Podcast 670: DadubPodcast 670: Dadub

Founded in 2008, Dadub is the work of Daniele Antezza, also known as Inner8, the head of Dadub Mastering Studio in Berlin. The project’s roots lie in Matera, Italy, where Antezza grew up and became inspired to combine sound design and audio synthesis experimentation within a bass music aesthetic. Upon relocating to Germany in 2009, Antezza invited Giovanni Conti into Dadub, and together they worked with Stroboscopic Artefacts on various EPs and You Are Eternity, a debut album in 2013. Within just a few years, Antezza and his Dadub project had become central to not just Lucy‘s rising label but the wider world of boundary-breaking electronic dub and techno music.

The project’s latest iteration comprises Antezza with Marco Donnarumma, a media and performance artist also from Italy. Their relationship is underpinned by a shared interest in contemporary philosophy and low frequency sounds, from which they’ve started to evolve the Dadub sound into what they call “post-apocalyptic dub.”

After a couple of short-form performances, they’re now set to release Hypersynchron, their debut album for Ohm Resistance. Combining their efforts and perspectives, the record delivers forceful, thoughtful bass music of the highest calibre, all the while engaging new technologies, ancient instruments, and a flair for dramatic and distinctly challenging sounds.

In celebration of the album, Dadub have recorded an EDMjunkies podcast that aims to capture their musical explorations over the past two years. They picked the records they included instinctively, including several of their own, and then pieces it all together and processing it in their Berlin studio. It’s otherworldly and hard to pin down, moving through genres freely but at all times underpinned by the vibrational force of bass.

01. What have you been up to recently?

Despite the actual post-apocalyptic scenario, we’re trying to stay focused.
We’ve spent the past few months preparing the details of our new album, Hypersynchron, with Kurt and George at OHM. It was important for all of us to deliver a quality musical work as well as a product that listeners and fans can enjoy. Kurt and George have been just so dedicated to the project and patient with our requests and considerations. It has been a great journey.

Right now we keep doing our thing while we plan for a new music project. More on that later. Daniele is taking care of mastering at Dadub Studio and Marco is working on a large theater project with his artist group. We are temporarily in two different cities, so we work independently on Dadub and we try to get physically together as much as we can, given the pandemic constraints.

02. How has the lockdown period been for you?

On an existential and material level, it has been a difficult period to cope with, which is the same for most people, we imagine. Many fundamental questions about the current state of human, capitalistic societies are emerging, which is good and tragic at the same time. And, obviously, uncertainty gets more ubiquitous by the day; it becomes a way of life, a frustrating and almost impossible way of life. But it is what it is, so we are trying not to fall into dark spirals. We constantly feed our interests and creativity, show care and attentiveness to those who are close to us, and get angrier by the hour about the nauseous neoliberal ideals that got us here.

03. What sort of music have you been listening to?

Pretty much the vibe you can get from the mix, plus tons of jazz, old dub records, many new recent records, new extreme metal bands, and Scorn, as always. We’ve been really digging Little Simz’ work, not only her releases but also her 101 FM podcast, just lush stuff.

04. You have a new album on the way. What can we all expect with it

Hypersynchron is an hour-long auditive trip. We made it by playing improvised music with machines, percussion, bass guitar, keyboards, and sampling. As we played, we fed the sounds to our feedback dubbing system and then dubbed, overdubbed, and meta-dubbed everything in real time. So the album gives off this organic, swingy, cyber-punk mood; it’s raw but precise, aggressive, and contemplative. At least, that’s how we see it!

We hope that by listening to the release one can perceive the multiple substrates of sonic material layering on each other, fragmenting away, and getting together again. The metaphor behind the whole work, which RelatedArtform expressed so well with his artwork for the LP, is a giant, enormous soundsystem that was created by some living things 2,500 years from now, but it’s broken and left to its own devices because a catastrophe took human life forms away. But, you know, the thing keeps playing, and Hypersynchron is all the vibrations that radiate from it.

05. How do you think it compares to earlier Dadub material?

Good question! Aesthetically, we moved beyond Dadub’s previous techno-influenced sound. We kept intact—and refined further—our sound design and sound engineering techniques through a massive use of hardware feedback, but we applied them to a type of sound that is broader, freer, and denser. This, combined with a new compositional method based on improvisation, helped us in sculpting a sound that is still Dadub as everyone knows it, and yet not quite so. Perhaps you could call it more “mature,” but that is really not the point; it’s more about evolving techniques and tastes, while keeping on working through experimentation rather than through checkboxes.

06. When and where did you record this mix?

The mix was recorded, dubbed, and overdubbed in October at Dadub Studio in Berlin. And then overdubbed again. And again. We put the tracks together and processed the selection through the same feedback system we used for Hypersynchron, which is the same system we use live.

07. How did you choose the records that you’ve included?

The selection includes music from the widest spectrum of bass music. We picked up the tracks instinctively, choosing specific types of sound from the music that we’ve been listening to in the last two years. You could see it as a mix of our most recent listening explorations.

08. How does it compare to what we might hear you play in a club?

It’s hard to say, since we don’t really do DJ sets. We mainly play live. Let’s say that by listening to the mix one can get a hint of what kind of approaches to music-making influence our own research on live performance. As with our live sets, the mix is eclectic in terms of styles and grooves, and yet coherent in terms of sound design, timbre, and aesthetic.

Something that we had fun doing for the mix was putting together music that one would normally not hear in a single playlist: a million-views YouTube hit that changed the game in certain styles, mixed with brutal death metal bands, for example. There are also various powerful vocalists across all kinds of genres mixed with edgy IDM reminiscent of breakcore, plus a band of Tuareg girls playing ethereal music in the Sahara and new material from dubstep pioneers. Our stuff is in there too and everything is held together by the vibrational force of bass.

09. What’s up next on your horizon?

We are working on a new project where we want to experiment with voices, bass, and harsh dub. We are still unsure about the format, but we are reaching out to vocalists doing ragga, rap, grime, and spoken words to create a collaborative work. We would really love to offer Dadub as a platform for each of them, while at the same time—by gathering different artists on one release—emphasizing the strength of the creativity that falls outside of western culture.

EDMjunkies has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to EDMjunkies+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.

Full EDMjunkies+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an EDMjunkies+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.

Tracklisting

01. Inner8 “Holoflux” (Krake)
02. Dadub “Infinite Regresses” (Ohm Resistance)
03. African Head Charge “Timbuktu Express” (On-U Sound)
04. Keith Ape “It G Ma” (Hi-Lite Records)
05. Paul St. Hilaire “Nah Ina It” (Jahtari)
06. MC Yallah feat. Debmaster “Kubali” (Hakana Kulala)
07. God Colony feat. Mykki Blanco “Rebel Boy Soldier” (Mad World)
08. Little Simz “Venom” (Colors)
09. SCARLXRD “Heart Attack” (LXRD Records)
10. Bastard Noise “Preemptive Epitaph for the Living” (Relapse Records)
11. Dadub “I Will Gladly Die (For The Same Reason)” (Ohm Resistance)
12. Death Qualia “Bright Black” (Ohm Resistance)
13. SWARMM “Exhale” (Holotone)
14. Scorn “Who Are They Which One” (Ohm Resistance)
15. Dadub “New Rationales For Subjugation” (Ohm Resistance)
16. Scorn feat. Jason Williamson “Talk Whiff” (Ohm Resistance)
17. Luke Lund “Circle Of Debt” (Ohm Resistance)
18. Dadub “Alien To Wholeness” (Ohm Resistance)
19. Dadub “Arid Gale Of Particle Spatium” (Ohm Resistance)
20. Monic “Solar Enemy” (Osiris Music)
21. Les Filles De Illighadad “Eghass Malan” (Sahel Sounds)
22. Dot Product “Reverie” (Osiris Music)
23. Autechre “M4 Lema” (Warp)
24. SWARMM “Death Of A Generation Birth Of Reform” (Holotone)

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