[Ed. Note: The following Q&A interview is a transcription betweenToshio Masuda of La Big Vic and Impose writer Matt Sullivan. It was conducted in anticipation of La Big Vic's follow-up to Actually, entitled Dub The World! Actually Revisited. Included below is “Mr. Broken Bird Dub”, a debut track from the upcoming dub LP. The album drops February 21 on Underwater Peoples.]
What made you decide to do a dub?
Toshio Masuda:It was totally Ari Stern’s idea. He's one of the guys who runs our label, Underwater Peoples. Also maybe McGregor from Chocolate Bobka.
And I'm from Osaka, Japan, where Boredoms are based. In my town Dub music is really popular in the underground scene. I used to go to that kind of party every week, so making a dub is a very natural thing for me. I've lived in NY for 4 years and I realized that doing that kind of thing is really hard here because racial issues are a very big problem in the US. Fortunately, as a japanese “stranger” person I had the opportunity to experience many different kinds of scenes in NY, but not many people can do that.
What thread ties this to the old record? In what ways does it change it?
Secretly, we used a lot of analog equipment on our 1st album, Actually, but it wasn’t something we tried to make very obvious, because we don’t make music for gear nerds. For this album, I explored a more obvious analog sound. This is a “dub” album but not just a dub reggae album. It’s totally dedicated to all electronic and club music, like Chicago house, Detroit house, hip hop, techno, and drum-n-bass. So I don’t really feel like this is a remix album, because I used a lot of different materials. As you know, Dub music was basically the first kind of remix (think: King Tubby and Lee Perry), but I don’t want to people to think of Dub The World as a remix album. The most important thing to us was the challenge of making a “dub” album according to the original meaning of the word. And the funny thing is that it has a lot more vocals than the first one. Emilie [Friedlander]'s voice is so beautiful in that kind of setting.
Do you feel like people hear this side of you enough? I feel like LBV's sound is moving towards an aesthetic that pays homage to trip hop like Tricky or Portishead in a huge way.
Honestly, I got a lot of ideas from Massive Attack's album Mezzanine. I also grew up with Trip Hop and Hip Hop. Logan from Teengirl fantasy said the sound is totally future. I believe this is the new direction of music to come. But the songs for the new album that we are working on are more psychedelic rock music actually.
What are some of your favorite dubs?
Lee Perry, King Tubby, Bunny Lee, and Sly and Robbie, of course. But the Beatles also have dubby things. And also Death in Vegas, Asian Dub Foundation, Massive Attack and Gorillaz. I’m gonna talk about it later but Can, Neu!, La Dusseldorf, Kraftwerk, and Les Rallizes Dénudés are dub bands too. But don’t forget about Bill Laswell, The Clash, Bad Brains, and the Slits. Or Adrian Sherwood and Mad Professor
What were your favorite effects and toys that you used for Dub the World? Or are they secret?
Its totally all about Re201!! Which is analog space echo and spring reverb. I recorded all of the drums separately through space echo.
A lot of people have been known to perceive your guys' sound as taking a lot of inspiration from krautrock/kosmische, do you think there are any interesting similarities between that and dub/reggae? Or do you wish people wouldn't read into that as heavily?
That’s a really good question. I feel there is a lot of overlap between those two styles.
Take Neu! 2, for example. That album was a really early dub rock album . The second side was just the same single, “Neuschnee/Super” played back at different speeds.
It sounds really dubby! It’s so hard to define what “Dub” means. i think it’s a technique that can be applied to any genre of music.
Do you plan on jamming on these dub versions live?
I would love to do that!! Even on a small or large set up. I want to have a Dance party.
I feel Dub the world is totally perfect with M.I.A.