Review: Well we can safely say that new school reggae is alive and well as we take a listen to this terrific link up between the legendary production skill sets of Numa Crew and the touching vocals of XL Mad for a system rattler by the name of 'Real Reggae Music'. It's a match made in heaven as XL Mad delivers a sweet, well arranged vocal line doused in singalong-ready harmonic structures over the super weighty sounds of Numa Crew's flawless riddim below. This release also comes complete with a highly energetic jungle rethink from T-Kay, which adds a fantastic level of variation to the project as a whole.
Review: Now this sure is a tasty link up as we welcome the top quality combination stylings of both Numa Crew and Riko Dan, two veterans in their respective scenes, delivering banger after banger for years. The track itself takes the name 'Babylon' and is a certified rave-ready roller, driven by Numa Crew's incredibly crisp instrumental triplet structure, dripping in sub heavy sauce and bouncy clap energy. This base provides the perfect platform for Riko to unleash his lethal patois flows, making this one a must have for any 140 DJ!
Review: 'Mordechai is another blissed-out record from Texan party-chill-psyche trio Khruangbin. It's also among the outfit's most defined and driven, a smooth, sticky hot funk odyssey made for hazy afternoon soirees. Leader Laura Lee is, as ever, unfathomably siren-like on vocals, her bass grooves aiding the process of seduction no end. Even at the most upbeat and anthemic, 'Time (You and I)', it's hard not to feel woozy and intoxicated by the pared-back breaks and guitar lick combination. Dance floor ammo for sure, as is Pelota. Overall, though, it's an album best savoured slowly, allowing you to fully appreciate every lackadaisical moment of opiate goodness, with tracks such as 'Father Bird, Mother Bird', 'One To Remember' and 'Shida' summoning stunning sticky, heavy, deep atmospheres.
Review: For this next selection we can see that the Multi Cult team have assembled a top draw line up to showcase some super experimental dub music, allowing the future of the genre to shine. We kick off with the haunted atmospheric layering and wavy melodic structures of Drugface's ' In The Clouds, followed by the incredible persuasive manoeuvres of Dreems' Digi-Dub-Dub-Dub mix of Espiritu, originally by Nicola Cruz. Next we take it Lo-Fi as Zongamin delivers a trippy bullet with 'Cosmic Serpent', a woodwind led exploration into syncopation and subs. Finally, we hear the Muli Cult remix of Golden Bugs 'Tamba', a vibrant bop consisting of glittering melodic blips and crunchy drum structures. Lovely work!
Review: Now as a label; we have been absolutely loving what the Moonshine team have been putting forward recently, constantly expanding the realms of modern dub music with some incredible results. This latest masterclass from Tubby Isiah is a testament to that as he rolls out 10 new dubwise scorchers, overspilling with system-ready subs and delicious spacey drum arrangements. There really is something for everyone on this one, from the hypnotic delays and brushing drums of 'Silverback' alongside Versa, to the traditional horn reverbs of 'Only Me' and almost dubstep style rhythmic approach of 'Do It Jah'. We also think the collaboration with Bukkha entitled 'Hold On Driver' is nothing short of outstanding, combining long spacy breakdowns with glistening instrumentation to create something truly special.
Review: As the title suggestions, this tidy two-tracker offers up fresh dub-wise revisions of tracks from virtuoso keys player Joe Armon-Jones's superb solo debut album "Starting Today". It's a revision of the album's title track that pops up first, with the Ezra Collective member delivering a rolling, reverb and delay-laden version that layers his jammed-out keys and woozy horns over a sweaty, slipped jazz-house beat and warm, life-affirming bassline. Ashebar lends a hand on a new version of album favourite "Mollison Dub", toasting impressively over a heavy dub riddim, echoing horn blasts, delay-laden percussion hits and the kind of sub-heavy bassline that will sound spectacular coming out of a Jamaican style valve amp-powered soundsystem.
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: There are quite a few reggae labels doing fantastic things at the moment, but the high quality levels of Nice Up! are near enough unrivalled at the moment, with this latest album release from the wonderful Escape Roots being a perfect example of that. The project as a whole is a perfect fusion of the old and new, the traditional and experimental, welcoming in a ridiculously strong list of collaborators including Tenor Youthman, Galak Spiritual, Parly B, Cian Fnin, George Palmer, Tom Spirals and more. The full track listing sees so many styles of reggae and dub music fused into one fabulous selection, with our favourites being the sneaky horn structures and colourful harmonies of 'Feel Good' alongside Skari, with the other being 'One Step At A Time', a masterclass in new school digi-dancehall featuring a top quality vocal assist from Black Warrior.
Review: As ever with the Moonshine Recordings crew, we are in for a serious treat with their latest drop as they welcome in Parly B for three tracks of pure fire, alongside some exquisite dubwise collaborations. We begin our dive into this one with the slow marching drums and reggae-style chord syncopations of 'Heart Clean', alongside Mystic Pulse, before moving swiftly into digi-dub delights of ;The Program', this time employing the high tempo production talents of Bukkha and Dubbing Sun. Bukkha also gets involved on the final track 'Come Ya', a dancehall inspired electronic roller, driven by it's nostalgic drum sounds and Parly B's impactful toasted vocals!
Review: What a moment this is, as we dive head first into four absolute classics from the innovative dubstep enforcer known as Raikal Guru. We begin our journey through history on this one with a look at the wide LFO stretches and explosive arrangements of 'Conspiracy', before landing on 'Strong Dub', a super melodic groove ride encapsulating everything Radikal Guru's sound is all about. Next, the soothing 4x4 patterns and uplifting lead synth patterns of 'New Decade' before we finish up on an absolute classic in 'Dub Down Babylon', one of Radikal Guru's finest ever pieces of dubwise production.
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.