top of page
www.dubateers.com, dub, sound system culture, jamaican sound system culture, reggae sound systems, reggae fan club, dubateers, jah Shaka, obf, channel one, iration steppas,
This is my story, explaining a journey i'm very grateful to be a part of. Unfortunately it has a been a difficult road and we have encountered problems along the way but we have always been hard working, truthful and honest on our own unique mission to entertain, support and produce the best music we can. Our original mission was to revive a music we loved in our local scene and that mission expanded. We do the best we can as part of a music we love very much. Inspired by the sounds of Jah Shaka, Iration Steppas, Aba Shanti, Jah Tubbys, and many other UK dub sounds. Producers Dubateers admire are Nick Manasseh and Russ Disciples and the countless amazing Jamaican musicians and record labels that have created a library and history of the most amazing music!
Dubateers has and continues to produce some of the heaviest UK dub and reggae music to hit the streets. Dubateers firmly hold to their foundations as an 'underground sound', based on original rastafarian values.
Dub fans since 1993 they launched in 2004 with their first music, many of which have become anthems for some of the world’s most successful sound systems. This music consists of both release music and dubplate, often unadvertised or without name or reference in sessions.
Nick has a musical background, his late mother was a classically trained music teacher, where Nick learnt to play piano from an early age, and then later the trumpet where he won several youth brass competitions at an early age. This was where Nick really gained a passion for music. Unfortunately Nick's mother died at an early age, similar to Charlie P, where Nick later felt he had to help Charlie as he knew how difficult being a teenager was without a mother.
First emerging, in Southends sound system scene and musically from Conscious Sounds, in 2005 Dubateers firmly and quickly established themselves as an exciting UK dub outfit. The original crew known as 'The Dubateers' was established by Nick 'Dubateers'(Producer/Selector/Boxman), Ian 'Jah Waggys'(Selector/Boxman/Record Stall) & Glen 'Vibesmaster'(Sound Tech/Selector/Boxman).
Music is Dubateers main priority and those factual and truthful dub historians will recognise the dramatic change in sound that was coming out of Conscious Sounds around the 2004/5 period. This was as a direct result of Nick hiring the Conscious Sounds studio, several days a week for over 5 years, bringing his own musical vision to life. Inspired by the dub scene in the 1990's, in their home town of Southend, Dubateers searched for a revival of the scene they had experienced and had virtually ceased around 2003/4.
In 2004, Nick linked with David Dubwise to set up a distribution deal for a new record shop in Southend that Nick was helping start for Jah Waggys. Nick secured a small but generous £500 tab for Jah Waggys to start a record shop in Southend on his own. Coupled with donations from Nicks personal collection and Jah Waggys existing phenomenal collection his shop was born. With Davids help and Ian shard work the shop evolved into the well known shop www.jahwaggys.co.uk.
At the same time Nick explained to David Dubwise that he had a purpose built music studio and was looking to record artists in London. David suggested Conscious Sounds was a good place to start and the owner of the studio was Dougie Wardrop, tucked away in the back of a tiny shop in Dalston. The studio had virtually no bookings at the time and the owner was thinking of becoming a bus driver and giving up the music business. This was where Nick brought to life again the enthusiasm of the studio owner and engineer Dougie with the idea of The Dubateers and whole heap of new ideas. Dubateers began to service the little UK dub industry with a series of fresh new sounding digital releases, drenched in 80's synths, to classic roots tracks, a sole vision of Nick that sparked the beginning of a small influx of new dub fans into the scene.
After building a musical foundation from Conscious Sounds studios, several iconic releases, most notably the unique refreshed 80's style 'Frenemy' 7" single with Carl Meeks, 'Never Stop Praise Jah' and the Dr Blue and The Time Travellers 'Jah Make We' 10". 'Never Stop Praise Jah' was a vocal that sprung from a conversation between Singer Blue and Nick about how music in general was removing the belief of Jah, and that we would not ever stop believing. The style of vocal was something Nick had heard Singer Blue sing live in sessions and believed it was the style for a Dubateers version of 'Welcome To Jamrock', which Nick felt the UK should have a version of with a more meaningful song to a bigger audience. 'Jah Make We' came about as a direct result of Nicks insistent use of samples and combining of synths with hard digital steppa riddims. The Dr Who riddim track was rejected by Dougie as a joke and had advised it was not used but Nick insisted this was a gem and needed a vocal. This was to Dougie's complete dismay, but after a weekend spent at Nicks home in Southend, Singer Blue and Nick had written the vocal 'Jah Make We', with the mindset of who made the birds and the bees, the sea and the sky, tell me who? Nick also had the idea for the Creation Stepper 'Go Back A Yard' 'Vampire' riddim, the idea coming from the rift in Dracula, with which Creation Stepper voiced a magical vocal.
If you study the styles of many of these productions you can hear they had hardly been made like this before, it was very new at the time. Especially adding vocals to the very drum and bass focused digital uk anthem dubs. Producers like Russ D (The Disciples) deciding to voice riddims like 'Prowling Lion', that had previously been traditionally viewed as non vocal dubs only, and subsequently releasing them with vocals. This style of production gave birth to a whole new generation of young producers and sounds who took inspiration from these sounds, most notably 'Who Make We'.
Crucial production decisions, like to voice a young singer called Charlie P, was also hugely popular in bringing a new fanbase into the dub scene. This was another decision Nick had made against advice from producers like Dougie, who had insisted it was a mistake to voice so young and that the vocal talent of Charlie was not strong enough "stick to safer known veteran singers". Nick felt that the talent was more than good enough to evolve with some sound system, dancehall and crowd experience, previously ignored by local bands like Goldmasters Allstars, who had not released any of Charlie P's songs. However, Nick did and pushed through vinyl releases against the advice and wishes of others. Repeatedly Nick first used the term 'Young Veteran' to explain to promoters the skills Charlie learnt through his uncle, the band they encouraged him to sing with, and then several years of dancehall experience with Dubateers. This term was used online to explain how someone of such a young age knew so much. Nick had to gain special permission from clubs to allow someone of such a young age to be part of reggae nights like those at 'The Royal Hotel', but Nick knew this was essential if Charlie was to reach the required level. Many promoters tried to change Nicks decision to work with other experienced singers but Nick knew he had to prove to people about young Charlie P. We can clearly see to this day that this decision was a good decision and reaffirms Nicks ability as a producer. Charlie later requested Nick be his manager but Nick felt this was the time he had to become independent and should work with others like Mungos HiFi to further his career. Plus Nick had become growingly tired of working with such a young teenager, who repeatedly missed flights, phone calls, lost passports and over sleeping for events but this comes with the territory of working with youngsters and took a lot of time, patience, and money.
Creating ideas for Dubateers tracks started mainly at Nick's home studio in Southend and was key to this success, combining midi ideas, samples and dance recordings. Learning his trade as a producer Nick would utilise many different musicians and creative sources to formulate his ideas into dub anthems. Nick regularly worked with dub legends like Chazbo, Bunnington Judah, Jonah Dan and Hughie Izaachar, and took advice from many others like Singer Blue, Culture Freeman, Kenny Knots and close friend of the time Glen Vibesmaster.
This period saw Dubateers create several reputable record labels, with remixes from the likes of The Disciples to dubstep legend Skream. Dubateers have undoubtedly inspired some of the new generation of dub producers and sound systems. Fueled not only by their prolific vinyl anthem releases, but also by adopting new approaches like the first dub music videos (Backstabbers - Charlie P) and a new focus on merchandise with an online t-shirt and record shop! These were groundbreaking at the time and many objected to the new approach Dubateers had taken but it proved successful and well liked on the whole.
A large part of Dubateers early years was spent playing with most of the major uk sound systems. During this period they established one of the UK's most known specialist underground dub clubs 'The Dub Bunker'. Their unique lively 'freestyle' approach with selector and multiple singers and dj's relived a traditional style of sound system approach that was largely being forgotten at the time. Live pre amp mixing and new style production techniques meant that Dubateers challenged the definition of UK Dub, its production, and the sound generated live in the dancehall. Some countries like France soon had people following Dubateers intently and began to pick up on how they were uplifting a previously quiet scene in the uk. Dubateers in this period was also heavily supported by Iration Steppas and Jah Tubbys, with frequent rotation of Dubateers releases being played by UK legend Jah Shaka, who used to be very selective with his choice of music.
Unfortunately this created a lot of problems with Dougie and others. Nick announced in 2011 that he wouldn't be working from Conscious Sounds anymore and as a result Dougie set about removing Dubateers from the scene, to cover up the undoubted musical influence that was coming to fruition and not under his control. Dubateers was hugely damaged and Dougie who had helped to begin with then continued to seek to tarnish Dubateers in any way he could, at the same time the fanbase became confused, with Dougie releasing back door music believing Nick would not find out, or claiming it wasn't him involved. The music
hard-drives of Dubateers music recordings from 5 years was used without Nicks permission, resulting in a more market stall dell boy approach to Dubateers music. This had a damaging overall reputation for Dubateers.
However, we continued as best we could and the music that immediately followed this period was the single 'Wondering Why' and then the album 'Babylon Surrender' which both proved successful but the negative effect Dougie had on Dubateers proved to be damaging. Nick managed to play still gain bookings at Dour Festival, DJ sets across Europe for many years but it was clear Dubateers reputation had been damaged. Since this period Nicks attention went to rebuilding a secure studio recording environment and upgraded new sound system, so that his recordings could not be exploited dishonestly again.
To date Dubateers has sold tens of thousands of the troubled vinyl format and continues to uphold the traditions of UK dub against all odds. Performances have been regularly made across most european destinations, in their busy schedule of home and abroad sessions, both advertised and underground. Proudly Dubateers have performed alongside many, if not most, of the major reggae acts and played to crowds in excess of 25,000! gaining valuable experience as a serious dub act. For this we are very grateful and humbled for the opportunities.
Although, now solely run as a completely independent outfit by original founder 'Nick Dubateers', Dubateers have been very busy for the last few years. This includes rebuilding a new studio to further many new production techniques, as part of a planned prolific release period in the near future. In addition to this there is the completion of a new sound system, completely designed and hand built by Nick himself.
We regularly update the website so please check back for updates or subscribe on the home page.
Dubateers thank you for your support!
bottom of page