About this project
UPDATE - STRETCH GOAL ADDED: If we reach $30,000 we will press 12" 200 gram vinyl records. Anyone who pledges or has pledged $50 or more will get a copy of the vinyl.
Ted Sirota's Heavyweight Dub is my latest musical project in a career that has now spanned over 25 years. The success of this Kickstarter campaign would truly be a dream come true for me- to be able to work and record with a living legend, and one of the greatest Jamaican recording engineers, Hopeton Brown - AKA The Scientist.
The Scientist, along with his mentor King Tubby, Lee Perry, and a few others, are the creators of the Dub sub-genre of Reggae music. The Scientist started his career at the age of 16. He was a prodigy and remains a recording genius to this day. Nobody else compares to The Scientist when it comes to the art of dub (IMHO), and using the mixing board as an instrument. Scientist was the main inspiration for starting this band in the first place.
To read about my personal background with this project click here. Jamaican music (primarily Reggae) has been a passion of mine since I was about 14 years old. With my other band, Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, I wrote and played some Jamaican inspired music that fit into a jazz context.
With this project we are going for a 100% authentic Jamaican sound.
Over the years I have grown more and more enamored with the great studio and backing bands of the 1960's-1980's in Jamaica - The Soul Vendors, The Revolutionaries, The Upsetters, The Aggrovators, Roots Radics etc. The same goes for the great Dub producers and engineers - King Tubby, Scientist, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Coxsone Dodd etc. There was a level of artistry and musicianship in Reggae music during this time that was at least on par with Motown, Stax, Atlantic, Blue Note, and the other great American studios/labels. But in my opinion, the creativity and urgency of the Jamaican music of this period was unsurpassed on a worldwide scale. Unfortunately, that level of creativity has greatly diminished over the years (in my opinion), as samples, drum machines, lack of musicianship, and Scientist's departure from Jamaica has lead to a proliferation of "disposable" music.
Along with the great musicians joining me in this project, I want to help bring back a taste of that era when highly skilled and soulful musicians used their talents together to create a sound and a groove that could make the whole world want to get up and dance.
Who are the great musicians in this band you ask?
Matthew Lux - bass (Iron & Wine, Isotope 217, Rob Mazurek)
Dan Bitney - percussion (Tortoise)
Tom Vaitsas - keyboards, melodica
Cameron Pfiffner - saxophone, flute (Sabertooth)
Yanira Marin - vocalsK-rAd- live dub mixingand other special guests will appear on the recording.
Why have we turned to Kickstarter to fund this project? There are many reasons. The main one is that on a working class musician's "salary" I can't, on my own, afford to pay the musicians for their services in making the recording, the hourly studio rate to make an album, or the production of the final project (the CD) which includes art work, photography, licensing fees etc. etc. With my band Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, we have been able to record five CD's over the years, all on record labels. In these cases, I did not have to pay out of my pocket for the production of the CD's, or to pay the musicians for the studio time - the labels took care of that. However, there are many drawbacks to working with a record label. Scientist's well documented experience with record company fraud proves this (read here). This time we would like to control our own product instead of the record company having complete control of our recorded music. If we produce our own CD, with your help, we will have leverage down the road and will be able to decide to continue to release the album ourselves, or sell it to an interested label on terms that are favorable to us.
Those that have been around me the past few months know that I am pouring all of my experience as a musician, drummer, bandleader, and my entire heart and soul into this project. I have already spent countless hours writing, arranging, researching and rehearsing this music. I feel that what we're working on is important in the context of today's music industry, and I'm really getting the feeling that people are going to LOVE this music. I've never asked for anything from anybody as far as my career is concerned, so this is really the first time I've done something like this. I hope that you will be as excited about this project and music as we are, and I hope that you will help us make it a reality. The Scientist and Ted Sirota's Heavyweight Dub are poised to make a modern dub classic!
As far as costs are concerned, the money we are raising for the project would cover:
-The Scientist round trip airfare from L.A. to Chicago
-Hotel for The Scientist in Chicago
-Payment to The Scientist for his services
-5 days in the studio (Pressure Point Studios) - 3 for tracking/2 for mixing
-Payment to the band members for the session
-Payment for added instrumentation to the recording -i.e. Trumpet, Vocals etc.
-Artwork and graphic design for the CD
-Photography for the CD
-Mastering of the CD
-Replication of the CD
Risks and challenges
There is always the risk of a final product being delayed because of problems with artwork/graphic design and/or the replication process. I have tried to leave some extra time for the fulfillment of rewards to take this possibility into account.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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