Resinators
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Resinators

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
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LOCAL DUB MASSIVE TAKES STUDIO TO THE STAGE
BY KELLY PRESTON

RESINATORS with Rhymestone and DJ CHOCOLATE at Ted’s Wrecking Yard (549 College), Friday (May 25). $8.

416-928-5012.


the resinators have one goal in
mind -- to bring the dub. Oh, and maybe rough it up a bit with jungle, punk and house elements.

And when they hit the stage Friday (May 25), they’ll be exploring some of their own history.
The Toronto dub quintet’s original turntable and sample technician, MSG, makes a one-night guest appearance after leaving the group six months ago to become sound technician for the New Deal.

No harm done, though. The Resinators -- including new decks and samples man Jesta -- have performed more times in that six-month period than they did in the group’s first five years.

In fact, low-end provider J-Bass says it was Jesta who gave the Resinators the wake-up call they needed.

"He brings something new, a fresh vibe to every rehearsal or gig, and he was responsible for lighting a fire under us in the last six months," he says during a long-weekend rest.

"We counted on MSG to provide so much to the show, because basically, the samples contain the message. But Jesta brings a new, young element."

Along with Jesta, the Resinators lineup includes J-Bass, guitarist GFX Dub, mixmaster Mountain Dred and legendary dub and reggae percussionist/vocalist Raffa Dean. Since each performance is mixed live onstage by Mountain Dred, it’s the group’s claim that no two shows are alike.

"We’re making a conscious effort to bring studio-based music to the stage," J-Bass says. "At the same time, there’s that improv element where you’re free to create in the moment. It’s when you allow the accidents to happen that the dub really takes over."

The band continue to sell their first indie album, Live Dub Experience, at shows and plan to release their second by the fall. They admit to being soldiers of dub amid a sea of either rock or reggae purists.

"We want to break down those barriers," J-Bass explains. "Why can’t reggae be played in rock clubs and vice versa? Why can’t dub and reggae be a part of everyone’s everyday lives?

"It takes a lot of energy to keep five or six people concentrated on one project for a long time, and this is a tough city."
- Now Magazine


You can't escape the dub. It's in everything these days. You might be makin' out to old Massive Attack or blazin' up to that new Tortoise record or shakin' that ass to sides spun at Weave. It'll get you, in the end.

Unlike their beleaguered comrades in the hip-hop community, dub lovers don't worry about "realness." Legions are there to remind the '90s of dub's roots in '70s reggae, whether it be the British Blood and Fire label reissuing old King Tubby or Scientist versions or a local dub crew reinterpreting such classics and wreckin' up the house.

Enter Resinators. The quintet has been gigging around Toronto for almost two years, having been formed in Peterborough by cousins G* (guitar) and J-Bass (guess). The band as it stands took shape with the addition of Professor MSG on turntables, live sound engineer Mountain Dred and the truly entertaining drummer/vocalist Raffa Dean, who has gigged with such greats as U-Roy and Gregory Isaacs (and was unfortunately committed to a babysitting gig at the time of our interview). Resinators play authentic dub, delivering it with a heavy, visceral impact. "Like The Who is Maximum R&B, Resinators is Maximum Dub," says G*. "You've just got to take the form and go on with it."

"Actually, it's Maximum plus Dub," J-Bass clarifies. "Maximum gear, maximum sound."

We spend much of our conversation at Last Temptation discussing the question of "authenticity" in Resinators' Maximum + Dub. The band members are of two minds, torn between the desire to be true to the music's roots and the drive to expand on it and not slavishly imitate the originals. This tension may be the source of their own originality.

"You've got to learn where dub comes from," says J-Bass, "and the reason why certain sounds are important. Everything in dub has a spiritual content or emotional resonance. You have to know the roots. If you strictly play dub by the numbers -- say you've got a King Tubby album and learned all the changes and made it sound exactly like that -- you're not really paying respect to the form because you're not giving back to it."

Adds Professor MSG, "The authenticity is really more a result of trying to understand dub as opposed to trying to reproduce it exactly."

So what's the difference between the understanding and the reproduction? "Originally dub began as two things," says G*. "It was an engineer's music as well as the original musicians'. So it's us trying to reproduce what they did in the studio..."

MSG finishes his thought: "And it's backwards again, from an engineer taking the live music and making his art with it to musicians taking the engineer's art and hopefully producing something authentic."

Roots dub comes across authentically in Raffa Dean's manic toasting and Jah-centric lyrics, his wild drum fills combining with deep bass throb to capture the essence of dub. Layered on top are heavily effected guitar with altered beats from the turntables, enhanced by delay and reverb from the board. All this sound is thrown down live, and Resinators have yet to record.

For now, they are concentrating on putting on good shows, having completed residencies at such College and Market area joints as Lola's Lounge, the Lion and the Comfort Zone. Though Resinators have shared the stage with other live acts, like ragga-core group Race, they prefer sharing gigs with DJs, including Medicine Muffin, Aria and John Black. Drum 'n' bass and jungle are thriving in Toronto (though reportedly "killed" by speed-garage in the U.K., so start unloading those Goldie CDs), and those subgenres owe a heavy debt to the dub pioneers.

This crossover is pretty novel, and a growing phenomenon in the Toronto club scene. Galactica Blast, who play live house with elements of funk, dub and drum 'n' bass, recently completed a similar residency at Weave, and dub-influenced ska/funk octet Skanksters hold court Mondays at Lava.

Resinators feel a kinship with such groups, but also stand on their own locally in playing dub straight-up and heavy. MSG phones up Raffa Dean for the last word: "I dub."
- Eye Weekly


Say the word "dub" and images of steamy Jamaican studios, smoke-filled sunshine and heavy musical madness come to mind. Add the word "Toronto" and the vision vanishes, replaced by Canadian winters, cheesy bars and watered-down roots jam bands. But when you add "band" and "the Resinators" to form "Toronto dub band the Resinators," the situation changes.

A mix of mostly dub, some rock, some electronic and then more dub, the Resinators came together through a common love of Jamaican music and a desire to continue the music's fine tradition. Far from just another band with an echo pedal, they're as close as you'll get to the real deal--complete with a monster mixing board, something called a "dubcaster" and a drummer who was born and raised in Kingston. As in, Kingston, Jamaica, not Kingston, Ontario.

"Our drummer Raffa Dean is the master," explains J-Bass, who lists his band duties simply as "low-end."

"He is on, like, every Canadian reggae album since the '70s. When Leroy Sibbles comes to Canada to play, when U-Roy comes, when Gregory Isaacs comes, they get Raffa. He's amazing, we're blessed to have him. I literally have to practice to go to practice."

With such solid backing, and four years of experience behind them, the Resinators rise to the challenge of recreating dub onstage. Like drum & bass, house and other forms of music that were born in the studio, it's hard to make dub work in a live setting. That's where a fellow known as Mountain Dred comes in.

"He plays the mixing board like it's an instrument--it is his instrument," says J-Bass. "The key to what we do is adapting the music to suit certain situations. We're trying to take dub to new places, and with Mountain Dred constantly remixing everything we're doing live, we can change everything from show to show. In Montreal and Vancouver people seem pretty friendly, but in Toronto everyone's so surly and uptight. We're trying to get through to people who have, like, 10 pitchers in them by 1 a.m., so whatever we're doing, the dub has to penetrate. It's gotta resonate."
- Montreal Mirror


Discography

Resinators album Maximum Dub was released 4/20/2000. Rated 5/5 in CHART.

Band has recently reunited and is currently in the studio working on an upcoming album.

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Bio

Envisioned in the mid 90’s on Hornby Island. BC, dub fanatics J bass & G star* DUB. Resinators really took form in Toronto, joined by: Raffa Dean veteran Jamaican drummer Professor MSG... turntablist, soundman and sampling genius

Traditionally, DUB has been defined in terms of studio post-production techniques. Resinators brings the studio on the road, and turns it inside out, playing the DUB live!

State of the art and analog technologies collide to create a molten dubscape that can both transcendent & terrifying… musicians in a dynamic DUB setting where even two mixes of the same DUB can never be the same.Say the word "dub" and images of steamy Jamaican studios, smoke-filled sunshine and heavy musical madness come to mind. Add the word "Toronto" and the vision vanishes, replaced by Canadian winters, cheesy bars and watered-down roots jam bands. But when you add "band" and "the Resinators" to form "Toronto dub band the Resinators," the situation changes.

A mix of mostly dub, some rock, some electronic and then more dub, the Resinators came together through a common love of Jamaican music and a desire to continue the music's fine tradition. Far from just another band with an echo pedal, they're as close as you'll get to the real deal--complete with a monster mixing board, something called a "dubcaster" and a drummer who was born and raised in Kingston. As in, Kingston, Jamaica, not Kingston, Ontario.

"A lot of bands talk a lot of shit about dub, but few bands deserve to have the term applied to them. These guys are dub. Heavy, heavy dub." Chart Magazine

"...the bass booms out hypnotic heartbeats, the drums snap and crackle like a fire, sounds echo in and out from other dimensions, culminating in a s slow-burning opiate rising from the ashes of Lee" Eye Magazine

"Resinators play like instrumental reggae overlayed with crushing echo and delay, swirling snippets of the Congos, Marley and a bit of roots and chatter in the mix. It's a very contemporary dub sound." Now Magazine