Review: If you don't understand why Dubmatix has been named 'Canada's dread at the controls' by none other than Don Letts, just look at the list of vocalists on board this project... Eek A Mouse, Horace Andy, Tenor Fly, U-Roy and Cornell Campbell. Did someone just say 'legends'? Naturally, the beats back up the headline name-dropping. Stretching from the rugged dubsteppery of "Black Market War Dub" to the more classical, dub positivity of tracks like "Free Up" and "She's In Love", this is a comprehensive picture of dub's many shades AND a great calling card for Canada's 'dread at the controls'.
Review: After something dub-fresh and deeply gorgeous? Numa Crew have rolled together some serious phat ones for your delectation, created to rumble subs throughout the feel good lands. With enough oldschool vibes to satisfy the purest of dubstep puritans while adding enough sunshine-soaked melody to create the perfect summer playlist, the whole EP screams instant classic from start to finish.
Review: Moonshine's manoeuvres in the deep continue to impress with this highly accomplished collaborative remix album. A throwback to their original Steppin' Forward album - released March 2014 - the Jamaican label have given each contributor the parts to a fellow label mate's tune and asked them to get creative. The results are as consistent and progressive as the original. Every track is a highlight but stand-out essentials include the bubblesome digidub of Bukkha's juicy switch on Tuff & Powa's "Outlaw Music", Adam Prescott's sinewy shakedown of RSD's "Know U 2" and the foamy subs and wriggling melodica on Roommate's version of Alpha Steppa's "Shinkansen".
Review: Rebel MC aka Congo Natty's well received 2013 album Jungle Revolution now gets the remix treatment by the who's who of the scene. From legends to upstarts, the results are quite impressive. The man is credited as being one of the original UK junglists, setting the foundations for the sound/scene and how it has evolved since, so these guys have their work cut out for them. Highlights on here are the Dubkasm Dragon Slayer mix of "Dub Souljah " with its purist dancehall vibes, the new school representing proper dub with the Jinx In dub Steppa remix of "Nu Beginningz" and the legendary Adrian Sherwood delivering his remix of "UK All Stars In Dub ". There's a lot to get through on here. "London Dungeons Dub (Young Warrior remix - Son Of Jah Shaka)" brings more of the purist dub vibes back again, DJ Madd's remix of "Jah Warriors In Dub" is no doubt the most fierce modern vibe on here while "Nu Beginningz Dubwise (Mungos Hi Fi remix)" goes for the more smoky, low-slung vibes. It one Jah!
Review: For some upbeat, vocal driven dub for the club OBF delivers the riddims to fill a dancefloor. Highlights include the smooth Beyonce-like flow of "Ladies Anthem", while for the men there's the ragga of "Style & Fashion". Taking a break from vocals there's "Who's Bad", a track which would fit neatly into a Crookers DJ set, while the title-track, "Wild", is whimsical stroll through futuristic dub rooted in old school values.
Review: Hot on the heels of their Open Your Eyes EP comes a cheeky remix package of their herbal homage "High Grade". Reversions now on offer come from the seemingly unstoppable Ruckspin (tonked up super-stepper), Lee Mortimer-endorsed Tymer (gritty, 4/4, electro business) and UK dub dons Vibrophonics who provide a vocal remix and no less than three versions! A bona fide lecture in bass, each rub prises a different element of the original, manipulating and processing it to make a whole new low-end journey. There are still a few seats left on this Zion train... Grab a ticket and get with the gents.
Review: Hello is the serious burns unit? Yes it's Juno Records here, we've been in direct contact with J Kenzo's latest Artikal release and have lost several layers of skin. Get an ambulance right away you say? Just after we've listened to this a few more times! "Battlefield" twitches a ruddy sub that bounces around beneath big system horns and a strident energetic drum groove. "Zbantu Shake" is a much more stripped back stepper that's all wooden kicks, trippy flute flurries and ladles of thick treacle subs. Soundboy killing material.
Review: Here JD Twitch, head honcho Glasgow institution Optimo, proudly presents a rarity from the unique artist Dennis Bovell. Described as being a 'musical polymath, top flight producer, dub legend and one of the finest artists the UK has ever produced', Bovell released an album in 1981 called Brain Damage which was an absolutely bonkers fusion of Afrobeat, funk, dub, jazz, blues and more. Everybody bought Duran Duran's record instead of course, but justice prevails here as both "Heaven" and "Smouche" are rescued and re-released from the LP. Also featured is the awesome Garland Jeffreys experiment "Escape Goat Dub". Absolutely essential.
Review: One of the most consistent singers from reggae's formative roots, and certainly one of the most distinctive, this collection of superb reboots sees Horace allowing his voice to be guided through 50 shades of dub. The pilot team for this bubblesome journey largely consists of Bristol bass elder RSD and new face Oliver Frost, both of whom add their own characteristics and twists to a wide range of Horace standards: 80s classics ("Money Money") to mid noughties moments ("Skylarking"), we drift happily between the borders of dub, house and genreless bass bliss. A must for any dub heads.
Review: Kudos-enriched bass site Fat Kid On Fire follow up their Un/Known album earlier this year with their first full single release. With such a stamp of authority, and the fact it's been penned by the never-failing Dubfreq, this shouldn't need much of a hard sell. Each cut tickles a different corner of the dance; "Next To Me" shimmers with delicate vocal dynamics, "Selenky" offers the peaktime saw-tooth swagger-punch and both "Excuse Me Officer" and "MSH" leaning back on a funkier skank flex. Each cut really shines with same enthusiasm, clarity and wit as FKOF itself. This could be the start of something very special.
Review: Version science: Prescott explores some of reggae's most discerning classics and subverts them over an unfailing digidub riddim. A classic one-track album mission, the bubbling bass beats are a consistent spine while an all-star cast appear over the groove to great effect. Highlights include Ranking Joe's Eek-A-Mouse chats on "Ganja Pipe", Jahdan Blakkamoore's nasal dancehall chants on "No Bad Vibes" and Pad Anthony's softer soul melodic style on "Murder". One track, eight vibes - this one's special in all directions.
Review: Featuring album lead-off track "Impossible" and the dark hip-hop & dancehall hybrid "Control" with Robert Dallas on the mic, "Impossible" starts off with sweet vocals and skanking keyboards. "Control" features Kwality on the microphone in a half-time hip hop style, laden with dub effects and circling synthesizers. Contrast comes from Kwality's dancehall-style vocals flowing around the sparse drums while getting wrapped into the delay effects that run through the center of the production. Showcasing two contrasting sides of the Numa Crew on this deadly drop, Liondub is bringing International pressure on the bass scene for 2014.
Review: Time for some Taiwanese dub: regular face at Instigate, DTR returns with his debut full lengther and it's nothing short of a contemporary low end odyssey. Bedrocked by rich weight and space, throughout the album he weaves subtle but strong musical elements with a measured sense of detail. From the lilting horn flutters on "Inner Strength" and the trippy tape stop spirals of "Creator Dub" to the mountainous peaks and abyssal troughs of "Kalimba", DTR ensures to immerse, entertain and constantly develop. Modern dub bliss.