Echo Beach - the hamburger Dub-Label turns 20 years old. 1994, at the height of the UKDub founded, it is not only one of the longest serving today Dub specialized labels, but is also likely to be the most productive in the world. Reason enough for us, with label founder Nicolai Beverungen and proven Dub-Specialists about Dubto philosophize about its developments and trends and last but not least about the fascination of this music.
Nicolai Beverungen: I came to reggae through punk, then worked for the now faded record company EFA as a label manager for On-U-Sound. When I left EFA in 1993, I wanted to publish a CD that would look back on the last few years of my work. Only one came for me Dub-Compilation in question, because that was the sound that excited me the most. This then results in “King Size Dub Vol. 1 ”, which was presented by Spex. That was a good start in 1994 for my label "Echo Beach".
Why I'm still there after twenty years is probably because the label concept "Dub“Is so open. If I just focus on rootsDub concentrated, then I would probably be the postman today. But I was always open to other influences. Take, for example, “William S. Borroughs in Dub“Which recently appeared on Echo Beach. Every Jamaican would ask: “What does that mean? Dub to do"? But that is what is most interesting for me.
Markus Kammann: I come from the club scene. In the eighties I founded the Beat Box in Wuppertal, the first ambitious club that existed nationwide. But at the same time I've always been a musician, which very few people know. Back then I often went to London to buy records for the club. After the records were on in the club, everyone wanted to buy them. So we thought about starting a record store. That was Groove Attack. Today I am producing crazy Dub under the name Robo Bass HiFi.
Thomas Hoppe: I represent the handmade music here, from the band side. I'm the drummer for the Senior Allstars. With the band we have that Dub gradually approximated. We had him with us from the start, but he has become more and more important to us. That Dub Today the main element is also live on stage, we hadn't planned on it. That's how it turned out.
Felix Wolter: Just like Nicolai, I come from the time when punk and reggae had a liaison. I felt strongly influenced by Adrian's On-U-Sound as the Londoner Dub closer than Jamaican reggae. I only really got to know, love and appreciate him over the years of my active career with the German reggae band The Vision. I'm next to my TVS and Dubvisionist projects in the related downtempo (PFL and Chin Chillaz) and work in our company Time Tools Recordings on the compilation of compilations in the lounge, downtempo and house area, which we offer for download worldwide. I love studio work and a balanced sound.
René Wynands: I discovered reggae at the tender age of 15 when I bought my first Bob Marley album. I had read that it was music with a lot of bass, which was obviously an important reason to buy for me even then. Dub For the first time I did “LKJ in Dub"Heard and with the album" Pounding System "from Dub Syndicate only really understood. After that I have everything on Dub bought, which I could get hold of. Today I look after them DubPage in the riddim and write with the dubblog.de a small German-language blog about my favorite music.
My definition of Dub
Rein: We want over our favorite music, over Dub speak. But what is Dub I agree? A genre? Even a sub-genre? Or is it a universal production technique that can be applied to any style of music? Is Dub so very small and sharply defined, or is Dub the exact opposite: big, open and universal?
Nicolai: "Space is King" - The space is the generic term for Dub, because space opens up possibilities. Reggae is my music, but I would still use the term Dub do not want to restrict yourself to reggae. I see Dub much more open.
Markus: Of course, the roots of the Dub in Jamaica. But shortly after the invention of Dub already has it in America Dub-Versions of funk and disco pieces given. Dub was by no means limited to reggae in the past. The classic principle of Dub consists in the fact that the sound engineer in the studio is not only responsible for the sound, but becomes a musician himself, taking the liberty of reinterpreting a piece using the means of studio technology.
Thomas: The origin is of course Jamaica and I like the variety best Dub, where you can still hear the origin. But actually I see it like Nicolai, but would add “atmosphere” to the term “space”. The space is created by the reduction, the thinning, which in the Dub is made. We Dubber are from the church of subtraction. Leaving it out reduces a tune to the essentials.
Nicolai: Correct. There are magical moments in many classic reggae pieces, while other parts are rather uninteresting. And that's the essence of Dub: At the Dub the magical moments of a piece can be picked out and emphasized. Dub is the essence of a piece.
Thomas: However, we don't necessarily reinterpret a piece. Many of ours Dubs are called Dubs produced. There is no longer any preceding “original”.
Markus: For my new album “Nu School of Planet Dub"I had" originals ", but I'm with Dub-Mix proceeded very differently than the Jamaican originators. Instead of remixing the original and adding effects, I take it apart completely and build a whole new piece out of it. I make completely new pieces out of the material. The only constants are drums and bass - the groove base. I take a lot of freedom in everything I do about it. Why should I limit myself there?
Felix: For me, the magic of is in limiting Dubs. Get by with less and essence musical resources. My goal is to sound as timeless as possible. I love a sound that was there years ago and that will still be there in tens of years. The current “zeitgeist sound” has a major disadvantage for me. It has a certain daily topicality, but also only a limited half-life. In the 80s, I also started with the concept of deconstruction and breaking-of-the-listening habits, prematurely (infected with On-U-Sound). But since this is now being done in all sorts of current music styles, I am now feeling a bit bored. Production has of course also become very easy thanks to the computer. This causes the results to become inflationary and lose their value. Meanwhile I prefer a quality sound again. There's a difference between a record like “Sgt. Peppers… ”and one programmed on the cell phone Dubstep. I prefer to focus on music than technology.
Rein: I am surprised that nobody here says: "Dub is bass ”. Because although reggae is already a style of music that gives bass a prominent position, it is Dubwho, by omitting the vocals and thinning out the rhythmic-tonal texture, emphasizes the bass like no other genre before him. Without Dub what is now called “bass music” would be inconceivable. Dub was the blueprint for the music that can be heard in hip clubs today.
Markus: That's true. Drum & bass, Dubstep, trap, Moombahton - that's it all Dub developed. Practically all of modern dance floor music.
Rein: Therefore, I also believe that it is the bass that is essential for the fascination of Dub responsible for.
Felix: The physical experience of music is of course very easy with bass.
Markus: I see it that way too. This deep, rolling bass figure creates the hypnotic effect of Dub. The trance-like, psychedelic, "trippy" of Dub exerts a great fascination. You also have to say: This also fits perfectly with certain drugs.
Nicolai: Dub may remind us of the situation in the womb. You are safe and protected and surrounded by fluids through which all noises in the environment are filtered. The rhythmic beating of the mother's heart is a steady beat. Actually, therefore, all people should Dub-Be fans.
Rein: Cool theory. I do believe, however, that you have a special disposition for Dub and needs reggae. I'm sure each of us has experienced it like this: You hear reggae for the first time and it clicks. A key fits into the lock. The beginning of a lifelong relationship. In my case it has Dub clicked a second time. Reggae and Dub for me are inseparable.
Felix: Safe in its original form. But as we also know, there are also numerous parallel developments that only have to do with reggae to a limited extent and Dub propagate as an independent art form, such as downtempo, Dubhouse, Viennese school with Kruder and Dorfmeister, Berlin school with rhythm & sound etc.
Nicolai: I originally came from punk, but now I listen to reggae more than anything else. That's why I'm with Dub the reggae flavor is also very important. If the DubMethod is applied to another genre, then I think that's good too, but it doesn't pull me under its spell as if it contains reggae. Whenever I hear an offbeat skank, I'm in right away. It works like magic for me.
Thomas: Yes, reggae and Dub belong together. But Dub doesn't necessarily need a reggae vocal piece as an original. I have the vocal version and Dub equal rights next to each other. I couldn't and don't want to decide what to prefer.
Exodus: Dub Goes International
Rein: I totally agree with Thomas. Dub is now an independent genre and no longer needs a reggae vocal original. More modern Dub is of course based on what Jamaican studio technicians had developed over the course of the 1970s. But with the handover of the baton of the Dub from Jamaica to England in the mid-1980s, has become Dub fundamentally changed. Was in Jamaica Dub the “version” of a vocal original, with the mix and sound effects given the attention previously reserved for the voice. Dub was secondary use and bound to the conditions of the original. That only changed when Dub died out in Jamaica and was further developed in Europe. You can say: the Dub found himself. He was no longer dependent on a vocal original, but became directly as Dub produced. This made it possible to tailor the music for certain qualities: for hypnotic repetition, for a dense, magical atmosphere, for intensity and for bass, bass and bass. Dub is no longer a derivative of reggae, but an independent genre that - to put it bluntly - has more to do with European club music than with classic reggae.
Nicolai: What in Europe as Dub applies, is only ridiculed by the Jamaicans. We Europeans made something of our own out of it. We brought in many influences from European music.
Markus: I used to have the whole Jamaican Dub-Bought albums. Today i see Dub but very different. I also produce my music very differently. I go much further than just twisting the buttons.
Felix: I now dare a very steep thesis: That the Jamaicans get away from the Dub removed may also be due to the fact that the Jamaican dance hall sound has de-spiritualized itself. It's just no longer roots reggae that reminds you of its origins. It was already atmospheric Dub, Magic and intensity the talk. I think we mean the same thing. Such a situation arises when one can “look beyond one's own nose”. That was the 70ies reggae with its message and the atmospheric Dubversions that have inspired and influenced us all. Homophobic dancehall acts who only dissect in their lyrics and turn the screw, probably also place less value on the atmosphere of a philosophical reasoning. That Dub is currently hidden there is for me (and the Dub) rather pleasing, because also clearly delimited.
Rein: Felix's thesis is: Dub died out in Jamaica because the music no longer fit - "de-spiritualized" - as you say. That sounds logical. But isn't it also conceivable that it is for Jamaican Dub simply no longer an audience? It's really interesting that all the famous Jamaican Dub- 1970s albums were essentially made for the international market. The albums were hardly sold in Jamaica. Dub was also used in a completely different context in Jamaica: the one pressed on singles Dub-Version served as a pimped rhythm basis for the live performance of the dancehall deejays. Quite different in Europe: here crowds of white reggae lovers bought them Dub-Albums and listened to them pure and without live toasting on their stereos. Dub has been received completely differently in Europe. And what Europeans are up to Dub appreciate - the atmosphere, the magic, “Computerized Reggae” and subsequently Dancehall could no longer offer that. That is why people like Mad Professor and especially Jah Shaka began to produce for the domestic market and took a direction contrary to Jamaican reggae. While reggae in Jamaica became faster, more reduced and more vocal-dominated, the European one demanded DubAudience for slow, hypnotic beats and (induced by electronic dance music) for instrumental music. In Jamaica the good old bassline disappeared from reggae, in the newly emerging UKDub on the other hand it was increased immeasurably. In short: the European one Dub emancipated himself completely from the Jamaican original. From there drum & bass, garage, Dubstep and trap.
Now that this bass music is so popular, Jamaican producers are also appearing again Dub to reflect. That also goes very well with the roots revival.
Felix: Yes, of course, as soon as the music wakes up again from its insignificance and is filled with content, the space-giving function of the Dubs. I mean to say that there is an increased interest in real played roots reggae. Today's youth - like every new generation - are bored of their direct predecessors. You are looking for an authentic, personal attitude towards life. You will currently find that more in organic roots than in the omnipresent, computer-aided dance styles. This is just an observation from our environment. Sure there are other young scenes that would be happy with Dubstep etc., but I don't know them.
Markus: I think the Jamaicans produce very conventionally at the moment. Classically at the band level, just like it was done before. For me, productions from the Mad Decent and Diplo environment are much more interesting because they break down all boundaries. I like Major Lazer partly too. Trap is fantastic. I am very inspired by their ideas.
Felix: I think Major Lazer is very cool too. He's cheeky and intelligent when it comes to programming and mixing. The quality is right again. But when Dub I wouldn't necessarily call it well-made pop
Nicolai: Major Lazer is too trendy for me. The last good one Dub- The album I heard, on the other hand, is “Hurrican Dub“By Grace Jones. It's phenomenal in sound and very imaginative. There were good people on it, all handmade. Otherwise I am now hearing a lot of drum & bass influences again. It is possible that this sound will become more important again in the future. The wobble bass from Dubstep, however, is declining. For me, the more open Dub the better I find it. I think it is with Seeed: “Berlin guys on the wrong track, just about to take off, making the first record is like laying an extra big egg, actually you have to put something on the roof ex officio, purists, style policemen with 7: 0 sweep off the square! ". The quote is like a motto to me. I've always had problems with purists.
The Spirit of Dub
Rein: Purists and dogmatists stay below Dub- Rarely finding friends - with one exception: the Steppers sound system scene is somewhat orthodox and sees itself as extremely spiritual. Which, by the way, I can understand well, because such a thing Dub-Soundsystem-Nacht has something metaphysical about it.
Nicolai: I was at Jah Shaka's in London once and I have to say it was incredibly spiritual.
Felix: Yes, the first Shaka Dance has for many Dubheads something of an initiation. The first time you come into contact with this intensity, something happens inside you.
Markus: The basses that stand a meter high in the room, which you can almost touch, are spiritual. It takes you physically.
Nicolai: You keep coming back to the bass.
Felix: But bass is only the "fuel", the technology. In my opinion, the much-cited “positive vibe”, similar to gospel, is caused by the performed conviction of the protagonists.
Nicolai: Dub is already spiritual. But not in a religious sense. Hence it is actually an abuse of the spirituality of Dub to reduce to the topic of Rasta alone.
Thomas: For me personally, Rasta and the religious side is not important. Everyone should deal with that for themselves, but I think that the spirit of reggae and Dub can be felt even without this side.
Rein: I think that humans have a biologically based longing for spirituality. In my case, Bass & Space serve this need quite well. But I can understand that many fans don't know what to do with such an abstract spirituality and then, even as white Europeans, subscribe to Rastafari. There is of course a certain contradiction in this, which makes one thing very clear: namely that we are fans of music that originally had nothing to do with our own culture. Isn't that strange? Actually we are cultural imperialists.
Nicolai: The effect of the music is generally human. It affects us directly and independently of cultural affiliation. There are tones and vibrations. What matters is what touches my heart. No matter what culture it comes from.
Markus: I've always felt spoken to by rhythmic music instead of the melodies of classical European music. So I inevitably ended up with Black Music. That has nothing to do with culture, but with personal feelings.
Thomas: If you start making the music yourself, then you have the opportunity to leave out aspects that do not fit your own life situation. We love Jamaican music but try not to pretend we're Jamaicans. It's safe to hear that it's the continental version we're playing.
Rein: You are absolutely right. That's actually how I see it. The decisive factor is the aesthetic experience that comes with listening to Dub is triggered. The production technology, the cultural origin, even the artists don't really matter. The music must - even without prior knowledge - stand for itself and be able to convince aesthetically. I find that up Dub particularly suitable for this because it is instrumental. The texts - alien to their own reality - are left out.
Word, Sound & Power
Felix: The mainstream still needs a singer who mediates between the fan and the music to understand. This clientele will be with you Dub Always have a hard time anyway. Dub is far too abstract for the average consumer.
Nicolai: If you listen to the charts (including the reggae charts), you quickly notice that only vocal songs are present there. The music is in the background. People are guided by their voice, words, and singing.
Thomas: We are still often asked why nobody sings here. Then we say: Because we want it that way. The lack of vocals can be a hurdle in marketing Dub be. But we do it anyway!
Markus: If you consciously listen to pop music like Lana Del Rey, for example, you will recognize that it is very slow, sedate pieces that are completely dominated by the voice. The music behind it literally disappears - and is mostly total crap. In fact, it sounds really bad. The videos, on the other hand, are elaborately produced. It's too thin for me, too limp. But that's how you sell music. It's mainstream. Dub is the exact opposite.
Rein: What Dub What makes it so exciting as opposed to the mainstream is the fact that Dub is much more complex. So can Dub for example perceive purely physically. The groove captures body and mind and you let yourself be carried away by it. One can Dub but also listen very consciously and analytically, almost like classical music. Only when it works on both levels is there a Dub really good.
Thomas: I agree. We play concerts where everyone is dancing, but also so-called “sofa concerts” where the audience just sits and listens. Great that that with Dub is possible.
Who the Cap Fits
Rein: Not everyone appreciates that. I am surprised that reggae and Dub mostly have different followers. The scenes are not identical.
Felix: The reggae scene is traditionally based on the Jamaican original, while the Dub-Scene, as we have already noticed, is more of an international thing. The fact that things develop in very different directions in such a cosmopolitan scene is an enrichment and a challenge, also or precisely because it can sometimes be amusing or disturbing.
Thomas: There are many people in reggae who have the fascination of Dub do not share. But that's okay too. Our audience is made up of Dub-Lovers. It's not exactly your typical reggae crowd. We also like to play in clubs that tend to have a jazz audience. It works very well. Most of all, these people enjoy watching the musical craft on stage.
Nicolai: So, I have to say: That DubAudience consists mostly of older men and few women.
Rein: My experiences are very different. For example at Dub-Weekender in Wales, where I was recently, the audience is completely mixed. Young and old and also a lot of women. I think that's good at the moment Dub: Unlike z. B. in techno or blues, people of all ages and both sexes can agree on the music.
Nicolai: Okay, the steppers scene is different. Young audiences also go there. Women too.
Markus: Dub speaks to women as well as men. It depends on Dub is produced for a reggae audience, or whether you want to appeal to a younger, club-oriented audience. Then you would have to dare to do one Dub-Act to be placed next to a techno DJ. For this to work, the DubBut they are mixed together like a club DJ would.
Nicolai: I'll get you a seat next to Westbam on Mayday. Then you can prove it.
Markus: Oh yes!
Rein: No matter whether young or old, men or women: For Dub it doesn't look bad at the moment, does it? I have the impression that it is attracting more audiences again.
Markus: I am currently experiencing this with a lot of young people who come from dancehall and are tired of the whole jump up carnival. They come and discover the dimension of Dub, the huge bass.
Felix: Well, if that's not the famous “whistling in the forest”. For me the last statements are also the proof of my thesis that the form alone does not really lead to the goal. Otherwise we wouldn't have to pat each other on the back and look for positive approaches, then there would be a positive development. I am placing my hope in future generations, who will by far the developments and Dubwill reevaluate visions for themselves.
Nicolai: I still get requests from people who do Dub Just discovered for yourself and me after the king size Dub Vol. 1 from 1994 ask. I therefore believe it Dub will always give. Sound & Space are immortal and will definitely become more popular again soon. On the other hand will Dub still remain a niche. Unfortunately, it is difficult to earn money with it. I will retire in 2023. We'll have to wait and see what happens until then. But I am optimistic because I don't only see the material side. I love the music and the people who make it. That's what I enjoy about my job. It will stay that way. I'm not worried about that. The bass rolls and will keep rolling.
Three Dub-Albums that show the way into the future:
1. TheDuBros: Instigation
2. Dub Syndicate: Hard food
3. Lee Scratch Perry vs. Robo Bass Hifi vs. Dubblestandart: Nu School of Planet Dub
1. Lee Scratch Perry vs. Robo Bass Hifi vs. Dubblestandart: Nu School of Planet Dub
2. Various producers: Dillon Francis, etc! Etc !, Bro Safari, Elliphant, Flosstradamus
1. White noise: Electric Storm
2. Jimi Hendrix: Electric Ladyland
3. The Beatles: Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Dlub Band
1. King size Dub: Germany Downtown, Chapter 2
2. Umberto Echo: Elevator Dubs
3. Dubmatix: In Dub
1. Hey-O-Hansen: Sun and moon
2. King size Dub: Germany Downtown, Chapter 2
3. Dubmatix: In Dub