'They could stop the raves, but never the music.' An interview with Paul Ibiza aka Digital Niyabinghi

Reggae | Friday 23rd May 2014 | Annalisa


The man that many claim invented jungle, one of the original Junglist soldiers and the pioneer of the new jungle dub sound under the name Digital Niyabinghi, we caught up with a Jungle legend about where it all started, the Jungle of today and the scene in Jamaica.

Firstly give us an introduction to Paul Ibiza

My name is Paul Ibiza. The reason they call me Paul Ibiza is because I had a record label back in 1989. I started off the rave scene back in 88 called Fantastic Ibiza. And hint the name, why they call me Paul Ibiza today is cause they link me to the raves and doing a lot of parties back then and going through the transition of doing warehouse parties to now doing the record label stuff.

What was the key moments of Fantastic Ibiza the label ?

The key moment for Ibiza was Kings Cross good way. When we started the big warehouse party back in 89 and when the police and the authority would slow us down, stopping us doing parties when they realised what was actually going on. The birth of Ibiza records was launched.Now we done that for a reason. They could stop the raves but they couldn't stop the vinyls. You can't stop the music and all that So we sort of pushed it on the vinyl. The rave culture went on to vinyl basically.

What was the first song ?

The first song was Roundhouse. I teamed up with a guy called James (Third Party) . You might know him as Noise Factory. We teamed up together and Noise Factory was born.

What was the tune that put the label on the roll ?

We Bring In The Future,  Set Me FreeJungle Techno. We done about eight releases at that time and jungle techno was born.



What was the other key moments leading to Digital Niyabinghi and the transformation ?

Up to 94, jungle was big. But as far as I'm concerned, too many people came into that scene, too many imposters. People coming in like ‘I’ve done this and that’ and ’I've been here’. The truth be told, half of the people weren't even there when it all started. They just came later on down the line. I ain't gonna mention no names but a lot of people in the scene today weren't there at the beginning. If you wanna know the real history of jungle you gotta follow people like Reel 2 Real, myself, and Reinforced Records. These are the labels who were around at that particular time popping out jungle tunes at that time in 94. And then when we in for that transition and we saw what happened, We went back. I said I'm gonna stop doing jungle. So we left it. So between 94 up to 2000. The scene was going through a transition. I put a team together and we said ‘look we're gonna bring the jungle back’ but I didn't want to come back with the same old thing. I wanted to come back with something different. And so Jungle Dub was born.


How long has Jungle Dub been around ?


It's been going on for 5 years now. It's pretty strong.


At what moment did Paul Ibiza become Digital Nyabinghi ?

Well, if I'm gonna take this thing serious, DN is a heart beat. If we go trouble reggae music, we gotta honour the people behind reggae music and if you go back into reggae music you got people like Derrick Morgan who done ska from Jamaica. We gotta honour these people, like Prince Jazzbo and legends who started off the whole reggae industry. The dub is part of that as well, part of the culture, part of the movement, part of the way we are. So the reason why I call myself Digital Nyabinghi is because the beats we are using are digital Niyabinghi beats.


What's the difference between Jungle and Jungle Dub ?


Jungle as I know, as far as I’m concerned, I'm one of the originators of this thing. I’ve been in it a long time so I know what I'm really talking about when it comes to the music. Jungle hasn't got a 4/4 beat. It's a sort of off-beat. It's going off and on. It's got a different sort of structure pattern. Jungle Dub now, is Rastafari. It's more sound system culture because it's built from sound system music. It's got a 4/4 beat, it's driven by a sound system bass line riddim. So it's a completely different sound from the jungle you're hearing today. Jungle Dub is Dub. That's what it is. Jungle Dub is Sound System music. It's following the Roots N Culture. It's going down that road more than it's going down what I'd call the Rave road.


So we're in London. Where is the Dub in Jamaica coming from ?


Well there ain't none. (laughs). That's the whole idea of what we're doing. You got a lot of European Dub but Jamaica is sorting itself out in the sense that we have a lot of dancehall, and the Jamaican dub isn’t actually coming out. That's where the connection between myself and a man called, Original Dub Man, comes in. I'm sorting these things out as we speak today. There's a club in Jamaica called Kingston Dub Club, and a place called Jack's Hill. Go on and check it out. Every Sunday if you’re in Jamaica and you wanna find out the real essence of Dub, go to Jack's Hill Dub Club. We are going back to Jamaica to revive the dub in Jamaica at the moment. We want to revive the dub out of Jamaica and sort of bring it back to England.


You're going over there right ?


Yeah, they've hired me over there to play sometime. If it ain't this year, I'm definitely gonna be there next year if I get a chance.


Okay so I know you've been in the studio, have you got some connections to make some dubby-like mix up, I mean real Jamaican-like stuff ?


Yeah in the sense of record people, I am recording with a man called Derrick Morgan at the moment. And we went into his vault, that has been very very interesting. Loads of stuff that hasn't been released. So everything is connected to Jamaica. It's all connected, and it's coming soon, very very soon. Look out for that man.


Now you've been having some big parties here, tell me about the sound systems, the resurgence of the sound system culture right now.


Well, what we do with jungle dub is sound system music. It's the base of it, you gotta have a sound system. It's the resurgence of the sound systems. There are a lot of sound systems out here at the moment. A lot of people don't understand what's going on but it's a resurgence. I say the rich urban kid, they're buying the sound system, setting it up, and playing roots n culture music. All well and good, but some of them are playing dancehall, mixing it up; it's a bit confusing. We're tying to set the record straight. I & Digital Niyabinghi are coming up with a new sound. A big sound. You know, sound system culture is part of a movement. Back in the days it all started from sound systems. We gotta honour the people who were running sound systems back in the day, in the early seventies. Some of them are still running today. So we're gonna honour these sound systems, that's where the original sound came from. The ones who literally started off this culture because back then, we had no clubs. We were just making our own clubs and doing our own thing.





How are your parties right now ?


Our parties are kicking! If you come to Jungle Dub right now, you get the sound system; it's multi-culture; it does its thing.

If you could sum it up in three words, how would you sum it up ?

Rastafari! That's how I'd sum it up

What's going on in 2014 for you ?

I'm at Boomtown festival this year. That's a good one. We did Glastonbury last year so this year it’s Boomtown. Also I teamed up with Wray and Nephew and we're doing a big thing at the carnival this year. These are actually the things I'm looking forward to. Also I'll be in Spain on the 21st.


So what are you up to in Spain this year ?


We're out in Spain doing jungle dub for the first time, to show the Spanish people what jungle dub is all about.


Which one are you most looking forward to at the moment ?


Spain! I'm definitely looking forward to Spain.

When is the next Jungle Dub Sound System Clash Rave in London ?

Well, I think it'll be at the carnival this year. You'll probably hear some sound systems on the 25th August.

A lot of people would say that people that stick into the old school jungle vibes because back then, that's where the vibes were best yeah? So how much of them old school vibes do you think you have in Jungle Dub?

The vibes were big in the 80's; the vibes were good in the 90s and the vibe is gonna be good in the 2000s. It has not moved. It has moved because the people moved. So the vibe is what's right now. Jungle Dub is the new vibes. We're just carrying it on.


What are you gonna tell people to listen to ?


If you want to listen to the music, check out our new website,, or follow us on Soundcloud. You can follow me on Youtube and then you'll see what's actually going on with Jungle Dub. Follow us cause it's about peace and love and unity. There ain't no dancehall, there ain't no slackness just peace and love and Rastafari. Come and join us man. Follow the clan. The Jungle Dub Clan. The real team. Bless.

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