Grimy Styles
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Grimy Styles

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Band EDM Reggae




"Grimy Styles"

Taking their cues from dub pioneers like King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry, Austin-based quartet Grimy Styles seems glad to respectfully step away from anything old school and focus on ushering in a new wave of exploratory dub. Listen to the group's freshly released LP, Rewind, and you'll hear tracks that sound like tweaked-out Jewish klezmer dub, gypsy dub, and a host of other global grooves that are creatively rehashed in dub fashion. Consistently laying heavy, syncopated beats underneath a surging rhythm section, then mixing it all live on stage is how the band has developed such a solid reputation outside of Texas. Founded as a trio in 2001, they've already gigged with a few global heavyweights, including the Skatalites and Thomas Mapfumo, and they have also crafted riddims for reggae artists such as Capleton, Luciano, and I-Wayne, to name a few. They're in South Florida playing two shows, and since the hazy days of summer are drawing to a close, why not kiss the season goodbye with a couple of dubbed-out concerts before the equinox arrives? - New Times - Broward-Palm Beach

"Reggae Update"

What's in the name? I'm not really sure in the case of Grimy Styles, whose debut Rewind (Rude Element) is a high-stepping instrumental release rooted in a classic four-piece ensemble of fill-every-space drums (from Jacob Benenate), hold-it-slow-and-steady bass (by Chris Nerren), "flyers" style guitar (from Matthew Beebe) and over-the-top keys by Martin Moeller, who also gets in some fancy melodica work. Recorded in Austin, TX, the sound is brisk and brash with lots of stops, breaks, and changes. Titles include some apparent in-jokes like "Get the Hell Out of the Dodge", "Duct Tape and Pancakes" and the presumably reality-based "Smokin' on the Deck." Although these are mainly high-spirited instrumentals, the foundation is deep roots dub. - The Beat Vol. 26 #4


AUSTIN DAZE: What is your name all about?
GRIMY STYLES: A tough first question. Grimy Styles began from the idea of a dirty melting pot of sound. It was not always pleasant and it was not always thought out or planned. It was a platform for us to take different genres of music and put them together and make this melting pot. And using the name Grimy gave us a lot of room to create a style.
At the same time in the beginning, as the name implies, it did sound grimy. The sound was definitely dirty. given us room — a platform within a genre itself, you know, definitely dub reggae — to expand from there and include other influences. We call it global dub music because it’s exactly that. Whether it’s Middle Eastern or American Soul or Jamaican Reggae, Afro pop, Afro beat — it all comes together.

AD: You guys are four white guys from Texas. How have you been able to channel the energy of Reggae and dub music?

GS: I don’t necessarily think it’s a color thing. The people of Jamaica took all different styles of R&B and jazz which necessarily wasn’t restricted to any color or ethnicity and created Ska music through their interpretation of it. We were merely taking these ideas and our interpretation of it — just a combination of things that inspires you. You know you imagine in their time as well that they were looking to America for popular sounds. I mean jazz was definitely an extension of popular music at the time. It was kind of underground and that sort of thing. But we do the same thing in this time. Whatever bizarre course we are on we keep it in that reggae element more than anything else does. But that is just by choice and we try to add other things to the melting pot.

AD: Have you gotten feedback from other reggae artists?

GS: Yeah, I would say so. Probably what’s more interesting than anything is for a traditional reggae artist who has been playing reggae for 25 years or who is in the Jamaican scene to listen to what we are doing. And they are going to see it for those things that you brought up: they are going to see that it’s those four white guys playing this music; playing some traditional sounding selections and then also playing this kind of mix of other things. Some might find it odd, some might appreciate it -hopefully they appreciate it. Matt works for Steven Gibbs down in Kingston and all of us have been down there. And it’s interesting to hear his feedback on the album and on the recordings. Truthfully he likes the more roots variety. But in the experimental, atmospheric, post-modern dub that we do, it’s definitely a lot harder for them to digest. But there’s still that backbone there that is appreciated by other people. But that’s our target audience –the entire globe, not the roots lovers or the dub lovers. We try to have a wider audience.

AD: What is the best thing about Austin and the worst?

GS: The best thing is that there is so much music in Austin — so much to see; so much to digest. And the worst thing is there is so much music in Austin. Coming from a selfish point of view, being a band trying to make it and playing on a Saturday night you’re competing with thousands of other bands that are out in the city - good, good talent too. But we are here and love it so we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The other best thing is the real open-minded listeners here. The audience actually listens to the music instead of a bar scene that is just there to drink beer and get drunk and unless you are playing covers of what is on the radio they are not going to pay much attention. We appreciate a listening audience that will intently listen to an instrumental dub band for two hours. There are less people that we have encountered here that ask that question, “Why don’t you have vocals?” than elsewhere. “Play 311?. “Play ‘Free Bird’”.

AD: Do you guys ever plan on incorporating vocals into your music?

GS: No plans. Support other projects and stuff like that. You know we have some friends that we play with - have sit in - but not to seriously take on a singer. It’s an incredible thing to have an instrumental group and capture the audience for a long set without having one person to focus on. It creates a lot more introspective listening where they are not distracted by words or one front man. They are able to sit back and focus on whatever they want.
The important thing to say too is that roots reggae has been associated with positive lyrics, conscious lyrics and often times spiritual lyrics - the Rastafarian movement being associated with roots reggae. For us, while it comes down to four guys who love reggae music, who love dub, respect the roots, respect Rastafar where everything came from, at the same time, we are not all Rasta. And we all come from different spiritual backgrounds. We want people to interpret the music for themselves and not have someone on any sort of platform on a regular basis to tell people a certain message. While we respect that — we definitely love that kind of reggae music — what we do, our backgrounds, our influences, where we traveled, the music we listened to, we are able to express ourselves more clearly in an instrumental way than someone with vocals.
It allows us to have our own separate voices.

AD: You guys have an amazing local, loyal fan base. How did this happen and what do you think about it?

GS: Well we’ve been playing for what, four years? Three years with this line up. We’ve built this for three years, playing on a regular basis, giving people options. You know something different they are not used to. There’s not too many dub bands. You know, all the dub bands that are around are pretty popular. So we just gave them something different with different types of music. People come out; we definitely appreciate it. We are very grateful of our fans.
Word of mouth is more valuable than anything for us is in town. Regardless of however many different promotions and tactics we use, everyone finds out about us from a friend of theirs.

AD: It’s hard to keep a good thing a secret.

GS: Thanks. It’s interesting to see new faces and they get younger and younger and it really is a word of mouth kind of thing. Like most bands, it starts out where you call up a couple of your friends and you tell them to come out and see you play and everybody enjoys themselves or whatever. Then it just keeps accumulating. Of course, we’ve gotten the opportunity to play the bigger spots locally: Eeyore’s Birthday Bash and Bob Marley Fest, which opens it up. So we got all age people coming to the shows and it’s a good thing for us. Nationally, we haven’t done much outside of two small tours - Colorado and New Mexico - and it’s kind of a hit or miss bar scene kind of deal. Maybe some of the ones that saw us the first time when we went through a year ago will come back and bring a few of their friends but it’s nothing like what we have here where we have accumulated this fan base. It’s a pretty special thing for us to see all these people that we don’t know. I guess we offer something locally.
We are kind of wide open.

AD: So if people don’t get to hear about you by word of mouth, is there some other way to find out about you?

GS: Sure. We utilize the bit -friend sharing and all that sort of thing. That’s quite a network in itself. We’ve had a web site for the majority of the time that we have been in the band. has a live song. We get a lot of feedback from Europe: Brazil, mainly France, Germany, and a little bit of Italy.

AD: I was about your influences on your website and came across Django Reinhard. That is a strange name for a reggae band to name as an influence. Can you explain?

GS: We love it. Gypsy music is a fusion of sound — of ideas in itself. So that and that energy influenced us. A little bit melodically; definitely rhythmically. I guess more of the spirit and energy - that passion.

AD: What local bands bring you all out?

GS: Tribal Nation. They were here for awhile, loved those guys. D-Madness. He puts on a pretty good show: drums, keyboard, bass, sings - everything at the same time. He’s an incredible musician. Of course our friends Collect All Five. We’ve been playing with them since the early, early, days.

Also, any time any of the Texas dub legends such as Sub Oslo or Echo Base Soundsystem are playing; you’ll definitely see our faces there.”

AD: When do we get a recording? Tell us what is available.

GS: Good question. We are working on an album right now in the studio - we’ve been working on it for the past two months. As we speak, we are in the process of doing final mixes and dubbing it. It’s a matter of time; we’re not in a rush. We want to have something that we consider our baby. You know, that will hopefully put us on the next step. Whether it’s promoters or more of a national scene, something that will catapult us to that next level. Right now we are just taking our time. So to say probably by the end of this year is probably somewhat accurate. Fall 2006.
As for what is available now, it is a live disc that is fairly dated but still has a good representation of what we bring to the stage.

AD: What’s next for Grimy Styles?

GS: Our goal is to have a recording that we love that can be heard across the globe and hopefully we can go behind it and perform it in all these places where our niche is. We’re not an MTV group and we never will be. The ground scene is powerful. Dub music is an important weapon also. Just like all music, it heals people. It can make you dance, make you feel good inside, give you something to relate to. So basically, we want to take it to a higher level and affect these people and hopefully do something good for the world. *** - Austin Daze

"Sound Off: Grimy Styles"

With the Austin Reggae Festival going down this weekend at Auditorium Shores, we thought it would be a prime opportunity to highlight one of the most under-appreciated bands in town – Grimy Styles. Not only does the group lay down some of the smartest music in town, extending far beyond their dub roots, but they have also been central, along with Flamingo Cantina, to building up the local reggae scene over the past 5 years. The quartet’s music combines a range of world beats and melodies to produce instrumental pieces that are dense but expertly melded into mellow and mesmerizing grooves. Their fourth album, Rewind, was released last week and shows the group at some of their most chameleon, especially on the expansive “Spectre” which they have offered for download below. You can catch Grimy Styles at the Reggae Festival on Saturday 21 (performing at 5:20pm) or next Saturday April 28 at Flamingo Cantina.

Profile: Grimy Styles

Year Formed:


Members/Instruments played:

Matt Beebe - Guitar ; Martin Moeller - keys & melodica ; Chris Nerren - Bass ; Jacob Benenate - Drums ; Grimy Styles - dubs

Former Bands:

Lionhead, Seven Seals,

Side Projects:

Jacob - Dr. Dubbist
Chris & Jacob - Don Chani
Martin - Tunny Sounds
Matt, Jacob, & Martin - Gibbo Music Group


Grimy Styles - Self Titled (2001)
Grimy Styles - Espiritu del Chivo (2003)
Grimy Styles - Restoration of the Bathhouse (2004)
Grimy Styles - Rewind on Rude Element Records (2007) [released regionally / national release set for July 2007]


Dub productions by the likes of Roots Radics, Sly & Robbie, Augustus Pablo, Mad P, Tubby, Scratch Perry, and Adrian Sherwood. Other influences are Astor Piazolla, Pink Floyd, Django Reinhardt, Phillip Glass, King Crimson, J.S. Bach, Extol, and Ennio

Strangest comment or comparison ever made about your music:

"Grimy Styles sounds like Lee Scratch Perry Meets Pink Floyd with a dash of Polka" "reggae meets inspector gadget then meets up with the Addams family"

Favorite local bands:

McPullish, The Sword, This Will Destroy You, Golden Arm Trio, Sub Oslo

Favorite local venue:

Flamingo Cantina

Upcoming shows scheduled:

Austin Reggae Festival, Saturday 4-21 5:20 pm ;
Bryan/College Station @ Rola's Revolution 4/27;
Austin @ Flamingo Cantina 4/28;
First Thursday @ Ruta Maya 5/3;
June 15-30 New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado.

Shows over the next month that you're excited to see (other bands):

Easy Star All Stars - Flamingo Cantina 4/20, Prince Paul & Pete Rock - The Parrish - 4/20, Stephen Marley - Antone's 5/3, Lymbyc System - Emo's May 4th

Some of your favorite albums from the past year:

Max Romeo - Pocomania Songs; Beatles - Love ; Top Secret - Shhh..., Ratatat - Classics, El Michels Affair - Sounding out the City; Clinton Fearon - Visions

Ideal band (past or present) to open for on a national tour:

King Tubby

Austin Sound questions:
How would you characterize the difference in dub, and your music in
particular, from traditional reggae?

Dub music originated in the studio as instrumental b-sides to popular singles. New creative approaches began stemming from the b-sides using new technology such as tape echoes and reverbs. These manipulations would soon create the new genre of dub. Grimy Styles takes these concepts from the studio to the stage, tonally and rhythmically reinterpreting dub-reggae.

What would y'all consider the top 5 most underappreciated reggae albums of all time?

Rico Rodriguez - Man from Wareika; Scientist - Meets the Roots Radics, Mad Professor - Dubtronic, The Gladiators - Sweet So Till, anything by Jackie Mittoo

Song Introduction:

“Spectre” - from the latest release, Rewind, recorded at the Still in Austin, TX. Listening, you'll hear influences ranging from ska to prog-rock to klezmer to reggae to Saturday morning cartoons.

Sound Off:

Our conceptualization and intent are best represented by the music. After all, we are an instrumental band that chooses to leave the bulk of the interpretation up to you, the audience. We collectively aim to include a stretch of influences and achieve, hopefully, an ever-evolving take on this love of ours called dub music. - Austin Sound

"Grimy Styles Rocks Dub Reggae"

Chris Nerren's grandfather walks into the bathroom with a Scrabble box in hand. A twist of fate loosens the letters from the box, some of which fall face upward. Grandpa looks into the mirror and sees Grimy Styles reflecting back at him, the inevitable moniker of the band featuring Nerren, Matt Beebe, Martin Moeller and Jacob Benanate.

Daily Texan: What is the story behind the creation of the band?

Martin Moeller: Matt and I met in college, and he originally played bass, I played keyboard, we had a different member playing drums. And then we brought Jacob in on the scene, percussion, drums, and then samples and effects. At that point we were just doing experimental music, and then we got to a point where there was a strong dub, dub reggae influence in the band. Matt spent some time in Jamaica, played a lot of guitar there, and laid some tracks down. When he got back in town he was ready to play guitar in the group. Chris, who's from San Marcos and knows Jacob, stepped in and started playing bass and Matt played guitar, so we were a five piece for awhile. We lost our fifth member about a year ago and now we're playing as a four-piece.

DT: How did you determine you were going to go into the global dub reggae sound?

MM: We were an experimental band for a while and moving more into like Jamaican-influenced music and roots music. And that's why we have this weird view of dub, because it's not really our roots as a band. We're all over the place. It's just kind of a nice backbone.

DT: Do you want to talk a little bit about your compositional process?

MM: It kind of differs at times. Some of our songs come from spontaneity in the practice room, some are brought, some are Jacob's old tracks that we worked on with him at his house, some are tracks Matt worked out in his bedroom, some are tracks worked out in a bedroom at home. Like it just depends; a lot of times someone will just have a song, like Matt's got two or three on the burner, I've got two or three on the burner, or Chris has a song on the burner and he presents it and everybody starts throwing in ideas. That's the beautiful thing about it.

DT: Do you feel like this new album is a good representation of where you are as a band at this point?

MM: I mean, it's been two years now since we recorded the bathhouse album Restoration of the Bathhouse, so this is a representation of songs that we've been plugging for the last year.

Jacob Benanate: Right, and everybody's gonna know the songs. I feel like they're hits already. In the club we've had some airplay; there are just some songs that people love, you know. And now, we have the studio version that they can play in their car or whatever on a CD. So far we've just had a live show with a great response.

JB: We have like four or so out on our Web site (, and we have MySpace ( with like four tracks there.

DT: When does the album come out? And speaking of titles, do you have a title for it yet?

MM: Yeah, we don't have a title for it yet. We're hoping to get it out mid-March before South by Southwest. We're playing at South by Southwest.

DT: Is there anything new on the album that you weren't able to execute live?

MM: Every song has got new elements to it. I hate it when I go see a band, and they sound nothing like they do live on the record. There's nothing really to that point, but there's elements to every song that are new and inspired for that moment. A lot of our songs are different every night or every time we perform. There's a bonus track on it, too.

Matt Beebe: I think another thing that's going to be exciting for people who maybe aren't fans but are into this kind of music is listening to it all on headphones in that kind of environment, because it was definitely mixed in the way where you could put on your headphones and spatially get lost in the mix where there's a lot of fading across. How its recorded and how we approached the actual sound of it versus how we sound live is, I think, going to be really impressive to people.

MM: Something we were going for is to have that album that's like a household EP you can throw on and not pay attention nice background music to or if you really want to listen to it put headphones on. You can probably find new things every time you listen to it.

You can hear Grimy Styles on KVRX (91.7 FM) on Sunday, Jan. 28 from 10-11 p.m. They will be playing at Ruta Maya Feb. 1 and at Flamingo Cantina on Feb. 10 with dub legend Mad Professor. - Daily Texan


Espiritu del Chivo - 2002
Restoration of the Bathhouse - 2004
Rewind - 2007
Future Sound of Reggae - 2009



"At their most rootsy, Grimy Styles can sound like prime King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, or a no-vocals version of Dub Syndicate. Even when they're in more of a reggae/rock mode, the degree to which they've been bitten by the Jamaican dub bug is obvious. Plus it doesn't hurt that they're highly skilled and attuned players who lock it up with a turn-on-a-dime tightness and big, cavernous sound that will have you nodding your head in approval as well as entrancement. "

-Tom Orr

Grimy Styles recorded “Disteria” at Cacophony Recorders by Erik Wofford (Black Angels, M. Ward) in a traditional ‘live take’ directly to tape. Instead of focusing on overdubs and post production, each member utilizes their own ‘dub’ effects workstation, which is processed live during the take. On top of the studio mics, the drummer rigs a separate mic setup which he then manipulates through a side mixer with echo, reverb and filter processors. He often can be seen playing one handed, as he reaches over to activate pedals or send ‘reverb splashes’. The concept is for the four members to meld this amalgamation of effects into a cohesive syncopated Dub journey.

Grimy Styles took their unique live show to the four corners of the continental USA following the release of their debut studio record “Rewind”. They have been featured on The Future Sound of Reggae Vol. 1; compiled with Capleton, Sizzla and Luciano on Gibbo Records; and worked with DJ Rapid Ric, Chalie Boy and Mr Blakes on The Return of the Versatyle Child Mixtape.