Burning Babylon is a one man Dub Reggae project from Boston, Massachusetts USA. Created by Slade Anderson, the heavyweight riddims of Burning Babylon's sound are firmly anchored in the 1970's Jamaican roots tradition, but with an ear for the neo dub stylings of the present day.
Slade came to dub relatively late in his musical career. For 15 years he played guitar in various punk/metal bands in the Boston area, some of which you may be familiar with (The Freeze, Straw Dogs). To him, heavyweight music meant snarling guitars and screaming stacks of Marshall amps. It took years for him to discover that music with both of those elements removed could still be heavy and powerful. Not surprisingly, the music he played mirrored what he listened to - loud and fast were the rules of his turntable. What reggae Slade did hear came via The Clash and, of course, Bob Marley. The word "dub" had yet to enter his vocabulary. Although when he was still a teenager it had begun slowly creeping in around the edges, reggae stayed on the periphery of his listening experience for years to follow.
During the mid 90s Slade began playing bass seriously for the first time. During this same period he also decided to investigate reggae more deeply. Since he was now primarily a bass player, focusing on music that was bass-oriented made sense. Enter reggae. Slade knew he wanted music that was more earthy and less slick than Marley or Tosh, but he had no idea what to buy. So he searched for albums that looked as though they might offer what he wanted. The first one Slade bought was Glen Brown and King Tubby: Termination Dub. To him, the cover looked as if the music was going to be pretty classic, grungy and authentic and he liked the title as well. Luckily he'd hit on exactly what he was in search of. It didn't take long for Slade to readjust the way he listened to music (with little or no vocals) to fully appreciate what he was hearing. "Drums drenched in reverb, horns and guitars echoing into oblivion, and the most heavyweight bass I'd ever heard." It wasn't long before dub was stuck in his brain. Soon Slade was buying every album he could find to immerse himself in the music. Being a musician, he wanted to learn how to play this music that had so captured his attention. "After a few weeks of wrestling with the rhythms, I finally got it and recorded my first dub track." Burning Babylon was born.
"While I imagine and hope that I have my own unique take on dub, I've certainly been influenced by those that have come before me." Slade's words ring true, as the spirits of the usual suspects (King Tubby, Scientist, Lee "Scratch") clearly loom large in the Burning Babylon studio. Almighty version forever!
© Burning Babylon