Review: Aries rings in the Chinese New Year with an EP dedicated to all things gruff. Teaming up with distinctive gravel-throated MC Blackout JA for "Dancehall Ruler", it's classic skank-wise Aries soul. "Vicious", meanwhile, shows the darker, rougher-edge to the midlands murker while "I Need You" pays homage to the rave foundations with big loopy vocal and grizzly drum rolls. Finally we a hit "Ways Of The Underground" that comes with just a wee whiff of "Brand New Funk"... References don't come much higher really.
Mash It Up (Escape Roots dub mix) - (3:00) 160 BPM
Mash It Up (Escape Roots Reggae mix) - (3:00) 160 BPM
Mash It Up (Subtifuge Rubadub mix) - (3:22) 80 BPM
Mash It Up (Shorsh Dubwise Drum & Bass mix) - (4:27) 88 BPM
Mash It Up (Jamie Bostron Dubwise Drum & Bass mix) - (4:27) 88 BPM
Review: One of the UK's most distinctive toasters, Bristol's Blackout Ja and his grit-throat tones instantly and consistently warm (or mash) up the dance. Five versions in all; Escape Roots provides two takes - one stripped back, one skanky. Label bossman Subtifuge twists up a slink digidub dance while D&B damage comes from two sides; Shorsh brings the bubbles while Bostron brings the punch. Get mashy
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: 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: Vietnam VS Jamaica on Irish Moss. Could this EP possibly BE more international? The vibes meet the air miles: Blunty's laid down the crudest of dub bounce arrangements and it's the perfect match for Blackout's throaty spittage. Remix-wise we hear the Dirty Dubsters ride high on a well-known reggae riff, Liondub take things back to 94 with a rudeboy jungle lick and J-Bostron take things back to 97 with a crisp n' bashy jump-up session. Massive.
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: 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: Irish Moss recordings: promoting positive vibes in reggae and bass music culture. They don't fail to deliver on their mission statement here, so check this out. Ireland's DJ Obese and Jay Sharp team up again for a full length that is serious fire! "Mr Willams Dirty Dubsterz Meets Special Request" gives us a well rolled lowdown that's hard to argue with. Feel the bass on "Back To Boom City" where Blackout JA tells the truth; blunted style. There's some female MCs on here too such as on "Blue Fishes" (with Soom T's smooth delivery) and there's drum and bass on "I Love" and we'll give you just one guess what they're referring to? We know what you're thinking and don't worry: there's some killer bashment vibes on tracks like "Domino". Jah!
Review: Taken from their album Fire It Up, "Real Bad Boys" makes a very subtle reference to the chord structure on Inner Circle's famous "Bad Boys" and features the distinctive guttural vocal tones of Blackout JA. Remix-wise Irish Moss have called in the big guns. Jalapeno's Basement Freaks turn in a strutting nu-funk blend while Bristol's finest reggae D&B crew Run Tingz get lively with a fire-starting 170 workout. Bad boy business, through and through...
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: 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: 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.