Since its creation in 1997, Hammerbass Records Works at the diffusion of Dub Music in all its forms :
roots, electro, steppa, ambient…
If we want to go back to the origin of Hammerbass, we have to remember the parties of the DUB ACTION community, regularly organized in Paris since 1995 by a bunch of enlightened connoisseurs of DUB music. They were already into musical circles and the first goal was actually to enjoy it as at this time there was very little DUB music on the French scene.
As pleasure is often about sharing, the next logical step was also to enable music lovers to discover this music born in Jamaica in the mid 70′s. DUB music took its first European flight around 1977 in London thanks to the help of punk bands (Clash, Ruts, Slits..) to eventually come round almost 20 years later with the techno music that made the ‘Remix’concept [the quintessence of DUB music] available to all.
Whether they took place in basements (Paris-Texas and Archipel in 95 and 96), in boats (Makara in 97, Batofar in 2000 and 2001), or in venues (Arapaho in 95, ‘House of Dub‘ parties at the Elysée Montmartre, Glaz’art from 2000 to 2003), the DUB ACTION parties enabled many DUB fans to see their favorite artists – generally for the 1st time in France.
Therewith the neophyte had their chance to discover the French and international protagonists of this perpetually changing genre.
Those parties were thus an opportunity for the DUB ACTION crew to link up and work with some of the main DUB artists and DUB producers of the international dub scene : Adrian Sherwood & On U SOUND, DUB SYNDICATE, MAD PROFESSOR, MANASSEH, ABA SHANTI, the ROOTSMAN, IRATION STEPPA’S, JAH WARRIOR, DISCIPLES, TWILIGHT CIRCUS, ZION TRAIN, A&O, AUDIO ACTIVE, BANGARANG, DUB WISER…
As we were having difficulties finding the production of those artists in France, and facing the growing audience expectations (thanks to word of mouth as well as an effective promotion), the idea came to start a label.
Ideas of collaboration started to come out, particularly with The ROOTSMAN whose 1st album (‘IN DUB WE TRUST !‘) as well as the rest of his productions were regularly burning our turntables.
During a memorable DUB ACTION party with him in 96, we decided to release a 4-track EP few months after. ‘A matter of time‘ opened its eyes in 97…
HAMMERBASS RECORDS was born !
DUB ACTION PARTIES
In the mid 90′s, DUB MUSIC was known in France but only by reggae fans and some aficionados coming from rock’n'roll or electronic music.
In this context, 4 people made up the DUB ACTION crew.
The name was inspired by an AUSWEIS cult album released in 87. Their goal was to please their friend’s ear with their record collection, it became reality by setting up the 1st DUB parties of the French capital city.
From 95 they organised parties in some ‘dub-friendly’ bars (PARIS-TEXAS, ARCHIPEL), then they moved in the MAKARA boat for monthly parties from 97 to 99.
The DUB ACTION Sound System (Marco & Trispa) who was already playing in the DUB ACTION parties quickly got invitation by the ARAPAHO for supporting RENEGADE SOUNDWAVE.
The word of mouth is in full mode therefore more and more people have got involved to join the cause. We also received lot of Media interest i.e. eulogistic articles (Libé,L’Evénement du Jeudi, Le Monde, Novamag…). Partnerships started to see the light of day (NOVA, RAGGA, TRAX, FG…)and brought contribution to the success of those parties.
At this time, the Digital DUB wave ‘made in UK’ broke in Europe but none of its protagonists were passing by France. The only one who showed up from time to time was the legendary JAH SHAKA who used to support Jamaican roots band.
But if you really wanted to hear some heavyweight bassline the only option was to go to the Notting Hill Carnival in London or to the Brixton’s University of DUB.
DUB ACTION decided to have other DJ’s playing along with them in this adventure. THE ROOTSMAN was the 1st English artist who granted us the pleasure to come and play in Paris for an astonishing anthology party at the Archipel in 96. With the wealth of this promising experience behind us, plans started to spurt out and the crew invited MANASSEH, DISCIPLES, ZION TRAIN, BUSH CHEMISTS…
The young emerging French scene wouldn’t be outdone as Parisian discovered artists such as BRAIN DAMAGE, HIGH TONE, JUNIOR CONY, IMPROVISATORS DUB or DUBIANS in the late 90′s.
In 98, the increasing success of the parties lead the Elysee Montmartre, a famous venue, to propose the DUB ACTION crew to set up more important monthly events : there we go with the famous ‘HOUSE OF DUB‘.
The idea was to invite a live band and some DJ’s into DUB music regardless of their influences (roots or electro).
For 2 years these parties made it possible for dub addicts to see on stage artists such as DUB SYNDICATE, ABA SHANTI, ADRIAN SHERWOOD, MAD PROFESSOR, REVOLUTIONARY DUB WARRIORS, AUDIO ACTIVE…
Residencies will quickly follow at the BATOFAR (from 99 to 2000), then at Glaz’art (from october 2000 to july 2003), and other parties were on at the Divan du Monde (Qaballah steppers + Jamalski + Djins), at the Nouveau Casino (for the first Adrian Sherwoods solo album) and at the Triptyque (with MANASSEH + TWILIGHT CIRCUS + KANKA for the launch party of the I DUB YOU ! compilation).
DUB ACTION ON TOUR
The DUB ACTION crew (joined by RASBORAS, the ‘scientist’) didn’t stop their and decided in 98 to propose their parties in other part of France and overseas. In venues of course (Laiterie in Strasbourg, Bikini in Toulouse, Barbey in Bordeaux, Aeronef in Lille, Espace Julien in Marseille, Astrolabe in Orleans, Ubu in Rennes, Usine in Reims, Lunes des Pirates in Amiens…) and also in several festivals, from the most underground (Dubalistic, Dub me Crazy, Dub Clash 1…) to the hippest (Printemps de Bourges, Mix Move, Telerama Dub Festival…), from the most roots-reggae (Garance Reggae Festival) to the most electro(Astropolis, Magic Garden, Panorama…).
In 2001 for the launch of the album of ELEPHANT SYSTEM (ex TREPONEM PAL), DUB ACTION supported the band for a 40-gig trip around the country.
Since few years, DUB ACTION parties reach Poland (Big up for Maken !), Hungary, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland…But joining ADRIAN SHERWOOD for a tour in april 2000 (15 gigs in 5 countries) was certainly the main event that increased the popularity of the crew out of the border.
Beware ! The DUB ACTION parties are back in Paris since october 2005 at the BATOFAR (DUB WISER, JOINT VENTURE SOUND SYSTEM, KANKA, SEB THE PLAYER, MANASSEH…to be continued with ROOTSMAN, BOTOM BOTOM, MINIMAN…
Keep your eyes open !
DUB ACTION’s GUESTS
|INTERNATIONAL :||FRANCE :|
UNITON HI-FI (USA – INCOMING Rec.)
NON-PLACE URBAN FIELD (GER. – INCOMING Rec.)
THE ROOTSMAN (THIRD EYE MUSIC)
ADRIAN SHERWOOD (ON- U SOUND)
MAD PROFESSOR (ARIWA)
ARMAGIDEON (BLACK ROOTS)
BUSH CHEMISTS (CRISPY)
ZION TRAIN (UNIVERSAL EGG)
DUB SPECIALISTS (CRISPY)
BOBBY MARSHALL & JOHN PATTEN (ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION) (LONDON RECORDS)
REVOLUTIONNARY DUB WARRIORS (ARIWA / ON-U SOUND)
MANASSEH (ACID ROOTS)
ABA SHANTI I (FALASHA RECORDINGS)
2 BADCARD (ON-U SOUND)
BABY FOX SOUND SYSTEM (ROADRUNNER)
DREAD’N'FRED (REGGAE ON TOP)
UNIVERSAL EGG CREW
PETER HOLDSWORTH (PRESSURE SOUNDS)
NATTY BASS SOUNDSYSTEM
SEB THE PLAYER