Welsh Dub & Electronica

When you think of Welsh music, dub and hip-hop are probably the last genres you expect to hear. However, since the early 1980s these styles have formed an unlikely alliance with conscious Welsh-language music through the work of Llwybr Llaethog.

Meaning ‘The Milky Way’ in Welsh, Llwybr Llaethog were formed in the Snowdonia mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, after drummer, guitarist and rapper John Griffiths returned from a trip to New York in awe of the growing hip-hop scene he had experienced at a night hosted by DJ Red Alert. Flushed with the idea of marrying the dying Welsh language with this new style of music, Griffiths joined forces with friend and previous bandmate Kevin Ford, and set about releasing a number of politically-charged 7”s, tackling topics as diverse as imprisoned Welsh-language protestors and the Falklands War.

Eventually these records came to the attention of BBC DJ John Peel, who championed the fledgling Welsh language music scene on his show, just as the band began to experiment with the new acid house sound that was beginning to sweep the country, and the live show began to appear at a number of raves, playing to thousands of eager participants.

With the opening of the Welsh Assembly in 1999, the movement for the protection of the Welsh language had begun to disappear, with the mainstream rock of Catatonia and Super Furry Animals bringing Welsh popular music into popular culture. Undeterred, Llwybr Llaethog continued to produce music and rock the establishment, releasing a steady string of albums throughout the noughties.

Additionally, they have worked alongside Pipettes member Gwenno Saunders to co-write and produce the Cornish-language track “Vodya”, which came second in the 2003 Alternative Eurovision Song Contest after winning the public vote, representing Cornwall.

Their most recent album Curiad Cariad (Love Beat) continues this fine form, and perhaps surprisingly features a song in English – “Sometimes Sian” – an ode to John’s daughter Jessica Sian. Llwybr Llaethog are certainly one of the more interesting acts in our catalogue, and go to prove the diversity of the Westbury family.





Da! (Side Effects, 1988)

Be? (Concrete Productions, 1990)

LL. LL. VS T.G. M.C. DRE. (Ankst, 1991)

Mewn Dyb (Roir, 1992)

Mad! (Ankst, 1996)

Hip Dub Reggae Hop (Ankst, 2000)

Stwff (Neud nid Deud, 2001)

Anomie-Ville (Crai, 2002)

Mega-Tidy (Rasal, 2005)

Chwaneg (Neud nid Deud, 2009)

Curiad Cariad (Neud nid Deud, 2011)