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Dictator share debut Rubik’s Cube EP alongside new single Pangolin featuring Bemz


Watch + share video Dictator x Bemz performance

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1. Le Commencement
2. Pangolin (ft. Bemz)
3. River
4. Conquistador
5. JayMan
6. Rubik’s Cube
7. Lullaby 756
8. Daddy’s Song
9. Fin.

Scottish indie-pop quartet Dictator share their debut EP Rubik’s Cube out now on 12”, CD, Cassette + Digital via Blackhall Records. The nine track EP is accompanied by the new single Pangolin which features BBC Introducing’s Scottish Act of the Year artist Bemz.

Created alongside renowned Glaswegian producers Jamie Holmes (Gerry Cinnamon, The Lapelles and Declan Welsh & The Decadent West) and Johnny Madden (Gallus, Spyres, The Dunts), Rubik’s Cube was completed over 12 months at 7West Studios. 

Fiercely ambitious, the release is a wonder of gliding, grooving basslines guided by snappy beats, euphoric horns, cracking keys, and a plethora of earworm choruses. Irrefutable proof of Dictator’s ability to traverse across genre and mood, each track packs a punch, existing as individual chapters in a profoundly realised meditation on gratefulness, optimism and love, all glossed in a glorious sunny soundscape. 

The band – consisting of vocalist Michael Campbell, guitarist Zach Tarimo Goodhur, bassist Joe Murty, and drummer Allan Ramsay – are delighted to announce Pangolin, the emphatic fourth and final single to be taken from the EP, will be released on the same day. The new single epitomises Dictator’s ability to embody the bittersweet. Soaring synths coax the listener in before the unmistakable voice of Bemz ratchets things up a notch. Sparking the track with his infallible flow, the brash bars of Bemz are swapped for Michael’s stunning vocals in the latter half of the track in a collaboration boasting two of the most incredible acts to emerge from Scotland in recent years. 

“With you by my side the sun will always shine,” Michael sings as the track comes to an end, fittingly, with a sentiment that embodies the entire Rubik’s Cube EP. Intimate samples and aspects of each member’s family can even be heard within the walls of its tracks. From previous singles Conquistador which features the heartbeat of guitarist Zach’s unborn son and Fin, which, as well as being beautifully written from the perspective of Michael’s dog and was made BBC Radio Scotland, The Afternoon Show’s Single of the Week, features backing vocals and brass from his parents. to Daddy’s Song which features drummer Allan Ramsay’s children; familial life forms the bedrock of the entire EP. 

Speaking on the EP, lead singer/songwriter and vocalist Campbell said: “The key thing about  Rubik’s Cube is that we wanted to capture elements of every band member’s life at the time of writing, like a frame of reference so that, no matter what happens, we could all have a chunk of this piece of work to cherish and be proud of.”

“Each of the songs means something personal to me individually, but they are based around real-life events that were happening at the time, like the absolute whirlwind of getting a record deal with Blackhall Records. I wanted to focus on what matters to us instead of being swept up inside it all. Throughout the highs and lows, it’s our families and our lives outside of music that’s the key to everything working well, and this EP represents that in the best way possible.”

Rubik’s Cube is a polished, experimental album that begs to be played in a live setting – and with their biggest ever headline show at Glasgow’s iconic St. Luke’s on the horizon this September 8th, Dictator are gearing up for their most incendiary show to date. To celebrate the release the band are also playing stripped back shows at HMV in Glasgow, Assai Records in Dundee and Edinburgh and Wax and Beans in Manchester.

Rubik’s Cube will be released both digitally and physically on white vinyl, CD and cassette via Blackhall Records on 2nd September 2022 and can be pre-ordered on Blackhall Records’ official website here.

Upcoming live dates
02/09/22 – HMV, Glasgow (4pm)
04/09/22 – Assai Records, Dundee (12pm)
04/09/22 – Assai Records, Edinburgh (4pm)
08/09/22 – Glasgow, Saint Lukes
10/09/22 – Wax and Beans, Manchester (5pm)

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