This week’s interview sees us sat down with Rob Wade from West Yorkshire’s own ‘Duburban‘ – sound system veterans shelling the full spectrum from roots reggae and dub to jungle.

SSC: Hi Rob. In your own words, who are you and what do you do?

R: Hi, I’m Rob Duburban and music is my mission, sound system culture my inspiration.

SSC: So, how was the journey? What started it all off and how did that lead you to where you are today?

Music has been in my life for from an early age, from my older brothers and sisters showing me bands early on, to picking up and learning the guitar through my dad..

What started the DJ’ing was a complete fluke. When I arrived at Huddersfield Uni, my new mate in the same student flat as me was a DJ and I picked it up through him, just playing around and then eventually building a library of all sorts of electronica. Then I got some turntables and started a vinyl addiction. I started getting into sound systems around the same time and going to dances.

I met Lewis at uni as-well and we started making tunes together as Duburban Poison in 2011. I wasn’t a producer back then but we jammed together and I threw in my ideas and fed my musical influences from the back of the room. We started a jungle night in Huddersfield back in 2013 called Junglism that went from strength to strength. I got recruited onto online radio stations such as Filth FM, Fokus FM and now Bassport FM where I still reside today and co-manage the station. Running a weekly show Fridays, 7-10pm (GMT).

Then, finally, 3 years ago I finally pulled my finger out and started to learn to produce myself, and here I am heading up the Duburban productions and DJ’ing out. Me and Lewis still make tunes together today whenever we get the time around our busy lives.

SSC: Who are the main influences for you, musically?

R: For electronic: Broken Note, Kursa, Seppa, Culprate, Koan Sound, Billain. 

For jungle: Remarc, Junglord, Simply Dread, Ark X, Omen Breaks, B.O.D.A., Kid Lib, Sully, Photek, Tom & Jerry. 

For roots, dub & sound system: Sub:Cult Sound System, Jah Shaka Sound System, Channel One sound system, Sinai Sound System.

SSC: What do you consider to be the highlight of your music career so far, and why?

R: A highlight gig weekend was supporting Culprate in my home town of Worcester, then driving onto the Black Swan to close the main room on the Jigsaw rig for a Junglism take over. That was lively. But then I always like receiving releases physically with our tunes on. Ow and Daddy G from Massive Attack personally hit me up asking for my tunes to play in his DJ sets which was quite surreal!

SSC: Any moments you’d rather forget?

R: Not many, luckily! But there are times my equipment has been broken at events we run or festival stages. Or the sound systems I help out with blow etc or technicals. Always gutting and loss of £££. But we keep on moving forward ever.

Duburban @ Mood Swings, Leeds

SSC: Being there two of you, I always find it interesting to know how duos split the production work – does one of you make the dub and one the jungle? Or are both of you involved in all the tracks?

R: Lewis and I work really well together. We lived together for a few years way back as students and so was easy to be productive together around work in the early days.

Lewis is one of the best producers I know and taught me most of what I know. We are both quite diverse so dive in together on all genres. The early years were Lewis at the helm and me at the side feeding influence and ideas. We even tried glitch-hop, neuro-hop and all sorts. Nowadays Lewis takes a step back and I’m busy learning and making beats. Mainly dub and jungle/dnb from me.

SSC: Anyone we should be keeping an eye on right now? Any particular artists/DJs standing out to you?

Loads! For jungle: Jahganaut, Eminence, Char Green, Marvin Blue, Ark X, Simply Dread, Pixl, Sully. 

For Dub: Dublaw, Jofis, Somah.

Also, selectors to check out: Heala, who I found through Miss Chop (also one to check out).

SSC: Other than bass-focused music, are there any other genres or artists you are particularly fond of currently?

R: Sure! I love blues guitar and classic rock, grunge, heavy metal and progressive death metal. I recently enjoyed Opeth’s new album. I have been listening to a bit of funk/soul and rare groove recently. Enjoy a bit of hip hop and trip-hop. I love Portishead. My favourite band used to be Incubus when I was growing up, love their old albums.

SSC: What’s on the horizon for Duburban? Anything exciting coming up?

R: Loads coming up! I’ll keep it vague & not mention specifics, but I’m in talks with Supercharger Recs, PPJ recs, Jungle Syndicate and Tuff Shot Audio. I’m working on trying to put out a dub tune with a vocal, maybe self-release, cutting a few copies on vinyl through Continuum dubplate cutting in Huddersfield and selling through my Bandcamp. More on that in the future.

SSC: And finally, if you could give one piece of advice for those wishing to follow in your path, what would it be?

R: Just have fun. Never stop having fun with music. Oh, and stop doubting yourself (we are our own worst critique’s, and I’m the worst for it). 

Support your local sound system culture.

Big ups Rob for taking the time to speak with us. Keep up with all things Duburban at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/duburbanpoison/

Duburban