• goldies
September 22, 1999

GOLDIES ’99 Winners:

Dub Mission

Dub Mission Crew

By Jeff Chang

DUB'S SOULFUL RUMBLE and razor reverb seem ubiquitous in the Bay Area. Dub fills the airwaves of underground radio and deepens the local movements of indie house, hip-hop, and jungle. How did we gain a rep as one of the world's most vibrant dub scenes? Sep Ghadishah, 33, leader of the Dub Mission crew, speculates: "You have people who are open-minded. You have very good record stores. You have a wealth of noncommercial [radio] programming."

But truth be told, she's being modest. She and her crew – which includes DJs J-Boogie, Maneesh the Twister, Vinnie, and Ludichris – have played a central role in making the Bay Area an international dub flash point. Their Sunday residence at the Elbo Room is a magnet for the polycultural scene. "We have old dubheads, Rastas, college students. We have people from different ages and different races. I wanted it to be that comfortable," Ghadishah says.

They have brought in exemplars like the Word Sound posse, Dr. Israel and the Trumystic Sound System, Systemwide, Qaballa Steppers, and even hosted a roots set from local house outfit Dubtribe Sound System. In one of the most mind-bending shows of the year, they brought legendary mixer Scientist to work the boards for local all-star Devil Dub Band. And they've stayed true to their mission, exposing not only what they term "Golden Age" (i.e., roughly 1974-80) dubplates but also sides from new innovators like Thievery Corporation, Phase Selector, Dub Funk Association, and Twilight Circus.

Ghadishah got the idea from a listener who called in to her Monday KPFA radio show. "She asked where she could go to hear the music," Ghadishah recalls. "So I started a club."

The brilliantly executed Dub Mission residency proved so popular, it soon went weekly.

The crew recently celebrated its third birthday. As feelings of possibility and danger gather here at the edge of the continent and the millennium, the Dub Mission crew proves there's no better time than now, and no better place than the Bay Area, to dub.