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Mash Em Up
“We know very little about Don Goliath, the lion-humble rootsstep engineer from Berlin, except that his music has a lot to tell…”
Don Goliath is a Reggae/Dub/Dubstep producer and singer from Berlin, Germany.
He also is the founder of Beatbox Division Recordings (releasing his BeatboxReggae productions), Chiptune Division Recordings (releasing his 8bitChiptuneReggae productions), Dancehall Division Recordings (releasing his 90s style Dancehall productions), Digikal Division Recordings (releasing his DigikalLoFiReggae productions), Dubstep Division Recordings (releasing his Dubstep/Skastep productions), Jungle Division Recordings (releasing his Ragga Jungle productions), Minimal Division Recordings (releasing his Dub Techno productions), Rootsstep Division Recordings (releasing his Roots/Dub productions), Steppers Division Recordings (releasing his Steppers Dub productions), UK Roots Division Recordings (releasing his UK Roots/Dub productions) and the clothing brand Dubstep Division Clothing.
Don Goliath | FAQ
IRIE. What the funk is Rootstep?
Don: didn’t invent this genre nor its name. There were a few other producers around before I started producing my own approach to it. As the name suggests, Rootstep is Dubstep-influenced Roots or vice versa. That dates from Dubstep’s early days though, when it still had a strong Reggae influence which it completely lost during the past years, developing more and more rather Electro-influenced sub genres. Anyway, so back in the days when I came up with my Rootsstep style, I found this name was indeed a good term for this music since it basically is Roots music with a digital bassline sound. 90% of my Rootsstep riddims are rebuilds of end 1970’s rockers riddims by the usual suspects of that era, namely Tubby, Jammy, Scientist, Perry, Ruby, Moodie so, at the very core of all my Rootsstep productions, there is Roots Reggae. I, therefore, decided to spell it with two S’s, hence Rootsstep, to stretch the Roots
influence/domination in my approach to it.
IRIE. Why are there so few photos of you on the web; are you that ugly?
Don: Hell no; I look like a symbiosis of David Beckham and Tom Cruise ;). I just don’t really like photos taken of me.
IRIE. Would you classify your Rootsstep music as Dubstep?
Don: Not at all. First off, Dubstep has become such a vague term since there are so many, totally different sounding sub genres of it around these days. My Rootsstep sounds nothing like any of ‘em. The only thing my Rootsstep has in common with Dubstep is that I use digital timbres for my bassline sounds, but who doesn’t do that, unless you are into acoustic music ;). All the other elements of my Rootsstep are Reggae related, so I’d definitely classify my Rootsstep as Roots music indeed. Besides, I don’t know any Dubstep tune/riddim on which one could play a Melodica solo ;).
IRIE. Are you a Rastafarian?
Don: Not really. I believe in god and treating people decently though. So when I am voicing my riddims, I refer to god as either Jah or Selassie, depending on which of the two terms will fit best into the lyrical pattern I am working on.
IRIE. What is your opinion on the ‘loudness war’?
Don: Well, as we all say, “too much is too much” so when it starts pumping, you definitely overlimited it. But I wanna point out that, just like other sound system/club-minded genres, my productions can live with a very small dynamic range, hence a very high average loudness as we are not talking jazz or classical music. My music is aimed to be permanently at ‘full throttle’ so it’ll sound real heavy when being played on a sound system but might fatigue your ears on a home HiFi though. But, as I said, it ain’t made for the latter anyway.
IRIE. Don’t you think you produce/release too much music, with your discography being longer than an anaconda?
Don: In our digital world, with thousands of badly produced tunes being released every week, I see the need for quality music to stand against that flood. No disrespect to upcoming producers though; in my Dubstep days I released music I now think wasn’t worth releasing since it isn’t mixed well hence I wasn’t ready but, from the start of my Rootsstep productions, I am on the level as every tune sounds really good. This being said, I think there can never be too much ‘quality’ music.
IRIE. What is it with the autotuneophobia amongst Roots producers? Do you endorse that?
Don: Nope. I never understood how one can categorically exclude such an, IMO, great tool for pitch correction. I think it’s all about how radically one uses it; too much of it may surely give an unwanted sound to vocals in Roots productions, but I would never want to miss this tool, especially since some singers I produced would definitely sound horrible without any pitch correction, and that includes myself ;).