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Showcasing an inclusive approach - proving that musical peace is at least a reality in the Middle East - Israel’s Zvuloon Dub System combines Jamaican and Ethiopian influences to produce a potent and timeless album. The vocals, sung in Amharic, Tigrinya, and Gurage, come from lead singer Yalo as well as several guests, while the rest of the band bring a clear and confident knowledge of classic roots reggae.
 
From the opening bars of the instrumental “Alemitu,” it is obvious that this album has been lovingly crafted, with a strong sense of purpose and respect. After a slow lead-in with horns triumphant, the groove arrives alongside a dynamic keyboard solo. On “Tenesh Kelbe Lay,” another nice rhythm provides the platform for the intoxicating vocals. Hypnotic, yet far more dance than drone, this shows influences of the dub tradition rather than being true dub from an engineering perspective.
 
“Sab Sam” is a catchy track, sounding similar to some of the more triumphant work of Amadou & Mariam in structure and vocal styling. From there, “Man Begelagelgni” chills things out a bit, allowing a nice walking bass line to shine through before “Ney Denun Tieshe,” which features the wonderfully wavering guest vocals of legendary Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed amidst more tight horn lines. Then “Yehoden Aweteche Lengeresh,” bearing some influence from Zap Pow’s “Last War” riddim, returns the album firmly to the Jamaican fold.
 
“Tsbukti Fetret” includes an elegant East African melody on the krar, a traditional instrument that appears on several other tracks as well, while a solid skanking guitar propels the rhythm. Hinting more at rocksteady than reggae, “Endemenesh” - with Zemene Melesse on mic duties - leads into the funky and upbeat “Zelel Zelel” splendidly, before the sparse and almost melancholy “Yene Almaz” closes out the album. Here it’s the masinko, a single-stringed bowed lute, that harkens back to the Ethiopian musical tradition.
 
Through and through, this is world music in the most transcendent and intriguing of ways. An impressive work of musical fusion, Anbessa Dub is spirited and spiritual:
 
Anbessa Dub by Zvuloon Dub System
 
Showcasing an inclusive approach - proving that musical peace is at least a reality in the Middle East - Israel’s Zvuloon Dub System combines Jamaican and Ethiopian influences to produce a potent and timeless album. The vocals, sung in Amharic, Tigrinya, and Gurage, come from lead singer Yalo as well as several guests, while the rest of the band bring a clear and confident knowledge of classic roots reggae.

 

From the opening bars of the instrumental “Alemitu,” it is obvious that this album has been lovingly crafted, with a strong sense of purpose and respect. After a slow lead-in with horns triumphant, the groove arrives alongside a dynamic keyboard solo. On “Tenesh Kelbe Lay,” another nice rhythm provides the platform for the intoxicating vocals. Hypnotic, yet far more dance than drone, this shows influences of the dub tradition rather than being true dub from an engineering perspective.

 

“Sab Sam” is a catchy track, sounding similar to some of the more triumphant work of Amadou & Mariam in structure and vocal styling. From there, “Man Begelagelgni” chills things out a bit, allowing a nice walking bass line to shine through before “Ney Denun Tieshe,” which features the wonderfully wavering guest vocals of legendary Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed amidst more tight horn lines. Then “Yehoden Aweteche Lengeresh,” bearing some influence from Zap Pow’s “Last War” riddim, returns the album firmly to the Jamaican fold.

 

“Tsbukti Fetret” includes an elegant East African melody on the krar, a traditional instrument that appears on several other tracks as well, while a solid skanking guitar propels the rhythm. Hinting more at rocksteady than reggae, “Endemenesh” - with Zemene Melesse on mic duties - leads into the funky and upbeat “Zelel Zelel” splendidly, before the sparse and almost melancholy “Yene Almaz” closes out the album. Here it’s the masinko, a single-stringed bowed lute, that harkens back to the Ethiopian musical tradition.

 

Through and through, this is world music in the most transcendent and intriguing of ways. An impressive work of musical fusion, Anbessa Dub is spirited and spiritual:

 

 

Massive thanks to the Hong Kong underground for its continual dedication to exhausting my fingers… and a special shout-out is definitely deserved by the folks over at the SCMP’s Lifestyle Section for recently featuring me as a Tastemaker. Not sure if I’m truly “among Hong Kong’s leading arbiters of musical taste” - as any taste I may have is solely due to the endless efforts of all the wonderful artists, DJs, musicians, and other creators out there - but it’s always good to have one’s efforts recognized. Respect.
 
Seriously though, there’s a lot of quality work in this #HKMU, so strap on your headphones (or crank up your hi-fi) and prepare yourself:
 
Featuring a full twenty tracks, this Metal Postcard mix by Joe McKechnie highlights some of the best releases from the HK-based label from 2013-2014. Expect psych-funk, punk-rock, leftfield-beats, and other hyphenated musical genres. In other words, expect an adventure.
 

 
XXX's leading man DJ Enso returns to the mixtape arena, with his club-inspired “YMBIMSB.” Also available on CD, the bass is booming so double-check your grillz so they don’t break your teeth:
 

  
With a major focus on wicked timelapse/hyperlapse videography, Ghost Style's “Love Never Dies” pushes artistic creativity forward while showcasing some iconic spots in Hong Kong.
 

 
An upload so fresh you can practically still see the 1s and 0s, Hara's “Message to You” is truly chill. Evidence? The Café Mambo seal of approval as its been featured on their latest compilation: 20 Years Of Ibiza Chillout.
 

  
▶▶△ (aka Tree-Angles) return with another dub-influenced instrumental beat, “Wood.”
 

 
Acoustic duo Sun Eskimos have shared a live radio recording from Commercial Radio Hong Kong, 商業電台叱咤903 of their tune “Parts I And II.”
 

 
Ekorb continues his Magisto Webisode series with “Steps,” featuring one of his own soon-to-be-released tracks…
 

 
DJ VISA is keeping busy, with a new mix for VibesHK as well as an edit of Koxo’s funky disco tune “Step By Step.”
 


 
The latest from eAzYBeatz showcases how EDM is influencing his production style, though he promises this is a one-off:
 

 
With a spoken intro I fully support, ni.ne.mo's “平凡” [Ordinary] features live highlights of the indie rockers, self-described as “your girlfriend's favorite band.”
 

 
DJC shows his indifference towards (or is it passionate love of?) Wednesdays with his two-part “Whatever Wednesdays” mix. How fly, loaded up with clubby electro:
 


 
On “Doo Wap #1,” Fun Key melds together a classic house aesthetic with an even more classic style: the 50s.
 

 
2014 seems to be the year of the Dan F remaster, which is great given that these tech-_____ tunes hardly sound dated.
 



 
F Chan has entered the online production scene with his three-part “Raw Material” series. Layered and diverse, these are some engaging instrumentals, with the keys shining through on parts 1 and 3:
 



 
The title makes everything quite clear on “Psysert Loves Psychedelic.” As does the opening vocal sample from Terence McKenna:
 

 
Ocean Lam's latest live set comes from oma, a 100-minute journey through deep techno sounds:
 

  
SJOKK PANTER has released a trio of live mixes, all focused on funky grooves:
 

 
Thanks for reading and listening this deep, if you’ve perused the #HKMU before then you know I usually highlight a few regional selections at the end. This edition is no different, with a fantastic video from Beijing-based hiphop MC Jackson Turner’s (aka Emcee Heretic) emotional and personal “For The Last Day.”
 

 
Macau’s Achun has also just dropped a herd of electronic tunes, most recently “Think In It” and “Thousand Dubs.” Both hint at some 16-bit influences, while “From Here To There” is a definite journey through bass. 
 



 
Until next time, listen safely.
 
Massive thanks to the Hong Kong underground for its continual dedication to exhausting my fingers… and a special shout-out is definitely deserved by the folks over at the SCMP’s Lifestyle Section for recently featuring me as a Tastemaker. Not sure if I’m truly “among Hong Kong’s leading arbiters of musical taste” - as any taste I may have is solely due to the endless efforts of all the wonderful artists, DJs, musicians, and other creators out there - but it’s always good to have one’s efforts recognized. Respect.

 

Seriously though, there’s a lot of quality work in this #HKMU, so strap on your headphones (or crank up your hi-fi) and prepare yourself:

 

Featuring a full twenty tracks, this Metal Postcard mix by Joe McKechnie highlights some of the best releases from the HK-based label from 2013-2014. Expect psych-funk, punk-rock, leftfield-beats, and other hyphenated musical genres. In other words, expect an adventure.

 

 

XXX's leading man DJ Enso returns to the mixtape arena, with his club-inspired “YMBIMSB.” Also available on CD, the bass is booming so double-check your grillz so they don’t break your teeth:

 

 

With a major focus on wicked timelapse/hyperlapse videography, Ghost Style's “Love Never Dies” pushes artistic creativity forward while showcasing some iconic spots in Hong Kong.

 

 

An upload so fresh you can practically still see the 1s and 0s, Hara's “Message to You” is truly chill. Evidence? The Café Mambo seal of approval as its been featured on their latest compilation: 20 Years Of Ibiza Chillout.

 

 

▶▶△ (aka Tree-Angles) return with another dub-influenced instrumental beat, “Wood.”

 

 

Acoustic duo Sun Eskimos have shared a live radio recording from Commercial Radio Hong Kong, 商業電台叱咤903 of their tune “Parts I And II.”

 

 

Ekorb continues his Magisto Webisode series with “Steps,” featuring one of his own soon-to-be-released tracks…

 

 

DJ VISA is keeping busy, with a new mix for VibesHK as well as an edit of Koxo’s funky disco tune “Step By Step.”

 

 

The latest from eAzYBeatz showcases how EDM is influencing his production style, though he promises this is a one-off:

 

 

With a spoken intro I fully support, ni.ne.mo's “平凡” [Ordinary] features live highlights of the indie rockers, self-described as “your girlfriend's favorite band.”

 

 

DJC shows his indifference towards (or is it passionate love of?) Wednesdays with his two-part “Whatever Wednesdays” mix. How fly, loaded up with clubby electro:

 

 

On “Doo Wap #1,” Fun Key melds together a classic house aesthetic with an even more classic style: the 50s.

 

 

2014 seems to be the year of the Dan F remaster, which is great given that these tech-_____ tunes hardly sound dated.

 

 

F Chan has entered the online production scene with his three-part “Raw Material” series. Layered and diverse, these are some engaging instrumentals, with the keys shining through on parts 1 and 3:

 

 

The title makes everything quite clear on “Psysert Loves Psychedelic.” As does the opening vocal sample from Terence McKenna:

 

 

Ocean Lam's latest live set comes from oma, a 100-minute journey through deep techno sounds:

 

 

SJOKK PANTER has released a trio of live mixes, all focused on funky grooves:

 

 

Thanks for reading and listening this deep, if you’ve perused the #HKMU before then you know I usually highlight a few regional selections at the end. This edition is no different, with a fantastic video from Beijing-based hiphop MC Jackson Turner’s (aka Emcee Heretic) emotional and personal “For The Last Day.”

 

 

Macau’s Achun has also just dropped a herd of electronic tunes, most recently “Think In It” and “Thousand Dubs.” Both hint at some 16-bit influences, while “From Here To There” is a definite journey through bass.

 

 

Until next time, listen safely.

 

Demanding a full embrace, both visually and aurally, Golden Dawn Arkestra is not an EP for the faintly funky. Yes, Sun Ra is a clear influence, but this is its own cosmic trip. Opener “Afropocalpyse” allows cascading keys, half dirge and half call to prayer, to set the tone before the well-delivered groove arrives. Layered, with an appropriate focus placed on the brass, until the vintage vocal, tinged gracefully yet slick, takes the lead. Showcasing Golden Dawn Arkestra’s engaging ability to mix eras, sounds, and influences, the track only concludes once a soaring guitar lead is given its due.
 
“Oasis (The Legend of Nathaniel Horne)” eases into its theme slowly: spaghetti-Western bass and whistle alternating with horns and guitar for an entrancing desert odyssey, doors of perception open wide. “Dimensions” goes further into the psychic groove-lands, requesting the listener to ‘sing and dance’ and ‘come and join us now,’ as though psych-funk had fueled Random Access Memories rather than disco.
 
The vocal chant, heavy groove, and prominent horn melodies of afrobeat make “Masakayli” a standout, which nicely sets up the ambling future/past caravan music of “Saharan Knights.” Instruments pop, creating an appropriately massive atmosphere, before striding surf-rock takes the tune into sonic dervishes not often whirled. Dancing off with “Selemat,” equally influenced by snake and Moog charmers, this too-short blast of timeless creativity is delightfully dusty despite its polished elements.
 
“Afropocalypse” is available as a free download, while the whole album is stream-only until the August 19th release date:
 


 
As a bonus, in case you’re at all questioning how wild and funky things would get live, here’s a rendition of Mulatu Astatke’s “Kasalèfkut Hulu:”
 

 
Demanding a full embrace, both visually and aurally, Golden Dawn Arkestra is not an EP for the faintly funky. Yes, Sun Ra is a clear influence, but this is its own cosmic trip. Opener “Afropocalpyse” allows cascading keys, half dirge and half call to prayer, to set the tone before the well-delivered groove arrives. Layered, with an appropriate focus placed on the brass, until the vintage vocal, tinged gracefully yet slick, takes the lead. Showcasing Golden Dawn Arkestra’s engaging ability to mix eras, sounds, and influences, the track only concludes once a soaring guitar lead is given its due.

 

“Oasis (The Legend of Nathaniel Horne)” eases into its theme slowly: spaghetti-Western bass and whistle alternating with horns and guitar for an entrancing desert odyssey, doors of perception open wide. “Dimensions” goes further into the psychic groove-lands, requesting the listener to ‘sing and dance’ and ‘come and join us now,’ as though psych-funk had fueled Random Access Memories rather than disco.

 

The vocal chant, heavy groove, and prominent horn melodies of afrobeat make “Masakayli” a standout, which nicely sets up the ambling future/past caravan music of “Saharan Knights.” Instruments pop, creating an appropriately massive atmosphere, before striding surf-rock takes the tune into sonic dervishes not often whirled. Dancing off with “Selemat,” equally influenced by snake and Moog charmers, this too-short blast of timeless creativity is delightfully dusty despite its polished elements.

 

“Afropocalypse” is available as a free download, while the whole album is stream-only until the August 19th release date:

 

 

As a bonus, in case you’re at all questioning how wild and funky things would get live, here’s a rendition of Mulatu Astatke’s “Kasalèfkut Hulu:”