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DJ Dubconscious: all dancehall dub, classic drum 'n' bass and grime

Nelson DJ on Shambhala and performing with Marcus Visionary

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Nelson is half an hour up the highway from the Shambhala Music Festival site in B.C.'s Interior, and it is no surprise to find veteran DJ Dubconscious based there.

He's immersed in his music in various ways.

"I've been back in Nelson for just under two years. I took a job with media and marketing for Shambhala and I run their nightclub as well," he says.

"It's a necessity in this day and age, unless you are going to make it as a big-time producer who is touring the world regularly, it can be tough to pay the bills."

But Dubconscious still mashes urban and modern bass, touring Western Canada, and has become a regular performer on the Whistler circuit.

"This time, I'll be bringing some brand new dancehall dub plays, some classic drum 'n' bass records, some dubstep and grime, all sorts of stuff," he says.

Dubconscious is performing with Toronto DJ and godfather of jungle Marcus Visionary at Whistler Junglists at Tommy Africa's on Wednesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. Proh and Miss Kosmik are also performing. Tickets are $10 before 11 p.m.

"Marcus has been one of the top drum 'n' bass DJs in the country, if not the top one, for a long time," Dubconscious says.

"He has been one of my idols. I'm from Toronto initially, and he was one of my inspirations for buying a set of turntables and really getting into it

"We've since become great friends. I stay with him regularly when I'm in Toronto now, so it's very cool to come full circle."

Apart from regular DJing, Dubconscious has not had time to work on new material. That said, his set from last summer's Shambhala was recorded and will be released in the next month, following some mastering that needs to be done.

"One of the things that I do for Shambhala is curate their mix series, so my set will be released in the lead up for the festival this year," Dubconscious says.

Shambhala takes place from Aug. 11 to 14.

He has some thoughts on Shambhala's success, especially important in light of the recent bankruptcy of the Pemberton Music Festival.

"The main thing is that it is not sponsored by any corporate entities, and we don't have to answer to any other powers that be except for ourselves, and also it was allowed to grow organically," Dubconscous says.

"We're coming up to our 20th year, which we're totally excited about and we didn't grow in massive leaps and bounds, just a slow growth process.

"It's unfortunate when you look at festivals like Pemberton or Squamish, the scale of those events is huge. Shambhala is big, too, but they are five times the size. One thing goes wrong and you don't have the ticket sales you need. The next thing you know, you're bankrupt."

Dubconscious is also playing at The Knotty Burl in Squamish on Saturday, June 24.

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