“There are no more taboos to break” (c) the art world

Oh really? Visual art, writing and music may think they’re free but today they’re even more hemmed in than ever. “They won’t buy that.” “This is what Beatport wants.” “That’s not minimal.” Spoken or unspoken, restrictions exist and music is poorer for them.

Where does that leave producers like dub KULT? A UK act with a European sensibility. Half Indian, half English, grew up in Zimbabwe. A perfectionist who loves messy experimentation. A raving minimalist; an old-school music geek; promoter, DJ, live act and VJ these days all at the same time.

The music is not house or techno. According to dub, it’s “party music for the mind”. dub KULT’s records and own label, Living, get props from everyone from Bug to Villalobos to Weatherall to Vath.

Why?

Clubs and parties are an arena for exploration. Even the idea of just getting fucked up is a quest to get into a state with spiritual connotations. Every good Buddhist aims to ‘cease the internal monologue’ and that state of bliss is not dissimilar to losing it on the dancefloor. What do explorers want to lose? The sense of self.

Music drives that exploration. I gave up drugs a long time ago because that avenue had totally run out of juice. They create an initial opening so you get a view into what’s on ‘the other side of the door’. But in the end, drugs make you a fixed and rigid person. There’s no capacity for further growth.

Music also busts through the rigidity of the way people think. It’s human nature to put things in boxes. It makes life more digestible, but few musicians want to be trapped within those boxes. If experimentation is what you want to do, why work the same way, with the same tools, in the same genre, every single time?

PAST

dub KULT’s music has been described as “demented, clever, delicate, dark” (the Fly EP, Veryverywrongindeed Recordings) and “really original” (DJ mag, for the Petit Mal EP on Living). He has released on Warp’s offshoot, Arcola, on the influential labels Traum and Raum…Musik, the infamous Veryverywrongindeed Records, on Belgium’s Curle. He’s remixed Efdemin, been remixed by Guido Schneider, written the soundtrack for a Burning Man documentary on the UK’s Channel 4, and one of his earliest records, Stop the World, sailed straight into Groove magazine’s top ten for that year.His name, meanwhile, has its roots in the Kult collective nights that ran in London in the late 90s, from dodgy warehouses to the Institute of Contemporary Art to dodgy Dalston warehouses and swanky West London clubs, with guests from Nathan Coles to Tyler T-Bone Stadius, Cylob, Evil Eddie Richards and Brit underground legend Tom Churchill.

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What next?

Today dub is devoloping his new show. First previewed at a two warehouse and club shows in dub’s base in London, and then at a showcase at Club55, Poland (videos here), it’s a live, high-tech combination of VJing and live music composition.

“Coupling visuals and sound, to me, is a pragmatic approach to finding what is pure and authentic in the experience of music in clubs. “A perfect gig” dub says, “is a chance to use humour and drama, in an intimate space. That could be 200 or 2000, but a crowd that wants to be surprised. There’s a real communication, a bond, from which you can be totally in the zone as and take chances, be more creative, tell stories with visuals and music.”

“The spontaneous, live element is just as important as the time spent fine-tuning the decay tail of the kick.”