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?
– 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……