I don’t wanna see no more bloodshed
I don’t wanna see no more violence and crying
In this time we tell da you to put down the 9 and live righteous
More peace, more light
Yu know me a say
We dont wan nah war tonight
We dont wan nah fuss and nah fight
Put down the guns and make we all unite and me we live right inna the almighty sight
Never has a simple yet powerful set of lyrics captivated a global audience than those on Digital Mystikz’ most prized piece of wax. Whether it was at DMZ in Brixton, Outlook Festival, Croatia or any other sound system party where we meditate on bass weight, the words have rippled through the crowd of countless dances uniting all that are present. In a time when terror attacks continue to plague the world, the message couldn’t be more pertinent. Today marks 10 years since Haunted / Anti War Dub first hit our shelves. It dropped at a crucial period when the sound was at its global tipping point and perfectly nailed the duality of the dubstep scene. It is unequivocally, the definitive dubstep record released on one of the scene’s most influential imprints.
The history of Anti War Dub is probably best recalled by Mala himself when he gave a lecture at Red Bull’s Music Academy in Barcelona in 2008: “This was a funny track really because I actually finished it about 9 months after I started making it. I originally started it in 2004 and basically I was thinking back then of doing some sort of album, and this was going to be a kind of interlude in-between tracks. It just started off with the bassline and Spen G’s voice, you know “we don’t want no war tonight”, and about 9 months later I remember turning it on to have a listen to it and the “boom skat boom skat” beat just came to me… It’s kind of crazy sometimes the reaction it gets when I play it. It’s strange because like I said, how the track started… I always find music has a life of its own once you put it in the public domain because you never know really where it’s going to go and how people are going to react to it. This track has brought me some interesting and crazy memories”.
Not to overlook the importance of Coki’s contribution to the legendary plate, Mala later went on to talk about how his new style would change the sound forever: “I want to play you something that apparently is noisy, but it’s not. It’s serious. It’s not the replica. Coki, man. I’ve known Coki for years and the guy fascinates me still after knowing him for a long period of time. I’m going to play you a track he done called Haunted, and he done this track, I think it was in 2005 and I remember him coming to sit in my car at the end of the road, and he’s like, “I’ve done this tune, it ain’t finished yet but have a quick listen to it, it will be finished next week”… And DMZ was next week. And he played me this tune yeah (laughs) and I just started cracking up laughing. Because instantly I heard what it was going to do to people’s minds. Because of what it did to my mind. I think this track was very influential on what was to later happen in this dubstep thing. I think it changed things because of the effect it had when it first got played. I remember first playing that at DMZ and it got pulled up 4 times to the point where on the 4th time it got pulled up, I actually didn’t want to put the dub back on the deck, I just wanted to smash it over my head, it was ridiculous (laughs), the energy!”
Back in October last year, FACT Magazine conducted “The 40 best dubstep singles” released on wax during dubstep’s peak period (2005 – 2009) and ranked Haunted / Anti War Dub at #1. Although the article received a bit of backlash, there’s no question that DMZ007 deserves to be at the top spot of any dubstep “best of” list. FACT wrote the following: “So many dubstep debates – about where the genre went, where it should’ve gone, what it did right and what it did wrong – revolve around its “deep” side and its “aggy” side, but never did dubstep’s yin and yang sound as complementary as on DMZ007. Nothing in dubstep history sends shivers down the spine of devotees quite like the opening notes of ‘Anti War Dub’, and few tracks send a club into chaos – in any genre – the way ‘Haunted’ does. Although ‘Anti War Dub’ is quite clearly Mala’s work and ‘Haunted’ Coki’s, both tracks are credited as Digital Mystikz: in the hands of dubstep’s best duo, released on its best label, those two sides fit together like a glove.”