(Almost) everything about
Probably the most important year of my life. I was 14 and by unbelievable luck, I heard a live show from Gary Clail ("There's something wrong with Human Nature." he shouted and I was like "whaaaa... wait, that explains a lot") on a pirate radio station which happened to be transmitted to my walkman during a school trip while I had originally hoped to listen to the German Football Cup final instead. Unfortunately they didn't announce the artist correctly, but a whole new world opened up to me and I fell in love with Dub music. It was love on first listen, but it took me months to find out - by another unbelievable coincidence - the actual name of the artist I had heard. I tried to explain to my father what I had heard and one day we stood in front of a record shop and there was this black cover with a face taped in bandage and huge speakers surrounding the eyes in the window and my father said "Look, this is the artist you described to me" and I was like "whaaaa... how can... this... I mean... whaaaa?!" Needless to say, it was exactly the right album: Gary Clail's "The Emotional Hooligan". If this was not destiny, then I don't know what destiny could be. Soon after, my father brought home Dub Syndicate's "Stoned Immaculate" LP. That was the beginning of the rest of my life.
I think that I had my first DJ gig in 1993, but I am not 100% sure anymore. I was more involved in the young German Hip Hop scene back then, writing lyrics in German, and rapping over instrumental versions. But nothing ever came out of it.
Around this year I started making dubwise mixtapes as Dieb in Dub, the predecessor of Dub Flash. At the end, I made 50 of them until (about) the year 2000.
In 1997 I taught myself HTML 1.0 and in May 1998, the original Dub Flash website went online. It is (and will forever be) the first website in the history of the internet that was about Dub music. Later this year, the first known name of the reggae scene found me through my site and got in touch: Jah Warrior. He offered me some ideas for my website and I listened. Soon after, I got in touch with Dubcreator. These two are thus the first two Dub artists I got to know personally.
My website had fully developed into the "Dub Information Portal" [until 2011; the remnants of it remained available in an archive from 2011 to September 2021] with reviews, photos, sound files, news, interviews, a small forum, a huge link directory, polls, a newsletter, a guestbook, an event calendar, an artist and a label profile directory, some small videos (back then this was a difficult thing to do), at some point I also tried a live chat function. I even started a Discography-service, but then Discogs came and saved me a lot of work, because I did everything on my website manually. With time passing, I received a lot of e-mails and I would often spend my whole evenings after work just replying to inquiries. It was crazy and eventually got out of hand. Only with the introduction of Web 2.0 and people being able to make their own websites or join places like MySpace, things eased off.
In 2003, I partied the 5th Dub Flash anniversary. I organised a winning competition and got musical donations [photo] from various supportive people. From Dubcreator came a special present: a song produced for me. The name: Dub Flash. He said that I can release it if I want. And that's how later this year, my record label saw the light of day.
When the label business kicked off, I immediately got contacted by various other labels, artists and distributors and I eventually realised that due to the lack of specialised webshops for this music genre, I have to make my own one if I want to sell my records. I therefore opened the Outer Space Dub XPress in late 2003. I also started as a small distributor and made cool deals with people from all continents. The shop and distribution grew bigger and bigger every year.
2005 was the biggest year for me regarding my label. Madu's "Where You Gonna Run?" became Dub Flash's biggest hit until today. I released two vinyls and two CDs in 2005, including my own debut album. On top of that, 2004-2006 was my most active DJ time with invitations from and visits to all around Europe.
During my exchange studies in Northern Europe, I made an internship for the newly found alternative radio station Oi fm. Part of this were two own radio programs. One of them was the Dub Mash, a weekly one-hour (sometimes two) show about Dub music. The show was one of the most successful programs of that new radio station and I continued producing shows for them when I was back in Berlin for quite a while. For the last years, the shows are produced just every now and then. You can listen to all episodes on Mixcloud.
What was missing so far was my own sound system and there was no chance for me to get my own one. Lack of money, space and knowledge were the main reasons. In 2005, I had met selector Dub Pipe from Cologne with whom I was on the same page regarding our selections. It was just natural that we would team up. In 2009, Dub Pipe completed his own sound system. For reasons I don't remember the name MoonBass Hi+Fi was chosen. A great name for sure. Our crew was called Boba Fat Warriors (or something something dark side). Apart from Sound Padawan Dub Rogue (I) and High Moff Dub Pipe, there were Operator Count UppE and Comic Relief Dub Wing Pilot BenJahJahmin Binks (I'm not 100% sure about these names anymore).
Around 2010, my webshop and distribution was pretty much a full-time job and the whole thing got a bit out of hands, especially as I got a normal 9 to 5 job again. At the end of the year sales started slowing down though and eventually almost completely stopped during the course of the next year. I took it as a sign that it is time to stop the shop. For the following years I sold my rest stock on Discogs. The very last remaining records were sold in April 2021.
Even though it got quiet around the name Dub Flash I was still active as part of MoonBass Hi+Fi. We hosted several bassweight Dub parties in Berlin with international guests like Dubateers, Charlie P., Paul Fox, Imperial Sound's Dan-I, Mellow Vibes, Intergalaktik Sound or Trulaikes.
I had to face some big changes in my life for a couple of years and I wasn't able to focus on Dub Flash. I almost forgot about it. Luckily, others remembered. The occassional guest DJ set at some random party reminded me of the joy this great project brought me for almost 20 years. Living in a different country than before, it was refreshing to see that the people there knew nothing of this music and were just amazed when they heard my sets. It reminded me of my beginnings in the mid 90s. When the Dub scene was open-minded and free. I got Dub-fever again. Also, when my 70 years old father asked me why he cannot find my songs on Deezer and I had to reply: "What is Deezer?" I realised I had to get active again.
Finally, I did what many people had asked me to do for years: I put the complete Dub Flash Records catalogue up for digital distribution. Now everyone can get every tune easily. At the same time, I relaunched the website and well, basically also the label. There are a couple of new (digital) releases in the make right now. Dub Flash is still alive and kicking. Next year is the 20th anniversary. Just sayin'...
As promised in the last update, 2018 saw a true revival of Dub Flash Records. We kicked of the year with the digital-only release DFR018 "Raiders of the Lost Dubs", a compilation of 20 previously unreleased Dub Flash dubplates. Release DFR019, the "Summertyme EP" featuring Charlie P followed later this year, and then we had our official 20th anniversary double 180g 2xLP vinyl release compilation DFR020 "Escape Velocity: 20 Years Onward to Andromedub".
DFR021 (digital single) was produced in the summer and DFR022 (digital album with 19 tracks, vocal & dub style) was being worked on with a release date planned for 2021. Things were looking good. I also set up my new studio and could record new radio shows now easily from home. At least in theory. In practice, I got a new job again and didn't have any time for new radio shows. However, DFR022 progressed step by step.
DFR022, my second album "Dub Rules Everything Around Me", was released in September, as a present for my father's 75th birthday, since he was the one introducing me to Dub music. 16 years after the first album. 16 years before the next album? We'll see. I would be 60 then. That's actually a nice round number.
Dub Flash partied its 25th anniversary with four releases (DFR023, DFR024, DFR026, and DFR027 digitally, DFR025 on 7" vinyl and digitally), a soundsystem session in Helsinki, and 16 (!) digital bonus releases on Whimsical Music. Good times.
Get in touch