Issue 57_November

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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REGGAE / DANCE HALL Issue 57 / 2013 35 7 IEW V TER IN Iration Steppas We were fortunate enough to have a chat with one of the biggest artists/producers in the dub scene. Mark Iration, with Iration Steppas, had the courage to break the purist barriers of vinyl and instrumental in the 1990s. Noam | So, as far as I know, you started playing your sound in the 1990s, how did it all come about? Before Iration Steppas, I had a sound called Ital Rockers in the 1980s. Those years were about dancehall. Those days I was strictly vinyl and strictly good MCs. Iration Steppas came from Ital Rockers. Because I used to love music and play music and I had a good kind of audience and a good kind of crowd, I just had to go up a step! That's when we came up with the name Iration Steppas, because I was a dub man, you know. I've seen 'the vanguard of dub' and 'spiritual steppin' warriors'. Which title do you think reflects you guys the most? Both do. The 'Vanguard of Dub' means we're soldiers on the front line. So we actually revolutionised dub itself, because we weren't scared of breaking barriers, trying out new things in the dub market. And because we've done that, it opened doors for everybody else. We were the first sound to introduce the D.A.T machine (Digital Audio Technology). In another way, we were the first sound to break that barrier of just vinyl. So in other words, we were the one that broke it in that you could play CDs, cassettes and use computers. Spiritual steppin' warriors means that we were spiritually, warriors, putting our souls into action and skanking away. and D. Rootical linked up together, the inspiration between me and him bounced back. We weren't afraid to break the barriers, and we got a lot of bad press at that time. But when they realised: 'oh right… let's try this'. The guys who knocked us, back then, ended up doing what we were doing, but 10 years later. We can laugh at that now. Back in the day, I didn't care, it didn't hurt me what Stewart's all-time classic: "Rice & Peas". It brings me to a central question, which role does Roots play in your productions? Roots is a big part of it, because it all extends from the roots. Of all music, 1970s is my favourite. Say I'm playing a dance (a session) in England with my sound system. I always start off with a 1970s sound. Always! We're " So we actually revolutionised dub itself, because we weren't scared of breaking barriers " Your music is innovative, powerful, conscious and especially very heavy. I can only think of a few names that dare make such heavy steppas (Russ Disciple, King Earthquake). How did your sound become so distinctive, where are you coming from? The influences definitely come from Tubby's and Scientist. Those were definitely the years where the mix was at its greatest. I got a lot of influence from The Disciples, Russ Disciple. People like that. When me people were thinking. We believed in it and that it was needed for the dub scene to uplift, because at that time the dub was strugglin'. I was into house music in the 1980s. Chicago house music and hip hop. It was a big influence for me. However, the dub side of things was our main focus, so we carried on the dub we're still in today, after 24 years next year! It was a moment of bliss for me when I discovered your version of Roman going to the year 3000 style, but the 1970s was part of my life and the influences are so vast, I can't explain it. When we build a tune, we build it in that mode, but it's updated. Do you have a dream for humanity? The world is not a nice place right now. Too much blood spilling, too much blood money. For me it's about music. I don't let myself get involved in politics. Music isn't about politics, it's about unification. Reggae music is the top of the league for that, because it's a spiritual steppin' music for people to get into. It's so spiritual and so touching that I don't know why we have to get involved with that fuss and fight business. In reggae music, we are defending stuff. It's not about guns and shit. It's about peace and love and live good, feel good! Without music I don't know what we'd do. Music is life. A healer to our soul. Any amusing stories, at a gig, on tour, in the studio, for our followers? Maybe a bit too personal, but I can tell you that after growing up listening to people like Johnny Clarke, Horace Andy, Black Uhuru, Sly & Robbie and Scientist. For me, when I actually met those guys directly and ended up being friends. That for me, I would say, is amazing! I've been on tour with Johnny Clarke many times. He's been at my studio many times. Horace Andy, Michael Rose, Michael Prophet. It's amazing! As a youth, you listen to these guys on vinyl and you love them. When you meet them, that, to me, is the story!

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