For the next installment of the Reggae Roast podcast we’ve asked the busiest man in Reggae to nice it up! Step forward Dubmatix! He’s got a new LP out in April, another set of sample packs due for release and a hectic tour schedule lined up for summer. We managed to catch up with him for a quick chat about his time in the music industry and what 2014 has in store….
RR: Easy now! Can you give us a little introduction to the Dubmatix sound?
DM: I’ve always been a fan of Phil Spector and his “Wall of Sound” and it’s something that tends to be part of my production process – layering, creating a full sound. Musically my sound encompasses a wide spectrum of styles – from traditional dub, roots, rub-a-dub to dub step, electro-dub, UK Steppers, Jungle/Ragga and anything else that works – but I try to always maintain a “reggae” influence and vibe.
RR: You’ve worked with some of the best & well known Reggae singers over the years, do you have a favourite collaboration?
DM: I’ve enjoyed working with them all but Alton Ellis stands out. It was one of his last recordings and he wrote fantastic lyrics “Blessing of compassion” that really had a strong meaning and beautiful vocal delivery.
RR: I understand you’ve got another album coming out in April, can you tell us a little bit about what to expect?
DM: The new album is called “In Dub” and is the first pure dub album I’ve released since 2007. Consisting of steppers, traditional dub and electro-dub. Several tracks that have been released on compilations in various parts of the world but never on one album – plus about 6 fresh new dub tunes.
It’ll be out on Echo Beach (Hamburg, Germany) across Europe, USA, Japan and Australia April 24th.
There is another release due out April 1, a remix EP with the great drum’n'bass / jungle producer Marcus Visionary (Digital Soundboy label) – consisting of all the remixes he’s done of my tracks over the past 3 years – all in a raga / jungle style. (Digital release)
RR: Over the past couple of years you’ve put out a few Reggae based sample packs, do you have any plans to release any more?
DM: I just submitted Dub & Reggae XL Vol II and Vol III this week. Vol I has been on the bestseller list for the past 15 months and has really be a lot of fun for me to hear how people utilize the loops for their own productions.
Coming down the pipeline is also a preset package for Native Instruments Massive software aptly called “Reggae Massive” which contains presets aimed at dub, reggae, steppers, dub step and jungle. Bass, keys, organs, synths. Just wrapping that one up for next week.
RR: Any plans for any festivals / tours for 2014?
DM: I start a 22 date tour March 29th – May 3rd where I’ll be in Belgium, France, Germany and Romania then back again starting in Costa Rica July 5 and over to Europe for the summer festival season. Best place to check for dates is www.dubmatix.com
RR: Anything to add to the big Vinyl Vs. Digital debate? What’s your preference?
DM: I’m a child of the vinyl and cassette 70s age and while I love the digital convenience and potential, there’s something about holding a piece of wax in your hands, reading the liner notes and dropping the needle that an MP3 will never replace.
Sonically – vinyl can sound warmer but there are some great plug-ins out there to really help replicate, nearly indiscernible, that “warmth” and “saturation” that is present on vinyl. UAD (Universal Audio) does an amazing job. But I love the instant gratification of the digital age and music – and with 7 radio shows – I need music every week and nothing can compete with getting music sent to me digitally. There’s room for both.
RR: What’s the Reggae / Dub scene like in Canada? How do you think it compares with the UK & Europe?
DM: There is a lot of strong musicians and singers in Canada but with a population of 35 Million and having one of the largest land masses in the world – the difficulty has always been having or maintaining an infrastructure to foster a stronger reggae community. Economically it’s almost cost prohibitive to tour having 8-12+ hour drives from show to show – then add in hotels, food, gas etc – it’s not easy or feasible for most bands. I see it growing but more and more you’ll see Canadian artists look to Europe or the USA to try and develop a career.
RR: Do you have a favourite Reggae Soundsystem?
DM: To be honest, being from Toronto I’ve not really had a lot of opportunity to experience a proper Sound System event. I was in Mexico on a show with King Earthquake – 8 scoops and decent power – that was an experience for me to watch and see him perform but I’m aiming on getting to the spend more time at proper Sound System events this year.
RR: What are your top three tunes at the moment?
- Micah Shemiah – Dread at the Control
- Pupa Jim – International Farmer
- Congo Natty – Get Ready
RR: Do you have any advice for aspiring producers starting out?
DM: Write and record as much as possible. With each new track you produce, you’ll learn more about arranging, mixing, writing and most importantly – developing your own style. Check out King Tubby’s “King Tubby meets the Rockers Uptown” – one of the best dub albums ever recorded to hear what a basic set up of echo, reverb, a mixing desk and creativity can achieve. Take chances – experiment with instrumentation, FX and production styles.
To keep up to date with Dubmatix check out the website: www.dubmatix.com