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.