Dubka Live: Line Out #5
Coming to us via the ears of the excellent Mr Richard Norris, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and DJ,Martin Dubka is a man of many competing musical hats. With a back catalogue scattered with different genres and unexpected projects, it was hard for us to get our heads around the idea that the producer has finally decided to settle on a singular moniker, DUBKA.
Striving for a unique approach to instrument-driven electronica, DUBKA enlisted his parents to help design a portable version of his studio, which he now transports around the globe in a tailormade suitcase.
This then is a live recording of one of these entirely improvised, instrument-driven sets of Martin's electronic excursions.
Get this in your ears here:
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You’re quite new on our radar.
For those that have been living under a rock, can you give us a few details about yourself?
Who are you?
Where are you from?
London via Cumbria.
When did you first decide that you wanted to produce your own music? What spurred this on?
When I started out playing bass, my first amp was a hi-fi, so I've pretty much been recording music as long as I've been playing it. I guess the real turning point was my mate putting a cracked copy of Acid on my dad's PC. No, actually it was recording in Paris with Cazals. Now I think about it, it's probably just always been a very natural part of making music for me. They're pretty much the same thing in my mind.
You were previously in Cazals, signed to Kitsune, played on Daft Punk’s Alive 97 tour and now release records Vito Delcua’s label. Would we be right in assuming there’s a strong Gaelic/French connection?
Yeah, I guess there is but it's not a conscious thing. I do really love being in France though. And I like a lot of French music and food. Maybe that comes across in my music somehow.
What’s your earliest memory of music?
Lying on the floor in front of my dad's stereo speakers, listening to Billy Joel "The Longest Time". Feeling the bass in my chest.
What was the first electronic music you ever heard and how did it make you feel?
When I was little, my best mates dad used to take us fishing very early in the morning and he always played ELO in the car. We would sit waiting for the vocoder break in Mr. Blue Sky and then go crazy. It was, and still is, just inexplicably exciting.
Without wanting to fetishise it too much, tell us about your love of the analogue.
Well, I don't really see it as a fetish. I'm not a purist by any means. They just feel more like actual instruments to me. And instruments can sound absolutely identical but feel totally different. They might inspire you in a certain way, or give you a specific feeling that will give you a different end result. Kind of like when you play an electric guitar, then you switch on a distortion or a delay and that change forces you to play differently. Actually, maybe a better comparison would be electric piano and acoustic piano. I think what I'm trying to say is I play analogue synths and that makes them feel different to me. As opposed to someone purely evaluating the sound because they're perhaps triggering them from a sequencer.
Is it just a coincidence that you've made a portable studio in a suitcase and you're working with Aeroplane and releasing on Aeropop?
Yes. But it's not a coincidence that my modular fits in hand luggage.
Who made your bespoke suitcase?
My mam and dad. They've never done anything like that before but they seemed to quite enjoy it. I can't even remember how that came about..
Who would you say were your biggest influences?
Yellow Magic Orchestra, The Strokes, Weather Report, Nile Rodgers, Eurythmics, Frank Strazzeri, Metallica, Herbie Hancock, Daft Punk, John Carpenter, Talking Heads… I don't know. That's a few of them anyway.
Where was this live recording, recorded?
This one was upstairs at The Lock Tavern, a little pub in Camden. I didn't expect much to be honest, but it actually turned out to be a really fun little night. It often seems to go that way. Kind of like the absolute opposite of New Year's Eve.
What's your favourite piece of your own music at the moment?
I heard that "demix" of Body Language on shuffle the other day and really enjoyed it. It's quite a departure from how I usually work and from remixing in general actually. Sometimes if you do things really quickly, you can appreciate them more as a listener because you can't really remember making them. I only had the afternoon to do it because I needed to borrow most of the equipment and the studio space.
What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up for music?
I worked in a clothes shop for a few weeks and they fired me… that was my only job. I was 11 when I started making music and I've known exactly what I wanted to do ever since. There was never any plan B.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to this recording?
Probably The Lock Tavern.
What should we be wearing?
I don't know… a leather jacket? Perhaps something with a ganja leaf print? You would be in Camden after all..
Are you a kick drum, hi hat or a snare? And why?
Definitely a kick drum. Surely I don't need to explain that one…
What’s your favourite place on earth?
Bed. Closely followed by the studio. And I use the two interchangeably.
When was the last time you played a good game of table tennis?
No such thing.
What do you do on Sundays?
Make music, eat roast and talk on the phone.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Organic Cocoa Crunch cereal and psychedelics.
Anything we've missed?
Just finished a new remix with my mate Luca Cazal for Ali Love's next single on Crosstown Rebels. Finished another EP for Aeropop, waiting for that to get a release date. Playing live for Richard Norris and Throne Of Blood at Ace Hotel on 14th November. Playing bass with Rory Phillips in Mixed Fortunes at XOYO on 7th November. I'm sure I've forgotten some stuff, but yeah. That's pretty much what's happening.