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: