Dubplate Dread is a sub-label to Ray Keith’s jungle-focussed Dread Recordings, established in 1994, London. Drawing on the roots of jungle, Dubplate Dread fires out raw, heavy and dark drum and bass ammunition, fit to destroy any soundsytem. The label has so far rolled out releases from the likes of: Conrad Subs, Xav, El, Fleck, J.O.E, N-Dread, Toby Ross and Ray Keith himself.
Review: Holy McMoly! OCC don and new gen bossman Jappa serves up his long-awaited Dread EP and it's a non-stop assault of pure D&B jungle flavours. 'No Retreat' sets the scene with its minimal grizzles and it's followed by a wide range vibes as Jappa really stretches his legs and explores the Dread sound. Tense creepers come in the form of 'Attacking Force', 'Shadow Boxing' (with Lupo) and 'Life', those hungry for the funk will be all over cuts like 'UFO' while full-on breakbeat bash-ups can be experienced on 'Can't Run Away VIP'. All this and plenty more; this is one of Jappa's biggest releases so far.
Review: A long time in the making; E-Lisa finally gets to release her biggest EP on Dubplate Dread. Weighing in at six tracks - all with her own vocals as well as production - it's more of a mini album than it is an EP, and it hits like one, too. Tracks like 'Love Struck' and the title track 'Craving For You' hurl you into a deep D&B abyss where emotions are high and E-Lisa's lush euphoric pads and delicate vocal immerse you in a sea of soothing sonics. Elsewhere tracks like 'Pressure' and 'The End' slap with more tension and dark drama. A highly accomplished EP executed with subtlety, class and craft; one of the best Dubplate Dread releases in recent times.
Review: Manchester talent Sl8r just keeps on levelling up with every EP he drops, and this debut on Ray Keith's Dubplate Dread is no exception. Five cuts full, there's enough exciting energies, ideas, textures and flavours to keep a family of four fed for weeks here. Highlights include the gristly, juicy bassline on the title track, the beautiful early 90sesque breaks and pads of 'Hot Like Pepper' and a range of excellent link-ups with Dunk, Jken and Motiv that range from sizzling ('Stack') to soulful ('Message') Grifters gotta grift.
Review: Move over Bear Grylls, Covert Garden's here with some serious 'Survival' tips and they don't involve drinking your own urine. The title track sets the scene with tension. A gorgeous build-up that flips into a stripped back super-tight jungle roll-out. The message is clear - pack a first aid kit wherever you go. 'Watch Out' continues the 'how to stay alive' life hacks another exceptionally epic intro and a flip into a toxic alien funk-up that's so hazy you're going to need binoculars. Keeping the minimal vibe alive throughout this survival session, 'The Love' keeps us shows off CG's precision drums over a 23rd century bass tone and a very well known vocal snippet while 'Hold Tight VIP' twists up the groaning basses on last year's original. Powerful stuff. Please try and stay alive.
Review: Boom: slapping us into the new year with some timeless foundation flavours, Ray Keith's Dubplate Dread welcomes Traumatize with this epic slab of rave goodies. 'Save Yourself' is a great lesson in pad work as most of the track is all about creating the tension and atmosphere before going in HAM on the groove when necessary. 'S3 Funk' is a classic piece of funk work with an O-Jay's style bassline and cheeky rave elements. 'Yard Plan' brings us kicking and punching into the future on a dancehall powered tank and a whole bucket of bassline crazies while 'The Witness' melts down elements of jungle and jump-up, bringing them together with eastern strings and pure kung-fu energy. Chop off the old block, wheel up and come again.
Review: Time for a schooling from an OG jungle pioneer Devious D. Best known for his early breakbeat manoeuvres and being one of the most consistent voices on Kool FM, Devious's comes correct with some serious studio output on Ray Keith's Dubplate Dread. Six cuts in total, each one flexing hard with timeless system-shaking dynamics, highlights include the busy skanking insistence of the title track, the shimmering dubby vibes and crisp clear bass tones on 'In Stock' and the punchy percussive elements on the heads-down roller 'IDub'. And that's only scratching the surface; take each lesson from this teacher very seriously.
Review: Smelting the elements on Ray Keith's Dubplate Dread, young and unavoidable talent Alcemist whips up some of his most stinking fusions. 'Ignite' starts the engine with the soulful tones of Miriam Franklin purring over some naughty bassline groans while 'Minutes' keeps the vocal pressure with legendary MC 2Shy taking the lead over more gutter-chomping distorted basslines. Elsewhere 'Murda Dub' twists up some very strange croaky funk while 'Paradox' closes the EP with some proper breakbeat slappage.
Review: Manchester's Motiv embraces the positive feelings around right now with this emotional debut for Ray Keith's Dubplate Dread. Five of his most glistening, vibe-fuelled soulful rollers, this is his biggest release to date with massive cuts like the soaring vocal title track with its cosmic synths, bumpy bassline and hard-hitting vocal, the sleazy, slinky funk of 'Distractions' and the dusty, jazzy soul work out 'She Knows' all hitting some serious spots. Feel the love.
Review: Attention drum and bass heads this Modulation EP explores all four corners of the genre with an extra stepping collab between Dunk & Mjay called "Too Bad" - killer micro-tear-outs. For a dash of liquid grooves it's all about the steady and hi tempo rhythms of "Deep Blame" that step up to meet the gnarly metallic pulses and skittering percussion of "1986". This saves both "Galaxy Buds" and "Zulu King" for something snare heavy, frenetic and head bobbing (if you can't get those knees up). But for the real adventurous DJs out there it's all about the crazy drum programming, pulses of roaring bass and wicked vocal samples in "Modulation".
Review: Martyn Nytram - an artist so badass you can say his name backwards and forwards - makes his debut on Ray Keith's Dubplate Dread with this walloping seven track slab of heavyweight goodness. All dark by design and crafted solely to blow your wig off, highlights include the razor-wire tension on the title track 'Auroras' the deep tunnelling paranoia of 'For The Night' and the theatre of 'IT'. H2 woah billy boy, Martyn's on some serious juju right here.
Review: Ray Keith's Dread Recordings has one of the longest pedigrees in jungle music, it's been around for decades and their collection of music is suitably vast. This EP from FleCK - another longtime producer - is coming on the Dubplate sublabel, which is reserved for tracks that have been around for a while yet have never seen the light of day. FleCK's talent is on clear show here and the overall vibe is one of rough and tumble jungle, jungle that's made for grotty basements and underground spaces with a special commitment to the roots of the genre. It sounds fresh, though, especially 'Living a Lie' featuring Ngaio, which opens with sultry vocal lines before flipping into an altogether darker affair, a seamless transition that FleCK has made seem easy. 'Lover' has fantastic gravelly bassline, whilst the VIP of 'Ganja Day' is a funky, upbeat number that's breath of light in a grungy release. All of these are umissable for those who love their jungle.
Review: Conrad Subs is a man on a serious roll out the moment. Having just dropped his album on Nuusic, he's now putting forth a shedload of dubs on Ray Keith's dubplate dread sublabel, a heritage and bassline-rich label that seems perfect for Conrad's fractious style. It opens up with 'All Day, All Night', which is simple in its construction but devastating in its effects, a clattering break sitting easily above a sub-heavy wall of bass. 'Dub Assault' is stabby and pointed; 'Minotaur' is deep and steppy; 'Pretty Dangerous' is spacious and wobbly - the list goes on. This is a proper EP for proper heads.
Review: The Book of El - not to be confused with the AAA movie by a similar name starring Wil Smith - is courtesy of Dubplate Dread and it's a raw, jungle inspired journey through sampled soundscapes and urban, dance music culture. The snares are tough, the breaks are gruff and the overall vibe is one of a by-gone era of cutting houses and Fabio on BBC Radio 1. It's nostalgic and yet sounds fresh, especially the liquid tones of 'Soundsystem', and it's a combo that we dig.
Review: One of jungle's most influential players, Ray Keith has been back on his A-game this year as label owner, band leader (check his recent "Renegade" single) and, most importantly, as a kick-ass producer. Here we shows us why he's still relevant with two timeless shock-outs "1994" is a grunting step-heavy workout with a well known vocal sample that's taken from Jamaican film Rockers and used, most notably, by Serum. Flip for the "The Bongo Tune". A quintessential roller, it could just as easily be called "The Sub Bass Tune" thanks to amount of juicy low-end rumblage. Think Deep Blue's "Helicopter Tune"