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Dub Asylum


Dub Asylum is the latest musical alias for Peter McLennan, member of 90's reggae-thrash-punk-ska mutants the Hallelujah Picassos. Dub Asylum is a musical mash-up of dub reggae, hip hop and funk, genres that weigh heavy on Peter's ears. "I like a tune that throws sweet melodies in your earholes and shakes your ass at the same time," he explains.

Dub Asylum continues on with many of the musical elements present in the Picassos sound, taking them on a more electronic bent. Mixing up scratchy old hip hop drum loops and samples with dubbed out guitar and keyboards, Dub Asylum cook it all up in a massive sonic stew that is guaranteed one hundred per cent cholesterol-free, and full of your daily vitamin requirements.

Peter was in the Picassos from 1988 til 1995, when he left the band. They released two albums, Hateman in Love and Drinking with Judas, an EP and a bunch of singles. Peter also directed several music videos for the Picassos. He has been playing music since high school, starting out in a band called The Worst. "Well, the name was apt", he muses. Hindsight, aint it grand?

Dub Asylum started out in 1997, and hit the airwaves with demos back in 98. First gig was at The Gathering dance party on New Years 1998/99. The debut EP Dub Never Sleeps collected the aforementioned demos into a fine bag of dubwise delights, self-released in September 1999. Gigs with Salmonella Dub, The Nomad, and The Black Seeds have followed.

The following year a track off the EP (R U Ready) was picked up by Antenna Recordings for their compilation If Licks Could Kill, and Trevor Reekie from Antenna suggested doing an album with them.

The first full length album She Dubs Me, She Dubs Me Not was released in September 2002, and features contributions from Nick Atkinson (Supergroove, The Roughness), Bobbylon (Hallelujah Picassos), Sandy Mill (SJD, Spacesuit), John Pain (Hallelujah Picassos, Pains People) and Tom Ludvigson (Trip to the Moon, Alloy).

Actor Willa O'Neill (Scarfies, Topless Women Talk About Their Lives) joined in on vocals for You're So Sensible, revealing her hidden singing talent, and proving she is adept behind the mic as she is up on the screen.

The first single, called R U Ready, underwent a radical reworking at the hands of ace remixer Paddy Free, who is one half of electronica duo Pitch Black, and was responsible for producing Salmonella Dub's hugely successful album, Inside the Dub Plates.

Peter finished the video for R U Ready, using film footage he shot while visiting Japan late last year. He has previously worked in the film and tv industry, and has directed several music clips including ones for Trip to the Moon. He has also directed two documentaries, one on local music legend Chris Knox, called Songs Of You And Me; Chris Knox (1996) and Big Daze: Big Day Out (1997), both of which have screened on TV and at several film festivals.

Since that debut album, there's been a handful of EPs, including Ba Ba Boom, which also saw a vinyl 7" single released off the title track, which proved popular with DJs.

Hallelujah Picassos reunited in 2014 for some live shows (following two reissues McLennan co-ordinated and produced) and ventured into the studio, releasing new music, so Dub Asylum took a back seat for a while.

The most recent album, Beg, Steel or Borrow (2022) came out as a limited edition cassette, and featured a collection of McLennan's most loved NZ tunes, redone in a reggaematic steel drum style, an idea he had been developing for a few years prior.

He was a music writer for magazines like NZ Musician, Real Groove, Rip It Up and more back when music mags were still a thing. And he DJs around the place and has been an on-air DJ for Radio 95BFM and BaseFM. He published his first book in 2013, compiling some of his magazine articles focusing on interviews with New Zealand musicians and DJs, called 'I Believe You Are A Star.' He has also been a regular writer for AudioCulture since it began.

Band Members:
Peter McLennan


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muzic.net.nz Admin

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Dub Asylum Release
Posted: Sun Jul 4, 2004 11:51 am
'She Dubs Me...' 12" Vinyl Remix EP

Released: 24 May 2004

Dub Asylum are pleased as punch to announce the release of their brand new remix EP, featuring some of the hotest DJs/producers from Aotearoa - Timmy Schumacher vs Substax, Rob Warner and Josh Webb, The Audioslut, and Matt Scott at Woodcut Productions. They are highly talented chaps; for example, Timmy had the top selling Breaks single in the UK for February, for a tune he did with Baitercell that was picked up for release by a UK label.

The remixes take tracks from Dub Asylum's debut album 'She Dubs Me, She Dubs Me Not' and twist them in new directions, serving up genres as varied as breaks, tech house, drum n bass and hip hop.

The 'She Dubs Me...' remix EP is being played out by DJs such as Clinton Smiley, Rob Salmon, The Professor, Junior, Cian, Rob Warner and Greg Churchill.

"Personally for me the price of admission here is the outrageously outstanding 'Scratch n Sniff' remix by Timmy Schumacher and Substax. Sort of electro/dub with an insistent cowbell that's gonna be shaking many a discerning dancefloor. Equally favourable is The Audioslut's 'You're So Sensible' with its monstrous bassline. Rob Warner and Josh Webb keep the 4/4 family happy with their hypnotic 'What The Funk' remix, and the radio destined Matt Scott remix of 'What The Funk' completes this standout EP." - Greg Churchill

The EP launch was celebrated with a very special event: Peter hooked up with leading NZ graffiti artists Daniel Tippett and DLT who got together a bunch of the record covers, lay them down in a grid pattern, then did a big graffiti mural over them, so each individual cover is a limited edition artwork.

The release was strictly limited to 300 copies. No CDs, vinyl only - because you can't rip it, burn it, or download it. But seriously, if you want DJs to play your music, it has to be on vinyl. And turntables are still readily available in most good stereo shops. So come on down, buy a copy of the EP, then pick up a turntable on the way home - easy as pie!

Dub Asylum - 'She Dubs Me...' - Remix EP

1] 'Scratch n Sniff' - Soka Good Remix by Timmy Schumacher vs Substax (Featuring Sandy Mill - vocals)
2] 'You're So Sensible' - The Audioslut Remix (Featuring Willa O'Neill - vocals)
3] 'What The Funk' - Rob Warner and Josh Webb Remix (Featuring Sandy Mill - vocals)
4] 'What The Funk' - Remix by Matt Scott at Woodcut Productions (Featuring Sandy Mill - vocals)

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