Archive for reggae

Decibel Festival Showcase Spotlight: dB in duB Part 1: Past, Present and Future of duB

Posted in Events, Festivals, Music News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by worldromper

Photo by Jikamajoja on FlickrMany beats ago on the island of Jamaica, reggae artists and producers started experimenting with B-sides of tracks, letting loose their more creative sides and removing the vocals, emphasizing the bass and drums, and inventing new sounds with heady reverb and echo effects. Sound design pioneers Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock and Lee “Scratch” Perry were the first in the world to regard the mixer as an instrument, renovating the original songs into rhythm-centric “dubs” whose rich, organic soundscapes gave new attention to negative space, multi-layered depth, and of course, the bass.

Now decades later, dub has profoundly affected the birth of hip hop and electronic music, and what started as a small sonic revolution of smooth island beats now has a widespread influence on production all over the world. “dB in duB Part 1: Past, Present and Future of duB” celebrates not only the creation of the dub genre and its subsequent exposure, but also its evolution through the years into multiple subgenres-  from garage, drum and bass, grime, trip hop, and dubby techno to the most recent dub darling, dubstep.

Mad ProfessorThe 2009 Decibel Festival kicks off near the beginning of the story of dub with trailblazer Mad Professor. A grand king of the genre, Mad Professor has championed traditional dub from his London studio for decades. Not only has he worked with reggae legends as well as famous artists outside the dub domain, but he has also been instrumental in transitioning the genre into the digital age and staking the UK’s premier claim on exposing dub to the world. Known for original productions as well as remix work, the prolific Mad Professor has had his hands in over 200 albums and an immense “old school” impact on modern breakbeat culture.

Benga photo by Derek DjonsStomping along next is one of the godfathers of dubstep, Benga, who hails from the UK like the rest of the sound’s procreators. Out of one record store (Big Apple Records), one club night, and one very talented group of friends, dubstep emerged from garage, 2-step, and grime to be propelled into an innovative genre of its own right. Music like Benga was creating at age fifteen is now taking the world by storm, most notably on the West Coast of the US where the thick wobble has grabbed the attention of electronic music fans from Seattle to San Diego.

Deepchord presents: Echospace represents the forefront of the newest hybrid, dub techno. Producing with only vintage analog equipment that gives its “life-force” to the music, the duo uses dense atmospheric elements that add an emotional charge to their loopy, minimal sound. Rounding out the showcase is local champion of the fresh and the eclectic, Kid Hops, whose two radio programs on KEXP have exposed listeners to new music from way-out reggae to funky, dubby drum and bass.

Dub is the sound of a warm welcome, with a roots-oriented vibe and soothing beats combined with synthesized sounds and electronic machinations from tomorrow. It is the perfect juxtaposition of the past and the future, and is best experienced in the present- and in front of a bass bin. The story of dub continues at Decibel Festival, and as we explore its echoes through several subgenres you may find that just as dub has taken up permanent residence in electronic music culture, it has done the same in your head. Dub is here to stay, and to move dance floors with a bassy bounce like only island music can.

dB in duB Part 1: Past, Present and Future of duB takes place Thursday, September 24 at Neumos. Click here for ticket sales and more information.

Howl at the Moon @ the Day Out of Time Festival

Posted in Events, Festivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by worldromper

ilovemyseattletribesoverymuchCould the Day Out Of Time Festival, happening July 24-26 in southern Washington, possibly have more of my friends on the lineup?

Wow. Five stages of glitch, drum and bass, dubstep, breaks, house, techno, downtempo, live reggae, and more, all brought to you by the awesome Emerald City Events, Midnight Sons, Buddhaful, LiveNLove, Booty Resin, Covert Ops, and Atmospheric InfernOasis. AKA my people.

Check it:

Aaron Simpson
Geno Cochino
Sonny Chiba
Richie Spoonz
Randall Glen
Mickey Procon
Dig Dug
Bryan J. Furious
Let’s Go Outside
Von Dewey
Ben Shelton
Kadeejah Streets
Jeromy Nail
Lloyd Tatum
Dev J
Creepy Tom
Skoi Sirius

PLUS hella hella hella other DJs that I do not personally know. Perhaps a trip to Seatown in late July is in my future? I could stick around for the Glitch Mob, Daddy Kev and Nosaj Thing show on the 28th…hmm…

If you are in Seattle, do not miss this festival. Tickets are $60 before July 1st, $75 after. Holy Day Out of Time.

Photo by Arkku.

AFRO FUNKE’ @ Club Zanzibar, Santa Monica

Posted in From the Front Lines (Show Reviews) with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by worldromper

Don’t you love walking into a club to hear the DJ dropping one of your favorite tracks, a song you play all the time at home or in your car, but never ever hear played out? I LOVE that shit!

DJ Jeremy Sole has earned a place in my heart for not only rockin’ Fat Freddy’s Drop but the track “Midnight Marauders” which is one of the sexiest reggae songs in the world. The voice of lead singer Dallas is like a warm sunset, pulling you into his island of love. Ringin’ on your bell, as it were.

That was how I started my Thursday night at Afro-Funke’ at chi-chi Club Zanzibar in Santa Monica. It has been a minute since I had been to a reggae show; once a regular at Clinton Fearon performances in Seattle, I have been opting to spend my nights out lately at shows of other genres. It is a hard spread when you love it all.

Apparently Thursday evening is the night to go to this swank club whose African-Indian decor is a tad obvious but still inviting and warm- lots of low booths for cuddle-whores, cut metal lamps, alcoves for sitting and drinking. Who sits at clubs?

Reggae, Latin-funk, world music- whatever you call it, it is refreshing to dance to the upbeat all night long, to slow down and savor the drums and full beats. It puts a smile on your face. It makes you, er…upbeat.

The sound however, SUCKED; I danced right in front of the speaker not because I wanted to but because I had to- four feet over and you could barely hear Bob Marley.

Nonetheless, the dance floor was full and groovy all night, even through the fashion show. I have been to a lot of fashion shows at clubs, and a lot of them are crap. People leave. Not this fashion show- these girls, some of whom were no doubt professional models, got up on the catwalk and got DOWN. Props. They didn’t just priss about like they had pretty-girl syndrome, oh no- they rocked it. The audience appreciated it, and the designer loved it too, seeing her creations being rocked out proper-like. After the show everybody hit the dance floor and shook it until we got kicked out. I love shutting down dance floors!

Two djembes and the sweetest didgeridoo I have ever seen, hand-carved with a face poking out, completed the taste of world throughout he night, and after 2AM these guys posted up on the street corner and continued to jam, the didgeridoo player super-styling in a cape. Pimp! I returned home happy and satisfied, with a heart warm from the change of pace.

The weird thing is, I had been invited to this night from a Myspace friend and didn’t even realize that the event was the same one until the next day! Small world- well, small bad-ass music community, I guess. LA has so many options, it is hard to know which are legit music nights and which are whorey meat-market shit flings with terrible music and worse people. This one is going on my good list.

Afro-Funke’ goes down every Thursday at Club Zanzibar in Santa Monica. Afterwards I highly recommend cruising down by the beach and checking out the sparkling lights on Santa Monica pier, blasting Deadmau5 and screaming at the ocean, as good for the soul as a night spent dancing to reggae.