Interview with Tropical DUB Connection

Your name: Tomas Kroutil aka DubT
You live in: Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Title of your last album: Raabta Dub

What is your personal definition of dub? 
Dub music, to me, is essentially a studio reimagining or deconstruction of a track or song. It emphasizes the drum and bass, employing effects like delay, echo, and reverb to reveal a deeper, more atmospheric, or meditative dimension of the original piece.

What makes a good dub? 
A solid groove is foundational, but it's the originality in the studio approach that truly defines a good dub. This includes introducing dynamic shifts and unexpected moments in the mix, enriching the listening experience.

Which aspects of dub music fascinates you the most?
The unique atmosphere of dub music – its depth, space, and the hypnotic, almost mystical vibe – is what fascinates me the most. It's an immersive experience that transports the listener.

How did you discover your passion for dub, and how have you and your music evolved since then? 
My journey into dub started with reggae music. I was instantly drawn to the dub elements and the sparse drum and bass sections found in almost all reggae songs, especially live versions. This fascination has guided my musical evolution.

What does the creation process of a typical one mean? dub track of yours look like?
It all starts with an idea or concept. The Tropical DUB Connection project is based on applying the dub principles on various genres. I begin by choosing a genre – be it Indian, African, Latin, etc. – and envision transforming it into dub. The process involves finding intriguing sounds, rhythm patterns, and melodies. I play and record almost every string instrument, including ethnic ones, along with keys and percussions. Sometimes, it involves extensive searching in sound libraries and working with samples. After establishing the riddim and layering all instruments and vocals, the fun begins with applying FX and mixing, leading to the final mix and master.

When you are satisfied with a dub track you have produced?
I'm satisfied when everything sounds clear and crisp. If, after listening in various situations and with fresh ears, I feel nothing more needs to be added, the track is complete.

What is the most important thing when producing dub?
Remembering the foundation is crucial: a good drum and bass groove and maintaining musicality before getting carried away with effects.

You also work with singers (or sing yourself). When do you decide to turn your production into a song, and when does it stay a dub?
Most of the time mainly due to lack of possibilities and occasions, I'm working with samples and acapellas from various sources. Voices, much like the message they convey, are treated as another instrument in the mix. I'm open to collaborations and have plans for projects involving live vocalists.

Basically speaking: Do you prefer songs or dubs? Why?
My preference varies. As a listener, I enjoy a wide range of genres equally. As a producer, I ensure dub elements are prominent, regardless of the project.

What is the situation of dub music in your country?
In Sri Lanka, where I currently reside, the dub scene is virtually non-existent. However, in my home country, the Czech Republic, the scene is vibrant with regular events and talented producers.

What is your unique strength in music production?
I believe my gift lies in vision and musical ideas, particularly in blending various elements harmoniously.

Which album do you consider your best?
It's difficult to self-assess, but based on audience reception, Dubam' La Cumbia vol 1 has been well received. I'm currently working on the sequel, aiming for a release at the end of March 2024.

Are you able to make a living with your music?
Barely. Luckily having other things going on. Give thanks.

Which aspects of music production do you enjoy the most?
The entire creative process, especially when separate tracks begin to groove together, is what I find most fulfilling.

What do you hate in the studio?
Hours of sitting.

When you're not working on dubs, what do you like to do the most?
I enjoy immersing myself in nature, meditating, reading, and traveling.

What music do you listen to besides dub?
Quite a wide variety of genres. From all kind of world music, mainly African, Latin and Indian to RnB, Jazz, Soul, Blues. All the way to Sri Lankan pop music which I'm naturally exposed by living here with my wife.

If money and time were no object: What project would you like to realize?
I'd love to collaborate with musicians from Africa, India, and Jamaica to create a unique, dub-infused production akin to Real World Studios' style.

Are there any Sound System events that you particularly like to attend? Why?
In Europe, I'd choose King Shiloh events for their memorable experiences, although my performance focus has been more with bands.

What do you prefer: studio work or sound system performance?
While I enjoy occasional gigs in local beach bars, I feel more at home in the studio environment.

Who do you think is the greatest dub artist of all time?
Hard to pick one, but if it has to be a one, would say Lee “Scratch” Perry.

And who is the most interesting? dub artist currently?
Equally hard. And at the same time not that much aware of some on the youngest generation, so I would name a living legend: Adrian Sherwood.

Which Sound System do you appreciate the most?
Jah Shaka – real foundation.

What are your personal top 5 dub albums?
Easy Star All Stars: Dub Side Of The Moon
Dub Syndicate: Fear of the Green Planet
Lee Scratch Perry: Blackboard Jungle Dub
Israel vibration: Dub Vibration
Suns Of Arqa: Jaggernaut Whirling Dub


Interview with Paul Fox

Your name: Paul Fox
You live in: Southampton, UK
Title of your last album: Standing Dub

What is your personal definition of Dub?
For me, a dub is almost always a dub version of a vocal tune. This means that the dub is another version of the original song that breaks down the tune into component parts and focuses on certain parts at certain times. The dub Will also inevitably incorporate echoes and other effects to make it more 'out there' than the original song. At other times, dub is a mixture of rhythm and effects to produce an interesting and hypnotizing version of a song.

What makes a good dub?
To me there is no definition of what makes a good dub. If there was a formula to make good dubs then once you know the formula, all of yours dubs would be great! So I feel it is always about the end result. Does the end result feel good to your ears and body and soul? If it does then you have made a good one dub. Sometimes it may be a hardcore steppers dub or it may be a very mellow chilled dub. As long as it 'feels' good then it is good! This may be different to every listener.

What aspects of dub music fascinates you the most?
Having listened to dub music for about 40 years and having been making dub music for more than 30 of those years, the aspect of dub music (and any kind of music) that fascinates me is something about it that sounds really interesting. This could vary from one to another dub track to another. It could be something like a very strange sound that is being used which works really well or it could be some amazing musicianship like incredible drum playing or a fantastic flute solo. It could be the original use of an effect on something that catches your ear. Basically, the thing that fascinates me the most now after all of these years is something that draws me to the dub because it is interesting and original.

How did you discover your passion for Dub and how have you and your music developed since then?
Simple answer – Jah Shaka. When I first started listening to reggae music, I enjoyed it dub versions but did not really pay much attention to them. However, when I first went to see Jah Shaka Sound System I was completely blown away and fully appreciated the beauty of dub music and the places it could take you to in your mind. I started making reggae music and dub after going to some Shaka sessions and my music has developed a lot since then. For many years I think that I was so heavily influenced by sound system culture that I believed dub music should be created with sound systems in mind. The way my music has developed is that I no longer think in those terms and I am totally free to make whatever kind of reggae and dub that suits me. I listen to a lot of genres of music and now I like to incorporate other flavors into my music which keeps it interesting for me and hopefully for other people too.

What does the process of creating a typical Dub track of yours look like?
As I said, the dub Almost always starts life as a vocal track first so the process usually starts by loading up a song that contains vocals. If the individual tracks (drums, bass, chops etc) are already quite produced (EQ, compression, effects and so on) then I will think about what needs to be different in the dub to distinguish it from the vocal version. This could mean changing the EQ on the kick drum to make it sound heavier than the original version if that is what the track needs. Or it could mean changing the levels slightly because I want the focus on something different. Then I will choose the right effects and decide if I need any new sounds that were not in the original song. Before doing an actual mix I will just play the dub through many times mixing as I go and making a mental note of the things that work well and the things that don't. I will also be aware that if that dub is part of an album, then I have to make sure that the mix fits in with the album. So in other words, to keep the album interesting I don't want everyone dub to start with the same kind of intro like just chops and a melody before the drums and bass come in. There should be a variety of approaches and some dubs may start with all of the sounds or just drum and bass or just vocals and chops.

When you are satisfied with a dub track you produced?Almost never! But at some point you have to admit that it is probably not going to end up sounding noticeably better the longer you spend on it and also you have to keep interested in it yourself. If I worked on one dub for a year solidly then it might sound really great but it is more likely that I would have lost interest in it and that would be heard by the listener. If I feel quite excited about a track then I want to stop working on it when it has 'peaked' in terms of how good it sounds to me.

What is most important when producing dub?
The same thing as working on any kind of music – make sure that I like it and would want to listen to it and make sure that it is interesting to the ear.

You also sing yourself. When do you decide to turn your production into a song and when do you just stick to dub?
I almost always start a track assuming that I will sing on it or someone will sing on it. I have released a couple of dub only tracks over the years but this is very rare. This usually comes about because I have a concept that I like. For instance, I released a dub called Roots Rock because I wanted to make a sprawling long song (nearly six minutes) that had horn solos, guitar solos and other sections a bit like Journey to Addis by Third World. In fact the b-side of my first release was called African Mask and was about 8 minutes long I think and was a similar concept of a long sprawling track that took you on a journey but that one changed into even more of a dub version halfway through.

Basically asked: Do you like songs or dubs better? Why?
Instinctively I would say songs but there are definitely times I prefer them dub version of a song. I think that some dubs are so classic that they outshine the vocal version such as 'King Tubbys meets Rockers Uptown' even though the vocal version is amazing. Similarly I prefer 'Your Teeth in my Neck' by Scientist to the vocal version even though I love the vocal version. I think overall I like hearing a good vocal followed by a good dub version which sort of makes the experience feel whole. The reason I probably prefer vocals is because that is where the journey normally begins for me and the feeling I get from the song is what initially pulls me in.

What is your special strength?
I wish I had one! I am not sure what my strength is. Maybe it is to keep producing new music regularly for 30 odd years without getting bored.

Which album do you consider to be your best?
This will depend on what mood I am in. But it would probably be one of my recent albums such as Imaginary Lines, Same Blood or Standing Tall and those dub versions.versions. The dub album of mine that I usually listen to the most is Dub Blood, the dub version to Same Blood. But with standing Dub being released recently I am also leaning towards that one. The reason I like these albums and theirs dub versions is because I created these works without feeling like I should be making sound system music – I just wanted to make good, interesting and original music. So these are my most varied albums.

Are you able to make a living from music?
No. I wish I did but I have never made that much money from music and I have to work a 'normal' job to support myself and my family.

What aspects of producing music do you enjoy the most?
I think in very general terms I enjoy the journey the most. That is to say that I like having a concept in my mind and then seeing where that takes me in terms of sound choices and other aspects. It is a great feeling to sit back and listen to the last few hours of work knowing that before that, this idea had never existed. It is very satisfying when all things come together and the end result is sounding good to my ears. Nowadays I tend to get guest singers and musicians on almost all of my tracks. I do this because I like having other influences other than just my own on a track to keep it interesting. So when a drummer sends me his files or a guitarist sends me his files, it is a great feeling to bring all of their work and my work together to produce something new.

What do you dislike in the studio?
The one part of the process that I like the least is writing lyrics. I have literally written hundreds of songs. When I release an album, it will usually be around 12 tracks picked from up to 30-40 tracks that I have written in that period. So coming up with new lyrics and melodies after writing for over 30 years is a challenge especially because I want songs to sound new and original.

When you're not working on Dubs, what do you like to do most?
I like to listen to lots of different kinds of music. I also love a good movie!

What music do you listen to besides Dub?
It is probably easier to say what kinds of music I do not listen to! I like pop, alternative pop, dancehall, rock, progressive rock, hip-hop, rap, Afrobeats, singer-songwriter, soundtracks, punk music and more. I don't listen to country music or thrash metal and probably a couple of other genres but I am very open-minded about music. All it has to do is sound good to me regardless of the genre.

If money and time were no object, what project would you like to realize?
I would love to work with some of the new reggae artists in Jamaica like Jaz Elise and Lila Iké. I would also like to make a project that involved traveling to different countries and working with artists and musicians in those places. It would end up being a sort of fusion between world music and reggae/dub.

Are there any Sound System events that you particularly enjoy attending? Why?
I haven't been to a sound system for a while because I don't enjoy that environment as much as I used to. This is less to do with the sound system culture and more to do with being around so many people! I am more introverted than I used to be and just enjoy being with fewer people when I want to relax. However, when I have been to reggae or dub events, I still love the vibes. I have always enjoyed the vibes of Aba-Shanti. As long as the vibes are positive and the music is interesting and varied then it would be an event that I would enjoy.

What do you prefer: studio work or sound system performance?
Definitely studio work. Sound system performance can be amazing and incredibly rewarding to feel the vibes of everyone focused on the same thing but there is also a pressure and an aspect of nerves that does not exist with studio work. Being on my own or with another person in the studio is complete freedom and relaxation.

Who do you think is the greatest dub artist of all time?
I would probably have to look at the classic dub artists like King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Lee Perry and Scientist for that title because they were the pioneers and deserve a lot of respect. I do enjoy more modern dub producers as well as long as the music is a bit different and is not just trying to emulate the golden age of dub music which people think of as the kinds of dub being produced in the 1970's. We have to look forward and be pioneers ourselves.

And who is currently the most interesting Dub artist?
Me of course!!! No, not really. I think someone who does things a bit differently grabs my attention but I don't have a favorite dub artist. It depends on the individual dub itself.

Which sound system do you value most?
Jah Shaka was my introduction to sound systems and so will always be greatly valued but I really like Aba-Shanti. Often small local sound systems have an appeal because they have an original vibe unless they are just trying to emulate Shaka or others. So there is a local sound system near me called Countryman Sound System that plays a varied and pleasing selection that does not descend into endless steppers.

What are your personal top five dub albums?
Classics only on this list….
Augustus Pablo: King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown
Lee Perry: Great ape
Jah Shaka & Aswad: Jah Shaka Meets Aswad in Addis Ababa Studio
The Twinkle Brothers: Dub Massacre Part 1
Sound Iration: In Dub


Interview with Jah Schulz

Your name: Michael Fiedler

You live in: near Stuttgart

Title of your last album:
"Dub Showcase”, from 2022. The new single “Stories” was released on March 1st, 3

What is your personal definition of Dub?
future music

What makes a good one Dub out?
He puts a spell on you, hypnotizes you. In fact, if I get a little sleepy at home, that's a good sign.

How do you have your passion for Dub discovered and how have you and your music developed since then?
I am via detours (jungle, breakbeats, techno) to Dub came. Reggae didn't interest me much at the time. But the music I loved as a child and teenager has always had a lot to offer Dub to do: bass lines, delay, Dub-Samples. As a young adult in the late 90s, I discovered Tubby & Contemporaries.

How does the creation process of a typical Dub-Tracks from you?
Very different. An interesting sample or loop, a theme. The rest will come by itself.

When are you with one of your produced Dub-Track satisfied?
At some point it just “clicks”. I'm not a perfectionist, that's an advantage. Some tunes take a little longer, others work within hours. But sometimes I bite my teeth out. But at some point a good feeling in my stomach tells me: it's done now.

What about producing Dub most importantly?
Imagination, willingness to experiment, not afraid of mistakes.

What is your particular strength?
I can work very quickly when I have a concrete idea.

Which album do you consider your best?
"Dub over science” from 2020 on Basscomesaveme.

Can you make a living with music?
Yes. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. I'm musically very versatile. alone from Dub but living wouldn't work.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
Playing live and the creative exchange with other artists. I improvise z. B. very happy with others at my performances.

What do you dread in the studio?
Too many people look over my back while I'm producing. I can only endure that for a very short time. That doesn't apply to musicians who are currently working with me in the studio, that's fine then.

When you're not at Dubs screwing, what is your favorite thing to do then?
About Dub think.

What do you hear besides Dub?
Everything imaginable. Really!

If money and time weren't important: Which project would you like to realize?
Time and money don't matter at the moment, I just feel like I can do the things that I enjoy. I am currently working on a SpokenWord/Dub Plate. There is time, but things are moving slowly, mainly because it is difficult to find artists to take part. However, if money really weren't an issue, I'd have a sound system in my living room.

Which do you prefer: studio work or sound system performance?
Both is important. I love sound system events. you inspire me Often afterwards or during it I have the feeling that I have to go to the studio and start my machines immediately.

Who is the greatest for you Dub-Artist of all time?
Jimi Hendrix meets King Tubby

And who is currently the most interesting Dub-Artist?
There are many producers that I think are great. Too many to name all. But there are currently notable releases from Babe Roots, Om Unit, Bukkha, Tjah, Kaptan, Another Channel, …

Which sound system do you like the most?
Respect goes to everyone who takes on such a project. I always find that really impressive.

What are your personal top Dub-Albums?
Massive Attack Meets Mad Professor: No Protection
Rhythm & Sound: W/ the Artists
Dub Syndicate: Classic Selection Volume 2
Alec Empire: Low on Ice
Disciples: Infinite Density of Dub


Interview with Helmut Phillips

What we already knew is now official: “Dub Conference” by Helmut Philipps is the best book of the year! Thus chosen by the readers of RIDDIM in the Lerserpoll 2022 with a large gap to the following places. The first edition was completely sold out after only three months, the second edition of the new standard work on the subject "Dub“ but again everywhere in the trade and over the Helmut's website available. Christoph Kraus has a conversation with Helmut Philipps about the success story of his book (the first book about Dub in German and the third book about Dub at all) led.

How and when did the idea of ​​a book come about Dub to write? Short history of origin.
In 2007 I wrote the book "Reggae in Germany" with Olaf Karnik. After that it was clear: I want to write another book. And while I was looking for the right topic, friends pestered me: "Why don't you write a book about it Dub? you have yourself Dubs mixed. You know your way around audio engineering. You can ask the right questions.” With that, the decision was made.

How did you go?
The first thing I had was actually the title "Dub Conference". The title said it all. As far as possible, there should be dialogue, not interviews. Above all, I wanted to know “why”. From 2010 I had the first talks. First in Germany: Soljie Hamilton in Bielefeld, Pat Kelly on an off-day in Münster, Clive Chin in Berlin, in Cologne and at Reggae Geel in Belgium, King Shiloh in Wuppertal. After that, everywhere and at every opportunity that presented itself. At the Garance Festival in France, at the Summerjam, Reggae Jam, Reggae Summer, in Holland, London, I traveled to Jamaica twice for the book.

An old white man is writing a book about “black” music – in these times, are you considering preparing for the potential accusation of cultural appropriation?
Yes, the woke zeitgeist actually caught up with me. When I started writing, there weren't any gender asterisks. I can't help being old and white. So shouldn't I write a book like this? Then who writes it? The Jamaican ambassador in Berlin listened to a presentation of the book from me and was amazed that a German man was telling stories from her homeland that she had never heard of. In Jamaica nobody knows that 50 years ago the first DubLPs have been released.

How is the reception, the feedback on the book?
Overwhelming and sometimes touching. People send me photos of where the book is on their bedside table, on their mixer or on their record rack. Some “complain” that they now have to buy a lot of albums after reading them. Others write to me: "I'm reading it for the second time." A woman sent me a card: "If someone asks me what are you reading and I say, 'Helmut Philipps - Dub Conference', that sounds pretty intellectual." Someone else texts me: "I don't think you know what you're doing with your work and your knowledge Dubnerds do We can no longer empathize with a lot of information and experiences. It is important to be able to understand the beginnings here in Germany as well. Thank you for the opportunity provided by your brilliant book!” Something like that leaves me speechless. And when I then consider that the "Dub Conference" was voted best book of the year and the first edition was sold out after 10 weeks, I am very grateful and happy about the way the book was received.

What surprised you the most during your research, what impressed you the most?
I didn't realize how big of an influence jazz has had on the development of reggae, and therefore also of Dub. King Tubby, for example, had a room full of jazz records. The engineers working for him could record the records on cassette, which people like Pat Kelly did a lot. Coxson also had a huge jazz collection. His Skatalites were a jazz band. The early Studio Ones Dubplates are often jazz-influenced horn improvisations. In his private life Lee Perry preferred to listen to jazz and in 1975 he made an offbeat jazz LP with Vin Gordon's "Musical Bones". The list could be continued ad nauseam. The improvisational aspect of jazz is reflected in the Dubben. Just listen to the Tommy McCook or Bobby Ellis records that Tubby mixed: Tommy McCook's "Brass Rockers" (aka "Cookin'") or "Hot Lava", or "Bobby Ellis & The Professionals meet The Revolutionaries". That's where jazz meets Dub. Dub and jazz unite the free handling of music, Dub is improvisation at the mixer. That's why some of those I interviewed were so vehemently opposed to digital Dub pronounced. Because Dub needs a mixer and cannot be programmed. There are now small mixing consoles that can be used to operate computers. Something has changed there.

Did you have a favorite interview and if so why?
Definitely Style Scott. I sat with him under an old tree in Chinna Smith's yard in Kingston and he talked for hours. From his grandparents, from the place where he grew up, from Junkuno, his education, the clubs in Montego Bay. All I really wanted to know from him was how it was with the Roots Radics and Dub Syndicate. But he told me his whole life. He was a pleasant, friendly and, in a European way, polite conversationalist. A wanderer between the worlds, the two Dub-has shaped for decades and was totally aware of the difference between Jamaica and Europe. It was a blatant shock when I found out a few months after our meeting that he had been killed.

Is Dub spiritual music or studio assembly line work?
Dub was commissioned work on the assembly line. The Soundmen lined up at the studios on Fridays. Everyone wanted new ones Dubs for the weekend dances. They took matters into their own hands while in the studio Dub after the next was mixed. Five minutes a Dub. It didn't take longer than the song played by the the Dub should be drawn.
The spiritual note of DubIt is in the nature of the default. If the original, the vocal version, has spiritual depth, this carries over into the Dub and in the toastings about that Dub. But when Johnny Osbourne sings: "I don't want no ice cream love, it's too cold for me" and Scientist one of them Dub pulls, that's not very spiritual. But when Johnny Osbourne sings about "Truth & Rights" and then probably a scientist again Dub mixed, that's something completely different.

It can Dub give without reggae?
At least it keeps trying. But there are few convincing examples. King Jammy said to me, “The heartbeat of reggae is essential to Dub.” The “interdisciplinary” attempts at punk and Dub combine works most convincingly in music with reggae beats. Like Ruts DC, the Members or The Clash. The Fellow Travelers did well, too, because their country music has an underlying reggae flair. But jazz goes Dub, classic in Dub etc., I consider all of these to be errors drenched in echo.

Can you still remember your first listening experience - when and where and how Dub entered your life?
Lee Perry with "Super Ape". Gigantic, but not really, as people understood over time Dub. Nonetheless, a masterpiece. And Scientist with the Greensleeves records, which we now know he never made. He does the mixes, but the Greensleeves bosses came up with the albums.

The “scientist” theme and the way the engineers for the Dub-Mix have been paid as a job, but are neither seen nor mentioned as an artist and their work has been published in part without their knowledge, was rather unknown to me as a common practice and surprised me. Can you go into that a little bit here?
Dubs became part of the day-to-day business when mixing and didn't take up much time. When a song was finished, it quickly became another Dub replenished, included almost for free. The producer (Junjo, Bunny Lee, whoever) paid for the song and ended up getting the tape. Then there was him Dub on it that was used for the back of the single. That of the DubThe engineers didn't know that separate albums were made elsewhere - in England. Because the albums didn't even exist in Jamaica, only overseas.

What is your definition of Dub?
Dub is the special mix of an existing title for a special use, namely at Sound Systems. Dub without a preceding original is instrumental music. Which by the way is not a definition of me but of Style Scott. Interestingly, Coxson got the sense of Dub-Records seen in it for the deejays to practice.

Who is your favorite engineer?
Scientist because of the anarchy in his mixes and because of the best sound. Groucho Smykle because he Dub staged like Hollywood movies. His mixes are also based on vocal versions, but there's no room for toasting anymore. Both Scientist and Groucho are perfectly described by the title of the book that Michael Veal wrote about Dub wrote: "Soundscapes and Destroyed Songs". At Scientist I saw him livedubben kept calling out: "Someone must deejay!" But even in my house, no deejay à la David Lynch comes into the room via hologram and starts toasting when I Dub hear Dub has long since become an art form in its own right outside of Jamaica. But one that lives on memories. You know that there are still melodies, wind instruments, songs. But you only hear them in your mind.

You're on a reading tour, you're invited to radio shows, z. B. WDR 3, WDR Cosmo, DLF, Bayerische Rundfunk, ByteFM, various online stations. What questions have you not been asked that you are surprised you have not been asked?
At first I was a little surprised that there were never any confrontational discussions. But that's what the Dub conference at all. I wrote a history book, let other people tell the story and researched the facts. I find that the readers are interested in the very story. Where everything comes from and what it comes with Dub has (had) on it. Most of you have noticed by now that Dub and Steppaz are only seemingly soulmates. With many common formal ingredients, yes. But ultimately something completely different. Historically and musically, steppaz is alternative techno music. Dub but is the version of a pre-existing music. There is no way around this difference. Mad Professor told me: It's only then Dub if it is a version. And there we are with Style Scott again: if it's not a version, it's instrumental music.

Which aspects were particularly important to the audience and were discussed after the reading?
Most just listened and were happy with the information and stories I shared. I notice how strong the interest in the topic Dub is. Everyone knows the term, even outside of the reggae circle, but many don't know exactly what it's all about. That's why there is the mistake that with every echo you immediately think: Aaah ... Dub!

What's your top 3 classic Dubalbums?

  • Lee Perry's "Super Ape" - a supernatural high. No Dub, but it feels like it.
  • "Herb Dub Collie Dub“. Mixed by King Tubby, the companion piece to The Legendary Skatalites, the Skatalites' only roots record. A fairly rare record. Released in 1976 without a cover and can no longer be found, it was reprinted by Motion in 2001.
  • Everything from Scientist at Greensleeves. Scientist's mixes benefit from the fact that the originals were so dominating that decade: Wailings Souls, Johnny Osbourne, Michael Prophet, Barrington Levy, Hugh Mundell...

Interview with the International Observer

Your artist name: International Observer
Your real name: Tom Bailey
You live in: Aotearoa New Zealand
Title of your last album: Bat

What is your personal definition of dub?
Dub has become a broad field of activity, which is only right for an experimental form, but I do value a connection to the early
old-school attitudes and ideas.

What makes a good dub?
Deconstruction and subversion. The radical element must be present with the narcotic / soporific.

Which aspects of dub music fascinates you the most?
The rebellious spirit which refuses to accept the mainstream version of song / reality. There's also something shamanistic about the mind altering aspects.

How did you discover your passion for dub and how did you develop yourself and your music since then?
My first experience of dub what "Garvey's Ghost". By chance I got to know it before encountering the original "Marcus Garvey" album, so my mind was blown twice in reverse order!

What or who had the biggest influence on you?
In the late seventies I followed a London sound system called The Mighty Observer who demonstrated the radical use of the bottom end in a live situation. That began a love affair with a large surface area of ​​bass bins and the right music coming out of them.

How would you describe your style of dub?
That's for others to say, but I don't feel confined to any one approach.

What does your process of creating a dub track look like?
Generally I pick an arbitrary starting point and improvise until something interesting arises, then I pursue it to see if something can be grown out of that idea. That can take minutes, hours or days. There's no fixed pattern.

When you are satisfied with a dub track you produced?
Sometimes never, but you have to move on before overworking a good idea.

Dub doesn't need a vocal original.

What is most essential when producing dub music?
Love of dub.

Does a Dub need a vocal original to be a good one dub?

Which one of your albums do you consider your best work up to now?
Not for me to say.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

What do you do in the studio?
time wasting

When you're not working on dubs, what is your favorite thing to do?

What do you listen to besides dub music?
Everything I hear. From inane pop to classical masterworks to birdsongs.

My greatest musical role model? JS Bach!

If money and time didn't matter: Which music project would you like to realize?
Money and time don't matter.

What do you prefer: Studio work or sound system performance?
I love the occasional sound system gig, but it's really the days
spent in the studio which are most interesting and rewarding. Something compels me to go in and do it.

What is your greatest musical role model and why?
JS Bach, for the contrapuntal basslines

Is there a sound system that you particularly appreciate?
Memories of the Mighty Observer are strong.

What are your personal top 5 dub albums?
I'm writing to you on the day that Lee Perry has died so I'd like to say something about him. I was lucky to cross paths with him on a couple of occasions. Once, playing keyboards on his History, Mystery and Prophesy album. That was an intense session at Compass Point studio in Nassau. The legend is that he had fallen
out with Chris Blackwell, but the fact that he was happily working in Blackwell's studio doesn't support that. Perry was aa flamboyantly eccentric artist, so it was all to easy to misunderstand him, but his track record and influence are remarkable. I think one of his main motivations was simply to bring reggae music to the world.

Much later, I toured with him and Mad Professor in Australasia. His eccentricity had reached spectacular heights by then and some of my strongest memories are of mundane things like going through airport security with him. He seemed to love setting off alarms - and that's a great metaphor for his work in general. So, although I love so many of the early dub artists, today I would choose any five albums by Lee Scratch Perry, the upsetter.


Interview with Brizion

Your artist name: Brizion
Your real name: Brian Zanchetta
You live in: San Diego, California
Title of your last album: A Hundred Tones Of Dub

What is your personal definition of dub?

  • An alternative version of a song that emphasizes the bass & drum parts.
  • A musical form of improvisation where the mixing engineer alchemizes the song using the application of space and texture in the mix process.
  • A practice of transformation and transcendence within the realm of sound.

What makes a good dub?

A heavy bassline, solid drum pocket, big reverb and some stimulating fader throws into the echo chamber.

Which aspects of dub music fascinates you the most?

The aspect of dynamics and improvisation. How a seemingly very simple and repetitive instrumental track could play out in an infinite number of ways by the dynamic mixing moves and effects combinations. It's as though the dubwise treatment to a song sends it into a kind of perpetual motion.

How did you discover your passion for dub and how did you develop yourself and your music since then?

I always loved Reggae from when I was a young child. I discovered Dub as a teenager while digging deeper into reggae music and instantly became obsessed. It became imperative that I find a way to create my own expression and interpretation of Dub. Already being a musician, I sold some of my equipment to buy some basic recording gear. I always had an aspiration to record engineering and mixing just as much as being a musician. So I developed with those two passions in parallel.

What does your process of creating a dub track look like?

  1. Building a raw rhythm, drums, bassline and chordal comping.
  2. Then adding embellishments, and melodic parts.
  3. Balancing the mix of these elements.
  4. Then finally sending it off into the dub Realm and doing multiple improvised takes with variations, usually in a sequence of versions, typically the first version is the straight instrumental, two is a typical dub path I follow. Then each additional chapter of Dub becomes more and more nuanced.

Live performance is such an enjoyable experience. But I'm truly fulfilled by studio work.

When you are satisfied with a dub track you produced?

When I hear it back and it gives that physical sensation of excitement or emotional reaction. When for even just a moment you are lost in the motion. The two most satisfying feelings of producing for me are: Hearing the track playback on vinyl record and hearing the bassline of my tune drop on a proper sound system

What is most essential when producing dub music?

Uninterrupted attention and a persistent attitude.

What is your special strength?

Working quickly ... perhaps.

Which one of your albums do you consider your best work up to now?

I released an album with one hundred different tracks compiled from the last decade called “A Hundred Tones Of Dub". I think it is gives a kind of all-encompassing sense of the different styles I've worked through over the years. But my personal favorite album 'series' I've done is called “Deep Space Dubplates ”which currently has 5 chapters.

Are you able to make a living with music?


What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

I love creating the most, if I can play my role of being creative. It is truly fulfilling. However I really enjoy helping people as well. I love mixing projects for artists and bands. I also really love teaching and education. I truly just enjoy anything music related.

What do you do in the studio?

Computer problems.

When you're not working on dubs, what is your favorite thing to do?

I love to cook. My other passion besides music.

What do you listen to besides dub music?

I have a deep love for jazz music.

Jah Shaka is my role model. One of the most humbling occurrences in my musical career was to see Shaka play tunes I had produced in his sessions.

If money and time didn't matter: Which project would you like to realize?

A difficult question to answer in a broad sense ... But since we are on the subject of music, I would love to develop an organized program to inspire youth to create music and give them an opportunity to see how music can be produced. Having a creative outlet was so vital to me growing up, I would love to develop more channels that allow for youth to discover their own creative outlets in music.

Are there any sound system events that you particularly like to attend? Why?

There are some local events we do here in San Diego, where a few sounds gather at a park near the bay and play all through the day. It's always an uplifting community vibe.

What do you prefer: Studio work or sound system performance?

Live performance is such an enjoyable experience. But I'm truly fulfilled by studio work.

What is your greatest musical role model and why?

Jah Shaka. So many aspects of his musical endeavors have been deeply inspiring to so many worldwide. Jah Shaka wasn't the first dub music I heard, but it was the music that made me want to make my own dub. One of the most humbling occurrences in my musical career was to see Shaka play tunes I had produced in his sessions.

Is there a sound system that you particularly appreciate?

A sound system here in San Diego called Blackheart Warriors HiFi were my earliest supporters as well as mentors in Reggae music. They were the first sound ever to play Dubplates I had produced (all acetate cuts). I truly admire all their contributions, vision and vigilance of musical endeavors.

What are your personal top 5 dub albums?

King Tubby: The Roots Of Dub
Jah Shaka & Mad Professor: New Decade Of Dub
Jah Shaka meets Aswad: In Addis Ababa Studio
King Tubby & Augustus Pablo: King Tubby's Meets Rockers Uptown
Roots Radics & King Tubby: Dangerous Dub


Interview with Thomas Blanchot (Mato)

Your name: Thomas "Mato" Blanchot
You live in: Paris, France
Your current album: Scary Dub

What is your personal definition of Dub?

I would say Dub is sound art. It's a unique style that takes total control of the track - both in terms of composition (through edits) and mix (through effects). What we know today as a remix has its origins a long time ago in Dub. The prerequisite for this was a new kind of artist: The Dub-Mixer. In fact, the Beatles paved the way for it when they fired their sound engineers and took control of the recording technology themselves. The studio itself - that is, equipment including sound engineer - is undoubtedly a full-fledged member of the band when music is recorded. The sound tracks then become material that can be shaped without limits; similar to the improvising style in jazz. Ultimately, every moment is about refining every note or melody.

"Different styles of music as reggaeDub to adapt - that is my trademark. "

need Dub a reference, such as a vocal counterpart, or can it be created as an end in itself in the studio? 

At the beginning there was the edited version of a title. These are the roots of Dubwho became his own style as the repertoire grew. Producers like Mad Professor or Jah Shaka, on the other hand, have their own Dub-Tracks recorded and not used on pre-existing material. I see my productions somewhere in between; I look for well-known titles that can be easily adapted and then produce them from scratch - only about them dubto be able to practice. So I absolutely need a reference to my work and see Dub as a counterpart to something that already exists. However, my references are not found in reggae; that's the special thing about my work.

Of course you can do everything dubben - some styles are better suited for this than others. A hypnotic, melodic reggae bass can drop the listener into a trance for hours, while a harmonically supportive pop bass does not have this capacity. A melodic bass, the rhythmic skank and the placement of drum fills are, however, undisputed elements of a successful one Dub-Recipes.

"I see Dub as a counterpart to something that already exists. "

Is there a basic requirement for Dub-Production?

Knowledge and a feeling for the culture is always a good start - knowing which techniques are available and in which recordings they have been used so far is immensely enriching and provides orientation. I have hours and hours Dub Heard until my ears were bleeding. The further way one Dub-Novice is to learn and try to reproduce the classics of the genre. When you have digested it all and done it, then you “are” Dub, then you can express yourself in this art. Whoever masters the sound can tell a story without words.

How does the creation process of a typical Dub-Tracks from Mato?

Different styles of music as reggaeDub to adapt - that is my artistic identity, my trademark. And it's a good resource, the genre of music Dub To introduce people who have a completely different musical horizon. With familiar melodies I not only arouse feelings and memories, but also curiosity. It's my way of keeping music universal and my audience diverse; I and my productions cannot be taken over by a single community.

The melody is mine Dub-Adaptations. I need a fascinating melody that I fine-tune through tempo and arrangement. The rhythm has to flow of course: whether steppers, rockers, one drop - if it doesn't fit, it will be changed again. It is important not to dilute the intake; it has to remain an adaptation - by no means a complete transformation.

“The melody is mine Dub-Adaptations. "

Everything is recorded live on my recordings and no samples are used. I play keyboards, drums / percussions and bass myself; other musicians can join in if necessary. Occasionally, over the course of time, I was able to acquire a wide range of sounds and a wide variety of instruments - such as percussions, vintage synths, SynDrums and the like.

The best part of my job, however, is the mix: Coming from the old school, I've worked with different boards and techniques. I've only been using Pro Tools for 15 years; it allows me to revise the mixes as long as necessary. I also use a lot of old equipment like the Roland Space Echo RE-201, various spring reverbs, vintage phasers, self-made things, etc.

Mato productions have a typical, "clean" sound that reminds me of productions from the early 1980s - is that intended?

I'm a big fan of the 70's and 80's sounds, but don't want to imitate them - I just try to adapt the soundtracks to my own hearing. Anyway, I'm a big fan of the Channel One sound - that's my personal milestone to be reached. This sound still benefits from the glow of the 1970s, but already has a clearer, more precise sound. Add a small dose of “2.0” and the Mato sound is ready.

The drums on your recordings have their very own, unmistakable sound - soft, but with a heavy punch. Let me guess: You play the drums yourself. 

Right! I started playing when I was 13 because my brother needed a drummer for his band. After some experience I founded a reggae band - or rather: an orchestra with a brass section and all the trimmings. That was an important lesson for me not only in music: to hear the others, to perceive one another.

After school I started to study drums - first in France, then further in the USA, where I graduated from the Los Angeles Music Academy in 1998. So I'm first and foremost a drummer who plays his riddims. I adjust and tune my drums precisely to get the sound I want. This is probably the most time-consuming work in my productions, but it is the origin of my own sound identity. The drums must always be present and precise; They can only be bumpy when I'm doing hip-hop (I'm a big fan of Dr. Dre). So the secret is out: behind an album by Dub Mix producer Mato is actually a drummer's album!

Your productions don't have the extra-heavy bass that you would expect from Dub expected. He seems rather reluctant, possibly to adapt to European listening habits. How important is sound to you in general?

As with any genre of music, there is a Dub different possibilities and never just one way to get to the goal. Even if I use all means, I can still bring in my own style. As a drummer, I love powerful bass - there is nothing more effective in my music than the sub-bass because I use it. But unlike other styles where the bass is mixed in the foreground, I prefer the traditional, balanced mix. I wouldn't see that as Europe-related ... my audience is all over the world.

Your ingenious version of Daft Punk's "Homework" blew my mind at the time and I also really appreciate the albums that followed. Where does your inspiration come from, how do you choose the themes for your concept albums?

Thanks for the kind words. As I said - basically I'm a drummer, and as an instrumentalist it's hard to get a foothold in the international music scene - even if you have mastered a lot of different styles. I am in the fortunate position of being able to pack everything I like into my music: The drums are my superstar; Melodies are completed with echoes, sound gimmicks, delays and many other effects - wonderful!

"The drums are my superstar."

I'm looking for appealing concepts that allow me to implement my musical ideas. I started with two albums with reggae covers of classic French chansons (note: “Il est cinq heures, Kingston s'eveille 1 and 2"), To which the corresponding Dub-Albums followed (note: "Il est cinq hours in Dub 01 and 02"). Then I produced four reggae hip-hop remix albums that made me known internationally. In the end, I started the series of concept albums, which I've been expanding ever since. Fortunately there is no lack of inspiration - work on the next album has long since begun. 

I usually start with a concept idea - whereby it is important that the titles in question have strong melodies, can be transferred to the reggae rhythm structure and ... yes, are also spiritually acceptable. With simple sound gimmicks, titles like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” are created Dub"Or elaborate, complexly arranged pieces like" Enter the Dragon Dub"(Note: both from"hollywoo Dub"-Album). 

“My Holy Grail is the 'Classical Dub'-Album."

The current “Scary Dub"Release can definitely be used as a sequel to" Hollywoo Dub“See, even though it wasn't originally planned. My "Holy Grail", however, is the "Classical Dub“-Album - it took me an infinite amount of time and energy, classical music as Dub to adapt.

At the "Homework“The manager of Daft Punk contacted me about the album and asked for a copy in advance. I was very nervous and expected a "no way" for an answer - Daft Punk had a reputation for being tough when it came to their music. In the end, they only asked if you could play the album at a party - the part was approved!

The tracks from “Scary Dub“Look to me like short comic strips with all the horror sound effects. Do you agree with me or do you see the tracks in a different light?

I absolutely agree. Like in the review very well explained, I am a concept artist. My concept albums invite you on a journey with unforeseen events; An acoustic adventure, so to speak, within a given framework, which is clearly new in its form. 

If the concept is to score from horror classics as DubTo adapt s, the lightness of humor naturally offers an interesting perspective on it. Aren't fear and happiness two uncontrollable twin emotions? It's important, however, not to denigrate the music itself - I have a lot of respect for that. 

In my "Dub Top 5 "by the way, there are two albums that are one of my sources of inspiration and fit very well with my own work - Mikey Dread's" African Anthem "and" Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires ". Without a doubt, I have always been deeply impressed by the Scientist concept albums produced by Henry “Junjo” Laws!

The reviews of “Scary Dub" on have received good feedback - apart from the criticism that some of your Dubs are too short and end with fade-outs - or are these tracks, which are only +/- 3 minutes long, part of your success? 

I'm old school - even when I combine opposing styles of music, I want to keep the classic stylistic devices. My stories are short but substantial - also so as not to lose the listener's attention. We tend to wander, for example, when someone talks too much or too long. In this respect: yes, the short pop format is probably part of my recipe. Ultimately, it's always about the story - which you can arrange to end with an exclamation point or an ellipsis. I interpret these fade-outs as a dream that evaporates and disappears. 

"The short pop format is probably part of my recipe."

What does the future hold for Mato? Is there a concept for the next album, would you like to comment on it?

The new project will be a soul / jazz / funk tribute that is very close to my heart. Last fall I released a first single from it - one Dub-Adaptation of Herbie Hancock's "maiden voyage"And a new version of"Thus spoke zarathustra“, Which is inspired by jazz pianist Eumir Deodato. Next up are 45s from Kool & the Gang, Bill Withers and certainly more singles before the album is released. Stay tuned, this is going to be great!

Will there one day be a Mato album that will take place Dub-Adaptations contains original material you have written yourself?

Yes, and the project is already finished: an EP with 4 tracks, all of which I composed myself. It's a mix of my favorite styles: Reggae /Dub-Jazz / Soul / Funk and Disco. And this time the tracks are at least 5 to 6 minutes long and intended for use in clubs. On “Scary Dub“By the way, there are already three titles I have written to complete the album. Unfortunately, there are no instantly recognizable melodies for Dracula, Frankenstein or the mummy - so I wrote some myself.

If time and money didn't play a role - which project would you like to realize?

In fact, I always had to work with what was available. My first Dub I recorded it on a 4 track tape; with a microphone for the drums, a Roland synthesizer and a delay pedal for the guitars. Today I have a well-equipped studio, but the musical idea is still worth more than all the equipment.

"The musical idea is still worth more than all the studio equipment."

I am now in the fortunate position that I can do what I love and also work with a label that supports me in all of my decisions. It allows me to share my music with as many people as possible - which is a project in itself.

The “Classical Dub“-Album taught me that it takes time and experience to consider classical music with some flow Dub implement; that's why I'm planning an operaDub Project - actually more of a musical comedy that I would like to realize one day. This also requires more inspiration than financial opportunities; it should "only" be an album and not a live show. It's going to be a demanding project. Let's see how it develops.

How do you see the resurgence of Dub and roots reggae that has been taking place in Europe for some time? There are many European productions that sometimes sound more authentic than the current Jamaican output.

It is great! Music from a small island infects the whole world and you don't even need vaccinations against reggaemylitis!

Jokes aside, Jamaica is a very poor country and violence is ubiquitous on the island. Current productions are an expression of this present and the Jamaican government doesn't support roots & culture - on the contrary. Thank goodness there are many ambassadors around the world who keep Roots & Culture alive: Reggae musicians, singers, producers, sound systems, labels and sound engineers can be found everywhere - and they set standards. It's just like every creation: Ultimately, it escapes the Creator and becomes independent.

Who do you think is the greatest Dub-Artist of all time?

There are so many talented artists out there today and each of them has their own heroes - for me it's the ancestors, the inventors of the Dub: Scientist is probably my sound role model, but King Tubby is the creator of the Dub- Art as we know it today. Paul "Groucho" Smykle is my third Dub-Hero - you don't even need to read the credits if you like your stunning Dub Mixes listens. They are immediately recognizable from the very first bars. What an art, what a skill, what a finesse! It's a shame that Groucho didn't go further down this path.

And who is currently the most interesting Dub-Artist?

There are now a number of bands in Europe that Dub also perform live - with videos, light choreography, etc. You have developed a very modern style that can keep up with current mainstream music performances. 

What are your personal top 5 Dub-Albums?

It was very difficult for me to choose - the list of my topDub Albums is very long. Here is an attempt to name the five most important:

Scientist - Scientist Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires 
Black Uhuru - The Dub Factor
Mickey Dread - African anthem
Sly & Robbie - A Dub experience
King Tubby & The Aggrovators - King Tubby's "Controls"

Editor's note: For the sake of the fluency of the language, we did not use gender in this interview.


20 Questions to Alpha Steppa

Your name: Alpha Steppa
You live in: France
Title of your last album: Raise The Ark

What is your personal definition of dub?

It stems from a style of mixing pioneered in Jamaica and became a genre of music in its own right. At the core, it is drum and bass with life and soul woven in via the hands of the dub mixer. It's magic.

What makes a good dub?

Space, bass and texture.

Which aspects of dub music fascinates you the most?

I love the spontaneity, the freedom and the experimentation.

How did you discover your passion for dub and how did you develop your-self and your music since then?

My dad taught me how to mix dub from a young age. I developed through incorporating all my other influences in life and music into myself dub.

What does the process of creating a typical dub track look like?

You need a spark; a vocal line, a bass line, a sample, a melody, percussion, a feeling ... something to ignite the idea, then get out the way and let the track build it- self.

When you are satisfied with a dub track you produced?

When I feel it drop and the crowd rise in a dance.

What is your special strength?

I have no need to fit in. This frees me and my music.

Which one of your albums do you consider your best work up to now?

Raise The Ark

Are you able to make a living with music?

Yes, I live a simple and happy life so don't need much.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?

I love to create. And it pleases me to know it brings joy to others.

What do you dread in the studio?

When I forget to drink my tea and it goes cold.

When you're not working on dubs, what is your favorite thing to do?

my hammock

What do you listen to besides dub music?

Folk, hip hop, trap, trad, blues, classical

If money and time didn't matter: Which project would you like to realize?

Money and time doesn't matter. But I need a new septic tank. I'd also like to develop a community where people could come to develop new ways of sustainable living and practice self inquiry.

Are there any sound system events that you particularly like to attend? Why?

Jah Shaka, always and forever the greatest, deepest and most mystical sound system experience.

What do you prefer: Studio work or sound system performance?

I love both. But if I had to choose one, creation is paramount, so studio would win.

Whom do you consider the greatest dub artist of all time?

My dad and aunt (Alpha & Omega)! Haha

And who is currently the most interesting dub artist?

Currently the most interesting dub artist is YahYu

Which sound system do you value the most?

Yeah Shaka

What are your personal top 5 dub albums?

A&O: Voice In The Wilderness
Jonah Dan: intergalactic Dub Rock
King Tubbies: Meet Rockers Uptown
Upsetters: Black Board Jungle
Scientists: Rids The World Of The Evil Curse Of The Vampires


Interview with Daniel Jäckel (Wortfetzen MC)

Daniel supports, as an integral part of the Hibration and I-Revolution sound system, Hamburg Dubscene with his singing and speaking parts, the so-called toasting. In the interview he talks about the possibilities to act creatively, critical topics within the scene and his experiences in Jamaica.

What were your first points of contact with Dub and sound systems and how did you get into toasting?

Daniel: I have always wanted to articulate myself creatively. When I was 15 I tried to write my own rap lyrics and then practiced them in front of the mirror. At some point, however, I realized that there were no beats in the village where I grew up and I couldn't produce any myself. Writing poetry somehow seemed like the closest thing to rapping and that's how I got into poetry slam. On countless afternoons in the park many years ago, a very good friend just gave me his guitar and showed me two chords. I really wanted to learn this instrument in order to accompany me while I was singing, which I also really enjoyed doing besides the poetry slam.

Musically I was definitely influenced by an evening in a club in Prague, where Dubstep was played. I didn't even know this music and especially the ragga / jungle floor was so electrifying that I danced along wildly. When I moved to Hamburg in 2010, I was naturally looking for something similar here too. When the Dub-Band Zion Train in the harbor sound five years ago I couldn't hold back and jumped around like a rubber ball. With the sound system, of course, I came across the port birthday sessions and the events of the Dubcafes in the red flora in touch. Since there was always a microphone lying around there, I dared to use it and quickly replaced the guitar for me personally. At first I wasn't very tried, but I still got great vibes. Last year, through my appearances at Local Sounds here in Hamburg and even all the way down to Munich, I felt there were more events than there are weeks in the year. I remember when I first became aware of the music, there were maybe four events with 15 visitors, and now several are taking place every month.

So you seem to be in Hamburg Dubto be very firmly involved in the scene. How would you specifically describe your role or your function?

D: I think I'm only gradually finding this role myself. In principle, the role that I take on the microphone is to be seen both in the form of vocals and a bit as a medium between the audience and the people who put on the music. In addition, I describe myself as an activist, sound system activist. Setting up boxes and doing these sessions, I think you can give the world something good with that. To create a breeding ground for something that is good for this society. Just at Dub at this volume, there is something inspiring about it, somehow gives strength on an emotional level. I think “Roots & Culture” is a term that I associate with a lot Dub and sound system. Roots would be this term that covers the fact that this music describes where we come from and who we are in this world, a conscious music or a music with consciousness. Culture as the other part of the whole means you can create a kind of culture, a good breeding ground for culture.

A culture where everyone can bring in what they want.

Do you talk a lot about culture, especially creating your own new culture?

D: Yes, a culture where everyone can bring in what they want, a very open space. Creating is one aspect, although I don't think it's just about creating a culture. Rather, to create a situation, because I think we actually all have a culture. But you can only live this out in certain situations in a special way and the sound system dance offers an ideal situation for this. In the end, I think that we already have everything we need, you just have to give people the opportunity to live it out.

So on the one hand the reinforcement of certain positive aspects; Do you also address critical issues during your performances?

D: You know that at events where people go at night to have fun. There is certainly breeding ground for things that are not so good, sexism or sexual harassment are examples. Such issues can be addressed in a peaceful manner, and when they happen, it is of course out of affect. In addition, there are political, social or personal things that you can talk about in general, so I think about what I want to say in advance. I bring issues that concern myself to the outside world.

Since you are talking about sexism: A topic that is also criticized in connection with reggae, Rastafari and Jamaican music is the accusation of homophobia.

D: I think when it comes to these critical issues, it is good to talk openly about them without putting the devil on the wall: If there is something, if you are being molested by sexism, you will not be left alone with it. I don't even want to give homophobia the space as something that I don't approve of and where, musically, I really don't know what it is doing in this music. Although this topic is of course a problem for society as a whole, which unfortunately also finds expression in this scene. These problems should also be seen everywhere they take place and where they are approached. I believe that exchange is the right way to go and that there are people with whom you simply don't meet.

I have just been back to Jamaica for a few weeks, where homophobia is also an issue and homosexuality is even prohibited by law. I think the cultural background has to be understood, but promoting this way of thinking is wrong, a line should be drawn. However, we have had many discussions in our society that did not take place in Jamaica, regardless of the cultural and historical background. I can also imagine that many Europeans and people from other parts of the world who go to this island because they love what happens there, because it has inspired them and because they find themselves in it, share a lot of their attitude towards there bring there. I think the people who listen to reggae here are not very sexist or homophobic. They see this rather critically and react very sensitively to it, bring such topics into this society and sensitize them in a constructive and positive way.

I take issues that concern myself to the outside world.

Another topic that toasters and singers like to address in this music is Rastafarian. Apart from the negative elements that we just mentioned, do you bring the more positive elements from them into your texts?

D: Definitely the term Babylon, that's an integral part. Although I have to say that I'm not a Rasta. I do believe that there is more than we can see, understand, know, calculate and describe. But I am critical of religions when things are forming and organizing. Rastafarian has elements, like other religions and philosophies, that make sense to me. What I really appreciate about it, for example, is that this religion created identity in the time after Jamaica's independence, which was very important. In addition, this religion brings issues into society, such as awareness and spirituality, but also conscious and healthy nutrition and an ecological lifestyle. I have great respect for this belief and this culture.

Chanting and talking in the Jamaican Patwah is also common. How do you feel about the accusations of the cultural appropriation of this language by “whites”?

D: Of course, if that's someone who feels that way, I can understand. True to the motto: The guy has now heard reggae and is simply parroting the language. But my experience in Jamaica was that people celebrated that when I used it while toasting and singing and I don't think they took that as a disrespect.

You just said quite nicely that some people go to this island to find themselves. Did you find yourself there? What experiences are you richer by now?

D: I definitely found myself in reggae. Since I like making music and being creative, reggae showed me the meaning behind it. That feeling was reinforced in Jamaica. Our recording of one was a very nice experience Dubplates in the studio. In addition, I was able to meet many great people, taste delicious food and enjoy the beautiful nature. What was really unique was that when looking into the jungle, due to the density, I couldn't see two meters far.

How is it going Dub in Jamaica?
D: Often stands Dub as the headline for the events, but that's not that Dubthings we do here. I think there were very different developments when the music came to the UK from Jamaica. Dancehall is definitely very present there, but also a lot of roots and rub-a-Dub. Definitely good music.

Dub for me is: musical, interpersonal, cultural, spiritual.

“Different things than we do here” - what is Hamburg doing Dubscene for you?

D: As I said, there used to be very few sessions and over the years the number of events and sounds grew. I talk to people in sessions, including those who support all of this. A lot more people want to be active in the scene. What is also an important point in character is that when we put on a dance, we have to take care of everything ourselves. We don't go anywhere, play our stuff and leave. We have to take over the whole fucking place. Build the infrastructure, equip the bar, occupy the door. Building up is one thing, doing it and then dismantling it. That's why I'm doing it, that's why I'm there, for the dismantling (laughs). A lot of work, but you get the opportunity to do everything yourself. A lot happens here in Hamburg, both in front of and behind the sound system.

Finally, the standard sentence for you too: Describe Dub in one sentence?

D: After my formative Zion Train event at Hafenklang, I read a quote: “Instrumental psychedelic reggae”. For me it is a lot more than that: musically, interpersonal, cultural, spiritual.

Interview from 17.05.2019


Interview with Raphael Alberti (Lazer Fennec)

raphael, Dub- and Disco-Selector from Hamburg, according to his own statement, is "still pretty fresh on the scene." Dub, addresses sexism and homophobia in the scene and the volcano in his head.

Do you remember when you first met Dub came into contact?

Raphael: I grew up in Ulm, my brother was in a crew that played reggae and dancehall. That was when I first became aware of the music, for example I also attended the Chiemsee Reggae Summer Festival in the same year. Through my brother I got to know a lot of different music in general: Wu-Tang, Nirvana, System of a Down ... Dub wasn't so present for me at the time. And so I started with my record collection at first very wildly mixed with rock classics and things like that.

Do you remember your first record?

R: That must have been an album by the White Stripes so close to 2010 graduation. At the time my brother in Stuttgart shared a flat with drum 'n' bass and Dubstep DJs and I remember that one evening the "Dub Echoes ”document was running. I thought it was so good that I had to get the soundtrack straight away and put it on at the next flat share party. A live concert by Lee Perry finally made me think: Wow, Dub is that thing! 
Some DubI went to events in Offenbach and Darmstadt, first as a photographer and, after I got to know the guys from the Rebel Lion Soundsystem, as a selector and at some point I was part of the crew. From 2012 we organized regularly for several years Dubparties in the Oettinger Villa in Darmstadt, that was a really nice location. As a result, we already hooked the people in the Rhine-Main area with music.

Did you then also inspire other crews to do something?

R: Yeah, at least that some crews do more Dub who previously preferred roots to the set. Peifensound from Wiesbaden, for example. But the Rhine-Main area with Frankfurt as a metropolis has unfortunately not managed to set up a proper sound system until today, somehow that never represented the center for this type of music.

Was that perhaps the reason why you moved to Hamburg at some point?

R: No, that was more because our Rebel Lion sound system broke up a bit for various reasons, because of moving and children and that sort of thing. Mainz, where I lived at the time, was just too small for me at some point. I then quit my studies and moved to Hamburg to do an internship at Backspin Hip Hop Magazine.

So did hip hop always play a role for you?

R: Yes fully. But I also knew that I was in the Dubscene wanted to be active here in Hamburg. First I had the Hibration sound system in mind, but then decided on I-Revolution.

Dub is just full of the nerd. Reggae for nerds. Smoking nerds who like bass, that's this one Dubscene.

You are currently known from I-Revolution, how did the connection come about?

R: I first went to some of the parties in the T-room at the university. At some point when the university was occupied, they looked for people to hang up via a Facebook group. I felt like it and just went there with my records. That sparked immediately with the guys both musically and personally. That was in April 2018 and since then I-Revolution has been kind of going downhill: we held open airs and a few parties in the Gängeviertel.

How are you currently positioned at I-Revolution?

R: I-Revolution just consists of seven DJs and a lot more people in the background, without whom it just doesn't work. We also build a lot ourselves, for example sirens and amplifiers. Dub is just full of the nerd. Reggae for nerds. Smoking nerds who like bass, that's this one Dubscene.

The problem is sexism Dubscene not resolved either.

With all the fun, you also notice the clear political orientation. For example, if you look at the event texts on your Facebook events, you will always find announcements against sexism and homophobia - topics that are often criticized in Jamaican music. Do you think that there is a greater awareness of such issues in the scene?

R: The DubThe scene in Germany and Europe is definitely very left-wing, just because of the event rooms, such as autonomous centers or occupied houses. But the problem of sexism is in that Dubscene not resolved either. Just because fewer lyrics are used in the music and therefore there are no problems with critical statements, there are still points, such as the gender ratio, that you can definitely work on. Most crews are made up of guys, which might be related to this nerd culture. I think music and subcultures are mostly shaped by males, nerd cultures as well, when both come together, it doesn't get any better. Taking my experience with the people who are new to the world DubThe coming scene is that many feel very comfortable, many women also say that it is simply relaxed at the events.

Do you have the feeling that the left-wing issues mentioned were only noticed through your involvement in the scene?

R: I think we didn't make it an issue, it has always been that way. So when I look at Jürgen Becker alias Crucial B here from Hamburg, for example, who started in Hamburg 26, 27 years ago, and his crew has already set up events in the T-Stube or carried out squats. I think it was in the 90s Dub a protest muck anyway, because there was a connection to punk, especially in England. There are certainly some about punk too Dub come, that's why the left-wing scene character. But of course it's difficult, you never know when you're putting on tracks, even if there are no explicit homophobic or sexist lyrics in them, what makes the performers tick. Maybe that's one of the reasons why many left-wing people are in the electro scene because they think that no lyrics mean no homophobia and no sexism. In the Dubscene and in other music scenes there are also oldschoolers who say that everything was better in the past. I think the Dubscene also needs a bit of humor. Reasons why it's so difficult to get into the scene. A relaxed but also closed circle. 

Regarding the closed circle: do you think that there is cohesion within the scene, also across regions, for example?

R: Yes, you can travel all over the country, you always meet someone you know. I also wanted to go to France this year to take a bit of the scene with me. Whether it's a big event in Berlin or a small festival on a sheep pasture in northern Hesse, which I went to two years ago. With pony rides for the children and homemade ice cream, the family reunion is full. It's really nice in the scene, you help each other. We also saw the guests who help out at the I-Revolution outdoor sessions last year. A lot of people lend a hand and don't just go home. Many also feel like doing door shifts, for example, that's all good support and networking.

It all sounds really nice, when someone is so outside and wants to be part of, how could that work?

R: As a complete outsider, I think that's difficult, so you have to celebrate the music. At the moment, however, many of the audience are from the electro scene, you can tell by the way people dance. I think some are bored of the same events there in the scene and especially steppers Dub it has similarities with techno, it's dance music.

Your events are always packed.

R: Yes, and above all there are a lot of kids there. You can tell that they are more socialized on techno and then shuffle to steppers (laughs).

So do you think that everything has a future?

R: At the moment the scene is doing pretty well, I think. More and more sounds are being created and work is being done in Germany to set up larger festivals, for example in Münster, which are already heavily equipped with sound systems and Berlin too. Even in southern Germany.

Since we were talking about your always packed events, how did the connection with the Gängeviertel come about?

R: Jimmy, who is also active in our sound system, knows someone there. I think what gave us a good boost in autumn was that we set up our monthly event relatively quickly after the Gängeviertel birthday. Then the Gängeviertel also shared our event on Facebook. On the first evening already 500 confirmations or interested parties and a total of 3000. That went on with the second event. In the meantime it has normalized again to around 700. At the last party we had to stop after three hours. It's really tough, let's see how the whole thing continues in the Rote Flora.

I especially like music that is visual, creates soundscapes and Dub is just ideal for it.

I also wanted to talk about your selections, which are always very diverse: you play Dub, Funk, Soul, Afrobeat, Hip Hop, where does that come from?

R: I don't really know, it is always difficult for me to stick to one style when DJing, which sometimes upsets me when I switch back and forth in such a confused way. I especially like music that is visual, creates soundscapes and Dub is just ideal for creating something like that. But sometimes it is like this: how slow and how weird can that shit be that I put on and I try to get out of the ordinary and not just play hits.

M: Now you've moved to the Flora for the next event with I-Revolution, are there any further plans for 2019?
R: I would like guests and outdoor sessions, maybe here at the Veddel, bridge party or something. So the campus is also a cool location for that, but maybe the cops won't come here so quickly (laughs).

M: In conclusion, describe Dub in one sentence?

R: If I may quote King Tubby: "Dub is a volcano in my head ”. That's it. 

Interview from 26.01.2019