Mr Upfull aka Salim Dastan, was born in Dublin, in 1976 to an Irish mother and Malaysian father, into a house where you would likely hear Nina Simone, Linton Kwesi Johnson, The Beatles or Bob Marley playing as well as The Dubliners, The Furys or other Irish rebel music. While having great taste in music, his father is tone-deaf, but his mother has both taste and talent and makes guest appearances on some of his recordings.
While living in Malaysia, he first whet his appetite for making noises as a young teenager, frequenting local studios amongst the metal and punk scene of Kuala Lumpur in the early 90’s. Figuring out a rudimentary multi-layering recording technique, with a household twin deck cassette machine and a karaoke rig (complete with echo fx) at age 14, was his first taste of ‘crafting’ self made recordings.
He later moved to London where he attended Middlesex University, making yet more noises on their BA Sonic Arts programme. He got to play with a great analogue studio and spend time learning about and creating and recording sound there. The course was a natural spawning ground for creativity, fully satisfying an aural fixation and developing awareness of possibilities and techniques to sculpt sound. It was also an introduction to using DAW’s – VST and Logic were both acquired and installed on his first computer which had a blistering processing speed of 750Mhz and a seemingly infinite 2GB hard drive.
In 2000 he ended up back in Malaysia where he started work in the country’s top audio-post facility ImagineX. The technical experience of recording and mixing for broadcast there brought his level of production up to a professional standard.
During this period he co-founded TUGU Drum Circle, started Layan Soundsystem and got his first work released on a Magick River production of a fusion project of indigenous Temuan music with local Malaysian musicians called Akar Umbi. With his sister Aminah, he co-founded the project Madu for which he produced a first LP ‘From the Elders’ yard’, followed by a 6 track EP titled ‘Rocksteady’. The project involved Bob Batty on Saxophones and Flute and Zoltan Reich on Trombone with Aminah singing all backed by Mr Upfull’s live dub mixes. Madu got airplay in Malaysia and in Ireland with hits like ‘Sunshine’ which achieved number one status by popular poll on Hitz FM in Malaysia.
He has played alongside Dreadzone, Soom T, Mr Williamz, N.E.R.D., on stages in Ireland, England, India and Malaysia, at festivals like NH7’s (Dub Station stage – India), Murfest’s main stage (Malasia), Sunburst Sun stage (M’sia), One Love – Unity HiFi (UK) and on the Irish festival circuit he’s played Life Festival, Electric Picnic, Body and Soul and many more. His works have included
Sunshine – 2010
From the Elders’ yard – 2011
Rocksteady EP – 2012
Positivo Vibrations – 2013
Upfullistic – 2014
As well as appearing as a guest contributor on
Songs of the Dragon – Akar Umbi – 2001
Caravan Trails – Aminah – 2004
…should be seen and not heard – The Bionic Rats – 2013
And other version projects for
Dirty Dubsters’ Irish Moss label
After the Ibis
The Dub Doctor