Culture

Truth billboards - imagine if Extinction Rebellion could afford advertising

Tigga Sound System is getting the message out. Check out these 10 imaginary adverts

Glastonbury dub outfit Tigga Sound System has just released the album artwork for their latest tunes and Eco Hustler has been given a sneak preview. Imagine if the eco-movement had the same advertsing budgets as the polluters - well check out these 10 imaginary adverts! Interview with Tigga below.

1. Do I care?

2. They want you dead

3. The Little Ones Fry

4. The Amazon Burns

5. Just keep driving

6. Your Own Part

7. Protecting the Polluters

8. Looking after the Grandchildren

9. Avoid Prosecution Now

10. Top Story

Interview

Tigga Sound System is a dub reggae collective based in Glastonbury, Somerset, UK. Founded by Wooden Books publisher and dub fiend John Martineau, Tigga has to date released five psydub albums in its legendary Dub Dream series, the latest in 2019. The albums were originally released on Glastonbury’s Pond Life Studios label. The music has been remastered and uploaded to YouTube with videos by G-Force.

To listen to the albums visit:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvtxuvrI4Tx9CXFp_QonOzw/playlists

or to download at full master quality visit
https://tigga.bandcamp.com/releases

FOR YEARS, bootlegged copies of Tigga Sound System’s psychedelic dub albums were passed around in the hippy town of Glastonbury, Somerset. The only way to get the latest album in the Dubdream series was to know someone who had one and make your own copy. Now, after ten years of music-making, the man behind the melodies, John Martineau, is making the full catalogue of five albums available for free on Youtube and for purchase on Bandcamp. I caught up with him in his office at the Red Brick Building, Glastonbury’s vibrant community arts centre, last week.

MM: **_Why are you releasing now?**_

JM: It’s time to pause and move on to other things. Five albums is quite a lot of work. I need to draw a line and free up some brain space. I’ve been trying to write a popular science book about cosmological and local fine-tuning, and kept finding that just as I started to write, a new track would get in the way and eat up my spare time instead. In some ways it’s a pity, because I think the latest album, Dubdream 5, is easily the most polished, and I’d love to keep going, but I have to write this book now.

MM: **_Your background is in books, right?**_

JM: Yes, designing, editing and publishing the pocket Wooden Books series is my day job. I love it. Right now we are working on books on Fractals, Literary Devices, Shadows, Ancient Measures, Acoustics, Dreams and Aesthetics. I get to meet fascinating people and work alongside them as we distill their knowledge into these tiny books and them sell them in different languages all over the world.

MM: **_Tell me about Tigga Sound System.**_

JM: Tigga evolved out of a desire to hear more of a particular genre of dub. My teens were spent listening to a vast amount of reggae, from Marley to the Maytones, Lee Perry to King Tubby. In the 1980s my best friend Tony and I often would regularly go to dub sound systems, colossal speakers pumping out heavy dub in basements and baseball halls, outfits like Scientist, Blacker Dread, Mad Professor and Jah Shaka - normally we were the only two white guys there. We were also listening to The Clash, who mucked around with some reggae, and Ozric Tentacles, who used to play a jaw-droppingly awesome set in the Green Fields the night before Glastonbury Festival opened. But then, in the 1990s things started to change, everything started going digital. Mick Jones left the Clash and set up Big Audio Dynamite, and then Greg Roberts, Leo Williams and Dan Donovan all left Big Audio Dynamite and set up Dreadzone. Dreadzone was a revelation. It was a totally new sound. John Peel cited their second album Second Light as one of his favourite albums of all time. I agreed. I couldn’t get enough of Dreadzone, but that was the problem, there wasn’t very much of it. So I started experimenting, making some music myself, to see if I could produce something similar to play in the car, and that’s how it all began.

MM: **_You made an album of Dub Nursery Rhymes too?**_

JM: Yes that was just a bit of fun. I had two small kids at home and I wanted to introduce them to dub, and it seemed like the best way to do it. It’s not part of the main Dubdream series, but it’s on YouTube too. My favourite one is Coming Round the Mountain.

MM: **_There are some pretty hard-hitting eco-graphics in the album artwork. Tell me about them.**_

JM: For some years I’ve been interested in small things which make big changes. I used to love the Monty Python sketch of the Killing Joke. Do you remember that? It begins with a joke writer who creates a joke so funny that he dies of laughter seconds after writing it. His mum then comes in but also dies laughing when she reads his final words. A policeman dies chokes after investigating the scene. The Army then attempt to weaponise the joke, translating it into German, one word at a time (translators who see two words become paralysed with laughter). Eventually it is printed and dropped all over Germany, and we win the war. I’ve always been interested in that idea, that a few words might be able to effect so much change, and I’ve always wondered whether there are eco-versions of that joke. If the Greens had as much money to push their agenda as the Car-men and the Oil-men, what would their billboards look like? So, over a few years, I started playing with some straplines and some graphics, and that’s how I came up with the artwork for the album.

MM: **_How do you view the environmental movement?**_

JM: I was a juror at the mock Ecocide trial at the Supreme Court in London and I see things progressing in that direction. I think Extinction Rebellion is just the start and Greta Thunburg is just the first. As accelerating planetary devastation unfolds over the rest of this century I don’t see the people who are enabling it and encouraging it walking free for much longer. I think they will eventually be locked up like paedophiles for destroying children’s futures. Times change, and what was acceptable behaviour in the 1970s is not today, and will become even less so in years ahead. Slavery was once legal, then it wasn’t any more. The ecocide trial showed that some of today’s company directors will be in prison tomorrow. And failure of duty of care to children is a crime which can be extended to many politicians too. Lock ‘em up!

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