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Big sound from Down Under

Despite the obvious pun, Dub The Magic Dragon is a heady mix of sound and beats. The Australian-based dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass and reggae five-piece band have been performing at nightclubs across the world and raising quite a few eyebrows.

music Updated: Apr 15, 2011 17:32 IST
Sharin Bhatti

Despite the obvious pun, Dub The Magic Dragon is a heady mix of sound and beats. The Australian-based dubstep, drum ‘n’ bass and reggae five-piece band have been performing at nightclubs across the world and raising quite a few eyebrows.

“Our music sensibilities waver with experimentation. We are all ravers and we want our audience to sway to our sounds,” says founding member Jeremy Malcomson, who studied the sitar in Varanasi. Along with Pete Warren-Smith, Reuben Hedditch, Rene Mancusso and MC Hugo 1 - Dub The Magic Dragon combine Hindustani classical music with African/Latin, reggae rhythms on saxophone, trombone, percussions and of course, the sitar. The group performed in the city last night and will be playing in Bengaluru and New Delhi in the coming few days.

“We played our first gig in 2005 when dubstep wasn’t as big and nobody was combining it with traditional music. We were always sure we wanted to do something kitschy. Hence the name, Dub The Magic Dragon. I think our first few gigs had people coming in looking for a hippy experience,” recalls Jeremy. The band, since then, has come a long way from playing at the average nightclubs, to major festivals across Australia. Citing Ravi Shankar, Chemical Brothers and Bob Marley as their influences, the group did a notable hypnotic dubstep cover of Led Zeppelin’s famous track Whole lotta love…

“Lot of people criticised us for messing with an anthem, but the way we reproduced it was much different from the original track. It’s our most requested song,” says Jeremy, who adds that playing in India has always been a dream.

“We’ve had a great few gigs so far. People in India understand the music very well and that energy gets us going. After all it is the birthplace of the sitar,” says Jeremy.