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Seth Dubin - conducted by Da Baddest Poet  

Seth Dubin

February 2005

The Pittsburgh hip hop scene has always existed with little or no coverage or publicity. The Pittsburgh music scene in general is a constant flow of bohemian etiquette and steel city slap in the face delirium. As the Pittsburgh music scene grows, itís important to keep an eye on the up and coming artists. I was able to talk to an up and coming producer Seth Dubin, who has spent the past year in Germany, expanding his production portfolio.

MVRemix: Letís start off with introductions, tell me about yourself?

Seth Dubin: My surname is Seth Dubin but my artistic name is Dub. Iím 5í9íí 190 pounds. Iím from Pittsburgh. I feel like music is everywhere. Itís about listening to the sounds and rhythms around us. I find beauty and hear music in many things in life and therefore am a pretty positive person.

MVRemix: What have you been up to? What are you working on now?

Seth Dubin: Iíve been catching up on listening to all the music I missed out on last year. I spent last year in Germany, so Iím basically catching up on all the American music Iíve missed. As far as projects go, Iíve been working on a few beats with a theme. Kind of a concept album. As far as the rapping goes, Iíve taken a back seat to the beats and have only been writing a few rhymes here and there.

MVRemix: So you spent a year in Germany? How has that influenced your production style?

Seth Dubin: Yeah, I spent last year in Germany. The German hip-hop scene had changed so much since I had been there years before. The beats and rhymes were getting better and more American sounding. Germans always have an amazing sense for complex and catchy tracks. Their weakness though is grit and poetic nature to their rhymes. My experience in Germany has definitely influenced my music, but any other country would have done the same.

MVRemix: Whereís the Pittsburgh hip hop scene heading these days? Do you feel yourself moving with or against the current flow?

Seth Dubin: The Pittsburgh music/ hip hop scene has always been an interesting collaboration of many different sounds and styles. The Pittsburgh music scene has never been well publicized or promoted. My music has a unique current that flows in its own direction. Iíve never been one to go along with the mainstream. People want something new and exciting even though they donít know it.

MVRemix: Who are your artistic influences? Specifically in production, standing on the shoulders of giants, how do you see yourself compared to other producers?

Seth Dubin: Iíve been influenced by many artists. Iíve always been fascinated and drawn to the female voice, so Portishead, Heed (from Sweden), and Lamb were always in my CD player. After my trip-hop phase, I started listening to actual hip-hop, like Tribe Called Quest, Mos def, Dose One and Dan the Automator. I loved the powerful and meaningful lyrics that were backed by amazing beats. I had always thought of rap as the shit you hear on MTV with the guys with gold teeth and big chains around their necks. When I started listening to DJ/producers like DJ Shadow and RJD2, I was blown away with the complexity and amount of work that went into each beat. I have also been influenced by Prefuse 73, and although I have much appreciation for these guys, I have been able to form my own identity and sound without mirroring other producers. Iím pretty modest and I realize that they are artists that I will never be, however I feel I have a trademark with my music and that is the live-time recording technique I use. Basically creating a beat and then playing and recording live instruments along with it. I have worked with various techniques and have found a balance forming a synthesis of acid jazz/trip hop and hip hop, with the additional instrumental samples from instruments that I play. Although many producers like to use samples from other musicians, I have found for myself that Iíd rather use my own self-produced vocals and instrumental tracks.

MVRemix: How would you define hip hop? What does hip hop mean to you in two or less sentences?

Seth Dubin: Hip hop is an expression of self and a means of communication and narration. It has an underestimated power in todayís culture, especially on the mainstream. A lot of times, cats will change their style or adapt to other audiences in order to sell more records. Itís not about that. You donít have to change anything for the mainstream to catch up. Good music is good music, period. If more people listen to it, cool, if not, whatever, it doesnít matter, Iím going to keep making music and if a lot of people dig what Iím making, cool. Hip hop means breathing the life through trouble and strife. A guided knife held in the form of a mic.

MVRemix: Give us a quote that describes you.

Seth Dubin: ďBe great in act, as you have been in thoughtĒ William Shakespeare

MVRemix: Any last thoughts on where youíre heading?

Seth Dubin: Right now Iím working on that concept album I was telling you about. This summer Iím working with another producer, Axom, and hopefully dropping some shit by September.

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