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matt shuter
Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 12:26 am:   

has anyone here heard of artists like pole or kit clayton?
they are taking elements of traditional dub and infusing them with self-constructed computer programs that allow them to do wild dsp tricks and algorithmic music. i know that kit clayton uses a program called max\msp that allows you to build instruments using very low level components. he basically codes an algorithm that can make a constantly evolving dub track. i think it's fascinating, but i can imagine that some of the more 'old school' dubbers would find this artificial. i'm using a program called reaktor to do basically the same thing (albeit less successfully). what do you guys think?

oh yeah, i HIGHLY recommend you all check out pole's album called "3" and kit clayton's album called "nek sanalet".

Mike Zee
Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 05:55 am:   

all depends on what the producer puts down at the end. Is the producer a skilled computer programmer or is he just a lucky garage-sale shopper in hunting for the 'tools' - it does not matter at all, as I can tell...

on Pole (3) - it has really nice'n deep sounding segments of dub, but really for the overall focus and main meat fo this art I'd would define it as experimental noise/groove. The good thing about the album is that it is very solid, another words, the author knows what he wants, not just messing around with what ever may come out. I really hardly call it dub thou. There's not much there for dub-listener, while there's allot there for experimental electronic music listener.

/Mike Zee

Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 10:12 pm:   

yeah, it's a stretch to call it dub, but i can't think of any other influence in his music that is more dominant. (except for experimental techno, of course)

you really think there isn't much there for the dub listener? i think most would find quite a few things to like about it... as long as they weren't expecting a king tubby record. : )

Mike Zee
Posted on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 11:42 pm:   

Matt, this conversation links to general discussion about 'what is dub' :), well, again and again. So just trying not to go THERE, if it is possible, I'd say: General (or most) dub listener expects (or better yet to say demands) pretty much clear riddm/groove - this is like something absolutelly must, to sound itself (from instrumentation point of view: ie is it traditional reggae-band based track or electronic instrument/sample-playback sequenced track) is a secondary element, but it just has to be "generating to ridm/groove in your face".
If it does not, or if the groove is sort of "washed off" or way too blended into ambient/or what ever other possible sound environment (noise, chanting, sound effects etc etc), then a 'dub-listener' simply feels that the production does not CUT THROUGH, sort of speak, if not to say more: dub-listener simply may have a real hard time to go through ambientish/noise slow-morphing segments of development - it's just plain boring, you know what I mean.
If I would write review of "3" I would recommend this album to ambient/experimental/noise-groove listener, but not to dub listener.
Of course, there's no such thing as 'ideal pure dub-listener', people may like/enjoy vary musical genres/styles the same time.
I think, when artist creates some sort of fusion-production, the only way to try to define it is to try to hear/see/feel the main foucus (which I call as "Main Carrier Of The Artistic Expression") of the production, like album as a whole. Another words, dub isn't really the instrument of expression for Pole, but sound-design, blend of noise and sounds, developing this blend into groove IS.

/Mike Zee

Sata Weeva
Posted on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 12:42 pm:   

Most electronic music these days just sound cheap, to me. 15 years back when House and Techno started (or emerged from the underground) the use of synths and samples seemed innovative. But nowadays too many ppl are making electro music becoz they can not coz they have anything to say or real talent.

One of the great things about Dub is its mixture of organic and electronic. Putting well played and well written songs thru electronic devices (controlled by madmen :) ) takes the sound to new ground. With "electronic dub" it tends to be electronics thru electronics, the contrast and tension is lost.

I think it takes something special to make electronic music sound worthwhile. Usually it takes the charisma of the programmer to fuel it and guide it somewhere good.
There have been performers who make very basic songs using basic synths and overlaying seemingly nonsense lyrics and yet their charisma carries it.

It's what you put into your endeavours...


Posted on Sunday, February 02, 2003 - 10:02 pm:   

ah... i see what you mean mike zee.

in my case, i've grown up with experimental music and recently started moving into dub territory. i guess the reason i can't see why a lot of dub listeners would find this kind of music strange or alienating is because it all seems so natural to me. if i had started out with dub and then moved onto pole and kit clayton type music i'd probably think of it quite differently.
i wasn't trying to start an argument over what dub is or isn't, but merely bringing up a topic that might spark people's interest in more noisey\ambient music.
haha, maybe i'm on the wrong messageboard. :)

Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 09:38 am:   

matt, you're on the right message board. welcome.. ;-)

Mike Zee
Posted on Monday, February 03, 2003 - 12:28 pm:   

Right! This b-board actually maybe the only place (as I know) where you have a chance to discuss this specific question/issue with somebody who sort of care and sort of knows what he/she is talkin' about. Well, there are couple dub-related boards also where dub-hads are hangin' around, but you most likely will get either some sort of "This is absolutely No-Dub"-reaction or simply guys will have no idea what you're talking about, it's like: "Talk about Lion-King or don't talk at all"-type of places ..heh heh :)
Sure there are prolly many electronic music discussion-boards out there where you may find the whole bunch of people who do deeply appreciate Pole and similar producers, but as for my experience, most guys (with maybe few exceptions) in electronic music communities have a very "windy"-image if any idea at all about dub-music, its history, culture and fan-base.

So, just what Daniel (Interruptor) said: "You are in the RIGHT place" :)

/Mike Zee

Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 07:59 am:   

this place seems extremely knowledgeable... and friendly, too!
i think i'll stick around. :)

Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 10:58 am:   

I-tings all,

I just found this board a couple a days ago, looking for sources of dub-formation and I gotta comment on this electronic/organic question some small. I've been working on a dub project with a couple of guys, doin' live drum + bass tracks and then layering stuff on top of it. Even though we are recording on pro tools, we decided that on this one there'll be no sequencing, no digital editing (such as copying or cutting sections etc.) I don't know if that makes any practical sense (playin' riddim guitar track for 5 minutes, when a 4-second loop would do), but somehow I feel it right on some emotional level for the more rootsy riddims.

Anyway, the other guys working with me are also very much into electronic dub, whereas I'm more of a roots man in my tastes, and this has had me thinkin' about why it is that live riddims appeal to me more. This is something that is difficult to put in words, because the reasons are not necessarily very tangible, but I'll try anyway.

I've identified at least two factors. First is that I love that skanky, swingin', booty-bouncing feel of a live riddim track, that not-exact-but-perfect groove connection which rarely exists in electronic music (actually, I just got Scientist's 'Rids the world...' album and found even those riddims - live by Root Radics! - a bit too straight and somehow 'sterile' for my taste. I guess sayin' that makes me a dub heretic, but what can you do...)

The other thing is more abstract, more esoteric and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with music. I just feel personally, that listening to a live riddim, I get to experience a little fragment of what those players experienced in that recording studio, laying down that track, I can imagine the sweat on the drummer's brow, the bassman diggin' deep on those strings, the guitars and keys skankin', everybody feeling good about kickin' some wicked styles... And I personally just don't often get that extra something - a vibe, a connection - listening to sampled stuff. I'm not saying that I lacks soul because it's not played by real people - I know that real people are behind the music, no matter what the tools - but I just feel that for me, that more immediate connection between the players' vibe and my listening experience gives something extra that I feel very deeply.

One love,


Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 01:45 pm:   

It's the key to transmit good vibes.
Because music is human and when a musisian is playing he enjoy it,it's a sexual/ mystical stuff!
You can feel it in the music.
It is my personnal mean for "groovin'",it doesn't mean you don't respect the tempo : your are doing
the same thing but you never do the same thing(especially in reggea music!)
This contradiction is the musician feeling and i think that reggea is a lot off feeling with a
apparent simple compo.

Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 03:45 pm:   

well said rootzilla.. i find myself with the same feelings about sequenced vs. live rhythms.

Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 05:52 pm:   

Quoting Aleph:

"it doesn't mean you don't respect the tempo : your are doing the same thing but you never do the same thing"

Exactly. With some of the best grooves, the time and the tempo are at the same time very exact and very flexible, yuh stretch it a likkle, yuh crunch it a likkle, all inna rightful place.

One love,


Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 10:42 pm:   

Perhaps u feel the same thing i feel with 4/4
based music rootzilla(it's difficult to explain for me in english):when i hear/play reggea music(for me it is the skank) the first measure got his own way
to be played , the second one.....
THe fifth one is like the first one.....
It's really a magic circle isn't it!
My favourite is the fourth one ,it's like an end
going to the beginning!
The time runs always at the same speed but i
feel like a "time zoom" at this place.(probably hard for you to follow me(:-))

Posted on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 02:33 am:   

Yes, good points Rootzilla. Each person's mood and pulse is different, every day, and so no two performances will ever sound exactly alike. This is what I think makes recording live playing - with all its imperfections - infinitely more exciting than loops (not that loops can't have their place). No group ever plays in perfect synchronicity, and it's those little tensions -- who bends a guitar string exactly the same way twice? - that make it all worthwhile. Peace to all. Dan

Posted on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 03:03 am:   

Aleph, what you said the second time, although it was quite crazy, actually made sense to me. :)

Personally, I am only a fan of the old stuff; practically all the music I listen to is 60s/70s Jamaican stuff. I find "electronic" music of all types to be quite difficult on the ears.

A large part of it is definitely the improvisational feel, and the fact that, at times, it can sound like a band jamming and a few mics lieing around the place.

The natural feel of the music is a large part of what i enjoy about it. Even though there are a lot of overdubs on a lot of the stuff I listen to, I think the lack of quality makes it sound better.

Good stuff indeed.


Posted on Wednesday, February 05, 2003 - 02:23 pm:   

I love this 60/70jamaican music too(ethiopians,upsteters...)
Some people say i'm crazy but that's why i use deck
, recorder.. from this period ,this lack of quality
is in the sound too.

Posted on Friday, February 07, 2003 - 09:47 am:   

Aleph for me it's not lack of quality but WARMING THE SONG!!

Sequanced VS Live... impossible for sequanced to win.. or perhaps with "Humanization" (i just discovre today in my tracker...)

And electro have a DIFFERENT vibes than acoustic or sampled accoustric sound.

You can love both.. both can be based on the same rythm but the vibes and the feeling is totaly different!!

Happy to read all your text dubhead!

Jah bless,

soon open :

Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 07:41 pm:   

Off course these songs are warmy !But not as "clean" as today productions.
"Humanization" cannot produce a musician feeling
because his effect is aleat.
respect, aleph

Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 09:02 pm:   

Yes I,

Aleph, I don't know whether it is always like that, from 1st to 4th bar, but yeah, that is one very strong cycle in much of western popular music (I don't know about the other traditions). But in addition to that, I think one of the things that makes live riddim breathe in an unique way is that all the players observe these cycles (one-bar, 2-bar, 4bar, 8-bar, 16-bar etc.) in their own way, and at the same time, are affected by the other player's interpretations of these cycles in real time. So, say the bass player is feeling the 8-bar cycle strong, and all of the sudden the drummer does an accent in the end of the 4-bar. The bassist catches on with the drummers feel and that creates unique tension and release... I don' tknow, this is getting really involved...

For me as a listener, however, equally important is actually the _thought_ of the people playing in the same room. Like bin_ez wrote, you feel like you're almost eavesdropping on the people playing, getting that small snippet of reality packed into the time capsule we call record...

As far as the 'lack of quality' argument goes... I think part of this is also the same kind of romantic association as with the previous point. When we hear the old time dubs with all their imperfections and the 'warm' sound (which is produced by the old equipment because the engineers could not make it to reproduce sound accurately, anyway) we associate that sound with some sort of idealised vibe we want to equate with 70's Jamaica. We want to hear that exotique, we want to hear the 'old Jamaican' sound, because it lets us to live likkle bit of our own idea of what those times were like, project our own fantasies a bit...

One Love,


Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 09:24 pm:   

I agree with you aleph and rootz, and it's not only exotic spirit of 70's but it's really sound more beautiful, for me...

Yes but humanization+MIDI is the best to emulate a group.. and i'have got no backband.. so i do with what i have ;)

See you,


Posted on Monday, February 10, 2003 - 10:20 pm:   


Yeah, it sounds beautiful too... But why does it sound beautiful? Is there such a thing as absolutely beautiful sound? What I'm saying is I think at least in my case I assign beauty to certain sounds but I'm not sure whether this has that much to do with the sounds themselves or with the associations they bear...?

If ya want an analogy, think about language. A word might sound ugly, as far as the actual _sound_ of that word goes, but at the same time it might evoke positive feeling because of the things the hearer associates with it. Anyway, this is esoteric stuff, I just often think about how much of the value we give to certain type of the music is actually due to musical as opposed to extramusical factors.

Btw, I'd use some sequenced tracks without humanisation (to establish the ground zero) and the record rest of the tracks played by humans... A good bass player can make a drum machine swing, they say (I wouldn't pretend to be able to do that myself:)).

One Love,


Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 09:14 am:   

Nice rootzilla and does it one of your tracks online ? i want to hear you ?



Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 01:34 pm:   

I was working with midi sequenced instruments and
real drums(ddrum4) and guitars(sometimes melodica and real bass).i found it difficult :all machine it needs ,for drumer to "groove"on a tempo indicator.
Today i have to rebuilt a home studio alone(a all analog one) i just need a few mics more to finish it .
No more sequence,sync,synth and stuff like that just friends of me comming with their good sounding instru(real drums,fender rhodes....)playing in overdub and a few basic ideas of the song on my computer.
Today I'm bored with these expend., sequencers, computers...
I just want life!

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - 04:33 pm:   


I don't have anything online yet, I'm just working on a project, prolly gonna be some 8-9 tracks, inna more roots stylee... I'll let ya know when...


Irie vibes, man, good players wit good gear and positive vibration make for a good source to mutate... Bless.

One Love,


Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - 03:20 pm:   

To get these positive vibration i have a small trick:I let play the musician couple of hours
on the song and i record while the musician don't
know it's recording!
I often get a more "relaxed" part ,because even good musicians are sometimes troubled by the red light!(:-)

Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 07:49 am:   

Rootz, so i must wait for your release ;) Yes you seems to do Rootical vibration.

Aleph, i have hear this tricks in an other forum and i think it's good tricks if you have your own studio but if you go record with your band you don't have time to do that ;)


helix resonator
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2003 - 10:41 am:   

(I realize this is months after you guys had this discussion, but I just read it so...)
I think if someone truely appreciates dub and understands its rich history then they should embrace the modern evolution of this music and see the connections between things like dub(in all forms), experimental electronic music/idm, jungle, d&B/jungle, nu-jazz, abstract hip-hop, noise and even grind/crust punk. Why alienate ourselves and put up more walls between things that essentially stem from the same subculture of revolutionary and artistic roots? Dub has always been about moving foward, pushing boundaries, and dissolving the conventions that keep people from freeing their creative energies. Dub was like Jamaican dadaism when it emerged, leaping out into cerebral realms that may have initially appeared nonsensical to many of the more conservative musicians, producers, and listeners at the time. Then they began to realize that Dub was MODERN music with almost esoteric qualities worth cherishing and supporting. Of course the classic are just that: straight WELL WICKED CLASSICS!! And I even attempt to lay down the more rootsy dub vibe in my productions from time to time. And don't get me wrong, I really dig plenty of artists who can emulate the retro-dub stylee so damn well(e.g. bands like Dry&Heavy, Twilight Circus, nuff respect). But do you think King Tubby would want us to just continue trying to mimic what he and his collegues already mastered, or do you think he would want us to take those golden influences, combine that with influences from a variety of other artistic, musical and political leanings and make music that reflects the era we happen to be in? Yuh know, music from 2003!! Future Dubwise a fi rule, SEEN!! In the now, artists like Pole are about as DUB as it gets ya'll! Soo much dub, with loads of soul! The Tubbs would be not only proud of these kinds of innovations, he would probably be right along side 'em if not leading the way! So give 'em a good hard listen cause that's where dub is today. Plenty of artists--Rhythm and Sound, Monolake, Ben Wa, Dubloner, Acroyear, Polycubist, SystemWide(and all my homies at BSI records!! what's up Ezra!), Alter Echo/Sound Secretion, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Smith and Mighty still rockin', Peace Orch., Theivery Corp., Groove Corp., Little Tempo, Audio Active, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line is, with dub there should be no limits; use real instruments, use synthesizers, use sequencers, use computers, use top-of-the-line gear, use ratty old junk for gear, circuit bend old toys, thrash around in your house banging on the floors, walls, furniture, doors & dishes and record that then cut up the various noises and sequence them into dub riddims, run your mixes out of an old ghetto-blaster into an empty dumpster with a mic inside to rerecord and use as some real "trashy" reverb, i don't know, use whatever's available and combine whatever elements that sound interesting together. Dub is about being resourceful not discrediting it if you don't have a fisher-reverb space X-pander or a 30 yr old tape echo and a studio full of anolog gear on hand.
peace and unity!!
Jacob I, aka Caper1, aka Miosotis, aka Lt. Lunatico from the Helix Hub currently in Ellensburg WA, soon to be back in Mexico for a stint and then set up again in Japan.
ps-this is the best site I've ever visited about dub(props to the interrupter and your music too), I'll surely be in and out as long as it's around!!

pss--Matt Shuter and anyone else interested in artists similar to pole (with perhaps less if any dub leanings but essential nonetheless) should check out my friends from Japan who work with me from time to time on my dub projects(Bersatu, now Helix Resonator). Their names are Aoki Takamasa(Progressive Form label) and Takagi Masakatsu(DaisyWorld Discs, Cutting Edge, Carpark, etc.) each with their own respective solo projects, however in the past they were the great audio visual team known as Silicom(also on Progressive Form). For more experimental electronic music check out out of SanFran and artists like Venetian Snares, Jake Mandell, Ziq, Kinder Atoms, Obelus, Karlheinz Stockhausen(the father), John Cage and the more obvious ones like Autechre, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Scanner, Plasticman, Plaid, Boards of Canada, etc...

lp original g
Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - 03:16 am:   

Hey my name's lp, I'm looking for the one they call helix resonator, we met in BC over a year ago an kicked out some jams and now i'm lokoing to collaborate on some new projects, if you see this give me a shout or if you are reading this and know his email message please forward this to him.
-lp original g

Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 05:28 pm:   

I was glad to hear Rhythm & Sound getting a mention. What they are doing has lead to some of the most deep and bewitching music I have heard in years. That bone deep techno sound of Berlin fused with Dub arrangements is jaw-droppingly good.

Those Basic Channel people are making dub music sound so fresh and modern but still retain everything that makes it such great music in the first place.

I've started picking up some of the Wackies back catalogue that BC has remastered and reissued. Very good.

hello to you all :)

Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - 11:18 am:   

experimental electronic dub is FANTASTIC.

if you have any doubts, go and find any record by Deadbeat or Jan Jelinek. true soul music.

Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 12:51 am:   

talkin about pole's "3" - i still love "uberfahrt"

and the R'n'S guys - well talkin is pointless in this case

instead : just do yourself a favour and explore:

my personal fav is mr. thorsten profrock with his releases for Chain Reaction/din

Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 02:26 am:   

btw: pole CD for Mute is horrible ,imho.
well produced ,ok - but nothin more.
Betke goin' commercial or just "artistic progress" ?

Mad Musicologist
Posted on Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 05:10 pm:   

I-ses !
live playin' vs. electronical instrument dem a crucial questshan fi ask.
is it really yuh feel different vibrashan wid' live instrument dem jus' becoz dem a sound live, or is it dat yuh would need nuff wicked sequencer fe get in all a dem modulshan in tune an' timbre. Is clear dat a hard fe imitate a Sax live soun' wid' a sequencer software.
But if yuh don' 'ave live musishan dem fe play yuh songs yuh haffi try to get yuh sequencer to play yuh stuff as "natural" as possible. Dis is what I did in my collecshan "Tek da Riddim !"
Naw dem soun' effect dem will add eventually a whole lot a modulashan dat a compensate the lack of "live playin'" quite well.
Still I would have been lucky fe 'ave a fine band
playin' me music an' I do da mix afterward wid' all a dis digital wicked wondermachine dem like interruptor's ekochamber dem...
In old times I a try fe start a project wid' some musishans, but di best a dem a return a dem african home countries an' so the "Militant Rockers" a dissolve after recording 3 song.
Maybe dis a di reason fi I fi re-start completely digital an' nuts an' mad until I PC start smoking like I waterpipe.....:-)
An still, I think I music soun' a likkle roots.

So keep on rocking dis 'eavy beat from di heart an' let no bad feeling get over yuh.
Love an' Respect .
Mad Musicologist

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