Join the dub

Salmonella Dub Soundsystem.

Salmonella Dub Soundsystem.

DUB DOUBLE DOWN: The Salmonella Dub Soundsystem prepares to showcase in Gisborne the first bundles of its new dance floor friendly tunes, fresh from the band’s Hapuku studio in Kaikoura. Picture supplied

In the beginning was the drum and bass/reggae/roots sound of Salmonella Dub and it was good. For more than two decades the band took its dub, rock, jazz/dub horns, drum ‘n’ bass, electronica and reggae blend to concert halls and stadiums across the world.

Now this way comes Salmonella Dub Soundsystem with the first bundles of tunes for a new album they are about to showcase as part of their “tease” tour.

The Salmonella Dub Soundsystem is Salmonella Dub’s d-floor-friendly little brother that has been around for 10 years.

“It was initially a party vehicle to complement what we were doing as Salmonella Dub,” says band co-founder/guitarist/singer Andrew Penman.

A gig might end at midnight so the band would relocate to a venue such as the St James Theatre on Auckland’s Queen Street.

“The Salmonella Dub Soundsystem is more of a club show but a live five-piece with three horn players that hark back to the jazz era. It means we meet the club market alongside bigger events.”

The Salmonella Dub Soundsystem’s show at Smash on Monday will feature Andrew Penman aka Dj Rudeboy on the mix, with Mighty Asterix on vocals and the band’s epic live horn section. Also on the “tease” tour are Laughton Kora, and Dj Mant. Buckle up too for a sonic mash up of the Salmonella Dub back catalogue that includes album tracks and remixes of Sal Dub anthems from Dreadzone, Zion Train, Groove Corporation, Dub Fx, Adrian Sherwood, Dj Digital, Tiki Taane, Dj Mu (Fat Freddy’s Drop) and more.

What’s more, mindful we’re back at work after the long weekend the act will start at a “civil hour”.

“We’ve learned over the years to pace ourselves,” says Penman.

Touring for two years was hard on relationships between band members; loading gear at 2am after a show was exhausting. Despite the romance of touring there was no time to see anything.

“We now play to our strengths and keep everyone happy.”

Like other musicians in the band Penman keeps himself grounded with — almost surprisingly given the band’s success — a day job.

“I’m a teacher and youth counsellor and a father of a 12-year-old. Part of Salmonella Dub’s longevity is because we come home and we’re people.”

The band marked its 25th birthday last year with the release of a vertical deluxe flap box set packed with ten 12 inch vinyl albums (eight hours of music, basically) that were pressed in Berlin, and a pictorial book.

After starting up in 1992 during the era of grunge and dance music Salmonella Dub derived the band’s name from the “bad-taste” dub cover versions of songs they performed among their original tracks. This enabled them to push the thin end of the dub/roots/reggae wedge into the New Zealand music scene.

Polynesian reggae group Herbs was among pioneers of the distinctive Pacific reggae sound but Salmonella Dub picked it up and infused it with jazz and electronica. The then-three-piece also gave their distinctive sound a nudge with some home-grown electronic effects.

“We wanted a sampler, so I hotwired a cassette deck to a guitar pedal so we could drop samples off the cassette tape into whatever we were doing,” says Penman.

Short of funds for tapes, they found copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles albums in record store bins and used those recordings as tape stock.

Penman’s musical background is nothing if not eclectic. Trained in classical piano from the age of eight he picked up the double bass in the early 1980s and became involved with big band jazz music.

Jazz was a big part of Jamaican reggae musicians’ experience, he says. In the 1960s and 1970s reggae musicians’ main income often came from performing for colonials (“crazy ball heads”, in Bob Marley’s argot). The jazz-inflected component in the Salmonella Dub SS sound also allows some latitude.

“When you make a mistake make it again and call it a motif,” riffs Penman on the jazz player’s maxim.

“The sound is around those mistakes sometimes. As opposed to RnB we try to keep local content open. Our influence has largely been landscape and culture. We tend to steer away from love songs. We’re about how to love life to its fullest.”

Salmonella Dub Soundsystem, Smash Palace, Monday, 4pm. Tickets $38 + bf from www.cosmicticketing.co.nz

In the beginning was the drum and bass/reggae/roots sound of Salmonella Dub and it was good. For more than two decades the band took its dub, rock, jazz/dub horns, drum ‘n’ bass, electronica and reggae blend to concert halls and stadiums across the world.

Now this way comes Salmonella Dub Soundsystem with the first bundles of tunes for a new album they are about to showcase as part of their “tease” tour.

The Salmonella Dub Soundsystem is Salmonella Dub’s d-floor-friendly little brother that has been around for 10 years.

“It was initially a party vehicle to complement what we were doing as Salmonella Dub,” says band co-founder/guitarist/singer Andrew Penman.

A gig might end at midnight so the band would relocate to a venue such as the St James Theatre on Auckland’s Queen Street.

“The Salmonella Dub Soundsystem is more of a club show but a live five-piece with three horn players that hark back to the jazz era. It means we meet the club market alongside bigger events.”

The Salmonella Dub Soundsystem’s show at Smash on Monday will feature Andrew Penman aka Dj Rudeboy on the mix, with Mighty Asterix on vocals and the band’s epic live horn section. Also on the “tease” tour are Laughton Kora, and Dj Mant. Buckle up too for a sonic mash up of the Salmonella Dub back catalogue that includes album tracks and remixes of Sal Dub anthems from Dreadzone, Zion Train, Groove Corporation, Dub Fx, Adrian Sherwood, Dj Digital, Tiki Taane, Dj Mu (Fat Freddy’s Drop) and more.

What’s more, mindful we’re back at work after the long weekend the act will start at a “civil hour”.

“We’ve learned over the years to pace ourselves,” says Penman.

Touring for two years was hard on relationships between band members; loading gear at 2am after a show was exhausting. Despite the romance of touring there was no time to see anything.

“We now play to our strengths and keep everyone happy.”

Like other musicians in the band Penman keeps himself grounded with — almost surprisingly given the band’s success — a day job.

“I’m a teacher and youth counsellor and a father of a 12-year-old. Part of Salmonella Dub’s longevity is because we come home and we’re people.”

The band marked its 25th birthday last year with the release of a vertical deluxe flap box set packed with ten 12 inch vinyl albums (eight hours of music, basically) that were pressed in Berlin, and a pictorial book.

After starting up in 1992 during the era of grunge and dance music Salmonella Dub derived the band’s name from the “bad-taste” dub cover versions of songs they performed among their original tracks. This enabled them to push the thin end of the dub/roots/reggae wedge into the New Zealand music scene.

Polynesian reggae group Herbs was among pioneers of the distinctive Pacific reggae sound but Salmonella Dub picked it up and infused it with jazz and electronica. The then-three-piece also gave their distinctive sound a nudge with some home-grown electronic effects.

“We wanted a sampler, so I hotwired a cassette deck to a guitar pedal so we could drop samples off the cassette tape into whatever we were doing,” says Penman.

Short of funds for tapes, they found copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles albums in record store bins and used those recordings as tape stock.

Penman’s musical background is nothing if not eclectic. Trained in classical piano from the age of eight he picked up the double bass in the early 1980s and became involved with big band jazz music.

Jazz was a big part of Jamaican reggae musicians’ experience, he says. In the 1960s and 1970s reggae musicians’ main income often came from performing for colonials (“crazy ball heads”, in Bob Marley’s argot). The jazz-inflected component in the Salmonella Dub SS sound also allows some latitude.

“When you make a mistake make it again and call it a motif,” riffs Penman on the jazz player’s maxim.

“The sound is around those mistakes sometimes. As opposed to RnB we try to keep local content open. Our influence has largely been landscape and culture. We tend to steer away from love songs. We’re about how to love life to its fullest.”

Salmonella Dub Soundsystem, Smash Palace, Monday, 4pm. Tickets $38 + bf from www.cosmicticketing.co.nz

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