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Don Goliath's Website


Just click on one (or more) of the (rather similar) covers to check Don Goliath's Music at Itunes.

WWW, June 2014 - Do not call it Dub Step, don't even call it "Dub Steppish", and especially not when the term sounds like a cuss to you. Call it Roots Step, for that is the name of the unique sound captured in no less than twenty-four chapters of the "Rootsstep To The World" series released by Don Goliath from his Berlin-based studio. With the help of elders like U Roy, Trinity and many others, his "Rootsstep Division Recordings" label is ready to bring the Roots Vibration to a brand new generation. Are we? Time for an in-depth listen and talk with the don himself.

Dubstep. Just saying the word can get you into a long discussion or even debate. Every one has an opinion, every two disagree about everything two can possibly disagree over. And, as with all Dub/Reggae derivates, it can be kind of really difficult to discover any Roots. Dubstep. Not really something to check and not really something to disagree over, either. It's just not relevant. 

Or is it?

Apparently it is. We have Mad Professor's Ariwa Sound releasing "Roots of Dubstep", an obvious description of (DUB) Reggae. An obvious statement as well from someone who actually stood at the roots of UK DUB. 

Screenshot www.dongoliath.comAnd now we have "Rootsstep" music straight from Berlin, in a rather large quantity and consistent quality. Many well-known vocalists have contributed, some are so well-known that their contribution is obviously voluntarily. We're talking names like U Roy, Jazzbo, Kojak, Lone Ranger, Trinity, Dillinger. They have all stood before the microphone and voiced especially for Don Goliath and his Rootsstep riddims. Voicing like they have done for decades, without any compromise in word or sound or power.

So, what is Rootsstep? What drove these Founding Fathers of Reggae to contribute to Don Goliath's sound? Mind you, these are people that you do not tell what to do. When they do something for you, it is the result of their decision to do so. They really can be considered as Elders for they are.

The best way to start is to listen for yourself. However, it it is very difficult to find reviews or articles about the Don and his Rootsstep Sound. Just only recently, the ORIGINAL DUB GATHERING Net Label picked up some of Don Goliath's work and a German blog wrote a review in German but that's about it. So, chances are that your discovery of this unique sound starts by CLICKING HERE (ZIP FILE) for an MP3 mix featuring Kojak and Trinity straight from Don Goliath's WEBSITE or (if your browser lets you) check out the tune below:


Yes, this is the sound of Rootsstep. It's a sound that has all the musicological elements of Roots Reggae while the overall vibe has nothing out-dated or "historical" if you will. This could very well be described as 21st Century Roots, Cyber Roots, or simply Conscious Contemporary Reggae. This is more than merely a style by a sound, this is a sound by itself. So why not call it Rootsstep? 

Listening to the conscious message of Rastafari, skillfully delivered by voices too familiar to not take serious, the music instantly drops you into today's vibes dominated by modern digital recording and mixing technologies. In itself, once again it is shown how Rastafari and Consciousness in general transcends times and places as it contains a universal message from the Creator Himself. Who feels it, definitely knows it.

Unlike the Biblical giant, this one Goliath comes with an uplifting message. A message of righteousness and with songs of praises to the Almighty. Just like all conscious Reggae, that is. However, it is the sound that is intriguing. This is a sound that will appeal to an audience that may not necessarily be drawn to your Steppers Reggae or (DUB) Reggae in general. This is a sound that seamlessly fits into today's spectrum of electronic styles while in the same time distinguishing itself from the slackness and plain vanity or emptiness "present" in too much productions these days (including Reggae!).

Don Goliath started releasing his new sound through a series of albums called "Rootsstep To The World". At this time, in June 2014, chapter 24 is released. You don't have to make the math to see that something is going on here and the fact that so little is written about it all makes you wonder. It makes you wonder so much that you want to find out more about Don Goliath and his Roots Steppin' sounds. 

Time to go to the Don and ask him some thing. This: What Is Rootsstep and how did you come up with this unique sound? 

Don: First of all let me take out the time to thank you for this interview and the article! I totally second your emotions on everything you are saying above.

Now back to your question. I didn't invent this genre nor its name. There were a few other producers around before I started producing my own approach to it. As the name suggests Rootsstep is Dubstep influenced Roots or vice versa. That dates from Dubstep's early days though when it still had a strong Reggae influence which it completely lost during the past years, developing more and more rather Electro influenced sub genres. 

Anyway, so back in the days when I came up with my Rootsstep style I found this name was indeed a good term for this music since it basically is Roots music with a digital bassline sound. 90% of my Rootsstep riddims are rebuilds of end 70s rockers riddims by the usual suspects of that era, namely Tubby, Jammy, Scientist, Perry, Ruby, Moodie so at the very core of all my Rootsstep productions there is Roots Reggae. I therefore decided to spell it with two S, hence Rootsstep, to underline the Roots influence/domination in my approach to it.

Well, the Don makes total sense here. Just take the fact that the only mention of Dubstep on this website is in reviews where Dub tracks come with a "wobbly bass" and that's about it. Then head over to Studio Dubroom where you can find links to websites with samples and loops. Even when you're not a producer, just browse and you will see tons of "Dub" and "Dubstep" sounds that even with the biggest imagination have nothing to do with the music that is the topic of the Dubroom.

In fact, this is where yours truly discovered Don Goliath and his Rootsstep. On a website where producers of the better Dub and Reggae do find worthy material but that's for another time and place. For now, the big question is why there's so little reviews and interviews about Don Goliath and his Roots vibes. When in the eyes of many -right or wrong- Dubstep these days has nothing to do with either Dub or Steppers, his music most certainly has, to say the least!

Something with a baby, bath and water comes to mind. Something having to do with prejudice. Many of us who have developed a strong love for (DUB) Roots Reggae will also have developed a strong prejudice against everything with the name "step" in it, preventing us from discovering sounds like Don Goliath's Rootsstep. For one would be very deaf not to immediately recognize the Roots Vibration in his music, and you you do not even have to know your classics if you will.

So, let's head back to the Don and ask him about this. What does he say to certain voices claiming that his Rootsstep sounds like another style of Dubstep?

Don: I don't think my Rootsstep sounds like Dubstep at all and quite frankly people who might say that don't really know what they are talking about since if they had any clue about the musical genre Dubstep (with all its sub genres) in our days they'd just know better. These people just like to jump the train of the IMO narrow minded Dubstepophobia which is quite common in some parts of the Roots community as I found. 

Now lemme tell you why my Rootsstep definitely ain't Dubstep: First of "Dubstep" has become such a vague term since there are so many, totally differently sounding, sub genres of it around these days. My Rootsstep sounds nothing like any of em. The only thing my Rootsstep has in common with Dubstep is that I use digital timbres for my bassline sounds, but who doesn't do that, unless you are into acoustic music ;). All the other elements of my Rootsstep are Reggae related so I'd definitly classify my Rootsstep as Roots music indeed. Besides I don't know any Dubstep tune/riddim on which one could play a Melodica solo ;)

Who can argue against that? When you compare the Don's bass with some of the basslines and sounds released on some Net Label compilations reviewed here in the Dubroom, the Roots is easily identified. In fact, Rootstep is a lot more Roots than some contemporary Dub releases. The mere fact we have the word "step" incorporated does not mean what many of us might assume!

That's why it is so good that the Original Dub Gathering Net Label released a mix with Don Goliaths music. That's why it is more than late for this interview to appear on the Dubroom. That's why many and many more websites should start reviewing Rootsstep. We're living in 2014 and there's a certain technology and sound called digital. It has been around for decades. It's time for everyone involved in the promotion of conscious (DUB) Reggae to start to promote the sound of Rootsstep.


That's right.

The sound of Rootsstep transcends Reggae in the same manner Dubwise transcends Reggae, meaning that a whole audience can be reached that will not be reached by your average straight-up Reggae tune. To leave an audience unreached with the message of Roots and Culture merely because of a four-letter word is bizarre. Still, it appears very much that this is the case because of the simple fact is very difficult to find reviews, interviews or articles about Don Goliath. 

We need to get back to the Don and ask him how he would characterize the overall (lack of) response in or from the (DUB) Reggae community. His response:

Don: Luckily you are wrong about the lack of response that I am getting from the Reggae community. Lately there is a lot of support for my works from either the more open minded Roots people, not getting scared off by the "step" word alone ;), or the more conservative ones who realized that my Rootsstep sound will integrate perfectly fine into any of their Roots selections. This being said I am aware that the Roots community is known for its conservative attitude in general so I didn't expect to establish my works amongst Roots people anytime soon but I am confident that sooner or later even Roots purists will open their minds/musical horizons and let my music in, only to discover that it is so very close to their beloved classics ;).

A confidence that could and should be shared by indeed us, lovers of the better quality Roots (DUB) Reggae. 

It has been a long time since Jammy's released his Sleng-Teng digital riddim and started the debate as to whether music can come out of a box or not. We've been there, done that. You could even say we accepted how Dancehall became synonymous with Hip-Hop/Rap, indistinguishable synonymous. Rootsstep has more Roots and straight-up Reggae than Sleng-Teng and all Dancehall combined. Rootsstep has more Roots than many contemporary Dub productions. Strong Roots produce strong fruits.

Indeed, we can be confident that more and more people will discover the sound of Rootsstep and when they do, they can start right away with the "Rootsstep to the World" series, which currently has a 24th chapter after it's humble beginnings.... only a year or so ago!

That's the last thing we really need to know. This is an enormous output, considering that there's not a whole team of engineers, players and producers using the same studio and label but basically one person running it all. What drives him? 

Let's ask Don Goliath: You've released like 100 riddims in different mixes since last year. That's a statement from someone with a mission, unless you've coincidently swallowed a drugstore's stock of ritalin. What is the statement and the mission behind releasing "Rootsstep To The World" series?

Don: Hehe yea, well it sure ain't the ritalin ;). I wouldn't say I am on a mission either I just looooooooove to produce music, that is all there is to it really. There is not one other activity I love as much as producing music so I spend all my free time doing it. I wouldn't know what else to do really. I live for my music. When I have to do anything else I tell myself "what a waste of time". All that counts to me is making music really. I'm probably the biggest one-track specialist that has ever lived lol. Besides my music there is only my wife, my day job and movies in my life. And I luv it like that!

Music fills me up and makes me happy it's my reason for living. That way I might probably have to correct myself about that "mission" bit you mentioned. Now when you ask for the reason to produce Rootsstep I can say that this musical genre simply is my favorite one. I do like other genres as well but heavyweight Reggae music is the one my heart is beating for so (with a few ventures into other musical genres) Rootsstep productions will always be my focus.

So that is what love for Roots Music can do. That is the strength behind the enormous output, the reason for the consistency both in quality as well as in conscious lyrics. This is why it is now possible to hear a whole army of well-known vocalists from U Roy to more recent ones inna Rootsstep Style! And that's what easily can be called a mission. A mission to, as the title says, bring Rootsstep to the World!

Out of many, one good thing about love is that this is something that always makes you share. Love is not something to do by and for yourself. Love comes from the Almighty, the Giver of life and Creator of everything-that-is and by nature grows, especially with strong Roots. This can be said about every true form of conscious Roots Reggae music and therefore it can be said of Rootsstep. 

Nuff said, now play! ----> www.dongoliath.com 

Don Goliath's Website


Just click on one (or more) of the (rather similar) covers to download mix tapes of Don Goliath's Music from his website.


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