West Coast Weight: Kelly Dean’s ‘Firewall’ EP [SMOG025]


Big up fam’, thanks for checking in again!  We’re already two weeks into the new year and there has been a solid amount of music to hit the shelves: DJ Madd’s remix of  Candyman’s ‘Killa Sound’, Killawatt & Ipman’s ‘Warehouse Dub/Single Entity’, Boddika’s ‘Soul What VIP’, Booka Shade’s 3-track release on Blaufield, and Bungle’s ‘Aura/Astral Travel’, to name a few.  If you thought that 2012 was an amazing year for bass music you’re right but, 2013 is going to be that much better!

Today marks the drop of California native Kelly Dean’s ‘Firewall EP’ on Smog records.  Kelly Dean is one of many producers within the deep dubstep scene who have recently been cementing the U.S. onto the radar of bassweight enthusiasts across the globe.  Yes, we’ve always had heads like Matty G, Starkey, OSC, Babylon System, and Roommate (among others), but the numbers are growing and the ratio of top-notch UK:US producers finally seems to be evening out a bit.

It should come as no surprise that one of the one of the nation’s leading producers rolls deep with one of the nation’s strongest and longest-running dubstep nights/labels – Smog.  This release sees Kelly Dean take on his role in the SMOG fam’ as the deeper and darker proponent with his sweeping reese bass lines, eye-closing sub bass, eerie atmospherics, and generally minimalist philosophy on production.  The EP also bolsters remixes from Chestplate Records up-and-comer District, as well as a remix by Drumcell of the infamous Los Angeles underground crew: Droid Behavior.  It is without a doubt an EP that should not be slept on.  I was lucky enough to grab a few words with Kelly in regards to this release so take a read below while you preview his ‘Firewall’ EP:


BWS:  So how long has this EP been in the works for?

Its been over a year that’s for sure.  I actually played these tunes in an earlier form at the SMOG 5 year party.  They have transformed over the years and matured into what you hear today.  They actually feel like little kids to me at this point.  HAHA.

BWS:  What can the listeners expect to hear from this project?

This EP has a much more mature sound to it.  Take “Samurai” for instance.  The track’s vocal is actually me.  But I took the quote from Hagakure : Book of the Samurai which is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the Samurai Yamamoto Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716.  So the historical context of this tune is pretty strong, and I believe the vibe of the song is consistent with that theme.

BWS:  Do you have a personal favorite off the release?

“Samurai” and “Firewall” are my favorites mainly because of the ongoing theme.  Its a lot of fun creating a song that has somewhat of a script, almost like your scoring a movie. Those tunes have little FX sprinkled in that hint at the track titles.

BWS:  Which beat did you have the hardest time completing?

Samurai was the hardest by far.  Its the longest of the lot and the structure is different then your average dubstep tune   .  It starts off dropping into almost a garage drum pattern.  Each 16 bars it changes slightly with the percussion slowly morphing into a standard dubstep beat.  The vocal was also quite a challenge.  This is the first time I have put my own vocals into a tune that has been released.

BWS:  Any shout outs to those that helped make this happen?

Everyone supporting me since I started making music has been a MASSIVE help!  Producing music is one of those things that even the littlest bit of motivation from your peers can generate a big response in your productivity and imagination, which really helps with the writing process.  Drew & Danny at SMOG are huge in that department and this EP would not have been possible without them.  Also huge shouts to District and Drumcell for banging out unreal remixes!  Its a honor to have them on board for this project.


There you have it people.

Here are the buy links so  choose your record store of choice and make sure to get this one onto your hard drive!


Kelly Dean:




I’ll catch you guys next time, thanks for reading!  Make sure to support your local scene – buy music, go to shows, and tell your local promoters what the people want to hear.

One love.

– Kinman


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