“I don’t know what it is about drum and bass,” Tyler “Ridda” Rosier says from a barstool at the Ruby Room in Hillcrest, “but it is the most addictive, infectious music I’ve ever heard.”
Ridda first heard about drum and bass (fast electronic music with heavy bass) 12 years ago. After playing a house party in Coronado with his high school reggae band, Ridda was approached by DJ Bulldozer, who told him he should try singing to drum and bass. Unfamiliar with electronic music, Ridda scoffed at the suggestion. Two weeks later, his mind was changed when he heard a mix by DJ Kenny Ken and MC HypaHd. He called Bulldozer and soon emceed his first show at the South Bay Pet Cemetery, a residential venue on an actual pet cemetery.
“Everyone was laughing, like, who’s this kid?” Ridda recalls. “I came up in board shorts and flip flops.”
He went on to emcee at other underground parties in drainage tunnels, on the beach, and at venues like Club Xanth. He says the “golden years of drum and bass in San Diego” hit around 2005, when Deep ran Thursday nights at the Honey Bee Hive across from City College downtown. Ridda began emceeing with Deep regularly around this time and, later, Liquid nights at the Red C Lounge and Timeless in Los Angeles.
Last June, Ridda and Sean hosted the first SD Union at the Ruby Room, prompted by their sense of division among genres and crews in the expanding electronic music scene.
“When we started SD Union, we said, we’re going to book from every crew, every clique, every genre of music,” Ridda says of the event, which often has a hip-hop opener, breaks or house, dubstep, and a drum-and-bass headliner.
Backed by Deep’s sound system, SD Union brought to the Ruby Room Los Angeles luminaries Divine Elements, Maximum Moves, Circuit and Wizard, Machete, and Orlando drum-and-bass legend AK1200.
“Drum and bass means everything to me,” Ridda says. “It’s my livelihood.... I bleed, I sweat, I cry drum and bass. That’s why we started SD Union. We want to share how we feel about drum and bass and give it to everybody.”