Dub Caravan and Hornsman Coyote unite forces for an inspiring dub journey. “Tribute to the Fathers,” with its skanking guitar and brooding trombone, makes Breath of Peace instantly captivating. The well-produced tunes continue from there: “Natty On Board” is mellow yet uplifting, while “Innocent Blood” and the matching instrumental is also solid. “Burning In The City” has a nicely layered and funky groove; “Make I Win,” the second vocal track, is catchy, with the right blend of roots tradition and innovation, while the Version lets the horns shine. Other standouts include “Air Raid,” which has the air of a spy film, “Spanish Town,” which mixes Latin horns and strong percussion, and “Egypt,” which is heavy in all the right heady ways. “Trail of Tears” and “Machine World,” the final two tracks, add Native American influences and crunched guitars, respectively, to lead this adventure to its close. This album is loaded up with impressive tunes - and while the groove is clearly and rightfully a priority, the quality of musicianship and attention to detail rewards multiple listens of these lush dubscapes.
Dubmatix has just released Rebel Massive, a huge album loaded up with classic reggae influences and modern dub wizardry. That alone is impressive, but then the guest vocalists really shine: from legends like Eek-A-Mouse, U-Roy, and Horace Andy, to dnb standout Tenor Fly and the versatile Longfingah. Where to start…
Oh yes, the anthemic “Pull Up Selector” which comes fully-equipped with a fun and frenetic video:
Big bass, great vocals, this is what a reggae single needs to be.
“Black Market War Dub,” the only instrumental, more than holds it own, full of Dubmatix’s distinctive style of slow crushing bass and well-crafted layers. “Seeds of Love & Life” (feat. Luciano) is another stormer, and the early W~rm Dub Mix is spectacular as well. Lots of great tracks here, all sorts of reggae vibes to satisfy!
This was years in the making, though the end result is nothing like it would have been back then…
Simultaneously celebratory and conscious, this is loaded with bass-heavy remixes and refixes, plus some key edits and a penchant for mashing up the past and future. Jamaican roots and dub originators give way to talented modern musicians and producers from Austria, France, Greece, Italy, South Africa, the UK, and the US.
Representing Colorado and Hong Kong, The Groove Thief continues the increasingly influential “Stepping Between Reggae & Dub” mixtape series, now on its fourth volume.
Jstar is releasing a cleverly-titled compilation of his bass-laden remixes and dubs later this month on vinyl. Already streamable, these are some heavy tunes covering a wide spectrum of low-end theories. Remixes: from the dubbed-out hip-hop of Dj Vadim’s “Watch That Sound” (feat. Emo) to the horn-laden reggae-hop of “Ya Ya” from The Empty Heads feat. MC Sirreal to the mellow smoker vibes of “Ten Feet Tall” by Mr Dero / Farina Miss. Jstar takes Madness into late-night dubby-electro, Dub Terminator feat. Ras Stone into bad man territory on “Bad Mind,” and - the definite standout - Capitol 1212 feat. “Oh me, oh my this is Tenor Fly” into the land of mystical grooves, complete with an epic vocal-led break. The instrumentals aren’t exactly slouching, The Unlimiters’ “Loophole” ventures into psychedelia yet mantains a dub aesthetic, ”Fish Finger Tentacle Dub” builds up to some glitchy grooves while “Regulate Rock (Jstar Dub)” ends the album on a super funky note that feels restrained at four-and-a-half minutes. Jstar is at a crucial crossroads of dub, reggae, and bass, where a myriad of influences can be blended together to still produce a cohesive track, and here, a surprisingly cohesive album:
NagualX pushes dub forward into the realm of jazz, while keeping a strong focus on heavy riddims and basslines. With several strong tracks, including the recently released and fittingly-titled “Be Strong,” alongside a live party dub and two “Illegal Dubplates” mixes, there is a lot of fresh interesting music available from this artist. Hailing from France, NagualX captures the vibrancy of the country’s strong dub/reggae movement but wisely avoids predictable trappings of the genre and instead has forged a very unique sound, perhaps most comparable to some of the jazzier cuts from Attack Released. Well worth the listen:
This Friday night 07/12 Germany’s iLLBiLLY HiTEC roll into Hong Kong with MC Longfingah to drop their digital reggaetronics upon XXX. Also on the bill are Blood Dunza, Christian Di Phat Selekta, and yours truly The Groove Thief. I’ll be starting the night off from 10:30 to midnight with funky dub building up to digital reggae. A True Skool x Heavy Hongkong collaboration, this is going to be a fun night of BYOB house-party reggae vibes. Come early, stay late, and drinks are closer now that 7-11s been supplanted as the nearest convenience store…
Here’s 20 minutes of bangin’ reggae straight from Hong Kong! Huge tracks from Krak In Dub and Mungo’s Hi Fi bookend an uptempo modern digital mix with featured instrumentals and riddims from Black Chiney, Dub Breakah, FreeRoots & Youngheart, and Riddim Tuffa. A literal anthem appears from High Tone and Pupajim alongside a classically-inspired track from Collie Buddz, a tough vocal from The Beast, and Numa Crew’s alter-ego Gangsta No Play. Made for a mixxtape battle, this is loaded with choice tracks.
PhOniAndFlOrE present Dubsteady, an electro-dub odyssey that, while clearly prioritizing modern over classic, has echo and reverb hidden amongst its heavy basslines and varied influences. Opener “Disco Dub” fuses hip-hop and electro over a pulsating beat while “Scoopy” is synth-laden and equally relentless. The title track is a bit mellower, yet Injham’s well-layered remix, with its epic intro and almost glitchy drums, pushes the musical boundaries even farther. Closer “Capture” is more heavy electro-dub, a strong final statement on the sound that this prolific producer is championing.