By Paul Rodgers
CALGARY – Yoni Oron was born in Tel Aviv and currently lives in Austin, TX. As The Widdler, he is known as one of the pioneers and torchbearers of dubstep in the United States. He continually breathes fresh life into the genre through his own innovative work as a producer and a DJ.
“I think part of my constancy to stay true to ‘my sound’ comes from the fact that I have and always will make all types of sounds,” Oron says. “I like to pay homage to sounds and genres i enjoy which translates to a variety of moods and energy. My routine for production hasn’t really changed much throughout the years either so most tunes are built in the same way. Playing with or digging for sounds until inspiration suddenly strikes.”
Growing up, as many of us did, Oron listened to much of what his parents did; The Beatles and Michael Jackson, as well as some Israeli guitar, folk music and classic rock. Once he started buying his own CDs he says he never stuck to one style, picking up albums from The Prodigy, Metallica, Coolio and NBA Halftime Music Vol. 2.
“I liked it all and still do. If it has a good sound or gives me an emotion I consider it inspiration,” he explains. “I didn’t get heavily into reggae until i was about 12 and I listened to Bob Marley a lot. From there I slowly dug into the roots and the dub history of reggae and have been a fan since.”
The influence of roots and dub music are prominent amongst many of The Widdler’s tracks. His 2015 release Roots, for example, features tracks like “Roots Dub,” Springtime Steppa” and “Garden City Skank.”
Oron first started producing on a computer in the sixth grade. His dad and uncle had set him up with Pro Tools so that Oron could record his and his friends’ various bands. He learned the basics on Pro Tools and then switched to Reason in eighth grade, starting to make beats for fun without having to actually record any sounds himself, but it wasn’t until he graduated high school and was in college for photography that he decided to take production seriously.
“I still approach music the same way I always have and as mentioned above my routine is largely the same. Play with sound until something catches your ear just right, then mold it and see what happens.”
He is currently working on numerous singles, remixes and EPs that will trickle out over the coming months. He says he would love to make another full length album, and certainly has the material for one, he just needs more time.
“The first album happened before I ever DJed my first gig and time was all I had,” he says. “Nowadays It’s the opposite where I am traveling more than producing. It is a blessing to get to travel and share the music with people but it has also slowed the release of music. There will be another album in the near future.”
Speaking with a pioneer of a genre like dubstep, that has had so many ups and down, would not be complete with our inquiring about his personal opinion on the state of the union. To this, Oron responds:
“I think the current state of dubstep is open to whatever you want to find. If you want deep it’s there, you just have to look for it. It is nice to see headier and deeper acts going higher on the list of big festivals but i don’t fully expect to see an EDC style and size event for the genre. I am happy with where deep dubstep is right now.”
Catch The Widdler at The Malice, A Spooky Occasion on Saturday October 20 at The Royal Canadian Legion #1A Spooky Occasion, dubstep, The Malice, The Royal Canadian Legion #1, The Widdler