Friday, November 17, 2006

saz in dub

For a couple of years, I've been talking about recording a saz-in-dub CD. A simple enough concept: just find a dozen or so classic dub tracks that work for me, record myself playing saz over them. It's not something I could put up on for copyright reasons, but it would be a nice gift and/or demo to help bring about possible collaborations with dub DJ's/creators in the future.

Anyway, this is one of those projects which I'd get round to if I had unlimited time, but it's never been a priority. But in Motueka, staying with Alan and his stacks of reggae vinyl, we knew the time was right. We were able to use the Fresh FM studio, working from 10p.m to 4a.m. one night, prerecording pieces to be broadcast as part of his programme the next day. That programme (in which he chats with me about my saz, the way I play it, my interest in dub and reggae) can be heard here. We went through a large number of albums track-by-track, with me fairly quickly deciding whether or not a track worked for me or not. The ones that did often involved subtly adjusting the turntable speed in order to 'tune' the track to my saz.

I chose a lot of Augustus Pablo and King Tubby material for that programme, also one track from Aotearoa dub favourites Fat Freddy's Drop, some Bunny Wailer, the Wailers' "Rainbow Country" (worked particularly well) and others.

Listen Here

We'd actually chosen twice as much material, but because of Alan's taste in reggae, half of it was Lee Perry-produced Black Ark sounds. So we decided to put together a second programme the next week, a Black Ark saz special. Because of various other musical projects, we never had time to prerecord those tracks, so I played them live over the radio. This didn't go as smoothly, but we were still quite happy with the result - you can hear that one here.


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