It's not all about the music: Dubkasm


Written by James Ratcliffe
10 Monday 10th March 2014

Describe a typical day in the life of Dubkasm, do you have any daily rituals?

9-5 daylight hours. No smoking inside the studio. A midday lunch. Lots of water! Pretty much the opposite of a stereotypical 'reggae studio day'. Boring I know but we tend to get a lot done!

Being a DJ often means a lot of travelling around the globe. Have you ever made an impulse decision once having visited a foreign country?

As soon as we landed in Kiev in the Ukraine (pre the current crisis!) Digistep and I took one look at the snow and started an immediate snow ball fight, we ambushed Solo Banton who shouted sternly 'don't get snow inna mi beard!'

Stryda, your legendary radio show, Sufferah's Choice Show, has been running for 18 years, but who has been your favourite guest to have on the show?

There's been so many but a definite favourite is the late Augustus Pablo. It was a real honour to meet such an inspirational figure of reggae music. He gave some answers that have stayed with me all these years and influenced my life and our Dubkasm music.

A highly debated question I'm sure, but which stand do you think serves the best jerk chicken at St Paul's Carnival?

Ha! Well I don't eat meat so I wouldn't know. I tend to stick to the ital corner where Negus Melody play each year on William Street. Good wholesome veggie food, smiling faces, no trouble, and great music.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Bristol? Any tips for our readers?

Maitreya Social - best veggie roast in Bristol. Also, go for the 'Easton Mess' desert, boom!

Can you give us the best film(s) you have watched recently?


Best book/comic?

The Slave by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

What was your favourite cartoon/tv show growing up?

He-Man! "By the powwwwwers of Greyskull!"

Which UK city(s) do you think has the best Dub scene?

Urrrm, Bristol! However, when I was starting out on pirate radio in the mid nineties the 'dub' scene in Bristol was fairly small, by the late ninties / early noughties it got even smaller and only a handful of us kept the flag flying. If we wanted a big soundsystem session we'd have to go to London. It's wonderful to see Bristol is now on top with regular well attended soundsystem sessions, numeorus radio shows, production outfits, labels and a growing number of people building their own sounds. It's great to see.

Which venue is your favourite place to play and party?

Has to be Trinity - perfect for playing soundsystem and it holds a lot of history for me. Digistep and I went to our first reggae event their back in 1992 plus my grandparents actually got married there! It's the home of Teachings in Dub.

Next month your playing at the United Nations of Dub weekender, what were your highlights from last year?

My highlight from last year was actually not going and seeing the birth of my baby son! We were booked to play and then my partner fell pregnant and the baby was due on that weekend so we had to pull out, he ended up arriving early April but couldn't risk missing it . Therefore I can't wait to attend this year's event, we're performing with our extended family member Solo Banton and looking forward to flinging down some fresh dubplates and linking up with friends from the international reggae world, lots of people flying in for this one.

What other festivals can we expect to see Dubkasm this year?

There's lots in the diary. Obviously things kick off early with the UNOD Weekender. There's some other exciting ones such as Rototom Sunsplash in Spain, Boomtown Fair, Glastonbury, plus Love Saves the Day here in Bristol. We also have a Dubkasm vs Gorgon Sound set at this year's Dour Festival in Belgium which should be a dubplate showdown!

Who are your heroes?

My dad.

If you could live in any era of history other than the present, which would you choose?

Definitely the reggae soundsystem world of the 1980's. Dread times, I was just that bit too young! 

What else can we expect from Dubkasm in 2014?

More releases - more big collaborations and remixes, more dubplates, more music!

UNOD Weekender
28th - 30th March 2014


Now in it's second year, the worlds only family friendly multi day indoor dub, roots and reggae festival, the United Nations Of Dub Weekender (U.N.O.D Weekender) is back at Pontins 'Prestatyn Sands' self catering holiday park in North Wales from 28th - 30th March 2014 for another instalment of bass fuelled fun and games featuring over one hundred of the biggest artists and sound systems out there.

Spread over six indoor arenas there is a steady supply of music from midday to 5am, including an indoor heated swimming pool. The other five rooms are all housed in the main Pontins building and are split into two 1500 capacity arena's which are used for the main sound system sessions, the live P.A's and DJ sets from the world class artists, there are also three smaller arena's which are used to host the 'Selectors Stage', cinema and education zone.

More information and tickets can be found on their website:

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