Making roots Down Under

Making roots Down Under

BY KEVIN JACKSON
Observer writer

Monday, February 17, 2020

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Roots , the nine-song album by Australian singer and producer Dub FX, was released January 31 by Convoy Music Unltd/DubShot. Last week it debuted at number six on the Nielsen Music-monitored Current Reggae Albums Chart, with sales of 81 copies.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, Dub FX shared the direction of Roots, his fifth solo album.

“I called the album Roots because its a mishmash of all the music that I grew up listening to, as well as the fact that it has a rootsy sound compared to my other albums. I'm also releasing another project called Branches which is essentially me branching out into other genres such as drum and bass, house, pop and glitch,” he said.

Although he visited Jamaica a few years ago to record dub plates with Capleton, Jah9, U-Roy, Kabaka Pyramid and Horace Andy, Dub FX chose not to include any collaborations on Roots.

“My plan was to connect and build relationships for future original collaborations. For this album, I reached out to a couple of artistes but unfortunately, it was not the right timing. For my next project I will definitely come to Jamaica and record with some of the artistes,” he disclosed.

Born Benjamin Stanford, 36 year-old Dub FX has been in music for 15 years. Originally from Melbourne, he was a member of an alternative rock band called Twitch, which later changed its name to N O N. (Never or Now).

He discovered reggae later and counts the Marley brothers, Capleton, Horace Andy and Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock among his biggest influences.

“I first heard what I thought was reggae from a California punk band called Sublime. I showed my Dad and he just looked at me and said, 'That's not reggae'. The next day he came home with Legend, the album by Bob Marley and The Wailers, and that was the beginning of my journey. From there I discovered Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy, Burning Spear and several others. I later discovered the music of Buju Banton and all the new-school reggae and dancehall artistes. That was when my love for the music expanded,” Dub FX explained.

The reggae/dancehall scene in Australia is not as big and vibrant as in Europe and the United Kingdom.

“I'm from Melbourne and there are definitely pockets of musicians and reggae lovers but unfortunately the scene in Australia is very small compared to Europe or even New Zealand,” said Dub FX. “I believe its because Australia is a very white mono-culture and the music reflects that. People in Australia are into rock and techno more than anything else. I thought I was weird for loving reggae when I was growing up, but then when I got to the UK and Europe I realised most people love it.”


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