In a dancehall clearly inspired by 2 Many DJs, High Time Sound, DontCallMeJunior & Flash It Up Sound [more tunes here] have united forces to produce their “2 Many Selectaz Vol. 1” mixtape. Heavy on the hits, Capleton is mashed up with The Jackson 5, Anthony B is set atop Queen, Elephant Man meets Crookers, plus lots of strong uptempo riddims, all alongside productions from other modern dub/reggae heroes like J-Star, Krak In Dub, and MAFFI. Lots of rock, digital reggae, and dancehall madness are crammed into this hour long mix, and the best part is many of these productions are available for free download from the artists’ Soundcloud accounts. Hopefully this series will continue soon!
Pushing the melodic end of steppers, France’s Dubology emphasizes tight rhythm production alongside hazy melodies on a plethora of freely available dubs. “Wake Up Dub,” off of Dub Experiments (available for free download via ReggaeDub.be), is an excellent example with its balance of optimism and gloom. A remix of Echo Vault’s “Deep Satta” is epic and transcendental - dub for cave meditation - with all the elements pulled out to create a nice build-up to the main theme. “Meganizm” shows the artist’s range, as it blurs genre lines with a quirky electro vibe, like MGMT gone dub.
France’s Attack Released’s jazz-meets-dub fusion melds smooth saxaphone with a solid dub foundation. ”Shades of Light” would make excellent wine-party music, mellow yet engaging and quite well-polished. The riddim features a simple synth guitar lick, some upbeat steppers drums, and wisely lets the sax dictate the mood. Attack Released have some other solid dub tracks up on their Soundcloud as well, “Step to progress” is particularly well-layered and funky, while “Heavier Than Dem” also has some jazz instrumentation.
GIVERS are what your ears need - fun light funky pop music, with enough influences to keep things interesting. Their entire album is worth a listen just like Jamie T (though you could argue his is more solid), but imagine Vampire Weekend without the hype or the pretentiousness, then improve the vocals and add an inspired female counterpart. It’s allways hard to compare bands, but GIVERS find the right balance between their creative originality and accessible influences. Here’s the official video for “Up, Up, Up”: