Title: RootStep Collossus
Artist: Don Goliath
Release Date: 2014 July 09
Genre: Dub / Reggae
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Label: LibreComme L’air
The Don Goliath Rootstep Collossus is a compilation of tracks taken from many source recordings by this German music / producer / engineer. That’s really an understatement: LCL states they compiled this set from over two hundred and forty tracks from this artist. But there isn’t a lot of information about Don Golliath out there…and that’s where we start in talking about this work.
Don Goliath RootStep Collossus
Someone recently pointed me to LibreComme L’air, a netlabel that I was totally unfamiliar with. I was surprised that I recognized the artwork for one of the releases, and realized that it was a release that was (and still is) in my review queue, but I had downloaded it from another label. So, it seemed a pretty good bet to me that with a release that appeared on a label that I regularly watch for new releases, there was a good chance I would like some of their other releases.
This release from Don Goliath is the first that I have listened to, and it is a stunner of the dub / reggae genre. These are tracks that have an exceptionally pure feeling to them with track titles like “Prais unto thee” and “Children of Israel”. And with such a pure, high quality set of dubs to piqué my curiosity, I wanted to know more about Don Goliath — after all he must be from Jamaica or somewhere in South America with a strong reggae tradition.
Turns out, as I stated in the introduction, Don Goliath is from Berlin, Germany and his real name is Lars Brachmann. He has also worked under the alias Sir Larsie I. And this is where things start to get really interesting, and somewhat confusing. Apparently Lars has been releasing works since around 2007, first on MySpace, and founding his own series of labels: Rootstep Division Recordings, Digikal Division Recordings, Steppers Division Recordings, and Dubstep Division Recordings. And to top it all off, he started his own clothing line: Dubstep Division Clothing.
On his Don Goliath website, Brachmann has a full discography that is basically mind-boggling. There are easily over 60 releases just on his label(s), as well as another twenty releases on other labels. Discogs only lists five albums, and twenty-nine singles.
There is also a FAQ section on the website, where he talks a bit out some of the recordings, like the fact that his works are based on the idea of re-working roots recordings with digital bass lines, but not going in the direction of Rootstep or Dubstep, which he feels has lost the direction that is needed (which is why he spells it RootsStep instead of Rootstep). Also, he states that he isn’t specifically a Rastafarian, but does believe in treating people decently, and uses Jah or Selassie for god “…depending on which of the two terms will fit best…”.
The overall feeling of this collection is excellent. Don Goliath has stayed true to the tradition of Roots based dub / reggae music, and it is a joy to listen to. He has definitely honed his production skills over the years (he states he doesn’t feel some of his early dubstep recordings were well produced). It’s thanks to LibreComme L’Air that we get to hear some of this music under a Creative Commons license. It’s really worth checking out.