Dub has been around since Osbourne “King Tubby” Ruddock and Lee “Scratch” Perry developed it in the late 1960s, but the sound is relatively new for Taiwan.
Taimaica Soundsystem — its name is a combination of Taiwan and Jamaica — wants to establish this Jamaican reggae/dub sound here. The band’s music is an organic hybrid of live sound with electronic manipulation. Membership has grown from three musicians to nine over the last couple of years.
“We like dub music and lots of other music genres — that’s why we have nine members,” Taimaica member Dahu Hu said in an interview on Tuesday. “We all have different music backgrounds and it’s good for us ’cause we like people to dance with our music.”
The band has both electronic and live musicians, with founding members Allen Liu (劉培倫), aka DJ @llenblow, and Liu Ru-lin (劉儒霖) on bass and guitar respectively, Shorty Liu (劉力予), aka DJ Shorty, on dub control and sampling, guitar player Angus Chen (陳俊安), Dahu Hu (胡汶其) on synthesizer, and drummer Agoo Lwi (呂思緯). The horn section is John Du (杜則翰) on trumpet and saxophonist Jaco Cheng (張朝凱). The sole female artist and the band’s newest member, Bambam Lin (林以樂), plays the organ.
Dub has an emphasis on bass that the band adheres to. Hu said: “The song usually starts from bass, and when the bass line is clear, then we start to jam.” The beat must be manipulated to drive the rhythm, and Hu said that drummer Lwi is “a robot — he can maintain our BPM [beats per minute] in a certain speed so we can sync our DJ stuff and the laptop’s BPM.” The band also uses a lot of delay effect. The result is reggae-dub with elements of funk and drum ’n’ bass.
Taimaica appears tomorrow night at Underworld with danceable, soulful reggae artists High Tide and ska band Skaraoke; on May 24 at an outdoor benefit concert for Myanmar Cyclone Relief; and at the Peace Festival, Hoping for Hoping, in June.
What: Taimaica Soundsystem (台買加環繞音效)
When and where: With High Tide and Skaraoke at 9pm tomorrow night at Underworld, B1, 45 Shida Rd, Taipei City (台北市師大路45號B1), call (02) 2369-0103 or visit www.upsaid.com/underworld for more information; May 24, from 2pm to 10pm at the Xinyi Public Assembly Hall (公民會館), 50 Songqin St, Taipei (台北市松勤街50號; June 15, at Peacefest, at the Kunlun Herb Gardens, in Taoyuan County. Visit www.hopingforhoping.com for more information
Tickets: NT$250 at Underworld; by donation to the Myanmar Relief Fund at the outdoor benefit; NT$700 for all three days of Peacefest