San Francisco musician, DJ and producer Dub Gabriel celebrates the release of his fourth solo album, “Raggabass Resistance,” with a party at the Elbo Room on Sunday.
Fusing electronic experimentalism and groovy reggae, “Raggabass Resistance” is the sound of a three-year global odyssey, with diverse guests such as Major Lazer and Snoop Dogg producer Blakkamoore and David J from Bauhaus and Love & Rockets.
Inner Sunset resident Dub Gabriel, 40, used the crowdfunding site kickstarter.com to raise $7,267 to pay for post-production on the album, including mastering, artwork, vinyl copies and promotion.
“It’s been a really long project,” Dub Gabriel says. “I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s not your typical electronic album or even your typical reggae album.”
Much of today’s electronic dance music is made on computers in the artist’s bedroom. Conversely, Dub Gabriel recorded in London, Chicago and Jamaica in between tours, using analog gear and live musicians playing together in the studio.
“It’s a dying trend, but it’s how I get my kicks,” he said.
After about $10,000 of personal investment, Dub Gabriel tapped his fanbase using Kickstarter to finish the project.
He says the fan engagement is actually more valuable than the money: “They want to build with you — total strangers giving me $100 here, $100 there, $500. These are people who want to engage.”
Born in Chicago and raised in Florida, Dub Gabriel played bass in a major ska revival band before going solo as a dub producer in Brooklyn in the 1990s.
“I grew up in the punk-rock, DIY world. This is really full circle back to that,” he says. “I think [crowdfunding] is the way to go. It’s more legwork, but I get so much more out of it just being directly engaged and seeing the actual action happen firsthand vs. just handing the album over to a record label and hoping for the best.”
On Sunday, Dub Gabriel spins an all-vinyl set of his “future organic” album and other material. He headlines the weekly Dub Mission bill with residents Maneesh the Twister and DJ Sep opening. “It’s funny, I get kids who walk up and go, ‘I’ve never actually seen anyone spin vinyl.’”
“We’re celebrating three years of hard work,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. Let’s party it up.”