The US is popping with drum & bass right now and Liondub International has been leading the charge for many years. This epic LP from LA duo Lost City is proof; a huge album with some of the biggest vocalists in the bass game (Navigator, Rider Shafique, Capital D, Spyda, Riko Dan, Blackout JA, the list goes on) it reflects the widest parameters of the genre with a special focus and celebration of drum & bass jungle's soundsystem roots. Highlights include the Shafique fronted dancehall stepper 'Focus' the sexy soul of 'Under Control' and the already massive 'Sicko' with Ward 21. This is just the tip of the iceberg; time to get well and truly 'Lost' in the music.
Label newcomer Canopy Records, compiled and conceptualised by label head Sumosui, sends out some super Afro transmission for this first release. 'Africa No 1' is a single that features a superb tune from Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria, which was first put out locally in 1987. It is by the late great Nigerian reggae artist Ehi Duncan and his The Africa Army Express band and next to the uplifting original are two new mixes from Captain Planet. He brings the tune into the modern day with some tight key, horn and synth sounds for the first mix, and the second is a slower, more mid-tempo bit of afro disco. Lovely vibes.
The Moonshine crew have such a fantastic knack for unleashing and showcasing the best and most creative sounds in new school dub music, with this wicked new three-tracker from EchoBoy being a great example of that in action. We begin with the bulbous bass LFO sweeps and dubwise vocal delays of the official Jahova remix, of course featuring Danny Red & The Herb at the same time. This system-ready roller then makes way for the more typically dubstep-sounding 'I'N'I Dub', focussing on drippy percussive inputs and more old school chord progressions, before 'Dub Teachings' takes us on an underground adventure through sweeping harmonics and original dub flavours. Excellent work!
The rising Leeds-based duo of Danny T & Tradesman team up with Ugandan reggae star Blessed San, then recruit UK dub legend Manasseh to take care of remix duties. The results of their shared labours are presented in four mixes: the original places San's singjay vox atop a sunny, summery, festival-friendly riddim, Manasseh's remix treads a more laidback and contemplative - but also heavier - path, and both come accompanied by matching dubs. All four rubs are plenty playable and will find their supporters without a doubt, but the Manasseh Dub is the one for yours truly.
It's always exciting to see the Dank 'n' Dirty Dubz team arrive with a high energy compilation, with this years '4/20' collection supplying a top quality collection of original dubstep heat. Featuring a pretty exceptional tracklisting, we see the likes of Oakin, Khromi, Jafu, Requake, Mambele, L-Wiz, Pushloop and many more established faces land with a dizzying set of dubwise designs, perfect for both the late night ravers and the day-time skankers. Our two highlights would have to include the skippy chord jitters and booming subs of Nightmare & Oni's 'Soldier Stance', followed by the breaks infused percussive drifts of 'Champagne' from The Widdler, giving us a serious sack of sizzlers to enjoy!