Pop & Hiss

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Influential dubstep tastemaker Mary Anne Hobbs Leaves the BBC

July 23, 2010 | 10:54 am

The news of a BBC Radio1 DJ leaving her post would ostensibly have little impact on the Los Angeles music scene, but Mary Anne Hobbs is the exception. Over the last three years, the host of an experimental program has consistently broken many of the artists associated with the Low End Theory scene, oftentimes months or even years before local journalists.

This Q&A that Hobbs did with Pop & Hiss last year has a more thorough examination of her role in championing Los Angeles bass music and dubstep as a whole. But in brief, her 2006 "Dubstep Warz" program was credited as being one of the seminal moments for the then-incipient genre. Subsequent compilations "Warrior Dubz" and last year's "Wild Angels" are also essential anthologies of the heavy bass and blunted beats that have been emanating out of England and Los Angeles over the last half-decade.

Stranded by the Icelandic volcano eruption, Hobbs had a month-long sojourn in Los Angeles earlier this year and recorded a pair of shows that rank among the finest illustrations of the depth of the local talent pool. They are probably not appropriate for Pop & Hiss, but I posted them on my blog with links still available (the second show is available here).

The statement that Hobbs released on her MySpace page is below the jump, complete with an outline of her future plans. Her program will be missed. 

Mary Anne Hobbs' statement:

Yesterday I resigned from BBC Radio1, after an amazing multi-dimensional 14-year career.

The great freedoms the BBC have given in me as a broadcaster have allowed me to help break so many confrontational artists as diverse as Slipknot and Skream, and of course, the whole genre of Dubstep in recent times.

My current Experimental show is in peak condition, it’s never been stronger. And although it’s a very emotional decision to leave the show that I love so much, it’s also an optimum moment to bow out, at the very top of my game.

My work for Radio1 on the Breezeblock, Rock Show, many fascinating documentaries about everything from David Bowie to Dubstep, on daytime, at festivals and award ceremonies, has been exceptionally rewarding. These have been glory days not just for me, but for all the artists who have shared my BBC platform, and of course, the listeners everywhere from Beijing to Berlin, Baltimore to Blackpool, who shared a great passion for future sound.

I will continue to DJ live, work in film, and curate at Sonar festival in Barcelona.

I have also accepted a new job mentoring and teaching students at the University of Sheffield’s Union Of Students radio station, TV station and the newspaper that operate out of their superb Forge Media Hub, which presents me with a really exciting new challenge.

My last show on BBC Radio1 will be broadcast: September 8th>>9th … Wednesday night >> Thursday morning… 2-4am www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/maryannehobbs

Thank you so much for listening..

-- Jeff Weiss

Photo: Mary Anne Hobbs performing at the Low End Theory in 2009. Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times.