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Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

DJ says drop dubs not bombs

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Local DJ Ben Garland aka DJ Sassafras, had donated his debut recording to help Syrian refugees. Photo Tree Faerie.
Local DJ Ben Garland aka Sassafras Sound, has donated his debut recording to help Syrian refugees. Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery

A local DJ has donated his first recording to a good cause in the hopes that music will help and heal people in war torn Syria.

Ben Garland, aka Sassafras Sound, is spreading the love from Corndale to the world and is part of an international project based in France whose aim is to provide relief and the humanitarian aid to Syrians affected by the conflict.

Ben says a French DJ had an idea to create a compilation that anyone can download for the cost of a donation to Heart and Action for Syria – France, an association with no political affiliation, or religious or sectarian agenda. Heart and Action for Syria supports initiatives and implements projects to bring relief to all victims Syrians affected by the conflict in all areas of Syria, or displaced or refugees outside the country.

‘Jean-Paul Dub, who has the Vaticaen Net label, is part of the Dub scene in France,’ says Ben. ‘He reached out to any artist or creators to be part of it, including a multimedia section which has come up with the artwork.

‘Jean-Paul composed the original rhythm, or riddim as it is known as in the dub scene, and all the other artists have interpreted their own version or remix.’

The original dub was called Dubs for Syria but Ben has added an extra personal touch to his mix which he calls Drop Dubs Not Bombs.

All told there are 58 mixes on the Bandcamp website and people are invited to donate what they can afford, anything from 3 (AU$4.30) which would feed a family of refugees during a week, 13 (AU$18.60) which would provide 5,000 litres of water, enough to to keep 50 people in water to drink, cook and wash for a week, or 130 (AU$185) which would enable toilets to be installed for up to 50 refugees.

This is not the first time Ben has made a stand for a more harmonious planet. He was involved in the peace movement to stop Australia’s involvement in the Iraq war 2003. ‘We hung a peace flag on the coat of arms at the top of parliament house in Canberra,’ he says.

Garland was also part of Sunshine Sounds who have done a benefit gigs in the past including one at the Brunswick Sound Shell amphitheatre to raise money for the Save the Leard Forest campaign.

Ben owns and operates Sassafras Sound System, a platform which he says reaches out spreading good times with music and dance while flying the flag of a better future.

Ben feels that music can play a big part in bringing peace to the world and healing the damage that war wreaks on the people of the planet.

‘I wanted to participate in this project to the let the language of music speak the message of peace. Music is our weapon and can unite us against the war machine.

‘It is my intention to promote events to create a space of peace where the music brings us all together’.

You can downland the Dubs for Syria compilation from BandCamp by donating your chosen amount https://vaticaen.bandcamp.com/album/dubs-for-syria-2 All donations go directly to Heart and Action for Syria.

You can also directly send a donation to: http://www.uncoeurpourlasyrie.fr.

You can find out more about Sassafras Sound System on Ben’s Facebook page.

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  1. You are a real humanitarian and artist Ben. Full of admiration. It is music that aids the heart and soul to transcend and that is what is needed more than ever these days. Onwards all musos, humanitarians and artists.


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