Dub FX

Dub FX

“Fat beats, dirty bass lines, rap vocals and melodic vocal lines too. And I put it all together with loops. I’m multi genre.” Ben Stanford’s description of his sound sums it up in a few short adjectives; he has something for everyone.

The DJ better known as Dub FX’s unique style started off as a street performance with a guitar and backing track. After he saw someone else using a loop station, he took it into his own hands and incorporated it – along with some epiiic beat-boxing skills – into his current sound.
“It’s like a combination of lots of different things … I’d beat-box, and then I’d loop a beat, play guitar and sing over top. But as I kept busking people were interested in this loop – they were saying ‘do something with that!’ and it changed very quickly. I took the guitar away and started just using the loop station. So that’s how I play with the loop station; all the effects are my voice, I make all the bass lines, and I change the pitch of my voice to sound deeper or higher, or [to make] delays. That’s something I was already doing in bands for a long time so by the time I got the beat station I was already quite savvy with all the effects and what I could put into it.”

With our dub, rootsy and heavy bass line music culture, Dub FX has a massive following in New Zealand and he loves coming here. Even though he lives in Australia, Ben said he resents the music culture there, but “[came] over to New Zealand and saw what was going on over there and I felt so much more at home ... musically I feel like my home is England, but as soon as I got to New Zealand, I was like ‘wow’, it’s pretty much on par with what I’ve been seeing.”

His trademark collaborations incorporate all kinds of different sounds into one track, and have included the likes of Chali 2na (Jurassic 5), Pete Philly, and a whole load of other artists and producers. He explained his dream collaboration without missing a beat: Bob Marley. “But there are a lot of producers that I’m interested in like Nu Tone, High Contrast, Noisia, that kind of crew. Just because I’m a bit of a geek … my real passion is in the studio crafting songs even though that’s not what I’m really known for, but that’s what my passion is driven from – trying to emulate all these different genres and producers. When I listen to a song by Noisia I think ‘how can I possibly make that song? How can I make that with my pedals?’”
He travels around performing with his fiancée, better known as Flower Fairy (can you see where I’m going with this? I’m sure you’ve seen the posters up around town). They’re playing at Sammy’s on Wednesday night, and you should go because they cater to everyone’s musical tastes – this is one gig that is not worth missing.

But it’s hard work being one of the most promising drum & bass DJs in the world at the moment, evident when I asked Ben for his chosen superpower. After much discussion about the different merits and a moral debate about being able to get people to do whatever you wanted them to, he decided that “the obvious one is flying, but I can’t say that because it’s so obvious. To remain as calm as the Dalai Lama – to be in control of my stress. That would be the best superpower on the planet. And to have amazing amounts of energy. Unlimited amounts of energy.”
This article first appeared in Issue 10, 2012.
Posted 12:51am Monday 7th May 2012 by Lauren Wootton.