(Almost) everything about
Going online on 4th May 1998, Dub Flash was the first website in the history of the internet dedicated to Dub music. By 2000, it had turned into the Dub Information Portal with features others would later develop for places like Discogs or Myspace. In 2003, Dub Flash Records released its first record, and the Outer Space Dub XPress webshop & distribution opened. In 2007, the radio show Dub Mash aired for the first time. In 2009, the MoonBass Hi+Fi Soundsystem joined the fun. In 2011, the label Whimsical Music was added, but the Dub Information Portal was archived. It stayed online for 10 years, then it was put offline. The shop & distribution closed in 2012. MoonBass disbanded in 2015. The two labels and website continue up to this day.
2023 was Dub Flash's 25th anniversary celebrations year. Here you can have a look at the celebrations webpage.
The picture shows me celebrating the 25th anniversary in 2023.
During my teenage years, I made my first steps into the marvellous world of music. Nicknamed "Der Dieb" ("The Thief") during a consenting thievery-joke-play by a classmate, I played bass for my high school's band "5 Fremde und der Zauberer W.". Around 1993, I started writing raps and making dubby mixtapes. When my projects had to do with Dub music, I added the "in Dub" behind my artist name. I continued the "Dieb in Dub" mixtape series even after Dub Flash started. Thanks to my website, I was able to sell some copies. These were my first steps into the music business. DIDCA050 was the last tape in this series.
The picture shows an artwork for Dieb in Dub by my friend Tanja in 1997.
When I visited the World Wide Web for the first time in October 1996, my first search query in the Altavista search engine was "dub". There was nothing except one paragraph about Dub on the "Allmusic" encyclopedia. So I decided to learn HTML and make the first website about Dub myself. Going online on 4th May 1998, Dub Flash was the first website in the history of the internet dedicated to Dub music. In Autumn 1998, Jah Warrior found the site and provided content suggestions. I developed the site accordingly as the "Dub Information Portal". I had features which some years later others would develop for places like Discogs or Myspace, for example news, record and concert reviews, interviews, rare reggae artist photos, polls, an event calendar, a huge link directory and sound files; even a live chat, a guestbook, a forum, databases for artists and labels, and also videos - long before YouTube. I did this all manually, coding by hand. I basically had Discogs, YouTube and social media combined in the DIP. Of course on a smaller scale, but the idea was there before other people had their ideas. Maybe I should be angry that I didn't push my ideas back then. But I'm not. The main attraction of the site were my record reviews. By 2011 I had written about 750 reviews and about the same amount in the "to be reviewed" queue. That's when I decided to close the DIP, because I couldn't keep up any longer with the huge amount of new releases coming in during the early 2010s. What a great reason to quit! My task in life was to bring Dub music to the internet. And so I did. I witnessed thousands of Dub releases since 1998. Compared to the Dub drought of the late 90s, when Dub was pretty much dead, this means the world to me. I helped keeping Dub alive and reviving it. I want to imagine that I played a little role in this. Many people from all around the world made their first steps into the world of Dub music through Dub Flash. That was my hope back then, and when the mission was accomplished, I could happily retire the site. The archive of the DIP went offline for good in 2021. RIP DIP.
The picture shows the last version of the Dub Information Portal archive (2011-2021).
I don't remember when the idea to start my own official record label first came to light, but I wanna say it was in Spring 2003. One of the driving forces behind the idea was Dubcreator, who also provided the first tune to be released on DFR, as a birthday gift to Dub Flash's 5 year anniversary festivities. 8 vinyl releases and 2 CD releases happened until 2010. All of them are long-time sold out. Around 2011 I didn't have a vision anymore how to continue releasing vinyls regularly. So I tried a shift towards digital-only. That, however, was not so easy back then. Things eventually slowed down, but in 2016 the sparkle returned after Tom Bauminista featured me in his radio show "Dub Conference". I played forgotten dubplates and the reactions were positive. I released those dubplates digitally and soon after followed the next vinyl release (2018). From there, things moved forward again, and DFR is going strong again ever since.
The picture shows one variant of the Dub Flash Records logo from 2013.
When I started my label, I thought about how to get the records to the people. At the same time, different artists had contacted me if I could help them sell their releases. I thus expended my record label to an online record shop and distribution. The whole thing constantly grew and at some point I had to make a decision to make this venture my main job or downsize it back to a hobby. Due to my general life situation, I decided to downsize. A part of me was sad, because it was so much fun dealing with people like David Dubwise or Ernie B's, but overall I don't think it would have worked out in the long run. I sold the remaining stock until 2021 through Discogs. It's all gone. Nothing remains except memories. Maybe my favourite memory is when a Japanese distributor requested an exclusive Japan-only CD release from me. That's how DFR010 came to life within only a few weeks. What a story... for another day.
The picture shows one OSDX flyer design from around 2008.
Dub Flash has always been a one-man-project by me, known as selector Dub Rogue, born and raised in West-Berlin, the heart of Europe. As a youth, I was the bass player for the school band 5 Fremde und der Zauberer W. During the mid 90s I recorded mixtapes and made my first steps into Rap and Dub music production in my Oakfield Rooftop Studios under the name Dieb in Dub. In 1998 the Dub Flash adventure started.
I describe my own music style as "Quirky Dub", "whimsical music", or "WeirDub". It's an unusual mix of Dub, electronic music, sampling (of movies and TV series) and vibes from outer space. I claim the Andromedub galaxy as my home. The Dub music we make up there just sounds like it sounds. With my outer space line of thought, I believe to be in line with the vision of the original Dub pioneers. Dub Syndicate has a song called "Crucial Tony Tries To Rescue The Space Invaders With Only 10p". That's a title I can relate to, and this is what inspires me to create songs like "Jiras Jas Conquers Wild Space With Drastic Action".
Outside of the realm of Dub, I prefer to stay private. I live in Northern Europe and enjoy green forests, blue lakes and white clouds in the sky. I seek peace and quiet, that's why I dream of the Andromedub Galaxy. I don't know anyone from there who is not a nice entity.
During an Erasmus study program in 2006/07 in Northern Europe, I stumbled into the public founding meeting of a local radio station called "Oi fm". They needed volunteers and a week later the Monday evening belonged to me with two radio shows in a row. I got a crash course into how to run the machines and was thrown into the cold water. "Dub Mash" was one of the two shows. A couple of months later, I made an official internship for Oi fm. They kept airing my (old and new) episodes until the station closed in 2011. Since then, "Dub Mash" was produced irregularly as guest features for other shows, for example Tom Bauminista's "Dub Conference" on Omyradio. In 2023 I decided that there is no point in doing new episodes anymore. The existing episodes are available on Dub Flash's Mixcloud channel.
The picture shows the last logo design for Dub Mash.
MoonBass Hi+Fi was a heavyweight Dub soundsystem in Berlin from around 2009 to 2015, owned and operated by High Moff Dub Pipe, alongside the Boba Fat Warriors aka Sound Padawan Dub Rogue, Operator Count UppE and Comic Relief Dub Wing Pilot BenJahJahmin Binks.
We organised various dances in Berlin, but for different reasons, our experience was a bit unpleasant, so we were mildly displeased, and eventually decided to call it a day. We moved on to other projects. Most of the scoops went to Graograman HiFi Soundsystem.
The picture was drawn by Amanda Rose, daughter of the US-based radio DJ Dr. StrangeDub, in 2011.
In 2011, before streaming and digital music became as easy to handle as in the 2020s, I had a netlabel called Whimsical Music. It was originally meant for digital-only releases, since back then all Dub Flash releases came on an actual medium, mostly vinyl, but also CD and MC. However, since the taking over of streaming services during the 2010s, the music industry changed drastically. I had merged the Whimsical Music releases into the normal DFR discography at some point, but in 2023 I revived Whimsical Music to have a place for my more experimental music ideas which not necessarily fit to Dub Flash. Find out more on the website.
The picture shows the re-designed Whimsical Music logo from 2023.
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