Review: The product of a lot of time spent poring over records and chopping furiously on an MPC, Blend Mishkin's full-length album for Cast A Blast is a delight for fans of exotic samples and far-out, cut 'n' paste hip-hop. From "El Emigrante" onwards, Mishkin brings an Eastern swing to Cut Chemist-esque instrumentas, and when joined by MCs such as BNC, Tai Tsan and The Kidd (as on the excellent "That's The Story"), his intoxicating beats are taken to a whole new level.
Review: Mashed-up reggae and hip-hop from the Cast A Blast label on this new single from Dedy Dread and DJ Rebel, which sees the distinctive descending riffola of Ray Charles' "Hit The Road Jack" incorporated into the excellent "Criss N Shine". While this original is full of rootsy jazz goodness, Turntable Dubbers & Sebski recast the vocals against a light, warm and friendly dancehall beat while Blend Mishkin evoke the "Sleng Teng" riddim on the plugged-in beats of their own remix.
Review: Greek producer DJ Tzinas has built his reputation on decidedly skankin' fusions of dub, reggae and breakbeat. This latest single, though, is far more reggae than breaks, with the skittering rhythm taking a back seat. There are, though, some decidedly uptempo remixes for the dancefloor, with autotune-loving Max Rubadub leading the way. RGW Soundsystem sympathetically fuse the original's reggae vibes with big hip-hop breaks on their bouncy version, while Jazz K Lipa mashes ragga with very silly noises on his concrete-clad take. Old pals Dirty Dubsters provide the final version, a skankin' jungle take that emphasizes the orignal's lovely horns.
Review: Uptempo hip-hop beats laid down by Greek producer DJ Tzinas, joined on "Get Up" by MCs The Kidd and BNC for a funky, '90s-recalling mix of sampled pianos and fat, Sly And The Family Stone-style beats. Andy Taylor provides a nice counterpoint on his remix - creating a tropical cumbia rerub that really suits the vocals and the vibe perfectly.
Review: Trading in some quite brilliant bass-hop beats, UK duo Hidden Riddim mark their debut release for Cast-A-Blast with the huge "Now You Know The Name" - sampling from Mark B & Blade's "The Unknown" and generally warping everything in front of them to create a funky yet bass-driven slow 'n' squelchy beauty. Basement Freaks does a radical job on the remix front, converting it into a boogie-inspired nu-funker, while another HR original, "Cornflakes" - a clever rearrangement of The Meters' "Just Kissed My Baby" - gets a breaks rerub by Johnny Pluse.
Review: German producer Jazz K Lipa teams up with Glasgow spitter Soom T on this new pair of dancehall-bass smashers for the Cast A Blast label. Title tune "This Is Not a Horse" uses tech/tropical drums and some fierce swooping bass shots to keep the energy high, while "My Gun Is Culture" interpolates The Clash's "Guns of Brixton" on the chorus over a ska-funk bass beat.
Review: Following on from the success of "What's That" from last year, Palov steps back in the arena with "Troubles" - a soft and sultry reggae/funk gem featuring the vocals of Lady Faye and some proper rootsy chanks and Hammond organ stabs. On a more lively dubby tip, Jazz K Lipa upps the tempo nicely while Dirty Dubsters go even further and reconfigure "Troubles" into a lively jazzstepper, making great use of Faye's swooning and operatic backing vocals amid a sea of jazz guitar and chopped, 4hero-esque beats.
Review: Athens' dub/soul and breaks label, Cast A Blast, continue their recent preoccupation with all things reggae with this newie from label stalwart Max Rubadub. The original is a slice of clean and cheery pop-reggae a la late period Aswad. Remix-wise Cut La Vis provide a bass heavy digital reggaeton rerub, Jinx In Dub adds some dubstep-meets-bhangra vibes, Youngheart strips things back for a less is more approach, and finally Alois takes a deep and dubby route.