The Voltage Music label was started in 2000. I approached my boss at the time, XLR8R Magazine publisher Andrew Smith, about collaborating on a label. He and I had been producing music together at the time as Live & Direkt. We released a track on a Ubiquity Records comp called No Categories Volume 1 and did a few remixes for other labels. Separately, I had started recording my own broken beat and dub tracks using a first generation black PowerBook G3.

Voltage was launched with distribution via Groove in Chicago. I met Dirk at Groove years before when he was a dance music buyer at Cargo Distribution. Andrew and I agreed on the motto “Dub For The Dancefloor,” which for us meant that the label would release dancefloor oriented records with a dub element, but not tied to any particular genre. Hence, over the years we’ve released dubby electro, techno, broken beat and dubstep.

Andrew and I pressed up Voltage 001, a 10″ vinyl single with two tracks I produced under the alias Double Identity. I chose the name because my birth sign is Gemini, symbolized by twins, and the name Thomas apparently also means twin, although I spell my name in a hybrid Italian/Spanish configuartion as Tomas. Nevertheless, Double Identity represented my artistic duality as both a DJ/producer and musician, a dub fanatic who had simultaneously played in noise rock bands in the ’90s. I have another alias, Dub I.D. that representes my purely dub and dubstep productions, while Double Identity is used for broken beat, jazzy and downtempo ideas.

Double Identity’s “Eastern Voice” and “On The Move” were on the first Voltage single, while Voltage 002 was Andrew “Professor” Smith’s electro-dub hybrid “Be There.” I won’t recount the entire discography, it’s listed on the label’s MySpace page. From 2000-2005 Voltage released 10 vinyl 10″ and 12″ singles by Double Identity, Professor Smith, Jackie’s Army (Smith and Shockman), Douglas Pagan and Deep Alpha. Voltage singles  number 3 through number 10 each contained a remix, and those were collected on our 2009 digital comp “Dub For The Dancefloor: Voltage Remixed and Unreleased”. Andrew Smith decamped from the label business side in 2005, although he’s still considered part of the roster. In 2009 we also released our first digital EP by Toronto, Canada’s Earlyworm. The EP features dubstep remixes by SF’s Roommate and Kush Arora.

2010 was quiet for the label, but things have been brewing under the surface. In 2011 Shockman (whose excellent “Oh Mi Natty” was an exclusive on the Dub For The Dancefloor comp) will release his debut “Shock Out” EP. We also have new music in hand from the self-described Afrocubist producer Douglas Pagan, new tracks from Earlyworm and a few up and coming producers to debut. In between I’ll try to  get the debut Double Identity album out finally, and there’s a new Dub I.D. EP nearly done too. 2011 is also supposed to be the year that my live dub project Version One becomes active again. It’s too much. It’s just right. It’s a life in music. Thank you sincerely to everyone who has heard or bought Voltage Music label releases over the years. As a truly shoe-string indie label we’re honored that cool people such as your readers listen to our recordings.

A quick word on the mix: It was mixed live using Serato Scratch. Several tracks are unreleased. I included two Double Identity tracks that were released on New York’s fantastic Bastard Jazz Recordings. I also included the Dub I.D. remix of Montreal producer Poirier‘s “Enemies,” which was a digital-only release on his recent Ninja Tune album. The mix also contains some previews of forthcoming Voltage releases. I think you’ll agree that Shockman’s “Shock Out” is a scorcher. Not sure how I neglected  to include an Earlyworm track in this mix. Check the Voltage Music Soundcloud page to stream all of his tunes.

– Dub I.D. (Tomas Palermo)



Track Listing

Double Identity, Ascension  (Voltage – forthcoming 2011)

Dub I.D., Chant Them Down To The Ground  (Voltage – unreleased)

Dub I.D.‚ Ethiopian Dub (Voltage)

Double Identity‚ Trebble Space  (Voltage – unreleased)

Double Identity‚ True To Soul  (Voltage – unreleased)

Double Identity, Hatchet Jazz  (Voltage – unreleased)

Double Identity, Song For Peace 2   (Voltage – forthcoming 2011)

Double Identity, Jahsrise (Bastard Jazz)

Double Identity, Left Coast Skank (Bastard Jazz)

Poirier‚ Enemies feat Face-T — Dub I.D. Remix (Ninja Tune)

Jackie’s Army, Murther‚ Iris Soundsystem Remix  (Voltage)

Shockman, Shock Out   (Voltage – forthcoming 2011)

Deep Alpha, All Think – Kode 9 AlphaDub Remix  (Voltage)

Dub I.D.,  Still Creation  (Voltage – forthcoming 2011)