Rob Paine’s roots run deep. From the moment he really felt music as a youth, he knew where his mind, body, and soul would take him on his life’s journey. That passion has provided the foundation for a diverse and eclectic musical immersion ever since. He has been on a rapid rise from bedroom mix tapes to underground events to DJing internationally since he started out in 1993. He, along with his Circle Production crew, created and curated some of the most epic parties in Philadelphia throughout the 90s. In parallel, he began to flex his music theory education and production expertise by creating a broad range of songs across a myriad of genres such as house, techno, reggae, broken beat, dub, and down-tempo.
Rob Paine, Worship Recordings, And Musical Success
Today, Paine as a co-founder of Worship Recordings (along with Dan Thompson and Zac Eberz) is one of the music icons in the City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love, and across the world. His diverse musical roots, success as label owner, producer, DJ and event creator and his innovative approach to melding electronic dance music make him a standout.
Formed in 1998, Worship Recordings clearly reflected Paine’s vision to pay respect to the roots of music while inspiring himself and others to innovate for the future. In 1999 he was awarded the “Most Innovative Producer” by the Philadelphia City Paper. During that time, he and Eberz began using the name Solomonic Sound for their productions and as a vehicle for releasing their dub-influenced house and techno tracks on Worship. Paine also released as a solo artist and collaborated with Wamdu’s Chris Udoh for early Worship releases.
With his passion reinforced by the labels’ success and critical industry acclaim, Paine’s unique sounds were soon being released on labels like Large, Tango, Shaboom, and Grayhound to underground and commercial success. In addition, his productions were also licensed to labels such as Bedrock, Fabric, and NRK as part of compilations.
Rob Paine's Collaborations And Global Projects: Shakedown, Goodie, And More
Soon after, another canvas was unveiled as a tapestry to showcase the Worship Recordings productions and artists: the Shakedown parties. Paine, Eberz and Philadelphia legend Willyum launched Shakedown in 2002 and they are still going strong today, evidence that music – done right, is enduring. Paine’s events always feature incredible sound via the “Solomonic Sound System” that he and his crew developed and have fine-tuned to audiophile quality for discerning DJs and dancers. That same uniqueness and quality is evident in his custom-designed studio, and apparent when you hear Paine’s production and remix work.
Paine has performed across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, and London in iconic clubs/parties such as Fabric, PS1, and Deep Space. He has also held residencies in New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Miami, and has played at festivals such as the massive Shambhala & Soundwave festivals in British Columbia. In 2012, Paine and Francisco Collazo established “Goodie,” a series of special monthly underground events highlighting the facets of techno while hosting local and international talent.
Collaborations, productions, remixes, and releases continue to abound for Rob on Worship Recordings, LeftRoom, I Recordings, Hallucienda, Yoruba, Doin’ Work, Dubwise, ZamZam Sounds, Kaato and on compilations like one done by Maceo Plex in 2013. Releases under the CIRCLE moniker with partner Keith Landis, a RISE 8 collaboration with Gerhardt Koerner, and through his HEIGHTS & WORSHIP and RMP aliases are making chart waves worldwide.
Rob Paine's Weedsday Playlist For The Cannabis Connoisseur
But Paine is more than his music. As a cannabis advocate, he’s always found ways to ensure that there’s harmony between tunes and THC. Like any great DJ, his Weedsday Playlist is a perfect mix of elements to synthesize with your sweetest high.
John Holt - "Police In Helicopter"
This has always been the ganja tune anthem for me and a lot of other reggae connoisseurs. When ganja was more illegal, this is the song that always made me feel like starting a revolution to fight against the Babylon system that persecuted us for partaking in the cannabis. But then the effects of the ganja kicked in that kept me from fighting anyone so I just chilled :). This song always gets some signal [applause] when played in the dance [party].
Cypress Hill - "I Wanna Get High"
For anyone my age  that came up within the skateboard, punk rock/hardcore and hip hop culture, Cypress Hill’s Black Sunday album was everything to us. There are a few albums that came out in the early ‘90s that got played non-stop for months on end. Any house party we went to played this from beginning to end while we blazed blunt after blunt after blunt trying to rap along with B-Real’s nasal gangster delivery that sounded like nothing else at the time. Until this time still!
Rob Paine and Heights - "Selassie's Song"
I always wanted to use Haile Selassie’s 1963 address to the United Nations [the one that Bob Marley used for his song “War”] audio in a dub tune. But I never knew how to approach it until one day in the studio with my friend Heights. We were going to work on something else and then came across the audio session I recorded the address into over 10 years prior. The kush started flowing and this is the end result. Super heady and left field. Only for the headstrong.
Orbital - "Belfast"
This tune is my happy place. It instantly makes me happy and relaxed when listened to. For a while I HAD to hear this song at some point on a LSD trip during my experimental years…usually towards the end of it when the ganja smoking took over. During these years I used LSD to study music at a deeper level than I could get to with my schooling. My favorite music teacher once told me the best way to be a good musician is to be a great listener. It helped me to really separate the layers and dissect musical compositions. “Belfast” was one of my favorite songs to dissect and it still makes me happy.
Micah Shemaiah - "Original Dread"
I have to throw in a song by one of my current favorite reggae artists that I feel needs to get more love than he has. Don’t get me wrong. Micah Shemaiah is making some waves on his own. But I feel his vibe can relate to all reggae lovers and still reach the newer Cali-roots sound that has become extremely popular with the younger generations coming into reggae music. Micah is the truth and should be heard by all. Nuff said.
For more about Rob Paine, visit worshiprecs.com.
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Featured image: Rob Paine, co-founder of Worship Recordings (C) Jonene Nelson