This week we welcome producer, DJ and artist Dominic Stanton to the Dusk Dubs family.
As a producer, Dominic has been responsible for some of the most forward-thinking music under his various guises and pseudonyms, over numerous musical movements, be it..... Dom-Unique, Domu, Sonar's Ghost, The Ghosts, Umod, Zoltar, Bakura, Blue Monkeys, Kudu, Legends Of The Underground, Realside, Rima, Sonar Circle, Static Imprints,and Yotoko.... So, it's a real pleasure to have Dominic on board, giving us an insight into his musical DNA.
Having been DJ'ing for around 11 years from the age of 14, Dominic Stanton's musical journey began with UK Hip-Hop, which led to lessons in Jungle, Detroit, Brazilian, Jazz, Funk, Soul….the list go on, with a basic premise of anything that is soulful is in the bag. As a producer, Sonar Circle was the first moniker used in the realm of Drum and Bass, alongside Static Imprints on the legendary Reinforced Records label around 1996.
Domu was created from the ashes of the experimentation that can be heard on their 1999 album "Radius"…. the first L.P from Sonar Circle, which could now fuse all these elements far more easily than was possible within the restrictions of the Drum and Bass mainframe.
He released his first ‘Domu’ production in 1999 for Dego's 2000 Black label and began using that as his primary alias throughout the early 2000s. Since then highlights have come in the form of the Rima L.P on JCR (with Volcov) and remixes of Cinematic Orchestra, Michelle Lawson, 4hero, King Britt and Jazzanova. Domu has also notched up releases for the Archive and Skindeep imprints; most notably, the full-length ‘Up and Down’ came out on Archive in 2001, in addition, he has also worked with Mark de Clive-Lowe and Paul Dolby (Seiji) as Kudu.
You can find him HERE,
1) Otis Reading - Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay
Having parents who were teens in the Sixties meant there was lots of Soul and Motown in the house. They had some LP’s but mostly collated favourites on tapes played and rotated on long car journeys to Wales or wherever. I associate this bassline, along with Percy Sledge ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ playing loudly on a Sunday morning, the bass creeping up the wall to wake me up. This is the music that creeps into your soul, and this song steeped in all the marvel and sadness of Otis’ life is in itself the most bittersweet of optimism…or is it just acceptance of what life really is? A collection of random events you just have to roll with.
2) Ian Dury - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
As my sister and I were born in the 70’s, Punk definitely passed my parents by, as they entered babies/work/mortgage mode, much as my wife and I will remember from 2010 onwards. Dad had this LP though, and our generation’s version of sitting round the piano would be assembling round the stereo system taking in all the info from a sleeve whilst hearing the LP. Retrospectively Ian Dury too is a life and talent you can study the highs and lows, but to me then it was just good bawdy cockney fun, good memories.
3) Paul Williams - Phantoms Theme
Exposure to films, especially great 70’s and 80’s horror came young whilst hanging about with my older sister and cousins. The Phantom Of The Paradise by Brian De Palma became a life long haunt for me, half witnessed whilst too young, not knowing it’s name and living in a pre internet age, I used to tape all sorts of random films on Channel 4 or BBC2 with anything to do with Faust, Phantom of The Opera or the like hopping to catch this one. I taped it randomly when I was about 14 again so I referred to it again and again, enjoying the themes of selling one’s soul for recognition in the music business, but also the music of Paul Williams (linking that to Bugsy Malone, another childhood fave) and the mild horror imagery. The main anti-hero Winslow/The Phantom is a dead ringer for a dark version of Gatchaman. I also used this sample on the Umod track ‘All in My Mind’.
4) Mark Lindsey @ W. Michael Lewis - Lone Wolf's Theme
Another film that has hung around with me my whole life is Shogun’s Assassin. Ultra-violent, no wonder it was amongst the banned videos in the act passed by Parliament in the 80’s. I was too young to watch it then, but it adjoined with all the good fun Kung Fu films I watched growing up, with silly dubbing and creepy 70’s synth music. UK Hip-Hop, J Saul Kane and then Wu-Tang would all bring these vibes back in the 90’s, making the circles of these half remembered things from your youth impossible to ever leave your psyche.
5) Derek B - Get Down
Hip Hop began creeping into the house from the mid 80’s, as my sister entered her teens and having her own stereo, LL Cool J replaced Adam Ant filling the house with music. Derek B seemed to be the first British rapping voice I caught onto, bringing the important realisation that it wasn’t just Americans in on this thing. Another soul lost all too young, I can’t say I ever really dug his work as it was kind of just before what I consider ‘my’ period of classic Hip Hop, as we all have our own ones, but important all the same.
6) Public Enemy - Don't Believe The Hype
Again via the same stream of music, this was in the house on an original tape, which could be borrowed, listened to on a Walkman, and you could LEARN THE WORDS from the inlay card. I enjoyed being among the many white British kids who learned about Louis Farakhan and the like, but it was mainly the Bomb Squad collage of sounds that mostly stay with me in terms of production influence.
7) Cutty Ranks - The Stopper
My sister had the 12” of this on Fashion, and bought in this new element of Ragga. Bob Marley was around the house from my mum, I think the like most 80’s housholds would have Legend. But again, the bass was present and vibrating into my heart pretty much from toddler days. Cutty Ranks bought with him my introduction to sound tapes, radio tapes of lovers rock my sister played over and over again, and the kind of London Yardie look that would dominate my 1990-1992. And yes I was a little white boy obsessed with clicksuits, string vests, bandanas, Balley shoes and ragga rolled jeans. That was my teenage angst just beginning.
8) Hardnoise - Unititled
UK Hip Hop became my first true love. I bought Fear of A Black Planet as PE were a way in for lots of white kids into deeper than pop Hip Hop, but the UK had the mix with Ragga, harder clearer breaks and boy it was FAST! And the scratching! This stuff made me want to DJ, as I sure as hell wasn’t a dancer. I found this out going to local discos and stuff and just being very young, spotty and awkward. DJ’ing provided a way to be doing something else whilst my peers all enjoyed whatever you should enjoy in a party environment.
9) Rebel MC - The Wickedest Sound
So knowing ‘The Stopper’ the ideas of sampling started to make sense listening to Rebel MC productions. I knew him from Street Tough days in my first girlfriend type era, but this stuff just seemed to come out of nowhere. So many samples, such a mangle of bass and bleeps and raga and Hip Hop, AND it was British. It spoke to me as did Hardnoise, but in a way it seemed to moving to something more universal and positive, including a reference to the Acid House parties I read about in The Sun a few years earlier. I bought this 12 at the time and still have it, an absolutely essential piece of music in the crossover from Hip Hop to Hardcore.
10) Krome + Time - This Sound Is For The Underground
I wasn’t a raver in 1992, but I was a DJ. I got my turntables at 14, and saved my pockets money to buy a record a week until I got a job as soon as I could when I was 16. I even used to save money I was given on holiday to buy more records when I got home. ‘This Sound’ had direct reference to Hip Hop/Addis Posse/Hackney Hardcore, all things I had known and loved, but now in this format of re-sampling/arrangement started to really make sense in what I now knew as Jungle. Krome and Time moved with the times up until about 1994 with some great Jungle tracks, but this to me was the anthem of summer 92, along with Jonny L ‘Hurt U So’, everyone that went to Fantazia Donnington Park literally raved and raved about this one. To me it is arrangement perfection, but to them they just enjoyed rushing their tits off to it.
11) Alaide Costa - Catavento
Blue Brazil, as I later discovered compiled by Gilles Peterson, become one side of the soundtrack of my GCSE years. I had found a new group of funky, jazzy friends, which saved me from Indie, as every other white person I grew up with now seemed to like. It seemed to have no connection, whereas Acid Jazz had reference to the funk and soul I grew up with, and as Drum and Bass became more sterile and two step, I went backwards to the rare grooves and even started to check Hip Hop again after many years being lost in the Jungle.
12) Stevie Wonder - Light My Fire
The Portishead years were the other side of 1995/96, the Brazilian stuff the sunny days, but Dummy for those desperately sad days of jealousy or sadness from early relationship lessons. The Andy Smith Essential mix was surely one of my most played tapes, with acquiring each track on it somewhat essential (as the title implied). As I started to look to Hip Hop DJing, with all it’s familiar warmth of sampling old records and the practical skills of cutting/scratching and deck to decking to be learned, digging old records had the dual gifts of great old tunes AND samples, as I was now making music, working towards having my first record out. Of course Stevie has been in my life since early childhood and will always be super special.
13) Federation - Rusty James (Portishead Remix)
More reminiscing of that tape, and now also deep into the Mo’Wax years. This is a more obscure Portishead production which is unusually danceable for them at that time.
14) 4hero Garden OF My Mind
Fabio on Kiss became a bit of a lifeline for keeping abreast of this Jazz infused reincarnation of DnB. I had always loved Reinforced since buying in 1992, Enforcers 1 being my first record purchased when I got my decks on my 14th birthday. Marc and Dego were leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else at this time, doubtlessly pushing Goldie and Roni and Alex Reece to get their major signings and using vocalists and musicians, but it all started here really.
15) Tek 9 - We're Gettin' Down
This record showed me you could have a Hip Hop tune on a Jungle record. And why not? I remember playing this loudly out of my bedroom and my parents noticing my taste was maturing from 165bpm breaks back down to my roots, and the Jazz and Soul and Funk were back in the room. Thank you Dego, for so many things, but this in particular.
16) Cold Mission - Drug Store Rude Bwoy (Nu-Era Remix)
Well it’s the birth of the next phase of my musical story isn’t it? Nuff said.
17) Static Imprints - Untitled Saturday
The first track I made that got pressed and released on vinyl. An amazing feeling at 17.
18) Hanna - Ghost
And with all these years of influence, I still never wanted my House or Techno to be straight. I wanted it to have soul, be bittersweet, have synthesis, have a groove but most importantly whatever that thing was that gave me goosebumbs or shut my eyes and feel mock pain as the music moved me so much.
This is the music I constantly crave finding to this day.