Review: A five-track offering from the 4Corners crew who bring in the dub and jungle flavours into D&B on their Gorilla Tacticz EP on Dirty Dubster. The title track features the talents of Tribuman and is a decidedly Serial Killaz style venture, with whomping bass, tapping breaks and a cheery melody. The story continues in "Step Up Father" with its dutty bass tones and chirpy horns; then there's the reggae-drenched sounds of "More Than Ever" (feat. Jahdan Blakkamoore), followed up by the skanking "Rolling Paper" riddim and Ricky Tuff's conclusive remix of "Now More Than Ever" ups the fun factor even more.
Review: New Yorker-in-Vietnam Bluntskull returns to DDD with four more trademark Jamaican bass skank-ups. Smoke-stacked hip-hop heaters, each one swinging heavily on classic breakbeats, the whole EP is a cascade of classic samples and vocals, all laced together as if they were pristine originals. Highlights include the lo-fi subtleties of "Carnival" and the slow-rolling funk flow of "Raggamuffin Flow". Get to know.
Review: Ireland may not be the first place that springs to mind when discussing reggae. Now, following the success of recent album Special Request, the Emerald Isle's Dirty Dubsters (DJ Obese and Jay Sharp) are back with the distinctly Jamaican vibes of pop-dancehall ditty, "Old Vet Again". Further on there are three more new tracks to enjoy - the dubby 2-step hybrid "Street Ruff", the speedy DnB of "Sky Larker" and the feelgood Maytails/Tone Loc mash-up "Monkey Madina". Fun!
Review: Ragga, dubstep and breakbeat come together nicely on this new release from Irish production duo Dirty Dubsters. "Martin Luther Dub" makes for a sinuous and snakey start to the EP, thanks to its almost acidic bass leads, while "True Champion" brings in the rootsy fire and dancehall flavours over a sparse half-steppin' beat.
Review: A hook-up between Irish wobble-maestros Dirty Dubsters and Florida MC Bass Nacho, "Bend Down Low" is a very lovable fusion of gritty dubstep and fun-filled hip hop sway and tempo, combined with an almost Caribbean chorus replete with sunny brass and organs. Max Rubadub builds on that reggae flavour for his electro-skankin' mix, while mixes from CMC & Silenta add a more flowing electro-funk bounce.
Review: More low-swung nu-funk badness from the Dirty Dubster crew right here. Cruising at the crucial sub-110bpm territory and oozing squidgy bass, each of the three cuts on this volume will cause serious buttshakery on your floor. "Here We Go Biggie" is the real party piece; taking the big guy's inimitable vocal delivery and applying it to a cool, understated hook it's got that deep funk power many producers try to attain but never quite hit. Pineapple Funk closes the show with a very cool rendition of C&C Music Factory's "Do You Wanna Get Funky" (a track that many will associate with the Freestylers from their big beat days). With myriad vocal samples and a nifty electro bass hook that's used with care, it neatly sums up why you should be tuned into the Dirty Dubster sound...
Review: It's perhaps a bit of a stretch to class all of these floor-friendly bootlegs as "ragga". The opener from label bosses The Dirty Dubsters is actually a skanking, dubwise, breaks-friendly rework of soul classic "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". Titan Sound's "Boom In The Jungle" sounds a bit like a slightly more dutty take on the classic reggae/hip-hop mash-ups once successfully peddled by J-Star. Perhaps the biggest cut of the lot, though, is the gargantuan skank of ZJ TZinas and Mrbigk's "My Style Is De Bomb". That said, the incessant ragga bounce of Spenda's "Get Hot Bun Dem" runs it close, if only for the amount of whoops it manages to cram into four minutes!
Review: DJ Inko is Kostis Papatzimas: an international DJ and producer who was born in Greece and lives between London and Thessaloniki. He holds releases with Timewarp, Carnibal, Batov and Shango Records and he has been a resident and guest DJ in numerous bars, clubs and festivals in Europe, while he is currently a resident DJ at the Big Chill Bar in London. The new Super Freaks EP for Dirty Dubster is where he serves up some cheeky yet surefire edits that merge hip-hop swagger and attitude with big time funk phenomena: not to mention some big time breaks!
Review: The Dirty Dubster crew return with a bumper seventh volume of their ragga party jams, and true to form, they mash up ragga with other contemporary styles with considerable style. F-Block's "Jah Bone" combines all manner of echo-laden dub guitar with filthy dubstep bass, while Wood N Soo's "Smoke 2 Joints" is a contemporary update on The Toyes' classic, filling it with rolling snares and powerful low end. Subtifuge's "Love 4 U" is a slightly more skanking effort, with rolling D&B rhythms completely at odds with its laid back mood, while DJ Tzinas' "Wicked" combines a horn sectiona and tropical acoustic guitar with some serious dub airhorn - big stuff all round!
Review: Ireland's Dirty Dubster Digital is fast becoming one of the new meccas for modern dancehall and ragga, weaving its way up there with the likes of Maffi and Jahtari among the cornerstones of digi-kal murdah. It's debutant Iceone who call the shots with "Dirty Mad Gyal" and its hip hop groove structure. There's the oddity that is "Top Billin Rocksteady" (a fresh mashup of ska and NY hip-hop), "Shook Ones Rocksteady" - sublimely blending Mobb Deep's anthem with a smoked-out Jamaican riddim - and "Nuclear Bomb", a certified soundsystem scorcher and one that's likely to receive a rather hefty number of rewinds in the dance.
Review: Soundclash-level battle booties abound as Dirty Dubster dish out another Ragga Party Jams collection. Iceone's "Hump Around" takes the vocals of House Of Pain's sure-fire party smasher "Jump Around" and lay them down of a Toots style reggae groove. "Why Me", meanwhile, takes Cuban Links and introduces him to a laidback dub funk lick (complete with neat references to Cutty Ranks). Elsewhere Bluntskull takes Nine's "Wutcha Want" and throws it down over a vibrant skanking jam while Subtifuge concludes proceedings with a jittering, juicy upbeat D&B blend that features a distinctive Eek-A-Mouse style vocal. Battle business guaranteed.
Review: Hailing from Switzerland, Keyan Ribul (aka Keyanig FM), is a mash-up artist who refuses to believe the style has had its day. His latest statement of intent, Generator Mash Ups, boasts four of the finest bootleg cuts around. "Dannys Bongo Cart" kicks things off with a raunchy rap nestled on a breezy ska rhythm track. "Grab Some Body" continues with a rocksteady riff underpinning the vocals from Method Man's Whats Happenin', "Generator" sees some vintage rap action merge with a dubby skank and "Red Hot" sees classic Jurassic 5 roll over a vintage funk jam.
Review: Dirty Dubster's popular Ragga Party Jams series continues, with another quartet of dubwise mash-ups and reggae/hip-hop futures. Larry SKG kicks things off with "Hypocrites", an expertly crafted fusion of a classic soulful reggae riddim and well-chosen hip-hop samples. DJ Maars' "Just Like Music" blends a familiar rap vocal and sunshine reggae jam with vocal cuts from a classic Marvin Gaye slow jam, while DJ Rebel's "Here Comes The Mashupper" layers a skanking riddim with all manner of familiar vocal samples. Best of all, though, is "I Shot Big L", in which Bob Marley takes a trip into scratchy reggae hip-hop territory. It shouldn't work, but it's sympathetically produced and sounds like a sunshine anthem in the making.
Review: It's been a while since Irish party slappers Dirty Dubster delivered a ragga package but here we find them making up for lost time with four rock steady heaters. No genre unturned, each cut reps ragga's broadest reaches: "Walk Like A Champ" swings low with a guttural dancehall feel, "Bangerz N' Goulash" tips a nod at a Diplo classic over a salubrious digidub groove while "Follow Me" shreds up on a high energy D&B flex. For most, though, the key cut will be KayPod's Marley-mashing "Could You Be Push Forward". Could this be loved? Yes siree.
Review: This EP from the Dirty Dubsters camp executes a single idea incredibly well: to apply electro-swing rhythms and production techniques to a bunch of old Latin records, be they Brazilian mambos, Cuban stompers or punchy sambas. The results are very floor-friendly, with just the right balance between the horn-heavy, Latino authenticity of the source material and the contemporary beats, breaks and effects. All four tracks appear 'tried and tested' and sound like they could create pandemonium if dropped at the right time. If we had to pick a highlight, it would probably be the gritty, breathless opener from Smugdruggler - though Panama Cardoon's Tito Puente-ish "Shingaling" isn't far behind.
Review: Dirty Dubster head to the Czech Republic's darkest, dirtiest dancehalls as they invite Supa John to the fold for his debut release. "Love Dem Bad" is brutal and bashy. Gravelly vocals a go-go; it's an instant grinder. "This Is Sensi Jam" is much more chilled as we relax into a soft sexy skank. "Gimmie Di Weed" takes a well-known Nextmen lick and flips it into a herb homage while "High Rope" completes the set with a shimmering skank and full focus on heartfelt R&B-esque vocals from Janelle Monae. An impressively accomplished debut.
Review: Titan Sound - AKA producers Pappa Demus and Selecta Demo - specialise in the kind of booming, bass-heavy reggae, ragga and dancehall mash-ups that meld together familiar riddims and accapellas in devastating new ways. The killer cut on this three-tracker for Dirty Dubster Digital is undoubtedly "Adidas Episode", which places the vocal from De La Soul's "My Adidas" atop a righteous dancehall rhythm. It shouldn't work, but it really does. "Tear The Roof Off" takes a more baggy ska-influenced approach, again blending a familiar hip-hop acapella with jaunty grooves. Finally, "Warning" offers a straight-up hip-hop reggae approach for those feeling the head nodding, singalong vibes.
Review: Billed as 2013's biggest collection of reggae-fuelled party tracks, this madcap collaboration between New York's own reggae star Tuffist and newcomers Soul Rebel, DJ Tzinas and Bluntskull whips up new creations from some of reggae's finest tracks. From Toots and the Maytals to The Ethiopians, Soul Rebel, DJ Tzinas and Hammond Classics work together to bring a new flava, while Tuffist's jungle vibes and Bluntskull's breakbeat hype provide fresh new sounds to get the party skanking. Don't underestimate the power of reggae to get floors filled across the country, this series confronts non-dancers and shuns bad feelings. Embrace the party jams!