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From the slightly tongue-in-cheek “Intro” through to “The Release,” Dubmatix makes a strong musical statement on In Dub, showcasing both his production prowess and range. “Circus Maximum Dub” is heavy steppers, with triumphant horns playing the main theme alongside rolling timpani, echoes, and haze aplenty. “Galactical Dub” is even thicker, all wall of bass, though with breaks for the skanking guitars and later, cascading synths and horns, to breathe. On “16 Stone Dub,” as expected, Earl 16’s verses are reduced to echoing shells as a digital groove creates a very modern electro dub landscape. “Dub Steppa” is appropriately and obviously titled; robot voice into four bars of melody and then the low-end arrives, pounding through the reverberating lushness.
 
Showcasing numerous styles is a big part of Dubmatix’s approach, so following the opening more-mechanized future dubs the album eases up, with “Inna Breathin’ Dub” almost light and funky by comparison as the horns and effects take the lead. Next, it’s the organic bass-led “Magnetic Dub,” which teases some nice melody lines as well. If “Into Battle Dub” is ready to soundtrack a sci-fi film montage, then “007 Dub” is less overt than expected, instead allowing a nice bass line to lead the listener through a heady sequence of effect-laden instruments.
 
“Ichense Dub” pushes the past to the forefront, as vocal samples and melodica interweave with a smooth main theme to create a standout track. Then, at 76bpm, comes the most uptempo cut, “Black Madonna Dub” - guitar picking emerging from (or is it leading out of?) the near-chaos. While featuring Dennis Alcapone’s echo-laden vocals, the clear purpose of “Mad Massa Gana Dub” is to push a classic riddim forward into the future. “The Release,” more dirge than ecstasy, bring in a silky smooth saxophone to close out this heavy-yet-diverse exploration of modern dub sounds.
 
High-quality digital available via Junodownload (though pre-release pricing is still currently available via Bandcamp), with CDs to ship by mid-May.
 
In Dub by Dubmatix
 
I have previously reviewed: Dubmatix’s 2013 album Rebel Massive and Dubmatix’s generous Soundcloud account. Plus, Dubmatix’s “Pull Up Selector” made my Top Ten Currently Crucial Tunes with Equally Crucial Videos list for NiceUp. 
 
From the slightly tongue-in-cheek “Intro” through to “The Release,” Dubmatix makes a strong musical statement on In Dub, showcasing both his production prowess and range. “Circus Maximum Dub” is heavy steppers, with triumphant horns playing the main theme alongside rolling timpani, echoes, and haze aplenty. “Galactical Dub” is even thicker, all wall of bass, though with breaks for the skanking guitars and later, cascading synths and horns, to breathe. On “16 Stone Dub,” as expected, Earl 16’s verses are reduced to echoing shells as a digital groove creates a very modern electro dub landscape. “Dub Steppa” is appropriately and obviously titled; robot voice into four bars of melody and then the low-end arrives, pounding through the reverberating lushness.

 

Showcasing numerous styles is a big part of Dubmatix’s approach, so following the opening more-mechanized future dubs the album eases up, with “Inna Breathin’ Dub” almost light and funky by comparison as the horns and effects take the lead. Next, it’s the organic bass-led “Magnetic Dub,” which teases some nice melody lines as well. If “Into Battle Dub” is ready to soundtrack a sci-fi film montage, then “007 Dub” is less overt than expected, instead allowing a nice bass line to lead the listener through a heady sequence of effect-laden instruments.

 

“Ichense Dub” pushes the past to the forefront, as vocal samples and melodica interweave with a smooth main theme to create a standout track. Then, at 76bpm, comes the most uptempo cut, “Black Madonna Dub” - guitar picking emerging from (or is it leading out of?) the near-chaos. While featuring Dennis Alcapone’s echo-laden vocals, the clear purpose of “Mad Massa Gana Dub” is to push a classic riddim forward into the future. “The Release,” more dirge than ecstasy, bring in a silky smooth saxophone to close out this heavy-yet-diverse exploration of modern dub sounds.

 

High-quality digital available via Junodownload (though pre-release pricing is still currently available via Bandcamp), with CDs to ship by mid-May.

 

 

I have previously reviewed: Dubmatix’s 2013 album Rebel Massive and Dubmatix’s generous Soundcloud account. Plus, Dubmatix’s “Pull Up Selector” made my Top Ten Currently Crucial Tunes with Equally Crucial Videos list for NiceUp.

 

Perhaps the artwork for Stone By Stone, the new album from tight eclectic instrumental funksters Ikebe Shakedown, sums things up appropriately: between the vintage overlay and the barren-yet-inspiring desert-scape, these stones clearly have soul. Opener “The Offering” sets the tone, as horns - led by the sax - ride a groove controlled by the strong rhythm section and slightly skanking guitar. A live video has just been released as well:
 

 
The title track takes thing into deeper and more melancholic territory, with the blasting brass reigned in before hitting free jazz territory. “The Beast” takes a steady afrobeat groove, led by the drums but empowered by the bass, and inspires dancing feet courtesy of an entrancing melody. Often called cinematic soul, ultimately this is beyond genre, a subtle display of impressive musicianship that is aware of the pillars of the past and the potential of the future.
 
“By Hook Or By Crook” may soar, but “Rio Grande” seems to have most directly inspired the album art, recalling Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass in all the best ways. “Last Stand” pushes the tempo back up, then rides off into the sunset; “Cover Your Tracks” then, is perhaps the most poignant track of all, as the seven-piece slip into a smoky late-night vibe before disappearing whence they came. “Chosen Path” follows a similar formula - not in a derivative way, just in the sense of an evolving band digging deeper into their own sound. The closing pair of tracks, “The Illusion,” and “Dram,” begin hauntingly and invitingly, respectively, as the former is driven by a powerful walking bass-line and the latter, while slightly more reserved, is opened up to allow the reverberating guitar to end things in psychedelic style. Ten strong tracks, definitely intended to be listened to in succession:
 
Stone By Stone by Ikebe Shakedown
 
A timely remix comes from Beat Gates, who takes on “No Name Bar” from Ikebe Shakedown’s self-titled album. Emphasizing the low-end via a slightly thunderous clap, the original’s spirit shines through as it confidently enters beat-tape territory. Free download: 
 

 
In need of more Ikebe Shakedown? Fair enough. Their stellar debut EP Hard Steppin’ is available here:
 
Ikebe Shakedown - Hard Steppin’ EP (Debut) by Ikebe Shakedown
 
And “Dead Wrong” is a cool mashup with the Notorious BIG:
 

 
Perhaps the artwork for Stone By Stone, the new album from tight eclectic instrumental funksters Ikebe Shakedown, sums things up appropriately: between the vintage overlay and the barren-yet-inspiring desert-scape, these stones clearly have soul. Opener “The Offering” sets the tone, as horns - led by the sax - ride a groove controlled by the strong rhythm section and slightly skanking guitar. A live video has just been released as well:

 

 

The title track takes thing into deeper and more melancholic territory, with the blasting brass reigned in before hitting free jazz territory. “The Beast” takes a steady afrobeat groove, led by the drums but empowered by the bass, and inspires dancing feet courtesy of an entrancing melody. Often called cinematic soul, ultimately this is beyond genre, a subtle display of impressive musicianship that is aware of the pillars of the past and the potential of the future.

 

“By Hook Or By Crook” may soar, but “Rio Grande” seems to have most directly inspired the album art, recalling Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass in all the best ways. “Last Stand” pushes the tempo back up, then rides off into the sunset; “Cover Your Tracks” then, is perhaps the most poignant track of all, as the seven-piece slip into a smoky late-night vibe before disappearing whence they came. “Chosen Path” follows a similar formula - not in a derivative way, just in the sense of an evolving band digging deeper into their own sound. The closing pair of tracks, “The Illusion,” and “Dram,” begin hauntingly and invitingly, respectively, as the former is driven by a powerful walking bass-line and the latter, while slightly more reserved, is opened up to allow the reverberating guitar to end things in psychedelic style. Ten strong tracks, definitely intended to be listened to in succession:

 

 

A timely remix comes from Beat Gates, who takes on “No Name Bar” from Ikebe Shakedown’s self-titled album. Emphasizing the low-end via a slightly thunderous clap, the original’s spirit shines through as it confidently enters beat-tape territory. Free download:

 

 

In need of more Ikebe Shakedown? Fair enough. Their stellar debut EP Hard Steppin’ is available here:

 

Ikebe Shakedown - Hard Steppin’ EP (Debut) by Ikebe Shakedown

 

And “Dead Wrong” is a cool mashup with the Notorious BIG:

 

 

As specialists in heavy modern dub, Dub Combe Records delivers as expected with the bass-driven electro-dub of Maxiroots. The See No Light EP begins with “Rightful Dub,” its dark synth melody lines weaving around a relentless steppers low-end before a mesmeric spiritual wail completely redefines the track. “Human Dub” allows a bit of swirling haze to enter into an otherwise clean digital production, one whose lead bounces between instruments while a thick groove engulfs the listener. For “See No Light,” it may be the titular sample that introduces the thick bassline, but it’s the darting horns that add just enough to the mix. Staying strictly digital,”Raising Dub” predicts the back alley soundtrack to an Arabian future. Skanking across crushing seas, final cut “Hurricane Dub” stays true to the unspoken proviso here: allow the depths of dub to shine. Contradictory? Perhaps. And definitely worth a listen.
 
[DCR005] See No Light EP by MAXIROOTS
 
As specialists in heavy modern dub, Dub Combe Records delivers as expected with the bass-driven electro-dub of Maxiroots. The See No Light EP begins with “Rightful Dub,” its dark synth melody lines weaving around a relentless steppers low-end before a mesmeric spiritual wail completely redefines the track. “Human Dub” allows a bit of swirling haze to enter into an otherwise clean digital production, one whose lead bounces between instruments while a thick groove engulfs the listener. For “See No Light,” it may be the titular sample that introduces the thick bassline, but it’s the darting horns that add just enough to the mix. Staying strictly digital,”Raising Dub” predicts the back alley soundtrack to an Arabian future. Skanking across crushing seas, final cut “Hurricane Dub” stays true to the unspoken proviso here: allow the depths of dub to shine. Contradictory? Perhaps. And definitely worth a listen.