Review: Over the years we have become very used to Om Unit supplying us with some of the most experimental musical creations out there. This brand new album entitled 'Acid Dub Stories' is the embodiment of that refusal to fall into line, with the tracklisting exploring electronic music production in a way we have never heard before. There is distinctly retro feel about the general arrangement of the project, from the moogy synthesizer action of 'Ghosts' and 'Bristol Theme' to the more spacious use of pad textures in 'Dissolved' and 'Celestial Envoy', It's impossible to define the project within any singular bracket, with it being best described as a masterpiece in digital sound design. Other highlights include the constantly alternating melodic structures of 'The Struggle' and the digital dubwise vibes of 'Circled'. Amazing work!
Review: It's become quite a rarity for us to see a brand new drop from the Moonshine Recordings team land and us not be impressed with it, a theme we see continue here as Radikal Guru and Lady Skavya join forces for a weighty new dubwise epic entitled 'Lost & Found'. It's a perfect combination of silky singalong vocal patterns and aquatic instrumentation, guiding forward creeping melodic twists and subtle eskimo-style synthesizer action. It's a wicked combination of sounds that truly works wonders, also coming complete with Radikal Guru's full instrumental version for good measure!
Review: Preceding the release of Calibre's so called 'first bona fide 140 BPM record' is two choice remixes that Signature have commissioned from legendary Berlin producer Mark Ernestus. Popularly characterised for his role in Basic Channel, Ernestus' dubwise remixes are only rivaled Chain Reaction's DJ Pete (aka Substance). Delving deep into the art of the saw wave, "Badder" sees swells of holographic synths float in the ambient textures of Calibre's original groove while occasionally buffered by light, skipping tops. "Bad", just the same only simmered down, allows its drums to cut through in a way that doesn't distract from its cavernous sound.
Review: As ever with Moonshine Recordings, they have delivered us a seriously top notch selection as they unveil sixteen tracks of sweet reggae bliss. We have one of a line up on the table as we see names such as G Roots, Frenk Dublin, Blind Prophet, Adam Prescott and more throw us contributions as rootsy flavours are given a 2019 face lift. There are some clear standouts from this work, despite all sixteen tracks being absolute show stoppers, including 6Blocc & General Jah Mikey's system-ready stomper 'Too Rude' and the euphoric horn manoeuvres of 'Enchanted Dub' from Halcyonic, G Roots, Digid & Vale. The whole project is excellent, and we are super stoked to have it available here at Juno Download.
Review: Scotland's most trusted reggae sound system Mungo's Hi Fi returns to Scotch Bonnet with the second single from the Soul Radio album, released earlier this year. It sees Sonny and Cher's 1967 number "And The Beat Goes On" souped-up ska-style with piano-led rhythms and vocal trips turned to something instrumental in "Ivory Coast". The Beat Goes SKA! takes in three distinct artists from different eras via an inter-generational family in Italian vocalist Marina P, legendary rocksteady and reggae deejay Dennis Alcapone and dancehall entertainer turned vocalist Tippa Irie on the mic! Said to embody the spirits of legends like Theophilus Beckford and Gladstone Anderson, the ska goes on!
Review: The King & City label is the subject of three reissues, starting with One Blood's classic Lovers Rock take of William DeVaughn's soul anthem, Be Thankful. Taking the influence of reggae from the Caribbean diaspora within the cultural melting pot of 70s London, the birth of Lovers Rock, often-dubbed 'romantic reggae', is a uniquely black British sound, developed against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. A style suited to the London scene, it represents an apolitical counterpoint to the then dominant conscious Rastafarian sound and continued the soulful and commonly love-themed rocksteady style. Active during the scene's peak, King & City was launched by Neville King and Lee Laing to champion the sound and alongside other producers like Dennis Bovell, created genre-defining hits. Formed in 1979 One Blood was made up of the 5 Robinson brothers - Errol, Jerry, Lloyd, Trevor and Paul - and recording at the legendary TMC studios, went on to release two albums and countless singles. Be Thankful pays homage to DeVaughn's original, with smooth vocals gliding atop tight drum and bass, vocal jumping up dub pom acapella to summer perfection. The tapes here passed to cohort Lexx, crafting a wonderful discodub that is all groove, expertly cutting back and forth... diamonds in the back, sunroof top.
Review: Fill yer boots or digital DJ stockings this christmas with some fine dub tunes and versions of undeniable funk from the Timewarp catalogue. Taking in a host of remixes, instrumentals and edits; highlights include the freewheeling cool jazz of Freethinker Funk Essence's "Spring Air", the dance-heavy wares of Djtzinas & The Redgreen Wood Soundsystem remix to "Yuil Disco Breaks" and Funky Destination's sweet, dreamy and percussive "Roots People". Deeper house inspired dub tracks come from Shantisan in "Que Nego E Esse (Timewarp Inc dub remix) with fine originals from AUditors DOmination's "Dreaming Of Zion" and Groove Monkz's digi-ska track "Promised Land". The place to be.
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.