DJ Shortee: 'World's Premier female DJ' talks Bassgasm, promoters, dubstep (WIN TIXX!)

DJ Shortee keeping things raw
DJ Shortee keeping things raw

The other day we were hipped to a pretty shameless new campaign MTV and Dove created where they're exploiti--er, promoting 'fresh' new female DJ talent around the country. One look at the hilarious "Look! I'm a lady DJ!" poses by the inductees on the site and it's painfully clear someone's in need of a reality check. Perhaps they should have had DJ Shortee on their committee.

Gritty and raw with real talent behind the DJ booth over the last 15 years, Shortee is lauded as the world's premier female DJ, an awesome feat we'd like to imagine leaves a trail of glitter, fishnet, furry boots, fake tits, bad mixes and other such club carnage behind in her wake. 

Paired up with DJ Faust back when a rave was actually a rave, the duo called Faust & Shortee ripped through the '00s with their drum n' bass sounds complete with turntablism tricks. Now re-booted as Urban Assault, the pair are coming to Minneapolis to refresh us with that back-in-the-day spirit but also remind us why they're still a force on the scene.

Shortee took time out to talk to us about the Urban Assault project, her new label, the dubstep craze, and even shared a promoter nightmare story from years past. 

Want to win tixx to see her at Bassgasm on Friday? Check out how to win at the end of this post.

You and Faust were well-recognized figures on the rave circuit a decade ago. What's the biggest thing that's changed about electronic music in general since then?

Everything has changed, its crazy to have experienced the scene in so many forms over the years. I guess one of the biggest changes is that there isn't really such a thing as a "real" rave any more and most of the EDM parties have either gone into the clubs or turned into concert type festivals and corporate events. A large number of the of the fans of the music who used to go out the events back in the day have grown up and moved on and those people were replaced by a whole new crop of fans who have also grown out of the scene and moved on -- its just been cycling like that ever since.

The music has changed immensely, there are so many new genres and subgenres and the producers making the trendsetting music seem to be getting younger and younger. Also very few of the DJs & producers who were around back then have been able to achieve longevity and are still around today. There are only a few that have successfully adapted to the changing scene by reinventing themselves and staying current and relevant with their sound. Its definitely not easy and we feel really lucky to be able to continue making a living doing what we love in the current climate.

Faust & Shortee, longtime DJ duo
Faust & Shortee, longtime DJ duo

What's the best way to describe Urban Assault for someone who might not be familiar?

Multi-genre Drum&Bass, Drumstep, Dubstep, Electro, Turntablism....we cover it all and always strive to bring quality high energy bass music to audiences in creative ways on 4 turntables laced with scratching, juggling, effects and exclusives they won't hear anywhere else.

What's a common misconception about futurebass/dubstep?

That it has no energy and is just really slow, monotonous, boring music with no melody that people can't dance to. Yes, there is some of that out there, but there is crappy, boring music in every genre. We strive to keep the energy up in all our sets no matter what genre we are playing and dubstep is no exception. There is a huge amount of energetic, exciting, melodic and entertaining dubstep being produced and tons of people enjoy dancing to it.

When you're on tour or gigging in another state, what's the best thing a promoter can do to make you happy (aside from pay you at the end of the gig)? What's been your worst experience with promoters?

The best thing a promoter can do: Promote their event properly, pack the house full of people who are love the music and are happy to be there. We also love it when they make sure the equipment and sound is on point. The worst experience? The obvious would be to leave the party without paying us (or anyone else). And just when a few years have gone by and you think its not going to happen to again, it does.

What's one really crazy experience you had back int the rave days when you weren't sure what would happen?

There was one promoter we played for in Brooklyn, NY a few years back that seemed to be totally on point but then halfway through the party he just left in the middle of the night and didn't pay anyone. Didn't pay the DJs, the sound guys, the lighting people, the security, the one. Not only that, since he and all his associates were suddenly no where to be found, we were stranded in what was in a really sketchy area of the city without a cab to be found and no cell phone service to try and call one. We also had a very close flight to catch after the show so we were just wandering around with all our gear trying to figure out how we were going to get back to the hotel and the airport in time.

Woah. So what happened?

Lucky for us, a couple of party kids offered to take us to wherever we needed to go. They were a bit cracked out but they seemed safe enough and quite frankly we were desperate. Needless to say, they ended up being really cool and we sent them a ton of music & CDs as a thank you gift for saving our asses after that one! Then,.after our agent continued to try to contact him numerous times after the event to try and get our balance owed he actually had the nerve to email her saying, "We got our 50% deposit, he wasn't going to pay us anymore and that should be enough". What an ass. By the way, the event was called Utopia and the promoter's name was Greg. ;)

Tell us about your label, Heavy Artillery Recordings.

It's our baby and our eyes are on it constantly every singe minute of every day. We have spend so much of our time and energy developing it into what it has become and can't wait to see how far we can take it into the future! For those that don't know, Heavy Artillery is a multi-genre label focusing on bass music including a variety of Dubstep, Drumstep, Drum & Bass & Electro House sounds. In addition to releasing our own music, we sign both well-known and unknown up-and-coming artists and we don't discriminate based on name or genre: if it's good music that fits our label's vibe we will want to release it, regardless of who created it.

Have you played in Minneapolis since the early 00s? What's one thing you're looking forward to about coming to First Avenue?

Yes, we have played a few times since, however its been a couple years since we've been back there. We look forward to the amazing sound system that we hear First Avenue is known for! 

TUNE IN: Shortee & Faust have a new HEAVY ARTILLERY radio show every Monday night 10 PM - 12 a.m. CST on

DOWNLOAD: Shortee's FREE "Dubstar" dubstep mix exclusively on her Facebook page.

To enter our BASSGASM ticket giveaway, simply follow these two steps:


 "Like" us on Facebook, which you can do right here (if you already "Like us", you're halfway there!):

2. Leave a comment below telling us why you want to see Shortee (as Urban Assault) at First Ave. (Be sure to leave a working email address in the proper field when you comment, as this is how we will contact our winners. Your contact information will not be used for any other purpose.)

We will leave the contest open through tomorrow and draw 5 winners at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 22.

DJ Shortee: 'World's Premier female DJ' talks Bassgasm, promoters, dubstep (WIN TIXX!)

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701 1st Ave. N.
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