Todd Simon's United States of Dub
Todd Simon is a trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and performer living and working in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Todd has found a niche providing soulful horn and string sounds for countless projects, many of which have been featured on Paris DJs: The Echocentrics, Connie Price & the Keystones, the Quantic Soul Orchestra, Antibalas, Clutchy Hopkins, Madlib's Sound Directions, El Michels Affair, The Lions, Ocote Soul Sounds, Spanky Wilson, Breakestra, Flying Lotus, Mochilla Timeless with Mulatu Astatke and Arthur Verocai, Sugarman 3, Orgone, Nickodemus, Ohmega Watts, Amayo's Fu-Arkist-Ra, N.A.S.A., Mayer Hawthorne... His current projects include Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn, The Decoders, Todd Simon's Ethio-Cali Ensemble, and upcoming albums of The Delfonics, Ghostface Killah, CSS, Rhye and Quadron.
Following-up on our open invitation in the Clutchy Hopkins interview that never happened, Todd contacted us saying "I'd love to compile a specially-themed dj mix for you (as mentioned in the Clutchy interview, figure out a theme and I'll hook you all up!!!". We asked him if he was into the current American Dub and Reggae scene… Well Todd did a real investigative work, adding some information on each track he picked, and we had the full thing illustrated by our man Ben Hito, for your aural and visual pleasure.
"I've been following posts and releases from Paris DJs for quite some time. Their eclectic tastes in World Music, DJ culture and new music have been a great resource for me over the years. Although I'm not that proud of the country I reside in, the US does supply some great Dub sounds. 'The United States of Dub' is a collection that features rarities only found on vinyl, brand new recordings that are finally being leaked, versions that might have been looked over and tracks that I've dug up from my vaults. Some of America's best Dub producers are showcased on this mix representing a sound that pays respect to Jamaica and the UK. One might not look to the US for Dub, but hopefully after listening to this mix you might want to dig deeper." - Todd Simon
Todd Simon - The United States of Dub
(MP3 Podcast on www.ParisDJs.com) 2012-11-01
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01. NeXt LeVeL Productions - Yabby You Tribute
NeXt LeVeL is the project of Decoders drummer, Blake Colie; DJ Prophecy/Bill Wendt - front of house engineer for the Glitch Mob and guitarist Jared Meeker. Here's a killer LA dub remix of one of my all-time favorites Yabby You.
02. Jazzanova feat. Paul Randolph - I Human (Jeremy Sole Dub)
(from 'I Human feat. Paul Randolph (Jeremy Sole Remix)' 7 inch, 2012 / Sonar Kollektiv) info | buy
Here's a remix by LA's Jeremy Sole. It features some special treatment by Decoders Itai and I. I love this remix because Jeremy created a whole new vibe w/ the Decoders sound. Plus I was able to throw in some Hugh Masekela vibes as well.
03. Strikkly Vikkly (Ticklah/Victor Rice) - Isso
(from 'Redbud Dub 02' 7 inch, 2002 / Redbud) info (Ticklah) | info (V. Rice) | buy
Strikkly Vikkly is a duo out of NYC consisting of two Dub maestros Ticklah aka Victor Axelrod (keyboardist of Antibalas and one of my favorite producers) and bassist/engineer Victor Rice. Isso is off of a 45 released by the Redbud label. Super good stuff!
04. Romanowski - Altar Dub
(unreleased) info | buy
Romanowski is a staple of the San Francisco music/art/dj scene. He was one of the first cats I met who possessed actual jamaican funk 45's. He has a crazy collection. Lucky for us he has been on a steady roll releasing some tracks that have been vaulted for a long time. Thanks to the Bastard Jazz label, we are finally able to hear them. Altar Dub is BRAND NEW! Hope you like it as much as I do.
05. The Lions - Cumbia Del Leon (Freeformer Toddy T's Psycho NuFi Dub)
(from'White Label' digital compilation, 2008 / Ubiquity) info | buy
My Psycho NuFi Dub of Cumbia Del Leon was the last project I worked on for the Lions. I've always wanted to make some straight up cumbia/dub. We recorded the original at Orgone's Killion Floor studio in LA. I did this dub out of my studio.
06. 4th Ave Rockers (Ticklah) with Ruffscott & Rob Symeonn - Move Along
(from 'Hi-Fidelity Dub Sessions presents Roots Combination' album, 2001 / Guidance) info
Brooklyn-based Ticklah released the Roots Combination compilation back in 2000. The comp features a bunch of different groups, but they are all actually Ticklah! Some of the best modern Jamaican sounds I have heard, ever! I was fortunate to perform live in Roots Combination when I lived in NYC. It was always a blast! Especially when vocalists Ruffscot and Rob Symeon jumped up with us. Unforgettable.
07. Peaking Lights - Cosmic Tides
(from 'Lucifer' album, 2012 / Mexican Summer) info | buy
I don't know too much about Peaking Lights except that they are an LA group and that they make some great modern-dub.
08. NeXt LeVeL Productions - Juicy Skank
Here's a sneak peak to some newness I did with the Next Level crew.
09. The Simple Citizens - Breakfast Dub
(from 'Early Morning' album, 2008 / self-released) info
Simple Citizens is known in LA for their dusty/rare-groove meets live Hip-Hop sound. Members of the group are currently a part of the Breakestra, Orgone, and new SoCal latin/afro-funk favorites Jungle Fire. This dub of theirs came out of nowhere. It is mixed by Lions and Orgone engineer Steve Kaye.
10. Freeformer vs. Ticklah vs. Dub Is A Weapon - Journey Dub
(exclusive for Paris DJs - features members of Antibalas, Dub Is A Weapon, Ticklah, The Lions, The Decoders, and more! Recorded at four different studios east coast and west coast) info
Freeformer was my first solo live project. Journey Dub was recorded in 2000 in bi-coastal studios in LA, NYC and Brooklyn. I'm proud to have made a great track w/ my favorite LA and NY musicians. Ticklah, Dub Is A Weapon's Dave Hahn and I mixed this version live w/ all three of us on the board at the same time.
11. Roger Rivas - Organ Shakedown
(from 'Organ Versions Vol. 1' digital album, 2009 / self-released) info/download
Roger Rivas is the organist for The Aggrolites. He put together an EP a few years ago w/ him playing over some classic Jamaican soul.
Original cover artworks :
Selected and mixed by Todd Simon (toddsimonmusic.com)
Audio mastering by Grant Phabao (grantphabao.com)
Artwork by Ben Hito (facebook.com/benhito)
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Some of the records Todd Simon plays on from the Paris DJs vaults :