where I'm at now.
where did the name OldGold come from?
I saw you did a Facebook post about everyone’s name origins which got some great answers, but for our readers where did yours come from?
Before I got into producing, I would lurk forums hunting for tunes. I found a post containing a tune released in '06. The subject of the post was 'Old (fire Emoji) Gold'. I then realized that no matter how old/ dated a song is, some tunes are timeless and considered gold to some.
Ironically I don't ever play any released music or anything that's considered 'old gold' but I really do appreciate the quality of sound created in the early years. It was raw and experimental.
How did you get into making music?
I would hang out with a few friends and hotbox a garage while listening to tunes. I remember sitting down one day and hearing the intro to 'Caspa - Rubber Chicken' and thinking to myself, 'what the fuck is this?'
We hadn't ever heard of Caspa so it was a new sound for all of us. It was the beginning of the rabbit hole since that day. My taste began to get deeper/darker & I moved into listening to Engima Dubz, Skream, Coki, Subfiltronik, Demon, Emalkay etc. Eventually my best friend Zack downloaded FL Studio and began messing with Massive. That program was way over my head at the time but I found it interesting as fuck so I would head over and smoke bowls while watching him recreate synths.
A few months later, on Dec. 13th, he passed away and I became obsessed with music. I felt as though I should learn to use the program he used in order to feel more at ease with the situation. I was looking for closure. Eventually, I shut everyone out. Unfortunately, my relationships were destroyed and I started to become a pretty non-social, pessimistic person. Being alone let me focus and fine tune my sound, network with others stuck in similar situations, and ultimately become a better person overall. Fast forward to now, three years after my best friend passed away, I feel much better than I ever would have had I not found music as my outlet. I've always had a feeling that if he was alive he'd approve of what was going on, so I just keep pushing to make sure his interest/ vibe still lives on.
As an artist what would you say is your biggest motivator for making tunes?
My biggest motivation to making tunes is hearing new beats with simple/ complex arrangements. It's always fun when you hear something executed in a way that you've never heard and want to recreate it with your own twist.
What are some of your musical inspirations/ who are some of your influences?
Some of my musical inspirations come from minimal tech, drum & bass, hip hop and experimental tunes. I personally cannot make many genres, but I appreciate each one at it's core. There's someone out there really feelin' it and that's what I find inspires me, I want to translate my ideas into someone else's inspiration. Full circle.
Being a deep artist in America, what are your impressions of the scene here?
I must say I’m personally unfamiliar with the scene in Texas where you’re based, but there seems to be a pretty healthy underground there, especially with the Gritsy* crew being located there.
I personally think the scene in America is picking up again when it comes to underground bass music. Everyone loves a proper sound system, really good tunes, and a good vibe. I don't ever seeing it dying out anytime soon, especially with the direction technology is going. New sounds every day!
[Specifically] the scene out here in Austin, Texas is pretty good. There are a few venues keeping the vibe alive and tons of crews working together to push what they believe is the best night in town. I highly respect their dedication to the events. Before moving to Austin, I used to live nearby in San Antonio. I'd travel up and check out their night life with a group of friends. One night during SXSW I heard 'Icicle - Minimal Dub' [for the first time]. That's when I decided it was time to move to Austin and involve myself in the music. I believe the lineup [that night] was Truth / Content / Deco / 50 Carrot.
Gritsy* has always been my goal. I remember the first time I had ever experienced the WallofBass®. Kryptic Minds came to town and it was MENTAL. I ended up going with my girlfriend, and ever since then I made it my mission to become a part of the Gritsy crew. I worked my ass off to get familiar with what they represent. It's an amazing family and we've always had a shit ton of fun. I've learned a lot from the [Gritsy] crew. They have a real passion when it comes to music, seriously some of the most influential group of people I've ever met. Suraj K is doing wonders with the system, and his fiancé Lea knows how to handle some of the toughest situations, major respect to them for what they do.
* Gritsy is a Houston, Texas based, sound system culture focussed event company.
Do you feel that the deeper vibe is becoming more popular, or do you believe it’s going to remain solely underground?
I believe the deep vibe has always been present and popular, but it does have a small community in the US compared to other genres. Eventually it will have it's day, but until then I'm kinda happy with where it's at. Not too big where it's being commercialized, and not too small to be brushed under the rug.
Being such a vocal user of social media yourself, what does your social media persona mean to you?
My social media persona has always been sporadic and controversial. I really enjoy educating myself before engaging in a proper debate and love unemotionally attached conversations. I don't think anyone should take public facing pages as the final word on who someone is. I assure you I am very relaxed and mostly quiet in real life. I tend to post slightly controversial information mostly because I know it rustles peoples jimmies and I've always been into watching people argue with themselves. Lately I've realized that sometimes being informative rather than sinister pays off more though. Social media has always been a fun way to network and communicate with like minded individuals. Figuring out how everyone moves/ communicates is the best part about meeting/ chatting with people online! There is so much to talk about with everyone. I love to get out there and learn.
What compels you to seek out new producers? And how do you stay so positive with them?
I love hearing new sounds, new arrangements and new complications when it comes to music. I of course have a certain taste when it comes to mixing, but listening wise, I hardly ever play the same track twice. It keeps me focused on hearing new [sounds] all the time. I usually try and be positive with everyone I meet. I know we're all in the same boat regardless of stats so I treat them like a human rather than a product.
Do you find the community at large to be positive?
It was certainly founded on positivity, but is it actually a positive environment in your opinion? When I first became active in the scene, you and I traded dubs. I sent you a couple really shit tunes, but not only did you genuinely listen, you found the one tune that was clearly the most polished and gave me real, usable feedback as well as a good deal of positivity. Looking back on it, had it been most anybody else, they would have probably ignored me after playing the first tune.
I find the community very positive, but we definitely like to focus on some darker elements at times. I think it's only natural. Personally though, I don't think anyone should have issues when it comes to music, after all we're just nerding out anyway. Have some fun with what you're doing and let others join you. That's what I'm always thinking.
– Rapid Fire –
Favorite show played last year?
I used to do some radio shows with Deafblind (now Mujek) on Dusk.fm and one time the TRUTH boys came into the studio to hang out. [That] was one of the best streams I've ever been a part of, it's what got me into broadcasts.
Dream gig/ who would you want on the bill?
Paleman / Killawatt / Tosti / Batu / Suboreal
What’s your favorite color?
I really like forest/emerald green, been my go to color at times when assigning track colors.
Favorite dub at the moment?
Metrist - Petrol Arses
Who are you feeling right now?
Darkimh, FIS, El-Plate, DMVU, Wen
Send me your favorite meme.
Favorite artist of all time?
What’s the best show you've ever seen?
Best show I ever saw was actually The Ghost Inside, Oceano, Winds of Plague, and Title Fight all in one bill. Not electronic music but holy shit it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever been a part of. Everyone was aggressive but also friendly. It was an understood emotional state between everyone. I lost my voice and heard some really sick ass music.
What’s next for OldGold? Any upcoming releases or projects to look for?
I’ve got plenty of releases forthcoming and a few vinyl here and there, but I'm always open to share tunes with those who dig the sound. Releases aren't my main focus! I might be jumping into some new genres to see what I can do with them as well, but no new alias' in case anyone was wondering. Ultimately I just want to check out some new sound systems and flex them with some new tunes from the homies across the world.
For those in the community who haven't taken the time to actually talk with OldGold, he can sometimes come off as the anti-hero of the Deep Dubstep scene. There was the time he called out Compa for putting out a free download entitled "East" that sounded just like an old Benga classic, "Technology" (even we have to admit they sound too similar), or the time spoiled Star Wars: The Force Awakens in his Facebook status (that one even got me). In the end, he's actually an incredibly caring guy who appreciates the music of others and generally just keeping it real more than anything else in life. OldGold is a badman who likes to let that "bad" overshadow his real life sincerity when using social media, but never quits making us laugh in the process. If you aren't already familiar with his work, get to know, because we guarantee you'll be hearing more and more about this talented producer over the years to come. Who knows, you've probably already heard one of his tunes at your local Dubstep night.
You can follow OldGold on social media at the links below or contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org, but whatever you do, don't send him any "Dropbox links to your fucking WIPs".