New Dub City Sound

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New Dub City Sound


His travels have not only opened his eyes and broadened his horizons, but they proved inspirational, with Ali inspired to sit down and pen a series on songs about his travels and their impact. He says of both the album, and the lead single, “I guess the idea was basically Home, which is the one single that we have been pushing and has been out on the 7″, just talks about home being where you find it around the place. It is just about travelling around and feeling at home and making friends, just feeling comfortable where you are. But it is also the reverse, of people coming to Australia and also finding home here in Melbourne or in Australia in general. It is kind of a bit of a two way meaning.”

With Melbourne his adopted home, Ali reveals over a cup of coffee that he is able to see the term ‘home’ as somewhat flexible. While there are key ingredients which need to be combined to create a home, he is, in essence, a firm believer in the old saying ‘home is where the heart is’. His relaxed, open demeanor and quiet confidence all convey an inner comfort and it is little surprise to hear him list the following, “Good food. Good friends. Good music. Just some kind of general sense of being a global citizen.

“It is interesting to travel around a lot, and hanging out with people even though they don’t really speak any English. One example is sitting on a boat with this sailor in Burma. He couldn’t speak English at all and he just sat there chewing this beetle stuff that they chew. I just my iPod and my speakers and we were sitting there listening to some reggae and some Wu-Tang and he loved it. We had a great time. Throughout this whole four day boat trip, we would just sit up a night and time and smoke cigarettes. We’d just sit there and listen to tunes. Even with language barriers you can still feel comfortable with people and just share the things that make us all human.”

With his travels having brought to the fore the international language that is music, the ardent music fan was constantly finding new sources of inspiration. As a result, Home is a collection of material that has grown over the last few years. Of the release, he reveals “They were more coming as I went along. The recordings that make up the album stem from around 2005 onwards. Just playing with various people both in Perth and in Melbourne. I’ve just basically got it all together and put it out there under the name of New Dub City, which is more just a catch all name for about eight different people who appear on the record. Then the three people who perform the songs live are also separate as well. It’s been a bunch of people involved. Also the artist as well who did the artwork, Freestyle, who did both the 7” and the album. He is a Jamaican born graphic artist who lives in New York. We have also got a guy called Mikal, who is a drum and bass producer from the UK producing a couple of the tracks. It is really a global record, we are really trying to talk about the world around us and involve the world around us.

“It also took a lot of time as I kept going away overseas and playing a bit. So it has just taken its time. Now just felt like the right time to get it out.” Although it may have taken some six years to collate due to Ali’s travel fever, he found that distance is no issue in terms of collaboration in the technological age. New Dub City is in essence a collective of individuals who have found a home for themselves in a mutual love of music and arts. While his may have been a bit of a logistical nightmare co-ordinating a project of this size, it is clear that Ali never found himself outside of his comfort zone. “Even though there is a variety of different people involved in the record, from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and an artist from Jamaica and New York. It is a matter of pulling it all together and collaboratively working on the project. Finally we managed to get it out on CD and doing some touring around it, so it is all good.”

As Ali already stated, New Dub City refers to eight musicians, but the touring troupes numbers only three. So why the change in line-up? “Trying to find a format in which we could put the songs on to a record and play them live. Live it is just a really simple setup, using laptops, percussion and vocals, some live dubs. We are going to try incorporate some visuals into it all later down the track. It is very hard to take a big group of people on the road, a traditional band kind of format.”