Review: It's been a hot minute since we last saw a brand new dancehall project that excited us as much as this one as Blackout JA teams up with Liondub International for a twelve track selection, channeling dancehall music into 2021. The list of collaborators for this one is the first thing that stands out for us, with the likes of Daddy Freddy, Ranking Joe, Blakkamoore, Echo Minott, Sophia May, YT, Ricky T & a bag more all getting involved with wicked contributions. It's an album that represents why dancehall still holds a key place in dance music in 2020. There are a couple of clear highlights for us across this release, with 'Love Dancehall' alongside Navigator & Sophia May being a really cool throwback to the original toasted dancehall sound, followed up by the super crunchy arrangements of 'Hidden Truth' with Souls Liberation providing a perfect outro track.
Review: Feel the wrath of Blackout Ja and friends as he tags in long-time friend and collaborator Liondub for an empowering version flex. The beat is 'Rocking Time Riddim' from Liondub and Jugganaut. A dancehall vibe, warm and rolling with funk and roots samples in equal measures, it's a bop unto itself but for most it's all about the title track 'Wrath Of Supreme'. Lead by a reflective story on life's highs, lows and the need for gratitude and humility, Blackout is joined by Blakkamoore and Ranking Joe for a powerful piece of music that sounds great now... And will sound all the sweeter through a system when we can finally dance again in the future.
Review: Here comes the remix! As if these Born On Road cuts weren't gully enough as originals, Kelvin, Aries, Gold Dubs and fam have now enlisted a whole slew of versions. It's muderation from the off as Gray destroys Rahmanee's gun-toting western slammer 'Bad Boy Steppa'. A barrage of badness follows: Ben Snow's take on 'Round Here' is pure rifle bassline fire, Disupta flips Stivs & Aries' 'Raver' into an aggy blend of breaks and grunting jump-up bass, Marcus Visionary goes full jungle on 'Coconut Chalwa', the list goes on. Born to bad.
Review: The Deeper Vision Recordings team have arranged a killer host for this one as Ted Ganung teams up with Roommate to deliver four top quality remix projects kicking off with the Roommate rethink of Macka B's 'Stop It, Idiot Ting'. He sends this one down a spacey avenue of popping percussion and sumptuous sub-bass before VIPing Jah Barni's 'Soca Trend' with a softened, steel pan vibe. Following this, we get another VIP version as Blackout Ja's 'Party Non Stop' is given futuristic digi-dub overhaul, again pushed forward by some top quality bass processing, before Lutan Fyah's classic 'Real Rastaman' takes on a sizzling steppers rework. This is yet another showcasing of Roommate's incredible versatility!
Review: The team over at Liondub have been on a serious roll over the last few weeks, supplying us with some seriously exciting new releases, with this new corker from Blackout JA and Kandiman being no exception. The pair join forces for a classic-sounding dancehall shellout over Liondub & Rumble's explosive '2020 Skandal Bag Riddim', deploying sharpened snare slaps and digital blips alongside a lethal bassline rhythm. It's dancehall in 2020 perfectly summarized and we simply can't get enough of it!
Review: Link-up, look smart; we've connected with one of the most exciting labels in dnb for a collection of their biggest hitters, rising stars and highest sellers: Liondub International. Headed up by Eric Liondub in NYC, Liondub International have broken and nurtured more new talent than most put together, and these first few volumes showcase. First up come these 15 examples as the likes of Kumo, Bou, Jayline, DJ Hybrid, Saxxon and many more all deliver timeless heaters. Highlights include Sub Killaz' broadsword skank-up 'Murderah', Brian Brainstorm's junglised slash-up 'Kill A Drumpan' and Bladerunner & Johnny Osbourne's ever-sweet 'Night Fall Dub'. All this and plenty more; whether you've been following Liondub since day or you're new to their consistent onslaught, there's plenty to catch up on here. Selector!
Review: Speaker Louis is an undeniable legend on the ragga side of things, and he's back to classic form with this single on Original Key. Blackout Ja is a frequent partner of his and the pair roll things out with abandon here, where vocals are sitting wonderfully on top of a sub-heavy dance floor number with plenty of funk to boot. Timeless.
Review: Liondub is doing what it does best with this EP: fusing the heritage of dub and reggae with tougher, more modern sounds. The original is a stepping ragga record that lopes on its percussive base, providing the infrastructure for Blackout Ja's vocals which land with menacing intent. JNGL is on the remix and he flips the original upwards into 170 territory, rolling out the drums whilst keeping the vocals true to the original. There are also two instrumental versions to go along with the single, allowing those of you who like things more stripped back to get your fix as well. Generous.
Review: It would seem that the Jaguar team have pulled together something pretty special here as the ever-ready Nikkinitro is linked up with Blackout JA for a seriously euphoric piece of futuristic dance music. The track takes the title 'Galang No Gall', with the vocal performance being a real highlight, encapsulating the listener from start to finish. That's before we get into the sharp drum processing and floating pad and horn sections above, giving the track some epic harmonic structure to say the least. This one also comes complete with an extended mix, alongside the full instrumental versions for good measure.
Review: The good folks over at Deeper Vision Recordings are coming at your ears this week with a fiery, upbeat and essential compilation that blends together several different traditions of the UK underground, including drum & bass, jungle, reggae and more. Dub Defense's remix of 'Party Non Stop' is a standout, it's raucously heavy breaks flowing through the middle of a wobbling, classic bassline and underpinning Ted Ganung's flowing bars. There is a wicked contribution from V Recordings' Think Tonk, whilst David Boomah makes an appearance on Granata's remix of his tune Nuff of Dem Re-Load. Wicked compilation.
Review: Based out of Brooklyn, Toronto, London and Kingston, Jamaica, comes the Revolution Liondub International label. Adding to the build up of Blackout JA & Liondub's forthcoming Love Dancehall LP (as Blacklion Movements) comes a dubwise preview in "Revolution", a 90s digi dub remake of a classic Derrick Harrriott riddim called "Tonight". With Blackout and UK legend Daddy Freddy going verse for verse in the ragga-tipped original, this 'tune about life' is described by Blackout himself as something uplifting for dreadful times.
Review: Anthony Granata is the man behind this compilation and he also features on every one of these tracks. He's the lifeblood behind the album and deserves a big up because it's a great journey through a variety of different drum & bass flavours. From the Zero T remix of 'Nice & Close', to the barebones jungle sounds of 'Loving' and vocal flavours of 'Only Now', Revelations is, well, a revelation for those of you who like 174 music. Proper.
Review: Original Key are back and they've returned with an armful of goodies for us lockdown'd folk, a star-studded single which moves from reggae music to jungle and back again. Lowriderz, Shiny Radio and Blackout Ja have all collaborated to create Face Defeat, a sultry and yet aggressive number that combines Lowriderz' wicked vocal lines with a powerful jungle beat and even more powerful bassline. Edgey stuff.
Review: Blackout Ja and Liondub unleash the first of their Blacklion Movements project and it's a big one; "Greatest Treasure" sees Blackout rolling out his distinctive gravelled tones, going toe-to-toe with another vital voice in modern day dancehall YT, while Liondub lays down a slinky, sexy dancehall rhythm. Weighty enough to buss up a system, roomy enough for both MCs to give all ladies in the dance a heartfelt salute, intimate enough to get everyone dancing up close... With Valentines Day en route, the timing of this could not be better. Treasure this.
Review: In a reggae laden expression of the stylistic backing behind Jungle Cakes, Deekline & Ed Solo are teaming up with Specimen A and renowned MC Blackout JA. 'Let The Music Play' rolls out with all the intent of four artists who know exactly how to blend dub-infused tones with a rolling 170 beat, as they have done many times the past. This time is well-trodden ground for them, but the shimmering brass notes and funky vocal lines don't sound any less wicked. There's a B-side which takes things a bit heavier on some VIP business, rounding out the single well.
Review: Liondub's 10 year anniversary celebrations continue with this savage slab of ragga jungle. This time the captain Liondub takes to the controls himself alongside fellow US jungle veteran Jah Boogs while vocal guidance comes from one of the most distinctive MCs in the game: Bristol's Blackout Ja. Here we find him in fiery form as "Touch Up The Key" (and its complimentary VIP version) brocks out in all directions over a precision-tuned subby bass wobble. "Dread" flips for a sunnier side of the stack as Blackout pays homage to his roots with more of a melodic flow to his signature gravel-toned bars. Loaded with instrumentals too, this is the full package.
Review: Blimey here's a super-collabo if ever we've seen one! Russian breaks queen Lady Waks teams up with two of the busiest and most prolific bass acts in the game; Deekline and Freestylers. And that's before we even get to the vocal titans causing absolute murderation with the bars. Instantly recognisable, juicy and party-primed, "Junglist Warrior" has every act's signature stamped all over it and will absolutely crush any dance its faced with. So will "Conquered" as it takes us on a slightly deeper flex with some delicious honeyed vocals warming us up for another bumping bassline hook. Heavy.
Review: It's time to look into the future of dub music on this project as JStar teams up with Blackout JA for a very original creation indeed. This single, which goes by the name of 'All I Have' is a very flashy look into the realms of modern reggae, packed full of marching subby energy weaved beneath subtle chord movements lines and stripped back. On the vocals, Blackout JA seriously impresses with a thoroughly hard hitting performance, pushing his vocals right to the limit with fantastic results. On remix duty, Joe Revell steps forward with a breakbeat rethink, designed to turn the rave to a zoo in a matter of minutes
Review: Rewind Selecta! Bristol's J-Man goes back over his "Cease & Sekkle" EP from last spring and enlists a whole crew of killer remixers ranging from exciting newcomer to some of the most consistent OGs. Audiomission make a strong impression with their full flavoured take on "Party Hard", Lost City turn the carnival vibes up to 100 on "Cease & Sekkle" while both Origin One and Aries provide fire blend versions of "Coconut Chalwah"; the former gets his digidub wriggle on, the latter gets out his sharped amen cutlass chops. With plenty more, including a tightly coiled stepper twist from Marcus Visionary, it's another one click headshot from the Born On Road crew.