Tag Archives: International Dub Ambassadors

Better Know a College Radio Station: University of Oregon’s KWVA

College Radio, KWVA

For many obsessive fans who grew up in the pre-Internet era, a passion for music was sparked in the dingy basements and dark booths of college radio stations. Despite sound boards that are decades out of date and tastes that are rapidly changing, the collegiate airwaves tradition has endured. The best college stations remain dedicated to delivering music that fall outside the purview of Billboard-charting mainstream radio. Continue reading

International Dub Ambassadors Bring Classic Reggae to the Modern Age

International Dub Ambassadors
International Dub Ambassadors

Though they’re currently one of the most celebrated bands in Puerto Rico dedicated to playing strictly dub, the International Dub Ambassadors didn’t exactly arrive fully formed. They began humbly in the reggae scene in the mid ’00s, playing covers of the genre’s classics to perfect their sound. Eventually, they began creating ska arrangements of ’80s 8-bit video game music, ending up with something like The Skatalites by way of Super Mario. That project increased their following, so the quartet—Bobby Connelly, Javier Pérez, Daniel Lo Presti and Quique Torresdecided to go for broke and compose their own original music, emulating the work ethic and studio production techniques of their heroes in the Jamaican dub scene: King Tubby, Scientist, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Prince Jammy. In the process, they managed to make the sound their own, with a particular flair that comes less from imitation and more from deep respect and understanding of its origins.

With limited means of production and studio time, the band managed to create two immaculate EPs, Dub Ambassador and International Dub Ambassadors meet Gomba Jahbari. Both are a testament not only to their incredible musicianship, but to their commitment to promote and elevate dub music on the island’s stages, and establish a musical conversation with neighboring Caribbean nations. They’ve collaborated with bands from Jamaica and the Virgin Islands, as well as dub musicians like Addis Pablo and Von Benjamin. This fall, they’re releasing one of the few Puerto Rican dub plates in existence, with art inspired by the works of  British illustrator Tony McDermott, who’s designed record sleeves for dub luminaries like Scientist and Sly and Robbie. We caught up with Javier, Daniel and Quique in San Juan to talk about the recording of their newest EP, International Dub Ambassadors Meet Gomba Jahbari.

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