The Force Behind The Dub Wars

Dub WarsWhether it’s in sports, cooking, or the arts, seeing talented artists collaborate or go head to head is an exciting sight to see. It creates an intense world of mystery where it is impossible to guess what will happen next, and truly tests the participants skills as they must use all that they have on the spot while under pressure. On this note, Dub Wars is bringing us a competition between many of the most cutting-edge producers in Drum and Bass right now.

The brainchild of Ben Green, AKA OB1, his long history in the drum and bass scene gives him a unique insight into making this the high caliber event that it is. “I got started in music at a very young age working in distribution,” says Green. “I got a job working for Virus, Valve, Infrared, Prototype Recordings, and Metalheadz working as a sort of office assistant for the labels. Later, I went on to work solely for Metalheadz and that ended up with me becoming the label/tour/club manager at Metalheadz for a number of years.

“After that, I went off to have a family and start a new business as an independent; but realized pretty quickly there was something missing in my life and I needed to be involved in music on a daily basis,” confesses Green.

“That was the dawning of Rebel Music, who has now pulled together 18 artists from all over the world including Australia, UK, Switzerland, France, Canada, and Europe. Rebel Music has released 14 EP’s, and just released our debut LP, Rebel One.We offer it for free for those affected by the current situation and those who pay for it are helping to raise money for the NHS, in support of the health workers fighting against Covid-19.”

Rebel Music has been storming the scene and pushing boundaries since, but this is only one half of the formula that led to the creation of Dub Wars.

Dub Wars poster

Dub Wars poster

“Going back to my early years, I was raised in a household where music was a big part of the family and the house on a daily basis,” he points out. “My mum listened to a lot of reggae music, and part of that is clash culture and sound systems. That got me into clash culture, and I have a huge love for reggae music. Over the last eight to nine years, I’ve also gotten into battle rap and is something I have spent quite a lot of time on i.e. I’ve got favorite battlers, going to events, going to all the UK things when the US artists were coming over to battle, getting into all the forum… just really digging it and getting into all the channels of it.

“So, clash culture has been a large part of things that I enjoy, and I love people putting their skills up against each other. The situation being what it is with no events going on, there are livestreams and album projects going on, but felt we needed to do something new and exciting and this was the perfect opportunity to bring these two parts of my life together. That has ended up being the Dub Wars battle clash tournament.”

Thus, Dub Wars was born and the format OB1 developed is a stroke of efficiency and genius.

“The way the tournament is setup is that it is a 16-artist tournament that takes place over four weeks,” explains Green. “Each week there is a live draw every Sunday at 9pm BST. Each artist will be drawn against one other artist – this creates eight battles that will take place so there will be eight sample packs. Each battle gets a sample pack and the artists will have five days to make their dub. The rules are they have to use the ten sounds that are in the sample pack at least once in the track and the track must be at least three minutes long, but outside of that there are no rules. When the dubs are handed in, they will go up for a 48-hour poll online that is hosted by Native Instruments.”

While many such competitions like this can come off as a popularity contest, or even be controlled by such notions, this will not be the case in this competition.

“In those polls, you won’t know whose dub is who’s. For instance, you might see Creatures Vs. Dark Ops but in the poll, you will only see dub one and dub two. It’s all about the music and makes the focus on which dub you think won the battle.”

The entire lineup is filled to the brim with exceptional talent: Creatures, Wingz, Ill Truth, MD, kolectiv, Objectiv, Volatile Cycle, Wreckless, Dark Ops, Hadley, Screamarts, Inner Terrain, HLZ, and Missledz. It’s a well-crafted lineup, as any single pairing is set to deliver an epic showdown….let alone the fact we are getting four weeks of new tracks from them. Round one has started off the competition with a jolt, having some intense pairings that are sure to result in tracks with major heat. Round Two is shaping up the ante even further as the stakes raise even higher.

“It’s certainly a format that is exciting, it brings new sounds together. The other day someone said, ‘We are creating sonic fuckery’, which I actually quite like. It’s breaking the mold a little bit…. it’s putting a number of artists under the clock to a degree; they are also having to adapt to sounds they may not have selected for themselves for a track. We are also going to see, perhaps especially with some of the younger artists, having to use ones they have never used, and they will do exciting things with that. I think there is going to be a lot of exciting music from this project.”

Stay locked! This is a massive event the likes of which haven’t been seen before and will change the landscape of the scene. Not only is it a brand-new avenue for showcasing artist talent but has the potential to bring together the diverse talents and listeners of the scene in a totally brand-new way. Get involved, vote for your favorite tracks every week, and watch history unfold as the Dub Wars competition heats up!

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