Seriously deep digital reggae and glitched Gameboy dub...

Lose yourself in some seriously deep digital reggae and glitched Gameboy dub in this week’s Clash mix, relayed flawlessly from one of the best in the scene, disrupt.

Back in 2004, disrupt (AKA German producer Jan Gleichmar, who had been experimenting with everything from techno to electronica to gabber) co-founded the Jahtari record label as a platform to release the lo-fi digital reggae – produced on a cheap laptop – he had been creating. The label and the sound it championed (heavily digitised 8-bit reggae that juxtaposed deep, dubby bass with videogame chip-tune melodies) gradually took off, attracting and releasing like-minded artists and carving out a compelling, brilliant niche.

Accordingly, disrupt’s Clash mix showcases the full might of the immense Jahtari label, taking in reams of gloriously glitchy dub and dancehall, rolling and rhythmical cuts, spacey, echo-laden electronic voyages and much more. It’s an absolute belter of a mix, with disrupt’s opening track grabbing you from the off before the delicious, low-frequency digital goodness quickly winds its way into your brain and sets up base camp there.

Gleichmar gives us a valuable insight into the mix below, along with some explanation of his own musical processes, involving a particularly creative use of a Gameboy.

"The mix kinda of captures what happens when we play live on a soundsystem. We rinsed the riddims from the new Naram LP a lot over the summer with live MCs like Speng Bond, which was always super-heavy and brilliant fun. When we play live we come with some DIY FX boxes and a MPC1000 sampler, which can only load four tunes max due to its limited memory, so every four tracks or so I run a Gamebwoy tune while the next batch loads into the MPC. That’s how the new Gamebwoy record, ‘Dub Matrix with Stereo Sound’ was born. If you still have a Gameboy lying around, have a look, it actually says 'Dot Matrix With Stereo Sound' on them."

"Halfway through the mix, it trails off more towards dubby and hypnotic waters, with some tunes from the echo-drenched hip hop EP by Monkey Marc, tracks from the recent EP by Tikiman (AKA Paul St. Hilaire) and some personal faves by Tapes from his ‘Where is the Time’ EP. I particularly like the title tune, as it’s in a 3/4 rhythm instead of the normal 4/4, and using some spectacular harmony changes. Pupajim’s ‘Signs’ from the Black Chow EP (by Kevin ‘The Bug’ Martin and Kiki Hitomi from King Midas Sound) had to go in there as well – uncanny how a bass heavy riddim and a spaced-out opera singing style can go together."

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01. disrupt - Babylon Wavetables (from JTR16 - disrupt - Dub Matrix With Stereo Sound)
02. Paul St. Hilaire - Who Goes There (from JTR15 - Paul - St. Hilaire - Nah Ina It EP)
03. Jah Screechy - MC Magic (from JTRLP05 - Naram - March Of The Gremlins LP)
04. Speng Bond - Big Brother (from JTRLP05)
05. Maffi - Robotron Dub (from JTR11 - Tann Up Solid EP)
06. Jane Bee - Conquer Me (from JTRLP05)
07. disrupt - Bits From The Bong (from JTR16)
08. Monkey Marc - 303 Dub (from JTR14 - Monkey Marc vs The Planet Smashers EP)
09. disrupt - Riptide (from JTR16)
10. Tapes - Pipe Cleaner (from JTR13 - Tapes - Where Is The Time EP)
11. Paul St. Hilaire - Love Jah Now (from JTR15)
12. Monkey Marc - Change Dub (from JTR14)
13. Tapes - Where Is The Time (from JTR13)
14. Sammy Gold - Government Are Suck The Sufferer (from JTRLP05)
15. Monkey Marc - Who Goes There Dub (from JTR14)
16. Pupajim Signs (from JTR08 - Black Chow - Wonderland EP)
17. Paul St. Hilaire - Nah Ina It (from JTR15)

Words: Tristan Parker
Photo Credit: Matthias H. Risse

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Naram’s ‘March Of the Gremlins’ album and disrupt’s ‘Dub Matrix With Stereo Sound’ EP are both out now on Jahtari. Gear-geeks will also want to check the equipment that Gleichmar is currently building and selling, a Commodore C64 SID synth and a Jahtari Edition Korg Monotron Delay. Drool away!

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