King Tubby was a Mister Fix-it before he became the world’s most acclaimed dub engineer. He fixed televisions, toasters, hairdryers and radios. Because he was so skilled in repairing electronics, he could also wind filter coils, design EQs, build large amplifiers for sound systems and create his own mixing desk. In the seventies, dub reggae was the result of Jamaica’s revolt in sound engineering. The groundbreaking musical style was driven by the rebellion against the normality of things. Dub reggae put Jamaica on the world map for its music and historical approach to sound production; the small island making a big impact on the use of studio technology.
Number 9 in our series is none other than Traxx, Nation label head and frontman of Mutant Beat Dance. Brace yourselves for an hour, fifteen minutes and thirty seven seconds of interstellar travels. Our editor Lounes Doulache caught up with him for a brief talk about the label, telepathy and humanity 500 years from now.
Hi Traxx, how’s it going? …What are you up to these days?
Spacey greetings strange sounds, always working on concepts and ideas in the musical realm. Enjoyed summer but now in the early season of fall in chicago that still has good weather atmospheres.
How is The Nation going? What can we expect in the near or distant future?
The label has several releases in preparation this year set back because of pressing issues but coming to light in the near future from D’Marc Cantu entitled ‘Homefront part 1’ with a 2nd part to drop next year, a split release with Black Meteoric Star and Cantu and a project from Transformation and SSPS split release.
In another interview you did with Mutant Beat Dance consisted of myself, Beau Wanzer and Steve Summers speaking of our debut album is still taking place dropping later this year.
When listening to this segment I sometimes felt like being in a suspenseful interstellar western movie, it’s quite filmic. What was the idea behind the mix?
I took time to listen to the other 9 submissions for the series and wanted to give a linear blueprint of what I felt is cosmic, odd, obscure and roughly a thriller soundscape of the made to make you think/travel kind with an interstellar filmic but also soundtrack score.
This mix triggers a lot of feelings. Can you describe in what kind of state you were at the time you made this and is sharing that state of being something that is important to you when recording a mix or playing?
Anytime I’m asked to make a presentation I commit myself to the core of the interested organization preparing for days searching over everything i own to come up with the most original painting musically I can conjure in a headspace that gives relaxation, focus and energy to project insight.
You used different types of music in this mix and made a connection between sounds, showing a fine line between all, as if it were a thread. Was this maybe inspired by the man in the very interesting dialogue at around 1:01 where the man talks about how people in 500 years will be able to communicate on a telepathic level?
After I finished the only take of this obscure selection I will say different types of music made a connection showing a fine line seamlessly as I sat back re-listening that I didn’t think would work but that’s the joy of what I do is making the impossible possible. In a way the dialogue around 1:01 has significance towards the idea of obscurity communication telepathically. When myself and other close music mates come together to converse we speak in an unfamiliar level of code with words we normally say to each other we find alternative ways to say what we want.
Where will we be in 500 years?
Hard to say but this is why I felt to allow the speaker to express their thoughts. Let’s see if we can make it past the presidency of now as far as the US is concerned.
Thank you Traxx, I will enjoy this mix for many moons to come!
Photo credits: Franziska Pilz