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Jah Warrior

Urban One Drops Outta London

In the late 80s I began to notice the use of warm snare rolls sampled in digital tunes, ”conscious” ragga tracks and dancehall 45’s…. even minimalist House tunes were getting into the act using reggae snares bursting into the middle of their sparse mixes to contrast the coldness of their minimalist landscapes….So from early digital tunes using ska , or Carlton Barrett Wailers crisp and ringing tuned snare tones, to “MLK in Dub” out of Xterminator studios, to Jah Cure’s cut of “I Know” (recorded under the pseudonym of Jah Guide for African Star label) , to Mafia and Fluxy and Gussie P, the use of sampled drum patterns from the 60’s and 70’s always sounded pleasing to the ear when set in a contemporary context.….The apparent anachronism worked perfectly, contrasting the cold driving force of the contemporary stripped digital form, brutal and urban, with the warmth and sense of depth and history, of the ska or early roots drum samples.

Steve Mosco spoke to me about his and Dougie Conscious’s early experiments in drum sampling being parallel to Hip Hop styles and sound collage techniques: For sure, Public Enemy had used an extreme array of diverse samples to awesome effect at the hands of Hank Shocklee and The Bomb squad, with “Fear of a Black Planet,” which was a ground breaking album without a doubt: In this case we weren’t talking about a brief conga rhythm from an old Blue Note Idris Muhammed album, or a brief and minimalist horn refrain from a Lou Donaldson album, no, what The Bomb Squad served up with Public Enemy in “Fear of a Black Planet” was a shredded and distorted soundscape, ripped and torn from a truly bewildering number of sources: A white supremacist voice, eerie and distant, might be set off by a confident and self aware Mikey Dread sample (“Riddim Full of Culture yah!”), looped and underpinned by a harsh snare from the JB Experience, suddenly cut off mid strength to be slashed through, clean, by a Buddy Guy or an eerie Lightning Hopkins blues lick. No sooner had your head adjusted to this disorientation, than totally incongruous death metal chords might suddenly roar out of your speakers. So when I first heard Jah Warriors “Dub from The heart” through Joey Jay, and when Aba Shanti’s Humble Lion spoke to me about Jah Warriors tunes as “futuristic sound collages”, I was intrigued to check them out further.

Tuning into Peckham’s deep roots and revives pirate radio station, Galaxy on 102.5 out of south London on a long Friday through Sunday night session….Conscious roots tunes coming at you, message music from resident DJ’s Nyah The Nightdoctor, Fisherman and others, interspersed with conscious spiritual advise from prominent members in the community……Again, Jah Warrior tunes were there, along with the Disciples, Gussie P, Paul Fox and Ruff Cutt Crew, Don Campbell, Peter Huningale, UK conscious music….. The sampling on the Jah Warrior tunes was different, and if anything, I’d compare it to the style and technique I’d heard on “Fear of a Black Planet.”…..whilst the other artists I previously mentioned sampled a snare roll here and there, and vocal snippet, this “Dub From The Heart” sounded to my ears more like Hank Shocklee’s “Drop the Bomb” style, in that almost entire drum tracks were taken for use. However, this was no steal. These drum tracks were radically re interpreted, spliced up and remorselessly shredded thru Dougie and Jah’ Warrior’s dub soaked consciousness, only to be rewound, and reworked to create a ghostly new landscape, full of echo and harsh treatments. They hadn’t created the original drum breaks, but in their own inimitable way, as Shocklee and crew had done before them, they made the emerging sound their own. The drum patterns had been so brutally reworked and the tones re-emphasised so as to create new sound forms and new rhythm patterns. I would say that “Dub from the Heart “Vol 1 and vol 2 and Dougie’s Hydroponics albums are the finest examples of a genre some have called “futuristic roots collage soundscapes” from the 90’s. These are excellent moody cut ups, creating endlessly fascinating rhythms, weaving through the consciousness of the listener. Also, whilst most dub records are undoubtedly heavy, some albums lack in character, or atmosphere. Either the artists let the coldness of the technology detract from an over all identity, or they can sound tired and un inspired, but these “Dub Fr om the Heart” discs were full of atmosphere, melancholy, dark, or aggressive and eerie. Conversely, they could sound uplifting and inspired. Dougie’s “Songs from The Grow Room” and “Let the Light Shine” were later releases out of Conscious Sounds, which continued this same formula.

Besides what is obvious from these works of Dougie and Jah Warrior is that they are works of love and dedication. It’s obvious that they’ve attended years of sound system dances, and in turn, condensed years of those attendances and influences into their work. A lot of live sound system dynamics have been transferred in to the sound on the aforementioned albums, huge vibration and shuddering basslines, harsh and crisp snares spiralling into distortion, dominating the sound first in flat tones, rising to a ringing, then oscillating into a humming bass drone, disappearing into the silence in a rain of whistling feedback. Pinging submarine tones, shredding rewinds are to the fore, making it seem at times as if the bassline is recorded underwater and needs some time to resurface, or that Dougie and Jah Warrior recorded in a cavernous valley or a subterranean lair rather than a small studio in North London!

And this after all, was one of the strengths of the new roots sounds outta Dougie’s Conscious Sounds Studio in North London, was that all the engineers and producers were sound system veterans, having attended roots dances for most of the 80’s, and could reproduce in the studio many of their experiences in the dancehall, so people half way across the world could experience the vibes they had heard. To take an example the biggest influence on all these new artists was Shaka. Shaka would have a tune on vinyl, but the way he played it in the dance with sirens, rewinds, weird sound effects, would be so radically different from original disc. The starting point, sound wise, of the disc on 45, would be radically different from the demons and angels Shaka would eventually coax, twist and wrest from its core, revealing the centre of its being. Shaka would twist and work the tune, until it gave up its spiritual secrets, its inner Gnostic wealth. This astonishing sound was the “Shaka treatment”, which was why live Shaka tapes have always been in such great demand, some customers preferring a live Shaka tape to a rare original 45 without the unique Shaka treatment. So this was the Conscious crew strong point, they took this sound heard in the Shaka dances as their departure point, and then worked from there. This is not at all to presumptuously say they surpassed the Shaka vibe: That was the vibe of the originator, and only Shaka could hold that crown, but their departure point was definitely carrying Shaka’s flame onward. The debt Jah Warrior and Conscious Sounds and Jah Warrior owed to Jah Shaka was huge, and this can be truthfully said of Mafia and Fluxy, ONU Sound, Ruff Cutt Crew,Gussie P and countless, countless others, even going so far as to influence funk sound system innovators like Daddae Harvey from Soul 2 Soul, and Junglist groundbreakers like Dillinjah and his Valve Sound label.

Then the later Jah Warrior records changed, quite radically. Gone was the deep and textured sample landscape, with their collage of spliced tapes, loops and cut up echoes, to be replaced by a strict, disciplined and austere sound. Harsh, metallic and urban. Stripped down to a digital one drop, and booming warped b lines that sounded similar to a lot of Junglist “ b” line pressure. An aggressive, urban metallic sound, strident and disciplined, stripped to the bone, and at its best moments, a perfect echo reply, and contemporary counterpoint to what was going on in the dark Drum and Bass world. That was not as inappropriate or anachronistic as at first it may sound, since many figures on the Junglist and Drum and Bass scene in UK had come out of the roots and culture sound system scene anyway. Coxsonne, Unity, Saxon and the Zulu warrior Jah Shaka had all influenced drum and bass innovators such as MC Navigator, DJ Kenny Ken, and Kemet Heavyweight sound, Congo Natty and many others. So the exchange of vibes, intentional or unintentional, consciously or unconsciously carried out, was obviously going to occur. Check this quote from Goldie’s autobiography, “Nine Lives” written with Paul Gorman: “On Saturday night I’d see the Rastas (and) hear the sound of reggae drifting from across the road…standing in front of a speaker listening to dancehall reggae…made me realise how real urban black music was….there I was one night, with my rum, in my sheepskin coat, sweating (and) the bass was ripping straight through me. I remember walking out and just being sick everywhere! The rawness of the sound and lyrics was challenging...hardcore lyrics about Babylon…those guys would take music and fuck with it…I got really turned on to music by those guys.” Consider the bass reflections of Drum and Bass innovator, Dillinjah, on his sound system grounding, education and origins: “The best thing about playing somewhere is watching the expression on people’s faces when they come in and feel that bass. You see them standing there holding t heir chests…unless you’ve grown up in the 80’s and went to hear Shaka and Saxon systems, you haven’t felt it before. Bass is something you feel, not something you hear.”

I’ll let Total Science have the final word on the dub origins of Drum and Bass tunes: “Bass for us is that essential drop. It’s the most intense thing…when the bass comes in; it’s a wall of sound you can’t escape from.”

Come in Jah Warrior!

It wasn’t so easy linking up with Jah Warrior, clearly a busy man. We scheduled a few times, but my life was moving quickly too, and a few of our meetings had to be cancelled. It was a sticky, hot day, no breeze, and a cloudless, blue sky. A good day to try to slow things down, play some music and talk. A good day to link up with the Warrior, Steve Mosco, a man who comes across as eminently unflappable, calm ,peaceful and composed. When speaking, he considered carefully before replying to the questions I put to him. Steady , with an obviously strong sense of purpose.

Steve’s opening words were apologetic, “I’m really sorry we had to cancel a few times, life has been fast! It’s always a busy day for me. I’ve been driving round London all day, and I’m just glad to ease off now and discuss the things you’ve asked me about, it’s the end of a hectic day for me.”

So what have you been working on recently, I asked?

”You know the artist Jah Mason? He’s a Bobo Dread in the Jah Cure, Sizzla style, and I’ve been working on some tunes with him, in the one drop style”

What of the warped bass sound you used on the “Dub From the Heart vol 1 and 2? I know that caused some adverse controversy amongst the orthodox roots cognoscenti, but I always loved the depth of it, and its contrast to the more orthodox sound of some of your other styles.

“Yeah, I loved it too. That bass sound was unusual, and no one else in roots was using it at that time. That vibe came from a Junglist influence, some Junglist tunes I’d been listening to, and people weren’t using that in roots. It was being used by lots of Junglists at that time, and I knew it could be used to good effect in the context of my rhythms. Roots and dub have given so much to Junglist and Garage, so why not a little bit of exchange of influences the other way?

So could we expect more of the same Junglist bass pressure in a steppers context in the future?

“No, that vibe was right at the time, but its time to move on now and I want to express some different sounds. So besides the Jah Mason, ive recently voiced some Alton Ellis, the legend, some more dj stuff due out, and hopefully there’ll be some Dennis alcapone tunes coming out. There’s also some unreleased Horace Andy stuff is in the vaults too.”

How did these old artists react to the harsh edge of the new UK roots sound and vibes I wondered?

“Well Alton is a little different from the others, in that he’s been in the business for so long, around 40 years, so he has been through every stage of this music, even before it was called reggae! He’s very versatile, and he just loves playing music and singing. He’s flexible. Besides that, he’s been living here for over 20 years, so lets say that he’s very familiar with different musical vibes, and what has been going on here in the UK.He’s aware of movement, change and progression in music, so the sound I was looking to express was no surprise to him. However, when you get artists like Peter Broggs and Prince Alla coming over from JA to cut tunes, they weren’t familiar with it at all .I think it was a real surprise to them what was happening here, and they just loved it. Let me tell you a good story about Prince Alla: when he first came over to the studio and met me and Dougie Conscious, he put on this tape of tunes he’d been working on back in JA, and , no disrespect to Alla, not at all, but lets say the material was fairly average lovers tunes. It just wasn’t saying a lot. He said, “Can we do something like this?” I don’t think he had any idea of the sounds people were getting into over here, so me and Dougie responded, “Yeah ok, but just have a listen to these tunes of ours” When we played them to him, his eyes just lit up, and he looked so happy! He just loved it! You have to remember this was some 3 or 4 years ago, and even at that time, there just weren’t that many dub tunes coming out of Jamaica, so I think he had just assumed that nobody was interested in the old sufferer’s roots tunes anymore, his old style of tunes! “

What’s your role on the records regarding engineering, production and playing of instruments?

“I do most of the computerised stuff, except Dougie (credited as A. Millgate, which is one of his writing names) who does the drums. I do everything else on the computerised side. Then of course, we have Hughie Issachar on guitar, who is a UK roots veteran.Hes a long time Shaka sideman, and Mad Professor too. He deserves more exposure because he’s very underrated.”

How is it working with Hughie Issachar?

“He’s a really good guy to work with, very easy going. Just a nice guy, you know?”

Could you tell me more about the heavy sample based “Dub From the Heart” albums?

“Well, that was great at that time, employing that approach to sound, which in its own way, was a parallel development to progression and attitudes in hip hop techniques. I loved it, but there’s only so far you can go with that formula, and I wanted to progress. I get a lot of enjoyment out of vocal albums and showcase now. “

Can I go right back now, and ask you about your early days back in the 70’s, and what led you to root and culture and dubwise?

“I was living in Manchester at the time, back in the 70’s.I started listening to reggae around 1973, and I went to my first sound system dance around 1974, but I cant say I knew that much about reggae then, you know? I understood that I enjoyed it, and I was just beginning to perceive some of the different styles available, such as lovers, roots, and dub. Then punk came along, and I started going to a lot of punk gigs around 1976, ‘77 and I remember, there were no punk records to play! Also, I was checking out the Rock against Racism movement, who were countering the pretty unpleasant growth of movements like the National Front , and they played roots too. So anyway, I’d go to these gigs, but what were the dj’s going to play before the gigs? There were NO punk records to play besides the New York Dolls and a few others, so these DJ’s would play dub and roots tunes. I mean what were they going to play after the New York Dolls?! Everyone was aware that John Lydon was in to dub, and besides, it was so avant garde, psychedelic even! (laughs) Also , most people into punk listened to John Peel, who always championed obscure roots music too. So I wanted to know more, and these tunes were just not readily available. The answer was sound system, so I started going to sound system sessions, which was the only way you were going to hear this music properly. So I was in to reggae before I was into punk, though I cant say I knew that much about it at that time, and was definitely looking for a way to get more into it, differentiating between the different styles you know? . Dub intrigued me then; as I said, it sounded almost psychedelic. Then I met people really into it, who explained all the different diverse threads of the style, the depth of it. So, by the end of 1977 or so, I’d left all the punk stuff behind. I mean, even by the time Public Image came along, who I know influenced a lot of people to get into roots and dub, I’d really left all that behind and got into reggae. No disrespect to Public Image at all, I realise when I listen to early ONU Sound, that Adrian Sherwood obviously got a lot of influence from those styles, but it wasn’t my thing by then. But you know, that’s fine, everyone gets their inroad into this music through different influences, so that all good.”

You’d left punk music behind by 77 or so, but had any of the attitudes remained with you?

“Well for me, punk as a musical interest was over by 1977 but perhaps one could say attitudes or influences stayed with me loosely, in the terms of relying on myself, doing things on my own regarding the running of the label, an independent thing. I realised early on in the game, there’s no one else but yourself you can rely on if you are running a small label!”

What about your work with the WAU! Mr Modo label in the late 80’s? (very early UK roots label, releasing Bim Sherman , Manasseh, and Jah Warrior tunes, as well as a large catalogue of minimalist, aggressive house tunes ) I remember loving the Napthali tunes released on that label, and your album, “Warrior Dub.” I was living in Hiroshima at the time they were released, and I remember they went down a storm in the smaller clubs which played a lot of heavy jazz, roots and funk tunes. People loved them, and they sold out fast at the local record stores. Yet when I came back to London in the mid nineties, they just weren’t anywhere to be found. What’s the story on these heavy 12’s?

“Yeah, those Napthali tunes were rough. That label was a venture run by the man Youth ( dub funk bass player from Killing Joke) I thought “Warrior dub” was a fine album, especially considering how un available roots music was in UK at that time. There has been a lot of talk about getting it re released , and a number of labels have approached me to get the rights to it, but none of their prospective deals have been of much interest to me. I hold the rights, so I might re release it one day. Its a shame that when it first came out it was so poorly marketed, so it just didn’t reach enough people. It was the same for the 12”, “Inna year 2000 Style”, which was excellent, with about four different cuts to the tune on the 12”. I think as far as WAU!Mr Modo was concerned, they concentrated more on marketing the Sound Iration and Bim Sherman tunes ( all done by Manasseh under a different name) at the expense of the Napthali and my dub tunes. Still, I have the rights, and who knows? They might be brought out of the Jah Warrior vaults in time!”

Then you went on to work with Napthali further with releases on the Jah Warrior label. I loved his vocal delivery, and message lyrics. Any chance you’ll work together again?

“Yeah that Napthali stuff. ….Which was incredible to me, I loved the guy’s voice and to be truthful, I’d love to voice some more stuff with him, but I don’t know where he is! It’s a bit of a mystery, and a lot of people ask about him, you know, they ask why I don’t work with him again. The fact of the matter is, I just haven’t been able to get hold of him and I don’t know where he is. I think he’s still around in London somewhere, but that’s as far as it goes. That’s a shame because his style is great, and it’d be excellent to work on some new stuff, but if I don’t know where he is……Well, that’s how it goes.”

Ok Steve, the key question, why is it that dub seems to have a life changing, hypnotic attraction for some people, which causes a strong attachment to the music, and a spiritual commitment?

“The appeal of dub is in the dynamics and sheer impact and spirituality of the sound. I remember speaking at length with Jah Shaka about this, about how people were so drawn to the depth and seriousness of the sound, even if they didn’t understand the full meaning of the lyrics. If anything, after all his years taking his sound system to the people, Shaka would know the reason behind people’s attraction to these sounds. Shaka’s response was this: even if people don’t understand the lyrics, they can tune into the beat. And that in itself is ok ; people just really, really like this music. It touches people, and its a universal thing, and it holds a universal message all over the world . it does touch people, people are in tune to its power. It has so much to say on every level. I think people can realise the depth present within the vibes and sheer power of the sound in comparison to a lot of other music forms, such as garage or house music. “

I remember Bunny Wailer stressing his belief that the union of the drum and the bass rhythm was a vibration set in motion at the time of creation, and that force had resonated onward since that time, and therein lay its primal and compelling attraction for people:

“Well, you cant argue with that! This is not a commercial music!”

What is your opinion about its obvious influence on the sound dynamics and” b” lines of Junglist, Drum and Bass, and Garage music?

“Reggae, specifically roots, dub, and let’s take it further, bass lines from roots sound system culture, have had a huge influence on Garage, Junglist, and Drum and Bass. It’s not only the b lines of course, but also in terms of the mixing and engineering techniques and sounds used in those forms.

The frustrating thing though for me, is that the reggae influence isn’t often acknowledged. Those genres have their roots in reggae, reggae engineering and reggae b lines, they do take a lot from reggae, and I wish they’d put something back into reggae: Especially if you listen to a lot of the early Jungle tunes, they’d take a bassline from a Tubby’s or Scientist disc, put a drum loop over it and that was it, there was the record, it’s there for you. Don’t mis interpret me here: I’m not saying they shouldn’t have done that, that is not my point at all, my point is regarding people in the media’s reaction to it. The media went mad over Junglist which of course is fine in itself, but the music that almost wholly inspired the form, is forgotten about, and not covered at all. That’s my point. Even the vocabulary of the genres comes from, or is derived from reggae: Hard Step, Drum and Bass, Stepping, and we all know where these terms are derived from? From version! Drum and Bass was always reggae’s term for version! “

Can you tell us some more about your travels in other countries around the world when you’ve taken your sound system to diverse audiences? How did they re act to you?.

“Yeah, I’ve taken the sound to a number of different places and the response is good. People are into it. I was invited to Israel, but I was sorry that I had to decline, due to the obvious tensions going on over there, but I’ve been all over Europe, USA…I played in Seattle. They’ve got their own strong culture over there, there is a lot going on there and I’ve got a following over there too. There’s a shop called Zion’s Gate who I deal with closely, and they keep me in touch with who is buying Jah Warrior music. Later I played in Portland, which is BSI territory. BSI is one of the biggest dub labels over there. They release a lot of extreme, hard music. It’s not always my style, but it’s good they are doing their thing with innovative music. Regarding Portland, there’s a good story to tell you, which was a kind of culture shock for me. In Europe when we play sound system, I’m used to people getting in to the vibes and the message, and stepping in the dance, roots style whilst in Portland people were feeling the music and getting in to breaking, Hip Hop dance styles, but as long as the people react to the sound, its fine by me! It’s all good.”

I’d like to ask you, since roots and dub have experienced a resurgence of interest in Europe since the early 90’s, do you think people in Jamaica are aware of what is going on?

“Ok, in response to your question, I’d have to separate between the Jamaican record buying public on the one hand, and the guys that actually produce and make the music on the other hand. Regarding the record buying public in Jamaica first, I very much doubt that they are aware of the roots scene in the UK at all, or even care about it. However, whilst I’m not sure at all if the music buyer cares about the UK scene, I have to say the artists, producers, engineers and studio men most definitely are tuned in to what is going on in London. London is the number two centre of reggae in the world after Kingston. London, is a major centre of reggae, because so many reggae artists pass through, there is a massive JA population here, and there are lots of reggae stores in London.UK is very, very open musically, and diverse. News does filter back and forwards to Jamaica about whats happening here. I think a lot of reason that so many dub and revive sides have been repressed now, is that word has got back to the producers that people are into this stuff again, so these old tunes from 25 years back, long considered old and unfashionable back in Jamaica, are being re pressed now.”

Tell us about the UK roots artists who kept the “flame burning” during the bleak period of the 80’s:

Of course, as anyone who has followed roots in the UK knows, a lot of it comes down to Shaka, cos he never stopped playing conscious music. He was THE most important figure in creating the demand, and inspiring the old JA producers to get out there stampers! There is a healty roots scene here now, but that wasn’t always the case!. When I think back to its low point, in UK , back in the 86/87, you could go to a Shaka dance, and count the people in there, there were so few people in the place! I’m not joking when I say there would be just maybe 20 30 people there! These were brilliant, absolutely firing sessions, but no one was going. That didn’t bother Shaka; to him it wasn’t about how many people were in the room, it was more about carrying on the works. There was just so very little new music being made in those days, and so very little available: virtually no roots or dub was being made in UK, except of course Mad Professor and Adrian Sherwood with his ONU Sound stuff. As for Jamaica, there was very, very little roots coming out at that time. I remember, round about the time I started my sound system, it really wasn’t worth going into the shops to check out tunes more than say, once a month! Digital dance hall was running things, sleng teng was at its peak. “

So where did you go to hunt out good roots music?

“ I used to go to Flash Forward in Camden Town which was a little shop run by some very committed guys seriously into roots music. They had an excellent selection of serious roots tunes.”

Yeah, I used to go there too. I remember Russ Disciples was a regular there as well. I heard one of the guys who ran the shop left to “find himself” in India!

“Where are they now? Who knows, but one thing for sure, they did a lot to keep the “flag flying” for roots in an underground way at least, during a very very dry period. As far as I know, one has a shop in Brighton, one guy still lives in Tottenham, and I think one guy runs a stall in Camden still. They definitely kept things moving in their own way. They didn’t give up on this music.”

Can you tell us about your entry in to the world of sound system?

“Pirate radio led me into sound system in its own way: Before I played sound system, I worked on a London pirate radio station .This was around 1984 or so….Tim Westwood, the Hip Hop impresario, knew about my record collection, knew what roots tunes I had, and he invited me to join. Tim Westwood liked my music, the listeners liked it, but I got a hard time from the other dj’s on the station, who just didn’t understand what I was aiming for at all, they didn’t get the roots side of it. Remember, at his time roots was not considered fashionable at all , and to them, a good, firing reggae tune would be endless versions of digital dancehall stuff, with pretty shallow lyrics, about their car, or biggin’ up their girlfriend or some such , which to me, is ultimately boring, endless cuts of what was then the latest dancehall tunes. On the other hand, I did my stuff sound system style, with an MC doing dj style, and these other guys on the pirate station just didn’t get it. Anyway, some Rastas and roots fanatics who had heard my broadcasts, and appreciated my selection invited me to join a Tottenham based sound system as a selector: they had a lot of equipment, and they knew I had a lot of tunes. A good combination. The sound system was originally called Humble Lion, then two years later, we changed the name to Jah Warrior. So this was all Tottenham black and white guys creating a sound together, so vibes were good. Nowadays, as anyone involved in the roots scene in UK will tell you, it’s a really racially open scene, which is great, colour is not so much an issue anymore, its whether the tunes themselves sound good! So we built it up from there, playing with most of the major sounds, Joey jay, Jah Tubby’s , Manasseh, most of the major sounds. Many of our sound crew just came and went, me and a few others stayed the course.”

So how did Jah Warrior label grow out of that scene?

“Well, the label emerged out of that scene, because we had so much music lying around, lots of dub plates we had used on the sound. First thing we put out was 22nd book, the Napthali track, and really, it blossomed from there, that was a successful track. In a way, it all kicked of from there, almost by accident! I have to say, originally I had no intention to start my own label, but we had so many exclusive dub plates around, so we wanted to use them! “

How do you view the future of dub in UK, and specifically your music? What are your favourite tunes from your catalogue?

“The Dub of the future? It’s down to technology, and how the technology advances and improves, which gives further depth and dimension to the textures, or layers of sound. Check out the progression of Russ Disciples stuff, a man I really rate as one of the best producers and engineers in England. His early stuff on Shaka label was good, but very raw. As his studio develops, so his sound gets deeper. Its the same with Dougie’s Conscious Sounds studio, which has progressed from a 4 track to 8 track to 32 track. The sounds they are releasing just get better and better. As for my music, you ask me which of my tunes is my favourite, well, I’d like to think about my future music. I’d like the sound to become warmer, using more live instruments and using subtle tones, such as flutes and other wind instruments.”

(Thanks to: Paul Gorman for "Goldie Nine Lives" quote, The Inner Sanctum and Bass Sekt Crew, Knowledge and Helen Jennings for the Dillinjah/ Total Science quote.)

© Greg Whitfield. January 2003.

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