Album of the week: June 21 – DOBBY

June 21st 2024

Warrangu; River Story is not only DOBBY’s debut album, but an important piece of storytelling and documentation. The Filipino and Murrawarri musician has assumed various roles over the years; musically he’s a composer, rapper, producer and drummer, and within the community a broadcaster, educator and activist. DOBBY unites all of these mantles on Warrangu. It’s a portrait of his home Brewarrina; the River Story as such being the Bogan River to the South, the Culgoa River to the North, and the Barwon River to the East.

Through field recordings and interviews with Murrawarri elders & community members, Warrangu; River Story is a keepsake of cultural knowledge, of Murrawarri connections to Country and the importance of environmental stability. But it’s also an investigation of the water theft rampant across the Murray Darling Basin over the last decade and beyond. It’s a crisis that went beyond simple government mismanagement, as large agricultural corporations deliberately redirected water flows away from the river and from floodplains, leaving them at dangerously low levels. A recent scandal yes – but also endemic of a deep, systemic imbalance, the terminal endpoint of a colonial system where food and commodities are not created and grown in accordance with natural ecological frameworks, but instead at an endless, all consuming thirst for profit.

DOBBY understands this well, and this album is his rallying-cry against it. Warrangu; River Story is justice from the grassroots up, a sweeping, cinematic, and deeply defiant understanding that, like the future, this River Story is not yet complete.


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