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Dub Creator

Arno Goldstein, better known as Dub Creator, one is of most frequent associates of well known soundsystem and label King Shiloh, apropos their belonging label Majestic Music. About his past, and about what's he's doing now, and what he will be doing in the future - we talked to him directly.

You visited Croatia less then a year from now and had your play in Mocvara. How do you like it here, who do you know of croatian scene, and what did you like the most?

I surely like Croatia, like the people quite relaxed. There weren't too many people at Mocvara, but I had fun and it seemed the people liked my show. The vibe was very nice. Had a good time there especially with Vrki(RDK). Man can have a good laugh with him, but also serious talk. Also the hospitalty of Vedran(RDK) was much appreciated, and on the day I left Ilko(Bass Culture) cooked some very nice grilled fish.
I hope to come back in Croatia for another show. Vedran asked me back then for the summer festival as well, but haven't heard anything yet from him.

Your career is tightly connected with King Shiloh, who helped you cut your first 10'' "Red Light" that's published on Unity Sound records from New York, with singers Ras Milo & Idren Natural singing over it. How do you look back at those times when you were just starting? What do you remember the most?

Well, I was already active for about 10 years before I linked up with King Shiloh. But it wasn't roots I was doing, but more like downtempo with big reggae influence. In that time I had a big portion on MP3.com. So at a certain point I started to build roots riddims still without singers and I gave DAT to Shiloh, and not long after that Bredda Neil contacted me that I Natural and Ras Milo were in Amsterdam, and if I had some time to have them over in the studio to try and do something. I didn't have any riddim for them at that moment, so in the evening the day before they came I built the 'Red Light' riddim and 'Mediation' riddim. They voiced it the day after and Red light became a hit. I Natural gave it to Aba Shanti I as well, and Shiloh played it in heavy rotation. From that point on the ball started to roll, and Shiloh crew and I became a team. So I have to thank I Natural, Milo and The Shiloh Crew for their help. Without them I would probably still be doing downtempo electronic stuff.

After "Red Light", you worked with Lyrical Benjie on, nowdays, legendary "Ten Plagues EP. Can you tell us more about enviroment in which "Ten Plagues" was created, and perhaps explain, if you think it's necessary, why it became such an hit at the parties?

Yes, Lyrical Benjie, Shiloh's MC. The "10 plagues" riddim was built in one evening. So I called Neil and said that I have a nice new riddim. Couple of days after he passed by the studio with Benjie. Benjie listened to the riddim, and emmidiatly started to improvise on it with this great hookline 'There Shall be 10 plagues'. So he just took place in front of the mic and voiced it in one take. It was just good vibes. Sister Nadia voiced some harmonies, and I had Jamaico play some percussion on it. Dunno why it became such a hit, but I guess it's in the wicked hookline Benjie voiced and the bassline.

You also contributed a track on Lyrical's debut "Rastaman Style" and you cutted full 12'' EP with roots legend Earl 16. Can you tell us more about this work, how it all begun and where did it lead you.

All credits for the linkup with singers go to King Shiloh as they have loads of contacts, we just teamed up as I have a dub specialized quality studio, and Shiloh have the heavyest sound system in Europe, so this was a logical step to get connected and built a good releationship.
So Shiloh can come to the studio to have them voice on my riddims and get exclusive tunes, and I get exposure through their soundsystem and releases on their Majestic Music label. For "Rastaman Style", Shiloh linked with good producers to contribute a track for Benjie's first LP, and they also invited me. Most of the vocals on the LP were voiced at my studio.
And yes, Earl 16... it was an honour for me to work with Earl. He's such a professional singer and heartical person. It was the same as with "10 plagues"... The vibes were there, and in one afternoon both tunes featured on the EP were voiced, and after that horns were recorded.

Recently you cutted an album "Igzabihir Yakal" with another roots legend Peter Broggs. Peter is, unfortunately, very ill right now, and there is little possibility that he will ever sing again. How do you feel about this record, considering all the things that happened to him? And how do you feel about the fact that you are probably the last producer that worked with such a blessed artist like Peter Broggs?

The release of Igzabihir Yakal was a strange situation. Peter is a good friend of Bredda Neil.
In 2002, Peter stayed at Neil's yard for a while and of course Neil brought Peter to my studio. Again a big honour for me, because when I was about 17 or 18 years old I use to listen to Peter's LP "Rise & Shine" a lot. Peter voiced the tunes on other riddims first, then the riddims on the LP. Last year when we heard about the stroke, Bredda Neil came up to me and asked if I would put together the tunes he voiced to release an LP in order to help finance some of Peter's doctor bills. Of course I agreed on that, and started to work on new riddims for his vocals, as I wasn't happy with the riddims he originally voiced on. Except for "Signs of the time". I wasn't able to retrieve the vocals from my backups, all 3 backups were damaged somehow. I hope that the profit from this LP is of some help for him, and I would really like to see Peter again in the future if possible.
Peter suffered a stroke and is slowly recovering. I can't judge if he's going to recover that good so that he can sing again. Also, he suffers from glaucoma, and his sight is very bad.
I would also want to thank everybody who bought the LP, and who worked on the LP for free like Jonah Dan, Shiloh Crew and Henk from Blue Mountain. It's a strange feeling that I'm probably the last producer that worked with him....but still if we all pray and show good vibes towards him, he might be able to sing again. And, of course, I encourage everyone to buy the LP, it's no profit, and it's for a good cause.

You are mostly inspired by artist like Jonah Dan and Russ Disciple. In what measure does these two shaped your music, and does they still have influence on you? Who would you point out as your inspiration beside them?

Well, Russ is my biggest influence, not really musical wise, but more technical wise. He's such a good producer. His sound quality is very, very good, and I strive to achive that as well. Disciples tunes are so very crisp and heavy. There was a review of "Igzabihir Yakal" in a German magazine that said that this LP could have been a Disciples production, and it was stated in a negative way, like I'm copying Russ, but I see it as the biggest compliment I could get. I think every producer has his reference, and for me that's Russ D. Also, he is a very nice person with whom you can reason, from whom you can recive great knowledge, and not only one about music. Me and my wife Nadia had the pleasure to have both Russ and Jonah over to stay at our yard couple of times, to see them work in my studio and to see them run a wicked session on King Shiloh soundsystem. Russ has such a great knowledge of sound. My other influences are Lee Perry, King Tubby and basicly just all producers, musicians and engineers that build tunes that I like.

Nowdays, Sister Nadia and you run your own label Asaiah. You recently cutted first 10'' single with Mika, Omar Perry and Sis Nadia voicing your riddim. How do you look at this label and where do you hope it goes in the future?

We started the Label Asaiah Records to be free in what we want to do, and have all finances, artwork and release schedule in our own hands. The label is named after our doughter Asaiah, she almost four years old now. We hope to put out loads of good music on this label. The first release was sold out in about two weeks and we had a repress. Originally, the A side with Omar Perry and Mika was released as CD single on Mika's "Only for Music" label with another riddim by Mika's band. Mika asked me to remix this tune for her album release, which will come out soon. I liked the vocals so much that I built a new riddim on the vocals and asked Mika if we could put it out on our own label. On the flipside, Sister Nadia voiced her cut. And we had hornsplayers, guitarist and percussionist in to complete the tunes.
Next release will be out soon and it features Lyrical Benjie.

What are your own plans for the future? What do you have planned to release for now?

As said in the above, we will try to keep on putting out tunes on Asaiah records.
Also there's a release planned on french label Lion Roots Music in June featuring Kenny Knots and Lyrical Benjie. There is a instrumental track on "Roots of Dub Funk 5" compilation published by Tanty Records. On King Shiloh label I will keep releasing also, and there are couple of tunes in the pipeline which will be released on Shiloh label.
At this very moment, I'm doing something completely different. I'm doing production & final mixdown for a France based electro/dub band called "Manipulators", who's CD single will be released in June. Other future plans are to records live drums instead of using digital drums in my tunes. I already did some experiments with it and it's gonna be nice. But first I have to finish loads of other tunes that are recorded already.

Do you want to say something for the end?

Thanx for the interview and I just want to say.... respx to everybody involved in the Roots, reggae scene and contibuting their thing. Special thanx to the Shiloh crew, Russ D and to my wife Nadia who takes care of our kids and has to cope with me sitting in the studio all the time.

Thank you!

igor kozličić // 24/05/2006

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