Category Archives: Mixes

Exclusive Mix & Interview from DJ Vadim!

We’re launching the Reggae Roast Soundsystem this weekend and we’ve asked the legendary DJ Vadim to join us on the set! Vadim kindly recorded this ruffneck mix to promote the session and you can download it for free!

Info on our Soundsystem Launch Party here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1442476656014497/

We also caught up Vadim to talk about his latest LP ‘Dubcatcher’ and his time in the music industry….

1. Easy Vadim! Let’s get the introductions out of the way; can you let our readers know a little bit about yourself?

I am a DJ / Producer hailing from East London! I started DJing in 1989 and making music in ’92. I released my first record in ’95, signed to Ninja Tune in ’96. Stylistically I specialise in Reggae / Hip-Hop. Anything from Lover’s Rock, Ska, Roots, Dubby stuff, Digital Bashment, Dancehall, Jungle and of course Hip-Hop to get the people jumping… love my soul too…

2. You’ve been very busy as of late with your new album ‘Dubcatcher’ which is something a little bit different from your previous works, what inspired the change?

It’s not so much a change, more of a progression or evolution. From the very first record I ever made Reggae has been an huge influence. Especially listening to artists like Yabby You, Sly & Robbie, Coxsonne etc… so yeah, the new album is a walk more into the Reggae sides but its always been there, it’s not like I used to do Techno and now Reggae!!! I’ve been collaborating with Demolition Man since 2001 so that’s 13 years!!! I think also music has gone full circle and a lot of people are exploring the roots of the Bass music surge we have now and as a producer I guess I have been expoloring that too.

3. Soundsystem is the cornerstone of Reggae based music and you are joining us for the launch of our brand new one this month, who are your favourite sounds and why?

Well there are so many… Channel One kill it but so does Shaka…. so many good sounds out there and not just from London but Leeds, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool… I think YT names nearly every sound in the UK on his song ‘England Story’!

4. You’ve worked with some of the greats throughout your career, which artist(s) really stand out for you?

Well Demolition Man and me go back long time and so does Yarah Bravo…

5. I read somewhere that you do close to 200 shows every year! How do you find the time to still make music so prolifically and tour to that extent?

hahaha well you’ve got to pay the phone bill somehow!
I make most of my music on my laptop then come home and finish it off in the studio.

6. The video from the first single from ‘Dubcatcher’, ‘Hope’, you showed off your collection of vintage turntables, does vinyl still hold much appeal for you?

Of course. I love the black crack,  I still have shit loads of records…music does sound so much better on vinyl. Unfortunately most people may never truly hear how good music can really be, I suppose it’s a bit like comparing Mcdonald’s to a real home cooked meal!

7. Seeing as you’ve lived all over the world, what’s your favourite city and why?

Well I always seem to come back to London!!

8. What would be an average day for you at the moment?

Right now it’s been decorating for the last 3 weeks, I’m doing my whole house up. It’s been 10 years so far so there’s a lot to do. In general aside from that it’s really varied, anything from answering emails, social network stuff to driving to airports, train stations, flights, never ever getting good wi-fi connection, iPhone battery dying on me to (if I’m lucky!) being in the studio and making music!

9. What are your top three tunes currently?

Dreadsquad  – Boom Tune
Mungo’s Hi-Fi – Serious Time
Ghost Writerz – Back It Up

10. What’s next for DJ Vadim?

More people to get dancing, more music to make, more life to live and hopefully enjoy!

Fore more info on DJ Vadim check out his website here: www.djvadim.com/

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

Tune Of The Day! The Drop – Waiting For **OUT TODAY**

We’re excited to announce that our latest release, The Drop – ‘Waiting For’, is out today! The single also features mixes from LV (Hyperdub) & The Future Dub Project and you can pick it up from all good digital download sites! Check the video out below……

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

Exclusive Mix From The Drop!

To celebrate the release of The Drop’s debut single on Reggae Roast we asked them to put together a mix for a on-going podcast series. Packed full of exclusive tracks and brand new productions, this mix is sure to get you in the mood for summer…..

Check out the new video for ‘Waiting For’ here….

You can pre-order the single on iTunes here…..

‘Waiting For’ includes remixes from LV (Hyperdub) & The Future Dub Project….
Listen to the full release here

Also check out the ‘Waiting For’ single launch party in Camden soon, more info here…..

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

Sleepy Time Ghost & Zico (Unit 137) Exclusive Mix & Interview

Back once again! We’re now on Volume 11 of our Podcast series and we thought we’d invite our next #SundaySkank special guests to mash it up! Sleepy Time Ghost & Zico are part of the illustrious Unit 137 crew outta South London and have in some way or another been responsible for the resurgence of UK based Reggae music in recent years. We caught up with duo ahead of their Reggae Roast show to ask them about their time in the music industry and what the future has in store for them.

You can check these guys live & direct next week inna Camden for our #SundaySkank session. For more info CLICK HERE……

RR: Easy lads! Most of the Reggae Roast followers will of course know about you, however, can you give us a brief introduction?

Zico: I am one of the lead singers in the heavyweight UK Reggae band onlyjoe and a member of the Unit 137 family.

Sleepy: I’m a producer & selector and part of Unit 137. Unit 137 is a record label, studio, sound-system and crew. I’m also involved in a project called Ghost Writerz, which is a duo including Jimmy Screech and myself.

RR: Can you tell us a little bit about the history the crews / bands you are both affiliated with?

Zico: I started working with onlyjoe about 4 years ago. I was introduced to some top musicians, who are now some of my top bredrins! Family business! onlyjoe was partly the basis for the creation of Unit 137. We all work very closely on different collaborations. Being a part of onlyjoe and Unit 137 has given me the chance to meet and work with some amazing people. It’s a true blessing!

Sleepy: I first linked up with the crew (Unit 137) about 3 or 4 years ago when it was formerly known as Organix. Back then we mainly put on events and collaborated musically.

RR: We’ve got you both coming down to play at our Sunday Skank session next week, can we expect anything special / brand new from you?

Zico: My first Sunday Skank!!! Really looking forward to it and big shout out to Reggae Roast for the love! I’m sure Sleepy will have a few surprises in his bag!

Sleepy: Definitely expect lots of exclusives! I will be bringing a load of my latest productions, as well as some from the rest of the crew.

RR: Sleepy, you recently released “The Ghost Train Riddim” on Unit 137 for Record Store Day 2014 (on which Zico features), how did that project come about?

Sleepy: I built the riddim a few years back now. We recorded Mikey General on the riddim last year when he was over in the UK. After recording this version it was decided that the riddim was something that could be released on the label, which led to getting the version recorded with Macka B & Zico.

RR: Sleepy, there has been a lot of hype and radio play surrounding your new sound, The Ghost Writerz, can you tell us about the project and what’s next for you?

Sleepy: There is some very exciting stuff in the pipeline. This summer we will be releasing our first full release on a big independent label (soon to be named). We also have remixes coming out on Nice Up! and BBE records, so lots to keep an eye out for. More information is set to drop very soon…

RR: You’ve both no doubt got plenty of festivals booked up this summer, which ones are you looking forward to?

Zico: Boomtown is always epic! Lions Den stage was next level last year, so I am looking forward to that one…

Sleepy: Lots to look forward to this summer. Playing at Boomtown, Boom Bap, Bestival and also the Hell Stage at Glastonbury. Looking forward to them all! Boomtown is always a really special one! We are running our own stage this year alongside Trinity & Lionpulse.

RR: Always a difficult question I know but who are your influences and why?

Zico: Dennis Brown, Horace Andy, Gregory Issacs, Alton Ellis, Johnny Clarke, Michael Prophet, Al Campbell…the…list…goes….on! Any singer who can make you feel what they’re singing inna your soul!

Sleepy: All sorts really. I listen to a massive mixture of music. I’ve been blessed to be around some very talented musicians, producers and vocalists who have all helped influence, teach and inspire me over the years.

RR: Top Three Tunes at the moment?

Zico: GHOST TRAIN RIDDIM 1,2,3! Ha!

Sleepy: Protoje feat. Chronixx – Who Knows, Capital Letters – Fire, Jacob Miller – Forward Ever Backwards Never

RR: What are your thoughts on the scene in the UK at the moment?

Zico: I think the scene is growing and moving forward! Loads of established acts are doing well, and I know there are great new acts making there way through. Look at how far onlyjoe and Unit 137 have come. Lionpulse Sound in Bristol are representing hard! It’s all about being positive, learning from the old and embracing the new. It can only be good for the scene, seeeeeeeeeen? Seen.

Sleepy: The scene seems to be growing in a really positive way. There are lots of wicked nights happening all across the UK. Young crews, sound-systems and artists are coming through, as well as there being an ever growing appreciation for the more established sound-system’s and artists.

RR: Describe your sound in three words…..

Zico: BIG…FAT…DUTTY!

Sleepy: SOUND SYSTEM MUSIC

For more info on Unit 137 check out their website: http://unit137.com/

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

Vibration Lab Exclusive Mix & Interview!

Big up Vibration Lab!
This podcast is a must for all fans of that classic 80’s Digi-Dancehall sound! The dynamic duo of Steve & Bazil have dug deep into their personal vinyl collection to find some of the ruffest, rarest & dangerous riddims from the golden era of Digital Reggae…..TUFF!!

We also had a little chat with them about their time in the music industry and what the future has in store……

RR –  Big up! The Reggae Roast regulars will be fully aware of Vibration Lab however for those who aren’t can you give us a brief introduction?

Vibration Lab is production/dj duo Bazil Perryman and Steve Walker and we are based in London however we also have a studio in Devon. We have been doing this project for around four years and we have both been in the music business in one way or another for a long time.

Bazil was a successful producer for decades starting with his band with Daddy Chester called ‘Boom Shak’ and then his own Reggae/Dancehall sound called ‘Notorious’. He was also one of the pioneers of dance music in the West Country and worked as a producer/remixer with the House group ‘The Rurals’ along with his own productions as ‘Cue Kids’. At the same time he ran one of the most successful nights in Bristol for 15 years called ‘Fruity Antics.’ Bazil is also part of a Reggae sound from Exeter called ‘Highest Grade’.

Steve is originally from California and started listening to Reggae music in 1977, first started djing in 1983 and had a 5 year residency in San Jose with his brother as ‘The Brothers Dub.’ He also was a successful House music promoter in the Bay Area and managed several bands. Moving to the UK 14 years ago, he became the label manager for Peng Records where he and Bazil met and decided to form Vibration Lab together.

RR – How did you catch your 1st break into the scene?

There were three things that were significant, the first was when we put our very first tracks on Soundcloud and we were soon contacted by J-Star and then RSD (Rob Smith), so we knew we must be on to something! The second was getting our first gig, which was in Brighton. Mark Dialect contacted us and we did one of the Unity Hi Fi events called Future Dub with Gussie P & Roots Garden, our first time playing out to a decent crowd on a proper Soundsystem! The third was moving up to London and linking with DJ Crises (Mindstep) who took us under his wing!

RR – It’s been a couple of busy years for you guys, what have been the highlights so far?

Highlights so far: Recording with one of our idols Linval Thompson, becoming part of the Reggae Roast family, performing at Glastonbury, touring in Europe,
playing a set at Dub Mission in San Francisco and being a part of the Moonshine Records compilation: ‘Steppin Forward’.

RR – What was the 1st Reggae record you ever bought?

Bazil: Ini Kamoze – Ini Kamoze (1984),

Steve: Bob Marley & The Wailers – Uprising (1980)

RR –  Your podcast includes a number of very rare Digital riddims, what is it about that sound that inspires you?

Steve: I think Bazil is the better man to answer that question being that we used all of his records for the mix! Bazil was actually on the scene in the 80’s when those tracks were just coming out.

Bazil: My friends and I would regularly travel up to Hackney in London and go to The Shenola Club and see Soundsystems like Unity Hi-Fi with: Kenny Knotts, Richie Davis, Flinty Badman & DC Ninja (later to be known as the Ragga Twins), we would also check: Gemmy Magic, Saxon Sound and Bodyguard. When we weren’t in London we would go to session at The West Indian Centre in Gloucester and The Blues at Ajax in Bristol.  Another “huge” influence was the Rodigan and Barry G’s legendary radio sound clash in 1985. I was inspired by freshness and raw experimentation of the productions. The tracks on this mix are all tunes that were played at those dances and we have gathered a little selection of rare vinyl from that time, many of which are very expensive and hard to get. (We have more in the vaults!)

RR – Vinyl or Digital?

We say both! The ultimate is vinyl, for sound quality and warmth. Releasing music on vinyl is so much more significant as it is a physical thing and what we grew up on it. We also value digital as a way to easily test our tunes in the dance and then make adjustments back in the studio. If we had to press dubplates every time it wouldn’t be very cost effective, also a lot of clubs don’t maintain their record decks very well these days, so for us it is better to play WAV files burned to CD.

RR – Who are your influences within the Reggae world? Who are your favourite Soundsystems and why?

Bazil:

Influences- Scientist, King Tubby, King Jammy, Linval Thompson, Channel One, Rodigan & Barry G.

Favorite Soundsystems – Unity, Saxon, Gemmy Magic, Bodyguard (explained above) and  Channel One for a proper Roots experience

Steve:

Influences- Scientist, Lee Perry, anything Channel One, anything Studio One, the movie: Rockers, Wackies, RSD (Rob Smith), OSC, Radikal Guru, Mungos Hi-Fi, Curtis Lynch, too many to list!
Favorite Soundsystems – Channel One (Roots), King Shiloh (best in Europe), Mungo’s Hi-Fi (the new school)

RR –  What’s next for you guys?

We will be playing in Poland this May for the very first time, We finally have our first release on Reggae Roast coming out (Sound So Wicked with remixes by 6BLOCC and Violinbwoy)!

We also have remixes coming out on various labels like Lion’s Den, Onehundred Years, Bracket Records and for the band YESKING. We are looking forward to performing at some festivals this summer like One Love and Glastonbury. We have a load of our own new material that we will be releasing this year including a second track we did with Linval Thompson!

RR – Top three tracks at the moment?

Bazil:

Cultural Roots – Run Around Lover

Major King – Jahoviah

Dave Robinson – Aligator Tears

Wayne Smith – Ism Skism

Steve:

Kalbata & Mixmonster – Inna Skateland (Feat. Puddy Roots)

Mr.Williamz – Miss Brown

Capital City Rockers – Buddy Bye 2014 (Feat: Johnny Osbourne) [6BLOCC RaggaTrap Refix]

RR – Any shout outs / Big ups?

WOW! So Many! Ok to start, Big up and nuff love to our whole Reggae Roast Family: James Harper, Adam Prescott, Ramon Judah, Bongo Chris and Clapper Priest.

Nuff respect to the whole UK Reggae and Bass scene! DJ Crises, Mindstep Music, King’s Hi-Fi, Mowty Mahlyka aka Dark Angel, Parly B, Tradesman & Danny T, Only Joe, Unit 137, Hylu & Jago, Hundred Years, Papa B, Galak,  Mark Dialect, Tim Dub Boy, Charlie P, Tenja Steven, Ed West, Sleepy Time Ghost, DJ Syte, Lowki, Ben Alpha, J-Star, Stingray Studios, RSD, DJ Madd, Kenny Knotts, Mungo’s Hi-Fi, Dub Smugglers, Curtis Lynch, Mr. Williamz, Brother Culture, David Rodigan, Channel One Soundsystem, Brigadier JC, J:Kenzo, David Hill(Rootikal)
Leo Sampson, Riddim Tuffa, Dub Dynasty, Stink Like Sock, MC Ishu, Ras Tuffy, Ras Taliman, Rodney P, Soothsayers, Jack Curtis, Nick Manasseh, Donovan Kingjay, Ruben Da Silva, Jah Bigs, Johnny Dubhunter, Stardelta Mastering, Black Market Records, Conscious Sound Bush Chemists, Roots Factory, Freshly Baked, Dubkasm, Solo Banton, YT, The Deep End, Highest Grade Sound, Bare Safe, Aeon Festival, Earl Gateshead, Hold It Photography, Version Girl, Paz Ranking, Jah Powered Radio

Bless up our international Fam: Mack Moonshine, Radikal Guru, Maikal X, Mel (Memphis Tenpro), Ras Lion (Lion’s Den), Simon Strictly Dub, Sep (Dub-mission), Roommate, Max Powa, Violin Bwoy, 6BLOCC, Dub Gabriel, Chris (Brothers Dub), Jacky Murda, Suns Of Dub, Serious Dub (Romania), Cian Finn, Linval Thompson, Robert Rankin, Maneesh, Wayne Jarret, Bun Zero, Crusty Locks, Adrians’s Wall, Dub Docters, Solomonic Sound System (Philly),Prince Alla, Rod Taylor and Fleck!

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

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