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by Chelsea Deeley
posted 18/11/2013

Declan Kelly presents Diesal n’ Dub


Iconic Australian hit ‘The Dead Heart’ gets the reggae-dub treatment delivered by Emma Donovan’s powerful and soaring vocals, in aid of raising awareness and funds for Indigenous literacy across the country. The single launches Sydney musician and producer Declan Kelly’s long-incubating passion project, Diesel n’Dub, a re-recording of Midnight Oil songs in dub-reggae style, produced in Australia and taken to London to be mixed by dub legend Mad Professor (Neil Fraser) at his Ariwa Studios.
For both Kelly and Mad Professor, Donovan’s spine-tingling and heartfelt rendition of this classic song, first released by Midnight Oil on their Diesel and Dust album in 1986, was the standout choice with which to launch the project.


“The Dead Heart stood out as the track to herald in the ‘Diesel n’ Dub’ album (due for release early 2014). One of Australia’s great Indigenous singers, Emma Donovan just owns the song and gives it her own power and authenticity,” muses Kelly. “Her voice just gets me and moves me. When she sings, ” we carry in our hearts the true country, that cannot be broken…” it really drives home the reality of these lyrics. It is such a powerful tune.”

The project was set up by Kelly to raise awareness of Indigenous literacy issues and in the process raise funds for the crucial work of the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. A percentage of profits generated from sales of the single and album will be donated directly to the cause for the next five years. When pulling together the project, Kelly was motivated by the strong parallels between reggae music’s social conscience foundations and the outspoken political activism in Midnight Oil’s songwriting.


With this latest single The Dead Heart just the tip of the Diesel n’Dub iceberg, Kelly has further broadened his horizons and created a major new musical release. To launch the project stay tuned for the music video broadcast in the coming week, showcasing Emma Donovan and Kelly in performance, and featuring two stunning visual works by distinguished artist Adam Hill and a selection of archival images from the Australian National Library.

Diesel n’Dub is being released by newly formed roots/urban/world music label Diaspora Music, in partnership with MGM Distribution.


Who: Declan Kelly & Emma Donovan
What: Diesal N’ Dub’s first single The Dead Heart
When: Out Now via Diaspora Music

Go to www.dieselndub.com for more info.