Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
Kahn & Neek
Adrian Sherwood & Pinch
Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
Kahn & Neek
Adrian Sherwood & Pinch
Featuring the likes of Ken Boothe, Dawn Penn, U-Roy, Stranger Cole & The Tamlins, this documentary gives a wonderful insight into the golden era of Rocksteady! Wake the town!
Just stumbled across one of the little lesser know documentaries about Soundsystem culture featuring the likes of Quaker City, Gladdy Wax, King Tubby’s & Linval Golding (The Specials). CHECK!
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?
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
Big up to all who came down to our last ever session at Plan B inna Brixton! Dance ah run hot!
A very interesting insight into the world of Addis Pablo & the making of his debut album……Check it!
Another top documentary from Saxon Baird and the Afropop Worldwide crew! Through interviews with David Hinds of Steel Pulse, Dennis Bovell, Papa Levi, David Katz and many more, he unravels the complex history of Jamaican music in the United Kingdom….
Brand new! Good for you! New York’s finest step forward!
Tour De Force is the production monkier of Dub-Stuy Soundsystem who are responsible for bringing the real sound of Reggae music back to NY. With collabs from some of the biggest Reggae artists from all over the globe and a more exclusive tracks than you can shake a stick at, this mix is a treat from beginning to end! We caught up with the duo ahead of their debut LP release for a little chat about their time in the music industry and what the future holds for them, check it out below…..
RR: For those of our followers who’ve not come across Dub-Stuy before could you give us a brief introduction?
TDF: We’re a sound system crew and label based out of Brooklyn, New York. Specifically, we’re based in an area called Bed-Stuy hence the name Dub-Stuy. Our neighborhood is famous for being one of the birthplace of hip hop in new york. We’re fundamentally a record label and event production crew though we’re also involved in various projects revolving around promoting sound system culture stateside.
RR: We regard having a Soundsystem of one of the fundamental aspects of Reggae music (and we are in the process of building our own), how did you get into soundsystem culture and who are your influences in that arena?
TDF: To us, the sound system being at the root of the music, both historically and conceptually, we knew it was an essential starting point for our project. On top of that, we felt like the standard and appreciation for quality sound has been on a decline here in New York so building a rig was also a statement in that regard.
We’re big fans of foundation sounds such as Channel One, Aba Shanti and obviously Jah Shaka. We also have a lot of respect for sounds like Mungo’s, Stand High and OBF who are taking the message and the culture to a newer audience. In a way, they really paved the way for us.
RR: You’ve recently completed your debut album as ‘Tour De Force’, could you tell us a little bit about the project?
TDF: Tour de Force is the musical project that inspired the genesis of the label. I had been a selector for a while and ended up getting connected to Jay Spaker who had been producing electronic music as Double Tiger. When we met, we realized that we both had the same passion for roots music and a similar vision for expanding the reach of sound system culture beyond its usual niche of dub and reggae. We started collaborating on tracks and that’s how the project started.
I see Tour de Force as the musical manifestation of what we stand for. Connecting the dots between old and new while preaching the gospel of the sound system. There’s also a great deal of inspiration that comes from our environment in Brooklyn in our music. We’re excited to be releasing our first album “Battle Cry” this month and I think it’s a pretty strong statement as to who we are as a crew and sound system.
RR: New York has a very rich history when it comes to Reggae music and you continue to fly the flag for it, what is the scene like there at the moment and where do you see it going?
TDF: Similarly to London, New York has been a major destination point for the West Indian diaspora so there’s an expansive history of Reggae music and culture here. You can probably find at least 4-5 reggae parties any day of the week and there’s also a vibrant soundclash community. Historically, the focus in New York has been mostly toward dancehall and bashment although there is also an emerging dub/roots scene with labels such as Taitu records, Bent Backs Sound and Liondub among others.
We’ve been fortunate to be able to connect with all the various communities through our events and other label projects. To us, this is the way forward, more collaboration and a better understanding of sound system culture which unites all of us. We hope to serve as an example and with the amount of labels, raw talent and overall creative spirit, we feel like New York is on a verge of a new era for Reggae music.
RR: A lot of the older sounds are deeply rooted in tradition and the music they play reflects that, what do you think sets you apart from the rest?
We’ve long been inspired by roots, culture and foundation and our music and event bookings reflect that. Yet, we are not part of that era nor have any pretense about waxing nostalgia. We’re constantly inspired by new sounds and influences and we feel like there’s an opportunity to move the music and culture forward without diluting it.
RR: Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of getting into building a Soundsystem?
TDF: I would say do your research, take the time to know your rig, know its limits and always strive for perfection. There’s always something new to learn and you constantly need to train your ear, just like playing an instrument. People often get hung up on gear, number of scoops, wattage… at the end of the day, what really matters is that people are enjoying the experience you’re creating and that you’re making new sound system converts. Also, once the madness begins, get ready to spend a lot money, loose relationships and end up with a broken back!
RR: What are your thoughts on the scene in the UK & Europe?
TDF: The UK scene has always been inspiring, both in terms of music and sound system culture. It’s been really great to see a significant convergence between the dubstep, dub and sound system community over the past few years. For us, the foundation is really important in maturing the US sound and appreciation, and we’re looking forward to announcing some new projects and partnerships to continue to support sound system culture and bass music in Brooklyn and the States in 2014
RR: Is there anything you’d like to say on the big Vinyl vs. Digital debate?
TDF: Doesn’t matter to us as long as it sounds good on the big rig!
RR: What are your top three tunes at the moment?
Gorgon Sound – Find Jah Way
Don Fe – Jericho
Author – Jah Live On
RR: What are your plans for the future?
TDF: 2014 is going to be a big year for us. First off, we’re releasing our debut LP “Battle Cry” this month and have plans to tour in the US and Asia to support the album. We’re also working on a European tour later this fall. More importantly, we want to make more music and connect with more dubheads around the world. Right now is a great time for music. Eventually, we’d like to start developing artists through our label. I think it’s time for us in the states to catch up!
For more info on Dub-Stuy Sound & Tour De Force check out their website: http://www.dub-stuy.com/
Mr. Williamz talks about his forthcoming LP on Necessary Mayhem! Make sure you come to Reggae Roast: Jamdown THIS FRIDAY to catch him live & direct in the Dancehall!