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Mentally visualised upon late night drives across foreign highways, compartmentalised in various mind states and musical journeys. This revisit to Delta Riggs 2016 release Active Galactic was always supposed to be outside the box.
For a band like ‘The Riggs’ adapting a previous record into a joltingly abstract genre bending new shape was a mouth wateringly appealing challenge. They had done this with earlier B side release ‘Dipz From The Zong’ in 2015. An EP which flipped the Rock & Roll critically acclaimed and Triple J feature Album Dipz Zebazios into a bizarro Beastie Boys esque Hip-Hop record with huge success. Still an idea featuring multiple vocalists and additional musicians, aptly titled "Active Galactic Higher Than Before" this Rock & Roll approach to a Dub style record was never going to be without it’s problems.
For starters the band equipped with a ramshackle bunch of friends and instruments, checked into the Motel above the Beach Rd Hotel Bondi on the 15th March 2017 and proceeded to re appropriate the humble room into a fully functioning recording studio, which for the first few days at least Alex ‘Rudi’ Markwell attempted to live in. From here the Motel room was a revolving door for friends of the band and mainly vocalists in the form of Blacker C & Gold Fang, who the Riggs patiently waited on for 4 hours before starting to record. (They filled the time recording shoot-out soundbites from Australian film Ned Kelly which can be heard on June Gloom)
Plagued with false starts, many “friends dropping in” and trips downstairs to the bar, the concept eventually reached its debunkment when the Manager shut the “studio” down after spotting a Trombone protruding from a bathroom window. (The bathroom was too small to accommodate the trombone players slide and subsequently had to be positioned facing an open window) The result as far as the band was concerned was still a success. They had put down the groundwork for what was supposed to be a record for the kicker onners. The record you put on after the after party, when you have the worlds problems to solve and it’s imperative the music never ends.
The addition of Ras Fraser Jnr came later as Markwell & Hammond had been working with Swedish artist Elliphant in Los Angeles. Upon hearing the concept Elliphant immediately suggested Fraser be involved. At the time of this LP’s production the band have not ever met Fraser, the collaboration on track June Gloom being the result of sending sessions back and forth across the oceans.
Hammond & Markwell then linked with Luke Yeoward on a Delta Riggs promo for Modern Pressure two years later, which can be seen online via The Half Way Sessions where the band live-recorded Don’t You Frown & Street Signs & Brakelights. Yeoward, running Half Way Records and an Artist in his own right expressed interest in honouring the project and mixing all of the dubs down in the authentic format, completely Analogue at his studio in Melbourne, Australia.
The trio clicked over a combined love of Punk, Rock & Roll and of course Rocksteady Dub & Reggae, resulting in an eventful few days drinking Guiness smoking the occasional Reefa & making sure this body of work emerged as the most optimum, sonically pleasing, all surrounding and satisfying Dub music you will have heard in a long time.