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.

8 responses to "Interview with the International Observer"

hmmm ... the man would have so much to say - e.g. about his journey from the Thompson Twins to the intellectual "Bontempi" -Dub. Maybe he is no longer interested in his earlier New Wave / Pop incarnations - I liked “Into the Gap” very much back then.

"He seemed to love setting off alarms - and that's a great metaphor for his work in general."

I love Lee Perry for that alone! FOREVER!

"Money and time don't matter." The man is blessed!

"My greatest musical role model? JS Bach! … .. for the contrapuntal basslines “Alter Schwede! But now I have something to do. JSBach had basslines ???????????????????
And they are also “contrapuntal”. Let's see if I can get this explained with goggel. Freely translated or interpreted, I would say that means NOT TO THE POINT!
Sounds pretty wrong for a bassline. But maybe it just means "phase-shifted", so to speak, a relationship to the OffBeat style and that would be pretty exciting again. That leads to the suspicion Dub in the end somehow comes from d-country. I mean, too, this is Peter Alexander's first rap, from one of his earlier ones
"Schlefas" comes from. Ok, again I'm not funny at all, so again about the interview.
The journey from the Thompson Twins to the intellectual "Bontempi" -Dub, would have been very interesting but for me as DubAddict, who is primarily for Dub interested, a story about his previous New Wave / Pop incarnations wouldn't have been really interesting either. So I don't think it's “bad” that this question wasn't asked in the interview. Just as a side note, as a "counterpoint" to the opinion of gtkriz. I didn't want to mess around with it, but to show that there can also be different “points of view”.
Apart from the “BirdSongs” I can't understand what else the International Observer hears, but since issa is much more tolerant (more capable of suffering) than me. And be careful! Not every bird can sing! Pigeons are worse than German hits! I would like to shoot them where Lee Perry also shoot or "chase" satan
would. "In The OutaSpace !!!"
I think the most beautiful are the anecdotes that the IO has in store for Lee Perry. There can only be misunderstandings if you are not also a little crazy like Lee Perry.
It was only yesterday evening that I realized again that anyone who doesn't go a little crazy in this world really has to be really mentally ill. It's really hard to bear, our collective madness here.
And since the IO was actually the most talkative on the subject of Lee Perry, I'll quickly tell you that to this day I am very proud to have met Lee Perry in person. Yes, with an interview (like René) I can't serve by a long way, but I met him once anna Tanke ;-) ……… that was really special for me (not for him).

Ok, now I know that "contrapuntal" is also called "polyphonic". But that doesn't help me either. I can’t get around it,Dub vom Bach ”but I think I'd rather take all my courage for the gap and forego this knowledge. The brook “organizes” too much for me. It's frustrating.

Yes, sorry, if I couldn't be too serious here again, but Lee Perry is my role model in this regard. Even if I'm not nearly as easy at it as Lee Perry

Actually, I would have a special experience "of the third kind" but now I switch over to the "Starship through the horror zone".

Thanks for the interview …………………………… lemmi

I have to dig deeper here again.

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

"Money and time don't matter".

Actually, he didn't answer the question at all ;-)

So long ……………… .. lemmi

In a way, yes, gtkriz.

If I interpret his partial answer correctly, “Money and time don't matter” could mean that he could realize any music project if he felt like it.
I would have preferred a more specific answer but “cryptic answers” ​​from reggae and DubProducers included or especially from the
We're actually used to “Singers and Players of Instruments”.

Everything is possible …………………… lemmi

hmmm ... I read this in such a way that factors like time and money won't limit it. I suppose he is doing his thing comfortably and without much effort. Possibly a one-man in-house production - you don't hear anything except Keys & Programming, and you can also import that in the storage room ... ;-)

"You don't hear anything except Keys & Programming, and you can also import that into the storage room ... ;-)"

…………………………. ;-)

"Money and time don't matter". Apparently Tom Bailey was able to earn so much money with the Thompson Twins, whose music didn't even affect me peripherally, that today he can lead a carefree life and pursue his hobbies (Dub) can pursue. Everything done right.

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