earlyW~Rm – Interview

Earlyworm 2


earlyW~Rm from Toronto, Canada, is one of the most interesting producers in Dub. His albums “Natty Droid” and (the most recent one) “The Dub Device” make clear, that he is a very fine artist when it comes to deep and heavy sounds combined with experiments. Creating futuristic sounds while firmly planted in Dubs earth earlyW~Rm has emerged with some heavy selections of bass thumping head turning Future Dub.

You are devoted to Dub. Where do you see the biggest potential in this genre?

I would have to say in the dance played on proper sound systems and because of its often atmospheric depths and layers I would also say it has great potential for film soundtracks or video games.

How did you get in touch with Dub for the first time? Is there something like an initial album or artist that caught your attention?

My mom had a boyfriend that moved overseas and left a huge reggae collection in her care. When I began to learn saxophone I used many of those records to improvise over, it was the versions that gave me the most room to play so I became very familiar with Dub sounds. If there was one recording I often went back to when I began producing Dub it would be LKJ’s “Bass Culture” with Dennis Bovell at the controls…  Lee Perry’s Super Ape , Scientist’s Heavyweight Dub Champion, King Tubby & Augustus Pablo’s Meets Rockers Uptown, Mad Professor’s Beyond the Realms Of Dub and Twilight Circus’s In Dub Vol 1 .

When I listened to your first album “Natty Droid” and tracks like “Dub Gardeners Guide” I had instantly the feeling that it had roots in the UK-Scene with artists like Alpha & Omega. Do you have a connection to these Dub-sounds?

With “Natty Droid” I wanted to be clear that I was attempting to push the envelope of the genre without detaching from it. The title track “crawling from the roots” summed it up, this worm was familiar with the roots of Dub but was venturing out wards, organically and positively.

You never really include vocals from known or upcoming artists in your productions. Is this some kind of principle in your work?

Not so much a principle but more of an idea. I say I’m into the sonics not so much the phonics of Reggae meaning my heart and driving force is in the sound power not so much the word power. When I began the goal was to see how far I could go within the laptop and when I wanted hooks and vocals I simply look to samples and treat them like any other instrument I would mash up.

What role do vocals play in your productions?

At the moment in my production vocal sounds and snippets play a big part of my sound. I use them to create hooks and atmosphere, sometimes they suggest words and that can even inspirer the title of the tune. I’m a huge fan of vocals don’t get me wrong its just that I’m doing Dub and in its truest form vocals are only something to mash and maybe remind the audience of the original track.

If you could pick any know artist to voice one of your tunes, who would it be? 

I would like to work with Soom T, Pupa Jim, Shanti D, Sista Bethasbee and for the classics sing jays and singers of the them times like Trinity, U-Roy, Martin Campbell, too many to mention really and many have passed on…. Working with vocalists may well be the next level for me so I’m open.

Canada is not really a big player in the world of reggae and dub. Isn’t it a bit lonely to work there?

I would have to say yes it is but I’m glad I connected to my bro Jesse Dubmatix King and now some local sound systems…like Pressure Drop and Dub Connection Sound… together we are building a new CanaDUB.. ha!

You are among the artists of Renegade Media, a label by Dubmatix who lives in Toronto as well. How did you guys meet and what do you like about Jesse King aka Dubmatix musically?

I first learned of Dubmatix over 10 yrs ago. I knew I wanted to go deeper into producing music on a computer specifically Dub and when I joined a few online communities such as Reggae Dubwise and the DubRoom I learned that he was having a remix contest and was even more surprised to learn he was from Toronto. I submitted a mix and was one of the winners. From there we had a connection.

Where do you see similarities and differences in the approach towards creating music and sounds between you and Dubmatix?

Although I’m not so familiar with Dubmatix creative process I do know that we have some things in common. We both come for a musician background and both have a fondness for certain genres such as Drum&Bass, Acid Jazz and of coarse Dub. Where I have enjoyed working with in the confines of a laptop Jesse doesn’t seem to hesitate when I comes to using certain outboard gear and even musicians and vocalists. In the end we want the same thing,a lasting heavyweight sound.

Are there any projects in the pipeline right now that keep you busy? What is to be expected next after the release of “The Dub Device”?

I must say I have a habit of over extending myself when I comes to taking on projects having said that I am excited to be working with up and coming French vocalist Sista Bethasbee and as well Dubmatix and I are always talking about doing some tracks together I was recently given the honour of being asked to do a remix for Zion Train, I would gladly work with Neil again…

Interview: Karsten Frehe (09/2013)


About Karsten

Founder of the Irie Ites radio show & the Irie Ites Music label, author, art- and geography-teacher and (very rare) DJ under the name Dub Teacha. Host of the "Foward The Bass"-radio show at ByteFM.