For this night, the Leipzig based Jahtari label has assembled a bunch of key protagonists of the new generation of digital laptop reggae, digital dub and dub chiptunes. Expect subsonic bass lines, deep echoes and dancehall riddims from outer space paired with 8bit sci-fi and game tunes.
Since it first distanced itself from its Jamaican roots at the beginning of the 1980s and underwent a technical and cultural all round upgrade in its British exile, sci-fi, computer game culture and super-heroism have been fixed aesthetic components of dub reggae, which has always had an affinity to symbols. From King Jammy's world domination bashing dubs, with which he routed the "Space Invaders", to Mad Professor’s futuristic, slacking pre-computer reggae task force – the Robotics –, to Scientist's gigantic battles for Babylon, badness and the cartoon underworld, in dub the "echo-chamber" of the studio became the place where all power was measured.
In 2009 in contrast, dub is completely digitalised, the studio reduced to the size of a hard drive and simultaneously expanded globally into a vital network. Far out on its borders, Jahtari was founded as a Leipzig based netlabel by Disrupt and Rootah. What was first envisaged as a platform for their own productions quickly has become the outlet for like-minded groups and individuals from all over the world: UK dancehall legend Mikey Murka,
Burning Spear collaborator Ras Amerlock, the in-house Jahtari Riddim Force
and a series of small, independent production units, such as the Mary Anne Hobbs favourite the Finnish Clouds, the Danish Bo Marley and the Scottish sound system veterans Mungo's Hi Fi. And although they all utilize the same variables – dub, dancehall, dubstep, Roots, 8bit and crusty geek humour – in equal measure, they each land in completely different dimensions aesthetically.
And exactly as dub as a meta-strategy renewed reggae for the second time at the beginning of the 80s and saved it from hegemonial Rastafaranisation and spiritual hermitage, in 2009 it will be the Jahtariverse with its bleeps and clonks, that saves dubstep from commercialised sell-out, in which drum’n’bass was already once caught up a generation before. LED-Lights on! Jahtari in town!!