Surya Dub @ Club Six

"When they'd strung the cables, according to some complex scheme of Molly's, they hung them with battered sheets of yellow plastic. As they worked, Case gradually became aware of the music that pulsed constantly through the cluster. It was called dub, a sensuous mosaic cooked from vast libraries of digitalized pop; it was worship, Molly said, and a sense of
community." - Neuromancer - William Gibson (1983)

Towards the fag end of last year, I received an e-mail from Maneesh The Twister. The gist of it was that the Dhamaal collective was coming to an end and there was something new in the works: an aggregation called "Surya Dub" (Surya meaning sun in Sanskrit). The focus of the new outfit would be on "Global Dubwize Vibes and Dread Bass Culture - more of a dub aesthetic but still incorporating a world element."

Honestly, I was bummed about Dhamaal coming to an end - apart from providing high quality night outs for those of us uninterested in the rest of the desiparty scene, the outfit genuinely pushed into new musical territories, particularly in the field of asian electronica. Check out their two releases if you haven't already. I pressed Maneesh for more detail and he would merely say he felt the outfit had "run its course." More's the pity.

In an interview with SFWeekly, Maneesh provided more info about his new dub direction:

Evidently, the definition of dub is open to multiple interpretations. The Surya Dub DJs share different ideas on the subject, but they all believe the music has universal qualities. To bhang ragga — a musical style combining bhangra and ragamuffin reggae — innovator-DJ-producer Kush Aurora, "Dub music is musical meditation." To dubstepper Kid Kameleon, "Dub is like a code word for experimentation, and a license to do things in a nonlinear style." DJ Ripley, meanwhile, says he feels that "Dub has always been ahead of its time, based in playful misuse of technology for creative purposes." And to hip-hop/reggae head Ross Hogg, dub is "as much about what's missing in the music as what's present. The silence, the dropouts, the echoes ... "

To Maneesh, dub — usually defined in its original sense as an instrumental, remixed form of reggae — isn't just a musical genre or production style, but a culture in and of itself that's shared influences with other cultures all over the world. For example, "Indian music has had influences in the Caribbean; there's a lot of sociohistoric things that tie those things together on a nonmusical level," he says.

Dub's status as future music has been around for a while and while the Wachowski brothers co-opted the community part of it for their Matrix trilogy, I was curious to see how it would play out in real life. As the pics show, I needn't have worried. With block rocking beats and bowel loosening bass (well, nearly :-), Surya Dub is off to a flying start. Some snaps:


Yah mon! And here are some pics of Maneesh and Kush in action:

Note to the gentleman who left his shots on the speaker stacks: no one took them. It is usually not a good idea to park breakables on speakers generating deep sub bass. Said objects tend to vibrate and fall off :-)

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- January 28, 2007 8:06 PM // Bay Area , Diaspora , Music