Category Archives: Mixes

Exclusive UNOD 2014 Mix & Interview from I-Mitri (Counteraction)

The United Nations Of Dub Weekender is back! Now in it’s second year, the worlds only family friendly multi day indoor dub, roots and reggae festival, the United Nations Of Dub Weekender (U.N.O.D Weekender) is back at Pontins ‘Prestatyn Sands’ self catering holiday park in North Wales from 28th – 30th March 2014 for another instalment of bass fuelled fun and games featuring over one hundred of the biggest artists and sound systems out there. You can catch the Reggae Roast crew there on Saturday in the Mungo’s Hi-Fi arena! Prior to the session we met up with one of the event organisers and all round nice bloke I-Mitri to chat about his time in the music industry & what this year’s UNOD session has to offer….

RR: Easy! For people not aquainted with I-Mitri & the Counteraction label can you give them a brief intro?

I-Mitri: CounterAction is a UK Dub and Roots label based in the midlands, and more specifically in Leicester! We started releasing vinyl back in 2007, and have released to date 6 x 10″, a CD album/digital, and a couple of digital singles. CounterAction was started by I-self and the one and only Richi Rootz who sadly passed away a couple of years ago.

Richi is also one of the founding members of Vibronics, and a general legend in this city, responsible for having connected many of the local artists! For example, Richi introduced a very young Jah Marnyah who at the time worked as a labourer in his house here in Leicester  through common family connections with Monserrat (the Caribbean island) to Vibronics! Making links and bringing up young talent was very much Richi’s mission!

You could say our first unofficial release and the birth of CounterAction, sonically at least,
is the the Scoops Records 10″ “Mama Africa” by the Vibronics Dub Family!  On that tune Richi played bass and I played drums in separate sessions (and before actually meeting in person), before Steve Vibronics (another Leicester legend) put the magic touches on the mix and arrangement and eventually released it as a 10″  in 2006 after a few years of earth shaking sounds like Jah Tubbys and Iration Steppas blasting it around the world!
That was effectively our introduction and led to many a jam session in the Counteraction HQ studio! We would start by jamming, him on bass and i on drums, and record ideas which i then worked on and developed further into dubs and eventually releases!

My personal background is many years of live bands and music projects around Greece as a drummer, singer and percussionist.. After our first album release in Greece in ’98 i got a bit more seriously involved with the studio recording and mixing processes. This eventually lead to me moving to the UK in 2001 to live study and work close to the music scene and the industry that i had grown to love, one that has influenced and continues to influence so much of the world! I continue to work in that capacity as well as a mix engineer and producer for different labels around the world.  I gig regularly as a mic man, DJ/Selector/Live mixer and percussionist with a live band representing CounterAction, as well as often tour/record with a few other well known live dub acts like Vibronics, my famo AMP Outernational and Dub Providers (Nuff Powa).. My day job is youth work through music focused around young people in difficult circumstances whether in a social respect or in terms of health with a fantastic non-profit organisation here in Leicester called Soft Touch Arts..

RR: How did you first get involved with the music?

I-Mitri: I would say before anything else it would be my parent’s record collection!
The stereo was the focus of our house, and the TV at the time was black and white and in a corner.. I have so many vivid memories of listening to records, lying on the carpet, while carefully studying the covers, or any lyrics etc inside the albums! From there i found myself learning guitar and drums and started a band in school in Greece very early on!
We mainly payed hardcore and covers at first, practicing in my sister’s room :P ,
but slowly Reggae took over after we tried to cover “Chase the Devil” by Max Romeo the first time,  and tripped all over ourselves and the beat! :) Reggae then became an obsession, and the band is now known as AMP Outernational, co-founders of Greece’s roughest sound Dubwise HiFi :)

RR: You’re in a band, run a label, produce a radio show, sing and write your own music and run a major roots & dub festival, how do you find the time?

I-Mitri: Oh gosh, yes… I do wonder that myself often! I suppose I don’t have much of a social life heheheh! But on a bit of a more serious note, I think one supports the other, they’re not mutually exclusive. This way I have constant works to do, if it’s not one thing its the other. It keeps me excited and engaged, and I guess inevitably a little sleepless but content! The challenge is not to let the creative play and music writing suffer, and for that, sometimes, you have to turn the phone on silent and get off FB. I also have some great creative positive people surrounding and supporting I and we push each other on a daily to get better, and raise our game! I’m not I alone in this! UNITY is the key!

RR: Can you tell us a little bit about your reasons behind starting UNOD festival and what 2014 has in store?

I-Mitri: As you mentioned we have a weekly radio show here on a university FM station.
United Nations Of Dub was baptised by Richi Rootz who used to regularly select every other week or so. We had been discussing different event and business ideas with my partner Leicester promoter Felis Kontakt for a few years now, and attending each-other’s events. When the time came and we made the mad decision to realise our dream of an event modelled after the old Soul Weekenders or more recently, the electronic music weekenders in holiday parks, this time honouring and aiming solely at the Dub and the “bass” community it was obvious that the radio show name represented our idea for the festival perfectly and so was born the UNOD Weekender!

It’s the biggest indoor sound system culture event in the world, last year attracting people from as far as Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, the US and so many European countries and beyond! No mud, no rain, no tents, and you can sleep! :P
It is an opportunity to experience the very top producers, performers and sounds in the scene as well as to get introduced to younger artists and sounds from around the world! We have many arenas, talks, a cinema, a heated themed pool party, and many surprises, and you can buy tickets including accommodation (in fully equipped flats with en-suites bathrooms and kitchens, where you have all you need to cook: fridge, oven, microwave, kettle and dishes pans and cups) as well as 3-day passes with no accommodation if you wished to stay near by in the numerous B&Bs and caravan parks
or finally single affordable day tickets!

check:

www.unodweekender.com

for further links and the full line up!

RR: Which act are you most looking forward to checking at the festival?

I-Mitri: There are so many to pick from and choosing one is very difficult! :) So here are a select few! Jah Shaka opens the festival with full sound on Friday and last year that was a very unique experience! The mighty son of Augustus Pablo! The very talented rising star that is Addis Pablo shall be there representing this year with his melodica on Friday alongside Ras Jammy as Suns Of Dub! My hero Adrian Sherwood (ON U SOUND) is there on Saturday on our main stage show arena powered by  Mungo’s Hifi full sound system!

The crazy 4-way (full sound) “meets” on our Sound System arena:

Saturday: Iration Steppas – Blackboard Jungle – Aba Shanti – Jah Tubbys and

Sunday: King Earthquake – OBF – Maasai Warrior – Word Sound and Power all on their own sets!

And finally on Sunday night, the might Mungo’s HiFI and their Scotch Bonnet show case set on their full sound!

RR: What are your top three tracks at the moment?

Loving the new JA (so-called) “revival” scene at the moment! Too many to mention but a great track for me is “Jesse Royal – Modern Day Judas” (many other great cuts on this riddim to check too, more recently for example the tuff “Jr Gong – Gunman World”).

Been loving the new Vibronics meets Brain Damage album, high quality musicianship and sound and serious historical background, as close to a dub concept album as it gets! My good bredrin’s tune (also from Leicester) “Madu Messenger – Letter Home” is one to check for sure!

Also been getting great feedback for one of i&i own works too!  Watch out for the brand new tune (currently at DUBplate status) by the “Dubateers ft I-mitri – Learning Curve”
on a refix you might just recognise hehe :)
RR: What are your thoughts on the current state of the UK Reggae scene and how do you feel it compares with the rest of the world?

I-Mitri: This is a very interesting question and a very deep subject! It’s very interesting as the UK was the gateway through which Reggae, dub and sound system culture reached Europe and arguably the rest of the world! It also stamped its own identity on both the musicianship but also the sound system tradition, which coming from JA to the UK changed,  to accommodate more of our climate, lifestyle and preferences!   Much heavier sounds, a focus on more instrumental cuts and heavy dub mixes as well as a more Minor keys/chords/scales approach to composition, ignoring the Major keys that JA music often favours!

However that was the 80s and 90s and since then the tradition has taken hold of Europe especially places like France and Italy but growing elsewhere too! It has developed into a new identity, style and sound, again accumulating local culture and tradition but maintaing the basic elements as they came through the UK directly from JA. So, these days, the scene is actually more healthy abroad! And here in the UK, it has become harder and harder to find the right venues that would be willing to support sound systems coming, less and less street parties etc, and a youth culture that for a while at least turned its back on the Reggae/dub world. At the same time the UK still has many pioneering dub producers and acts, and they continue to shape along with many of the newer generations, the European sound of sound system dub music, and continue to gig heavily and feature on sounds around the world! With the emergence of the dubstep scene and the general return to vinyl, dub plate culture and heavy bass sound systems more recently, the new generations of youths are more and more getting involved in a revival of the bass sound, in a brand new form, and with now clearly influence coming back from Europe obvious in new crews out of Manchester, Leeds and Bristol as well as London of course and other places around the UK!

RR: Vinyl or Digital?

I-Mitri: I collect vinyl still, and i grew up with that sound so can’t think of a better format for bass music! I also very much fuljoy listening to sounds Like Jah Shaka, Aba Shanti I, King Earthquake and Channel One religiously sticking to vinyl in their sessions! Having said that, after WAY too many pints spilled over records in sweaty, small, rammed-out clubs, I made the decision very early on to record my records to digital and to fwd to gigs with a laptop based set up! My records that way are safe at home, and for practical reasons a laptop bag beats carrying record bags on planes and messy hot festivals any day! It’s also a lot easier to run our own exclusives and dubs as our show (whether live or as DJ Selection) is at least 80% original music and lots of live vocals either of my own or of one or more of the artists with which CounterAction often tours!

RR: Tea or Coffee?

I-Mitri: 95% of the time TEA! However there are some moments (on long drives after gigs late at night, or after very late gigs followed by early airport runs for example) when a double shot espresso is NECESSARY! :D
RR: What are your plans for the future?

More and more releases, session work and collaborations with producers, sound systems and promoters around the world. First release this year for example, featured on the tape is the “Get Along” tune by AMP Outernational available on JUNO and a few more tunes down the pipeline due to land on vinyl and digital release very soon!  Also due to the festival taking over our lives this last year we have been sitting on some serious dubplates that I would love to see released through CounterAction Soundz and expect to get on with, certainly by the end of 2014, if not before ;)
Hold tight!
Hopefully also UNOD Weekender 2015 and many more after!

Big up Reggae Roast, thanks for the opportunity to share words and sounds with you and the family!

check:

www.counteractionsoundz.com

for future gigs, news, releases and merch!

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, DJ Dates, Documentaries, Events, Free Downloads, interviews, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Reggae Rajahs Strictly Dubplates 5 Year Anniversary Mix

Bigging up our friends over in India! Dubplate style & fashion! SET IT

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, Free Downloads, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast, Tune Of The Day

Disorda’s Dub Chronicles #41

Top selction yet again from our friend Disorda! Play this LOUD!

Dub Chronicles #41 (Kane FM) by Disorda @ Suspect Packages on Mixcloud

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, Free Downloads, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Exclusive Mix & Interview from Dubmatix!

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?
DM:

  • 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

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, Documentaries, Free Downloads, interviews, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Tour De Force (Dub Stuy) Exclusive Mix & Interview!

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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/

 

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: Album Of The Week, BIG Tunes, Documentaries, Free Downloads, interviews, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Part2Style – Exclusive Mix & Interview!

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The dancehall rulers from the Far East come fi mash it up! When Part2Style come to play they always bring a serious arsenal of dubplates to kill any soundbwoy in session! They’ve kindly recorded this exclusive mix for Reggae Roast to accompany an interview we did with their crew member Mal.

Make sure you check the full interview below!

Tracklist:
1. Intro.
2. Brother Culture – Pop Round(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
3. Protoje – Our Time Come(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
4. Charlie P – Salud(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
5. Warrior Queen – Poison Dart(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
6. Solo Banton – Music Addict(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
7. Kenny Knotts – Watch How The People Dancing(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
8. Jah Screechy – Walk & Skank(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
9. Carl Meeks – Haul & Pull Up Selector(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
10. Tippa Irie – P2S Wicked & Wild(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
11. Top Cat – Everyday(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
12. PART2STYLE SOUND feat. Charlie-P – Sound Man Anthem
13. PART2STYLE SOUND feat.Solo Banton – Sleepng Lion
14. PART2STYLE SOUND feat.Tippa Irie – Raggamuffin
15. PART2STYLE SOUND feat.Parly B – Rub a dub Market
16. PART2STYLE SOUND feat.Color T – Hot Like We
17. Shanti D – Unknown(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
18. Everton Blender – Jumbo Jet(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
19. Carl Meeks – Come A Dance(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
20. Cian Finn – Babylon Sky(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
21. General Levy – Incredible(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)
22. Mr.Williamz & Mungo’s Hi Fi – RAM DANCE FASTER(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)

23. Clint Eastwood General Saint – Another One Bites The Dust(PART2STYLE DUB PLATE)

 

 

RR: For those of our followers who haven’t come across Part2Style (although they should have!) can you please introduce yourselves?

P2S: We are the sound crew based in Tokyo Japan. We run across the world with a keyword “Future Ragga” and our original tunes and unique dubplates. We are also releasing the titles to the world from our label “Future Ragga”.

RR: Every time we hear a P2S set they are always packed full of dubplates & exclusives, how important do you think having dubs is to a selector in today’s scene?

P2S: Since we make our own tracks, exclusive tunes is an inevitable progression. To build a good relationship with artists while we link with them and to represent them as our artist and they represent us as their sound, it will lead both of us an originality. So I always focus on the exclusiveness.

RR: You fly the flag highly for Japan, what is the scene like out there?

P2S: A short while ago, Reggae scenes in Japan was based on Jamaica and it was above anything else. But since we perform actively, scenes and fans start to broaden their perspective of reggae music. This movement is getting big every second.

RR: What are your thoughts on the UK scene and who are your favourite Soundsystems?

P2S: It is different from Jamaican scene and I feel the uniqueness. There is many artist varied in personalities. And fans really love reggae music so we consistently do our best to offer a guarantee of wickedness. Our favorite sound system is Mungo’s Hi-fi, they are the tuffest! and our favorite sound crew is REGGAE ROAST, we really respect your movement.

RR: Is there anything you’d like say regarding the big vinyl / digital debate?

P2S: We still love vinyl and dig the songs, and we try to release the songs from our label in vinyl format as possible. But when we play as a sound, most of the songs we play is dubplate and self-produced tunes so we play them in digital format. I think these debate would go on for ever but I think every person is different and we all have our own style so I don’t mind which format people use. low rate and quality of mp3 format is out of the question though.

RR: What are your top three tunes at the moment?

P2S: This is difficult question to answer because we listen to many genres and our favorite songs changed every second lol.

RR: You’ve played pretty much every major music festival, have you got any highlights?

P2S: I guess Outlook Festival was the most highlights. Especially this year, when we played at Dub Smugglers stage on the previous night of Outlook. I felt the everyones energy and motivation toward Outlook Festival. They were ready to party!

RR: Which artists influenced you when you were starting out and which artists continue to inspire you?

P2S: I use to listen to the tapes from Jamaica and was inpire by 80′s and 90′s Jamaican sound system. But today, I get inspire from artist and players outside Jamaica. Especially from the other genres. We have “Ragga” attitude in our background so any musics we absorb, it will turn out to be our colors.

RR: You recently started the Future Ragga label, what was the thought process behind starting a record label?

P2S: It was necessary result. Back in 80′s, every sound system in Jamaica owned their label and they experimentally played their dubplate at the dance. So, “make the tracks”, “play at the dance”, “release the songs that mash up the crowd” is efficient and from the fans feedback, we can drop our individual color to the tunes.

RR: What are Part2Style’s plans for 2014?

P2S: We are going to release the songs that will amaze every reggae fans in the world. So you can count on us.

 

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, Free Downloads, interviews, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Hylu & Jago (Feat. Zico) Exclusive Mix & Interview

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South East London’s finest come correct! Hylu & Jago have been mashin’ up dances all over the world for many years now either with the Unit 137 crew or with the onlyjoe band. The Unit 137 brand encompasses all the ingredients that are imperative in keeping the tradition of UK based Reggae music alive, they run a recording studio, record label and soundsystem, yet still manage to find time to produce their own music and tour extensively. We caught up with the duo to chat about their influences, the current state of UK music & what the future holds for them…….

RR – For those of our followers who haven’t come across your music can you please introduce yourselves?

H&J – Safe, Blessed Love out to the Reggae Roast massive. We are essentially a production duo who are part of Unit 137 Sound System, record label and studios. When we play out we perform as a DJ (Hylu) and vocalist (Jago). We are also both part of the ten piece reggae band onlyjoe.

RR – What are your thoughts on the state of UK Soundsystem music at the moment?

H&J – The UK sound-system movement is doing pretty well at the moment.  In the UK there is such a rich history and schooling from sounds such as Saxon, King Tubbys, Jah Shaka, Channel One and much more.

It seems like there’s been a recent burst of fresh energy within the scene. There are new sounds starting all over the place. With that you get an interesting mix of different people getting involved and people from different walks of life coming together.

We think the main message between sounds is unification; it seems to be less about clashing in the UK. Saying that, it would be great to see some proper clashes happen; instead of having random DJs who aren’t part of any sound, clashing each other at events where a beer costs almost as much as it does to get in.

Sound System comes from the people and is for the people, or at least that’s how we think it should be. That’s why we have been getting involved with street events like Trinity Music London’s ‘RumBQ’. Due to the weather in the UK it’s a summer time thing only, unfortunately. However, we are actively searching for an indoor space to continue the events throughout the winter months.

RR – You run a record label, a soundsystem and still find the time to produce new music and tour extensively, how do you find the time?

It’s very restrictive in terms of having much else in your life. Whatever you do, if you’re in love with it then you are going to be doing it all the time. You aren’t going to be doing the things that other people do, like have evenings watching films, or out to see plays, or whatever it is that people do. Not too long ago someone said to us that the career of an artist is a very selfish one. That’s kind of true because everything else has to work around the music. It’s not the other way around.

H&J – You’ve played some big festivals and sessions this year, what have been your highlights?

The best ones have been the ones with the most link ups between crews. We love being able to link up our sound with our brothers Lionpulse from Bristol. We have done this a few times over the past year. Boomtown Fair and St. Paul’s Carnival are two that really stand out. We had Reggae Roast representing on both occasions, as well as a number of other vocalists and selectors from all over the place. It’s great to have so many creative people coming together through sound system music and culture.

RR – How did you get into the music? What are your inspirations?

We both got into music in similar ways. Through pirate radio and listening to music that both our parents listened to when we were growing up. Jungle music was a big factor too, which was a strong initial exposure to dancehall for us. It’s funny the different routes everyone takes to find the music they love. We aren’t close-minded to only listening to one type or style. That’s probably why we play such an eclectic mix of music in our sets.

H&J – Is there anything you’d like to say regarding the big Vinyl / Digital debate?

We prefer to play vinyl, but it’s not always practical with travelling around (weight/size). ‘Sometimes you affi fly Ryan Air!’ It’s also very frustrating when you turn up to perform at a dance and the decks aren’t calibrated properly, or the needles are broken; but that is another conversation. We generally use Serato; we don’t play MP3 files, we only play full quality WAV files. We both buy vinyl and support the scene 100%.

RR – Top 3 tunes at the moment?

H&J – Mikey General – Kuff N Dem, Ramon Judah – The Vibe, Prince Jammo – Sheep To The Shepherd.

RR – Which artists are you really feeling at the moment?

H&J – All new and old artists that are creating and influencing. Basically anyone who is doing their thing properly, not being too flash or show off; just representing music. It’s great to discover new vocalists and producers. It’s wicked when you get collaborations between artists from different countries or vocalists/producers from different eras. It can sound good to get a lover’s rock vocalist on a steppas tune or even a roots vocalist on a hip-hop beat.  It’s important to school people.  You have to show the young ones how to do it otherwise they wont have that certain know how from day.  We especially feel artists that take time to give something back to the scene, in order to help it flourish and grow stronger.

RR – What are your plans for the future?

We are really looking forward to getting more releases out there. We want to double the Unit 137 Sound System at some point too. There is so much that we want to achieve and do within music. Its great to do separate works from time to time, but something that is really important is working together and having a family vibe with what we do.

RR – How important is it to have your own Soundsystem in today’s scene?

H&J – It depends what people want to do, and how they want to push themselves. For us it was a really important step that we needed to make. In general the most important element is having fun and being creative. Whether that is through organizing events, performing, producing or just dancing. It’s all part of what makes the scene.

 

 

 

 

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, DJ Dates, Documentaries, Free Downloads, interviews, Mixes, Non Reggae news, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Will Tee (Descendant Music) Exclusive Mix & Interview

Podcast Volume 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following on from our recent podcasts & interviews with the likes of Chopstick Dubplate & Riddim Tuffa here’s a real treat for the Roots crew! Descendant Music is a record label headed by UK reggae producer Will Tee. It was launched in 2012 and has seen Tee release collaborative work with household name Jamaican artists as well as talent closer to home. He’s already getting some massive support from the likes of David Rodigan, Aba Shanti, Jah Shaka, Channel One & many more.

RR – Can you tell us a bit about the idea behind Descendant Music and how it all came together?

WT – Well, I’d had a string of instrumental releases on other labels but I’d always wanted to be putting out vocal tunes, both to bring in new artists and musicians as well as working with artists that I’d listened to growing up. Really it’s about being able to release music on my own terms, having a label and platform that could evolve with me as I evolve as a producer and basically just be a home to me and maybe a handful of others. I’d been planning to start the label for a while but had been busy with my final year of uni in 2011/2012 so I’d planned things out in my head and continued saving bits of money together until late 2012 when I felt the time was right and I kicked things off by pressing the Peace EP. That’s how it got started.

RR – You’ve had a really good 2013 so far, what are some of your highlights?

WT – One of them has got to be playing at a dance in Toulouse, France at the start of the year. It was in the basement of this club in the city centre, with a really heavy traditional reggae sound (I Station). It was like a sauna in this basement with a thick cloud of smoke constantly filling the room. The promoters spent the whole night taking it in turns to physically block entrance cos so many people were trying to get in. It was totally packed and everyone was really on it, it was a wicked introduction to the French scene! Working with Prince Malachi was one of the most interesting experiences I’ve had in the studio. We’d been talking about doing something together for a while and I got a call from him saying he was gonna be up north so we arranged to meet up one Saturday. During the phone call I asked him if he had any songs already written that he wanted to record, to which he answered “I don’t write the music, Jah will write the music”. So I was kind of apprehensive as to how the session would go but sure enough he turned up on the Saturday, earlier than planned (something I’d never encountered in the reggae scene) and we got some coffee and set to work. He had been very cool and relaxed, then I set the music running and it was like he switched to performance mode and just started free styling over the rhythm. He ran through a few different ideas before belting out the phrase “Looove Conqueeeeers” and immediately said, “that’s the chorus Will, you like it?” I agreed and the rest fell into place easily. We had written the lot and recorded all the parts and harmonies within about an hour. He had clearly adopted the Jamaican recording style whilst working at Xterminator and after finishing he switched back from performance mode, we did a little mix, chatted a bit more and he was on his way… That’s how we did ‘Love Conquers’.

RR – Are there any releases that we should be keeping an eye out for at the moment?

WT – From me? I’ve just put out a couple of 7”s on Descendant Music featuring Prince Malachi, K.O.G, Leona & Diddley Dee – ‘Love Conquers’ and ‘Round & Round’. I’ve also got a few dubs running exclusively on Aba Shanti and Iration featuring Fred Locks and an upcoming artist from the Jamaican roots scene Micah Shemaiah that are due to be released at some point but I couldn’t tell you when. Some from others that I’m feeling at the moment are Dub Conductor and Cornell Campbell – ‘Crisis’ (UK style) and ‘Inna Rub a Dub Style Riddim’ by John John featuring Chronixx, Jah Cure, Bounty Killer and a load of other top artists (JA style).

RR – How do you find running an independent label?

WT – Well it has been a steep learning curve that’s for sure but I’ve had a lot of good advice off other labels, reggae and otherwise, which I’ve tried to take on. You really have to love all aspects of it and learn to wear a lot of different hats. That’s what I love about independent labels though – the end product is very personal and reflects all the quirks of the producer(s). The thing about running a label is you don’t get any practice runs – like with making music you do a whole lot of practicing before you put anything out to the public but with releasing records you just jump straight in – you can prepare and everything but at the end of the day you have to learn a lot of things as you go along!

RR – Who are your influences and favourite Soundsystems?

WT – I mostly listen to Jamaican music from the 60s to present day in my own time as well as bits of other, mainly underground music. I probably take most inspiration from Fattis and his 90’s Xterminator productions. Not only did he work with amazing artists but with some wicked musicians and featuring live musicians is something that I’ve always seen as important as well. What I like to listen to at home and what I like to hear on a sound is kinda two different things and I guess I try to blend the two different styles when I’m making music, live musicianship with the kind of driving beat and rhythm that I like to hear in a dance. For me the soundsystem that most consistently brings those vibes is Aba Shanti and it’s an honour that he’s taken an interest in my music the way he has.

RR – Is there a certain track or artist that made you fall in love with the music?

WT – Well I had found Bob Marley and a handful of others in my early teens but it wasn’t really until hearing the music on soundsystem a short time after that it properly clicked with me. That was when I really fell in love with it and I would try and search out those raw sparse tunes like what I was hearing on sounds. So it was king tubby dub albums and things like that I was listening to, and then from there had a better appreciation for the more musical stuff again. I’m always going in circles listening to different styles.

RR – What are your thoughts on the UK Reggae based music scene at the moment and where do you see it going in the future?

WT – It’s good to see people like Shy FX coming in and doing things their own way, as well as a resurgence of roots reggae coming out of Jamaica and some quality European productions, there’s plenty to keep the UK scene on its feet. I just think promoters need to shake things up a bit to reflect what’s actually going on in the music, instead of copying and pasting the same handful of sounds onto every line-up, but you know, there’s always new people discovering this music so it’s good that they can still see these sounds after so many years. I see things continuing to merge more with the underground dance scenes, there’s always been a bit of an overlap but I think dubstep introduced a lot more people to soundsystem culture and they’ve got a taste for it and stuck around. It’s cool…

RR – Is there anything you want to say on the big Vinyl / Digital debate?

WT – It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about recently. I’m in the process of making the Descendant Music catalogue available on digital download soon and I’ll be making future releases available on both vinyl and digital formats. Some people are always going to love vinyl, myself included, but as manufacturing costs keep going up vinyl gets to be more of a specialist market so it only seems fair to make releases available digitally as well. I use both formats and think each has their place. If you’re chilling at home or whatever you can enjoy putting on a record, but if you’re sat listening to music on a train it’s gonna be digital… unless you’re a really devoted hipster…

RR – Who are your ‘Ones to watch’ for 2014?

WT – Just Is records and the Chief Rockas Collective from Norwich – they’ve been putting together some wicked music and are gonna be releasing it as a free album, I think with more things planned for next year. Violinboy from Poland, who has stirred things up this year with more in the bag for 2014. I think there’s big potential for UK & Descendant Music artist K.O.G and Jamaican artist Micah Shemaiah as well just to name a few.

RR – Top 3 Tracks of the year so far?

  • WT – Jah9 – Preacher Man
  • Micah Shemaiah – Dread at the Control
  • Chronixx – Alpha & Omega

Check more out about Will by clicking HERE.

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, Documentaries, Free Downloads, interviews, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Chopstick Dubplate Exclusive Mix & Interview

Podcast Artwork Volume 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In anticipation of their new ‘Wanted’ LP we caught up with the Chopstick Dubplate crew and asked them a few questions……They have also done an exclusive mix for us which is at the bottom of this page :)

RR: For those of our followers who’ve not heard of Chopstick Dubplate before could you introduce the members of the crew?
CD: The Chopstick Dubplate collective is made up of Jacky Murda from Honolulu, Tuffist from Brooklyn NY, and Aries from Birmingham UK.

RR: You’ve all got quite established careers of your own, how did you start making music together?
CD: Jacky knew Tuffist from when the Chopstick studio was operating in Brooklyn NY. A few years later, Tuff was livin in Barcelona, and Jacky moved to Spain. Soon after Tuff joined Chopstick. About a year later Jacky met Aries in Birmingham, and they started collaborating on music together and became friends. Eventually Tuff met him too, we all started working together, and Aries joined the crew.. so for the past 5 years or so the lineup has been us.

RR: Tell us a bit about the idea behind the album and how was it working with Mr. Williamz?
CD: After working with vocalists in NYC and Jamaica, we wanted to make an album that reflected our experience here in the UK, and our love for that foundation dancehall period in the late 80′s. Collection of tapes of dances from that period is one of our favorite hobbies and sources of inspiration. Jacky met Williamz up in Leeds at a Sub Dub, and soon after it was decided to make an LP. Aries and Jacky built the riddims, after Jacky worked with Williamz writing the melody, lyrics and arrangement… and finishing mixdown with Aries..  It was great fun working all together!

RR: You’ve had a really busy summer, were there any standout gigs?
CD: This summer’s standout show would have to be Boomtown Fair. They built the most crazy stage that looked like a pre-columbian temple rising out of the jungle…10 of us onstage, 7 vocalists.. a wicked crowd of around 10,000 people…The sound was incredible.

RR: Any funny stories from the road?
CD: Hahaha! What happens on the road stays on the road ;)

RR: What are your thoughts on the UK Reggae based music scene at the moment and where do you see it going in the future?
CD: The UK has always supported its own music – they listen to  and respect homegrown talent. As a result the music industry is very healthy here. There’s so many talented artists, and great social communication. We love to collaborate, so the UK offers us a unique opportunity to work with people who already know each other in the context of our music.

RR: Is there anything you want to say on the big Vinyl / Digital debate?
CD: I guess we feel that the whole debate is a bit silly. Whatever tool lends itself to the performer should be used. Jacky rebuilt a lathe and used to only go out with acetates in order to play his tunes, however that was mainly because at the time CDJs were shit. Dubplates are expensive! A lot of people use CDJs now and it’s an acceptable alternative for many. Freshly made tunes need to be played..Aries used to have to play a lot more on CDJs before Serato.  However, all of us have eventually returned to the vinyl interface as our preferred choice for performance. We also spend some time in Ableton Live for our live shows, and in this circumstance theres no need for the vinyl interface..

RR: Who are your ‘Ones to watch’ for 2014?
CD: The younger guys in our crew have been makin some moves recently. Mr Gold aka Gold Dubs has been workin a lot with  Aries, their old friends since longtime.. Gold’s been killin it with our boy King Yoof, releasing some wicked 140 jungle on Subslayers. Jacky and Tuffist share a house in Spain with Max Powa. Max and Jacky have a live dubbing project called JingBong Ting, and Max has been droppin some quality original dub on his Powa Cuts imprint. Recently Tuff and Powa have been creating irresistible hip hop ragga mashups you’ll soon be hearing…

RR: What are your top 3 tracks of the year so far?
CD:

- Worldwide Traveller feat Top Cat and Mr Williamz – Chopstick Dubplate
- Chem Trails feat Lionart – Aries and Gold
- Jungle Allstars feat Congo Natty Family – Benny Page Mix

RR: What’s next for the Chopstick posse?
CD: This weekend we’re gonna film the video for our latest single Worldwide Traveller, expect some entertaining shenanigans from that.. Then it’s back into the studio. After smashing dubplates for the past year, we’ve started recording an EP with Leftfield’s Cheshire Cat. We’re currently building some tunes for Tenor Fly’s forthcoming “Born Again” with Congo Natty, and started the writing on our next big full length for end of next year, which will feature all the people we’ve been workin with recently, together, like 20 or more vocalists..In the meantime we’re out there doin shows on the weekends, and we got a few nice nice things planned for next year…..

To kick start your week check out the Reggae Roast exclusive mix from Chopstick Dubplate below……

Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, Documentaries, Free Downloads, interviews, Mixes, Non Reggae news, Reggae News, Reggae Roast

Perilous ‘Deep Roots 45′s’ (Parts 1,2 & 3) Mix

Sumting real bless for your Friday! Selecta Perilous coming with some heavy, deep and righteous Roots music.

Remember it’s Sunday Skank this weekend and we’ve managed to get Perilous to haul some of his massive collection of 45′s over to the Lock Tavern inna Camden. More info on that HERE.


Date by Adam Prescott | Categories: BIG Tunes, DJ Dates, Events, Mixes, Reggae News, Reggae Roast