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Hong Kong’s own Blood Dunza returns to Australian label Dub Temple Records for his second EP of deep bass. Exploring his own musical archives, the four tracks from the Heavy Hongkong headman that comprise Flipside are productions from 2008-2011 that have laid dormant until now. Fortunately - given that this EP was compiled for release just before a tragic computer crash! According to Blood Dunza, these are “tunes that I made for myself to play to get a little high” during Heavy’s dubstep nights. While he’s more focused on “reggae related stuff nowadays,” this is an interesting and personal time capsule from one of Hong Kong’s leading purveyors of bass music.
 
“Triangle” sets the tone: layered, with pulling bass carrying dissonant tones and a haunting Oriental melody that at times is given total prominence. Thick echoes surround the pulsing low-end on “Flip,” before the style does exactly that with a Chinese vocal introducing a sparse near-breakbeat. These tracks are simultaneously busy and complex, though the slow-building “Drifters” initially indicates otherwise before the beat and soulful sampled theme emerge from the haze. Arguably more directly influenced by the dub aesthetic than mainstream ‘clubstep,’ Flipside ends with “Timeout,” which balances 16-bit squeals of glitch with soaring synths. 
An engaging collection as well as an intriguing snapshot into an artist’s development. Free download:
 
Flipside by Blood Dunza
 
Hong Kong’s own Blood Dunza returns to Australian label Dub Temple Records for his second EP of deep bass. Exploring his own musical archives, the four tracks from the Heavy Hongkong headman that comprise Flipside are productions from 2008-2011 that have laid dormant until now. Fortunately - given that this EP was compiled for release just before a tragic computer crash! According to Blood Dunza, these are “tunes that I made for myself to play to get a little high” during Heavy’s dubstep nights. While he’s more focused on “reggae related stuff nowadays,” this is an interesting and personal time capsule from one of Hong Kong’s leading purveyors of bass music.

 

“Triangle” sets the tone: layered, with pulling bass carrying dissonant tones and a haunting Oriental melody that at times is given total prominence. Thick echoes surround the pulsing low-end on “Flip,” before the style does exactly that with a Chinese vocal introducing a sparse near-breakbeat. These tracks are simultaneously busy and complex, though the slow-building “Drifters” initially indicates otherwise before the beat and soulful sampled theme emerge from the haze. Arguably more directly influenced by the dub aesthetic than mainstream ‘clubstep,’ Flipside ends with “Timeout,” which balances 16-bit squeals of glitch with soaring synths. An engaging collection as well as an intriguing snapshot into an artist’s development. Free download:

 

 

The Jahtari sound can be jarring - its raw digital reggae is almost still gestating - loaded up with vintage effects and featuring rugged, hazy production. Yet engaging grooves abound, interesting layers emerge from the soundscape, and thoughtful brevity keeps the journey moving ever forward.
 
Monkey Marc lets the void build before unleashing the dark, ambling beat on “Danger Earth,” the first track on this, the fourth installment of the Jahtarian Dubbers compilation series. Pupajim’s high-pitch vocal rides a dissonant shuffle, in an honest - though self-confident - declaration: ‘we not the richest, we not the strongest, we not the best, but we know how to make a hit, we know how to turn on the heat, nobody can stop we.’ EarlyW~Rm’s “The Dub Deal” is echo-laden machine-music dub, distinctive in its murkiness as much as in its high-powered riddim. 7FT Soundsystem contributes the catchy “Shut Ya Mouth,” with Mentor Irie providing the chat.
 
Another powerful vocal follows in “Good Foundation,” El Fata’s reliable and distinctive tenor being paired with a tight 16-bit sound. Label head disrupt’s contribution comes in equal SNES style, a fitting homage to the classic RPG “Chrono Trigger.” Jah Screechy’s upbeat “Love We A Deal With” fades into a sparser groove from Jahtari Riddim Force, which slowly builds, ending more interestingly than it began. Shanghai’s Cha Cha brings it on the breathless crooner “Black Eyes Stranger,” which connects into Diggory Kenrick’s version, entitled “Stranger Flutes,” via a familiar Timothy Leary sample. The eponymous instrument fits surprisingly well against the slow-marching digital beat, mixed in as a proper dub element. Rootah’s “Dancing Chords” provides a brief interlude with some nice Eastern influences, leading to another slow-burner - the Mungo’s Hi Fi / Shanti D collaboration “Know Your Roots.” Over a minimalist beat, the French MC sings of the need for knowledge, as crucial as ever in modern times.
 
A strong statement once again from Jahtari, and in typical vintage fashion the album will be available on cassette (in addition to digital) when it is released on 3 July. Full album preview streaming now:
 

 
The Jahtari sound can be jarring - its raw digital reggae is almost still gestating - loaded up with vintage effects and featuring rugged, hazy production. Yet engaging grooves abound, interesting layers emerge from the soundscape, and thoughtful brevity keeps the journey moving ever forward.

 

Monkey Marc lets the void build before unleashing the dark, ambling beat on “Danger Earth,” the first track on this, the fourth installment of the Jahtarian Dubbers compilation series. Pupajim’s high-pitch vocal rides a dissonant shuffle, in an honest - though self-confident - declaration: ‘we not the richest, we not the strongest, we not the best, but we know how to make a hit, we know how to turn on the heat, nobody can stop we.’ EarlyW~Rm’s “The Dub Deal” is echo-laden machine-music dub, distinctive in its murkiness as much as in its high-powered riddim. 7FT Soundsystem contributes the catchy “Shut Ya Mouth,” with Mentor Irie providing the chat.

 

Another powerful vocal follows in “Good Foundation,” El Fata’s reliable and distinctive tenor being paired with a tight 16-bit sound. Label head disrupt’s contribution comes in equal SNES style, a fitting homage to the classic RPG “Chrono Trigger.” Jah Screechy’s upbeat “Love We A Deal With” fades into a sparser groove from Jahtari Riddim Force, which slowly builds, ending more interestingly than it began. Shanghai’s Cha Cha brings it on the breathless crooner “Black Eyes Stranger,” which connects into Diggory Kenrick’s version, entitled “Stranger Flutes,” via a familiar Timothy Leary sample. The eponymous instrument fits surprisingly well against the slow-marching digital beat, mixed in as a proper dub element. Rootah’s “Dancing Chords” provides a brief interlude with some nice Eastern influences, leading to another slow-burner - the Mungo’s Hi Fi / Shanti D collaboration “Know Your Roots.” Over a minimalist beat, the French MC sings of the need for knowledge, as crucial as ever in modern times.

 

A strong statement once again from Jahtari, and in typical vintage fashion the album will be available on cassette (in addition to digital) when it is released on 3 July. Full album preview streaming now:

 

 

Roots Raid's From The Top features consistently tight dub/reggae production, in addition to a bevy of smooth-singing guest vocalists, allowing the whole album to glide along with a firm sense of identity, purpose, and place. Lighter future roots? Aware modern dub? Regardless, it’s all thick multi-faceted grooves that cleverly still sound sparse.
 
Turbo Turps and Billy Berry alternate on the mic on “Western Rumors,” a gripping vocal examination of present-day socioeconomic concerns. A taught delayed guitar and echoed effects carry the track even when the riddim section is cut out. The first of two Shanti D tracks, “Don’t Love My Style,” celebrates rub-a-dub, from its drum-and-bass to its echo chamber to its sinsemilla, all sung in the seasoned French MC’s distinctive style. Ranking Joe’s opening shoutout to Big Family Sound precedes a rather unique production, with samba-esque digital drums and a pitch-shifting synth melody. “Steppaddict,” with Mael Hornsraid providing the funky, layered horns, is a hazy-yet-polished instrumental; then Billy Berry returns on vocals - which sound especially inspiring when given room to breathe - atop an arrangement that hints at an Afrika Bambaataa influence. Immediately following is the dub, which takes the traditional approach of introducing the original track before pulling out, and then experimenting with, instruments and voice alike.
 
“Chant In Down (Ruff Cut)” appears to feature an uncredited Billy Berry, but the clear priority is the heavy dubbing, including some doom-filled low-end rumblings. “Get Out,” with Mighty Cricket, follows a similar ‘verse into chaos’ formula, though the track drags just a bit as the dub completely collapses and then staggers forward for several more minutes. Next, Shanti D chants down urbanity on the seemingly sparse “Beware; thankfully the horns tease just enough as the rhythm provides a sturdy musical framework. “Swimming With The Dub” does carry some aquatic qualities, with its plinking guitars, but it’s the dubbed-out vocals (from “Beware”) and the second-half shift of the groove to the forefront that make this version so memorable.
 
As the album winds down, “Riddim Wise” - a slightly crashing instrumental - keeps it short and sweet; in closing, the spiritual “Sâdhu Teachings” mixes the dub aesthetic with subcontinental influences, including a powerful-yet-uncredited female vocal. Available for free digital download from ODG Productions, which continues to carve out a crucial niche for itself in the modern dubiverse.
 

 
Roots Raid's From The Top features consistently tight dub/reggae production, in addition to a bevy of smooth-singing guest vocalists, allowing the whole album to glide along with a firm sense of identity, purpose, and place. Lighter future roots? Aware modern dub? Regardless, it’s all thick multi-faceted grooves that cleverly still sound sparse.

 

Turbo Turps and Billy Berry alternate on the mic on “Western Rumors,” a gripping vocal examination of present-day socioeconomic concerns. A taught delayed guitar and echoed effects carry the track even when the riddim section is cut out. The first of two Shanti D tracks, “Don’t Love My Style,” celebrates rub-a-dub, from its drum-and-bass to its echo chamber to its sinsemilla, all sung in the seasoned French MC’s distinctive style. Ranking Joe’s opening shoutout to Big Family Sound precedes a rather unique production, with samba-esque digital drums and a pitch-shifting synth melody. “Steppaddict,” with Mael Hornsraid providing the funky, layered horns, is a hazy-yet-polished instrumental; then Billy Berry returns on vocals - which sound especially inspiring when given room to breathe - atop an arrangement that hints at an Afrika Bambaataa influence. Immediately following is the dub, which takes the traditional approach of introducing the original track before pulling out, and then experimenting with, instruments and voice alike.

 

“Chant In Down (Ruff Cut)” appears to feature an uncredited Billy Berry, but the clear priority is the heavy dubbing, including some doom-filled low-end rumblings. “Get Out,” with Mighty Cricket, follows a similar ‘verse into chaos’ formula, though the track drags just a bit as the dub completely collapses and then staggers forward for several more minutes. Next, Shanti D chants down urbanity on the seemingly sparse “Beware; thankfully the horns tease just enough as the rhythm provides a sturdy musical framework. “Swimming With The Dub” does carry some aquatic qualities, with its plinking guitars, but it’s the dubbed-out vocals (from “Beware”) and the second-half shift of the groove to the forefront that make this version so memorable.

 

As the album winds down, “Riddim Wise” - a slightly crashing instrumental - keeps it short and sweet; in closing, the spiritual “Sâdhu Teachings” mixes the dub aesthetic with subcontinental influences, including a powerful-yet-uncredited female vocal. Available for free digital download from ODG Productions, which continues to carve out a crucial niche for itself in the modern dubiverse.