*** [ dub / reggae / HK underground ] *** Hong Kong's Premiere Music Blog *** [ exclusive DJ mixes ] ***
Triumphant horns. Heady echoes. Quality vocalists. Massive bass. Tour De Force are all that and more, arguably at the forefront of sound system culture within America. Thus Battle Cry is an appropriate - and timely, given their upcoming Hong Kong gig -  musical statement, one that takes the past and produces the future. The instrumental opener sets the tone, but its the vocalists that truly capture the Dub-Stuy collective's musical vision.
 
On “Roots Lyrics,” Brother Culture serenades the origins of roots in the chorus, while the verses focus on the diverse modern realities of reggae music. “Strong To Survive” begins with a sample, pointing out the continuing presence of Babylon within Western culture, before a simply overpowering digitally-infused bass-line enters the equation: DUBstep. From there, Jahdan Blakkamoore handles a slightly mutated Sleng Teng riddim on “Pool Party,” celebrating the niceties of summer weather and aquatic activities. A touch of the irie, if you will.
  
Next comes the appropriately mellower “Old Time Love,” released late last year on a lead EP, with Jay Spaker crooning atop a sparser track that allows his melodic vocal to mix nicely with the thick bass. “Tiger Style” channels pure late 70s dub vibes, melodica and all, before Luciano takes his turn upon the mic on “Where Do We Go Wrong.” Introspective and optimistic, the lyrics promote unity and the necessity of neighborliness - an important theme given the role of sound systems in facilitating street parties.
 
Jay Spaker returns on “A Little Bit More,” a heavy rasta tune, and then the slow thunder of “Warmongers” reminds the listener that this is very much a 2014 production. In closing, “The Traveler” continues this aesthetic by laying an acoustic Eastern-tinged melody atop interweaving instruments. By the final fade out, Tour De Force has certainly made it clear that they are a force to be reckoned with; equally crucial is the sociocultural relevance of an emerging American scene to contrast the explosion of reggae within Asia, Europe, and South America.
 

 
Now available in vinyl and digital formats for purveyors of all persuasions. There’s also a recent mini-documentary by FACT Magazine on Dub-Stuy Records’ philosophy and outlook on music that is well-worth watching:
 

 
Triumphant horns. Heady echoes. Quality vocalists. Massive bass. Tour De Force are all that and more, arguably at the forefront of sound system culture within America. Thus Battle Cry is an appropriate - and timely, given their upcoming Hong Kong gig - musical statement, one that takes the past and produces the future. The instrumental opener sets the tone, but its the vocalists that truly capture the Dub-Stuy collective's musical vision.

 

On “Roots Lyrics,” Brother Culture serenades the origins of roots in the chorus, while the verses focus on the diverse modern realities of reggae music. “Strong To Survive” begins with a sample, pointing out the continuing presence of Babylon within Western culture, before a simply overpowering digitally-infused bass-line enters the equation: DUBstep. From there, Jahdan Blakkamoore handles a slightly mutated Sleng Teng riddim on “Pool Party,” celebrating the niceties of summer weather and aquatic activities. A touch of the irie, if you will.

 

Next comes the appropriately mellower “Old Time Love,” released late last year on a lead EP, with Jay Spaker crooning atop a sparser track that allows his melodic vocal to mix nicely with the thick bass. “Tiger Style” channels pure late 70s dub vibes, melodica and all, before Luciano takes his turn upon the mic on “Where Do We Go Wrong.” Introspective and optimistic, the lyrics promote unity and the necessity of neighborliness - an important theme given the role of sound systems in facilitating street parties.

 

Jay Spaker returns on “A Little Bit More,” a heavy rasta tune, and then the slow thunder of “Warmongers” reminds the listener that this is very much a 2014 production. In closing, “The Traveler” continues this aesthetic by laying an acoustic Eastern-tinged melody atop interweaving instruments. By the final fade out, Tour De Force has certainly made it clear that they are a force to be reckoned with; equally crucial is the sociocultural relevance of an emerging American scene to contrast the explosion of reggae within Asia, Europe, and South America.

 

 

Now available in vinyl and digital formats for purveyors of all persuasions. There’s also a recent mini-documentary by FACT Magazine on Dub-Stuy Records’ philosophy and outlook on music that is well-worth watching:

 

 

Elephant Bass Vol. 2 is pure modern dub. It’s also consistently deep and heavy, with each producer bringing together different influences to emphasize the diversity within the genre. Dubsalon starts things off with “Entangled,” which ambles slowly through a metaphoric dub forest, led by a grooving bass-line. Dr. Dubious - presumably pronounced with an “uh” rather than an “oo” - lets a long intro build up into a teasing melody. For a moment is seems A Man Called PJ follows the same formula, but “Planet Dub AD” is clearly influenced by electro-dub, with thicker bass and choice synths. Sin’s “Ganesh Riddim” is appropriately subcontinental, a slow stepper that simmers atop tablas. Mexican Stepper gets remixed by Ncomfortable, resulting in a deep dark track - what “City of Gods” is this? Phoniandflore hint that some effects might be involved, and “Reverb Addict” fulfills that promise, as the upbeat low-end pounds atop a swirl of sound. U.stone’s “Rocker Dub” - which begins with a vocal sample “what you hear on the radio is terrible” before letting the bass drop - allows Dziga, the compiler behind Elephant Bass, to demonstrate his vision of future past music. Compared to the heavy electro sounds and thick bass throughout, “Dub Riddim” begins quite funkily as Recyclesound lets a guitar hook build before… yes, proper heaviness ensues. That’s the theme throughout this compilation: regardless of samples and sounds, there is an elephant in the room, and it loves bass.

Elephant Bass vol.2 by Various Artists

And what about Vol. 1 you ask? Fair enough! With strong steppers tracks from Du3normal featuring Sensi T, Injham, No Finger Nails, and more, it’s also well-worth a proper listen. Opener “Can’t Wait” from Maïs features a lovely melodica, while Yayoland turns in an epic dubxploration and Dub.versif reimagines a classic sound with some updated bass. Both volumes are free downloads, so full immersion should be imminent.

Elephant Bass vol.1 by Various Artists

EDIT: Here is ELEPHANT BASS, direct from Dziga himself, which has built-in streams and also direct download links!

Elephant Bass Vol. 2 is pure modern dub. It’s also consistently deep and heavy, with each producer bringing together different influences to emphasize the diversity within the genre. Dubsalon starts things off with “Entangled,” which ambles slowly through a metaphoric dub forest, led by a grooving bass-line. Dr. Dubious - presumably pronounced with an “uh” rather than an “oo” - lets a long intro build up into a teasing melody. For a moment is seems A Man Called PJ follows the same formula, but “Planet Dub AD” is clearly influenced by electro-dub, with thicker bass and choice synths. Sin’s “Ganesh Riddim” is appropriately subcontinental, a slow stepper that simmers atop tablas. Mexican Stepper gets remixed by Ncomfortable, resulting in a deep dark track - what “City of Gods” is this? Phoniandflore hint that some effects might be involved, and “Reverb Addict” fulfills that promise, as the upbeat low-end pounds atop a swirl of sound. U.stone’s “Rocker Dub” - which begins with a vocal sample “what you hear on the radio is terrible” before letting the bass drop - allows Dziga, the compiler behind Elephant Bass, to demonstrate his vision of future past music. Compared to the heavy electro sounds and thick bass throughout, “Dub Riddim” begins quite funkily as Recyclesound lets a guitar hook build before… yes, proper heaviness ensues. That’s the theme throughout this compilation: regardless of samples and sounds, there is an elephant in the room, and it loves bass.

And what about Vol. 1 you ask? Fair enough! With strong steppers tracks from Du3normal featuring Sensi T, Injham, No Finger Nails, and more, it’s also well-worth a proper listen. Opener “Can’t Wait” from Maïs features a lovely melodica, while Yayoland turns in an epic dubxploration and Dub.versif reimagines a classic sound with some updated bass. Both volumes are free downloads, so full immersion should be imminent.

EDIT: Here is ELEPHANT BASS, direct from Dziga himself, which has built-in streams and also direct download links!

DJ Enso may be famed for running the revered club XXX and for throwing down banging late-night bass-music sets, but he can also assemble one mean mixtape as he proves with Future Dancehall フューチャーダンスホール Vol. 1. Drifting between jungle, hip-hop, and dancehall, the success of the ongoing “Future Dancehall” nights is elevated to a higher level through studio production and the inclusion of some of Hong Kong’s choicest MCs. XXX-regular Rahyym joins Ngabo on Major Popular’s “The Ruler,” 10z and Kafe Hu appear on a Dub Phizix & Skeptical track, while local Cantonese legend Masta Mic, EKORB, as well as my regular partner in crime MC Loki Dolo combine forces on an exclusive Enso refix of DJ Zinc x Dope Skillz. Big tracks from Rebel MC, Million Stylez, Collie Buddz (DJ Yoda remix) and The Bug keep the beats heavy while the styles switch. Hopefully this will become an ongoing series since Hong Kong is certainly in need of more mixtapes and proper releases…
The mix is available on Soundcloud, or you can DIRECT DOWNLOAD and get the jungle-thug (?) artwork as well. Enso recently appeared at the Clockenflap music festival, so check out his bass-fueled live mix as well:

DJ Enso may be famed for running the revered club XXX and for throwing down banging late-night bass-music sets, but he can also assemble one mean mixtape as he proves with Future Dancehall フューチャーダンスホール Vol. 1. Drifting between jungle, hip-hop, and dancehall, the success of the ongoing “Future Dancehall” nights is elevated to a higher level through studio production and the inclusion of some of Hong Kong’s choicest MCs. XXX-regular Rahyym joins Ngabo on Major Popular’s “The Ruler,” 10z and Kafe Hu appear on a Dub Phizix & Skeptical track, while local Cantonese legend Masta Mic, EKORB, as well as my regular partner in crime MC Loki Dolo combine forces on an exclusive Enso refix of DJ Zinc x Dope Skillz. Big tracks from Rebel MC, Million Stylez, Collie Buddz (DJ Yoda remix) and The Bug keep the beats heavy while the styles switch. Hopefully this will become an ongoing series since Hong Kong is certainly in need of more mixtapes and proper releases…

The mix is available on Soundcloud, or you can DIRECT DOWNLOAD and get the jungle-thug (?) artwork as well. Enso recently appeared at the Clockenflap music festival, so check out his bass-fueled live mix as well: