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Band Hip Hop Reggae


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The best kept secret in music


"Dubtex grooves with global drum 'n' bass"

If Dubtex were food, it'd be awful. Any chef that mixes Jamaican with Middle Eastern with Latin with Texan is doing something very wrong and bad. Fortunately, Dubtex is a band, and in combining beats from all over the world with down-home lyrics and lots of drum 'n' bass, they've cooked up just the type of music you want to hear in a big ol' warehouse on a Friday night. The windows at Cryolab studios are sure to be shaking as Houston's live hip-hop, dancehall and drum 'n' base reggae crew throws it down this weekend. The group's sound is extremely eclectic, like its members' pasts (and their hairstyles): One has worked with Scarface, another with the Offspring; one has dabbled in melodic punk, another in Christian punk rock. Rick Partida, a.k.a. Lion 808, was with Houston's rap-metal group Planet Shock! before he became Dubtex's drummer and producer. Partida says the members' love for reggae brought them together, and that each contributed something different to the band's blended sound. -- Julia Ramey - Julia Ramey-Houston Press

"Bayou Riddims"

If you drive down Hillcroft, you can see storefronts housing businesses from five continents in one strip center. For a long time, you couldn't hear this diversity in our local music, but now that hip-hop reggae dancehall jungle collective Dubtex is on the scene, we have the aural equivalent of one of those strip malls of Babel. Dubtex sounds less like it comes from what the world thinks Houston should sound like and more like what we know it is: a multiculti melting pot on full raging boil.

"We represent Texas, but we're playing world music," says Dubtex drummer/ producer and Rebel Crew hip-hop posse co-founder Rick Partida (a.k.a. Lion 808). The world music half of that pronouncement is easy to hear in the band's sound: Dubtex layers trancelike, almost Middle Eastern keyboard lines over turntable scratching, Jamaican dancehall bass lines, congas and drums (both real and mechanical). Atop all of this is the Caribbean-style toasting and singing of front man Jeremy Masters (a.k.a. Jredi Knight) and the rapping of the single-monikered Persephone. The Texas representation is a little harder to pick out: On Dubtex's dazzling four-song demo (online at www.cdbaby.com/cd/dubtex1), Masters's rapid-fire toasting cries for a lyric sheet, but you can hear references to Lone Star beer, cowboys and steers, the Geto Boys and the Dirty South amid the one-love Rasta spirituality and hymns to sinsemilla.

While much of the lyrical content revels in H-townness, Masters's delivery is as authentically Caribbean as Burning Spear. His appreciation for the style began when he was a kid picking up cheap reggae vinyl at the dollar store -- long before he joined the Pasadena punk-rap band Chemtown. But Masters was reluctant at first to try singing and rapping in a foreign accent. It was at the recommendation of Rebel Crew co-founder Joe B. (a.k.a. Psychedelic B-Boy) that Masters took up the art of toasting. "He said, 'You already rap real fast, you already got melody, there ain't no reason for you not to do it,' " Masters remembers. "And that's kinda the first person who made me know that, hey, it was okay to do that, you know?"

Is Texas ready for Jredi and the rest of the cutting-edge collective? Texans can be as conservative musically as they are politically. People are often flummoxed by acts that break out of the prevailing blues-rock, hat-act country and Dirty South rap molds. Despite the fact that his band sounds more South London than it does South Texas, Jredi wants to be seen as equal parts Texan and citizen of the world. "Can I play music in Texas without two first names? Am I allowed?" he asks. "I've been here seven generations, dude. My family's been here a long time. There's nothing non-Texas about me just because I don't choose to play a Stevie Ray Vaughan cover of a Jimi Hendrix cover of a blues tune, you know? I like that stuff too, don't get me wrong, but gol-lee, give somebody else a break."

Besides, though you won't hear much about it from the national media, Texas musicians have been innovating for a long time. There's at least as much evidence to support the idea that the blues was born in Texas cotton fields as there is pointing to its Mississippi beginnings, and it's become clear that zydeco took root first in the Fifth Ward rather than in rural Louisiana. The late New York Times pop music critic Robert Palmer -- in a rare blast of national props to H-town, albeit in a book and not in his paper -- even posited that Houstonian Goree Carter recorded the very first rock and roll song here in 1949.

And Masters claims that Partida's previous band Planet Shock! was the unsung inventor of rap-metal. Sure, back in 1994 there were people on both sides of the equation who dabbled in the form: Run-D.M.C., Anthrax, the Beastie Boys. But as for an actual band with actual instruments that concentrated exclusively on rap-metal and did it well, nada except for Planet Shock! In fact, one of the only other bands that was doing it at all -- though not at all well -- was Ice T.'s Body Count, for whom Planet Shock! once opened at Prince's Glam Slam club in L.A. - John Nova Lomax-Houston Press


Dubtex - "Live and Raw"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Pop Culture is manufactured, marketed., and sold by and for the economic gain of W.A.C.(weak and corporate).
Youth Culture is a spontaneous movement that threatens W.A.C. and if not properly quelled, will hinder all of W.A.C.’s plans and efforts toward global domination.

The challenge for W.A.C. is therefore to monitor movements of youth culture and replace them with our own imitation W.A.C. versions. (hip-hop =Bling bling punk=Avril, and reggae=cruise ships). In this manner , for decades, has W.A.C. suppressed several “would be� revolutions. (Bob Marley, The Clash, Public Enemy, are traded for Shaggy, Blink 182, and Nelly)

The following is a TOP SECRET file on DUBTEX; A group of individuals whose collective experiences, influences , faiths, & philosophies are manifested in a dynamic package of: hip hop/reggae/dancehall/DNB with conscious lyrics. The radar of legitimate, system threatening, innovative youth culture is registering again.

DUBTEX is fully aware of W.A.C. and its efforts. They will stop at nothing to completely destroy all agents and elements of W.A.C. They are highly skilled “scientists of sound� and should be considered dangerous to W.A.C. and the illusion we protect.

The musical, psychological, and spiritual works of DUBTEX were experienced at events with huge names in reggae and hip hop. Sean Paul, The Wailers*, Mutabaruka, Eek A Mouse, Michael Rose, Steel Pulse, Scarface and Rev. Horton Heat.
Many respected journalists have fallen under their (DUBTEX’s) spell as well as youth who are so enthralled; they may never buy into a W.A.C. product again.