*** [ dub / reggae / HK underground ] *** Hong Kong's Premiere Music Blog *** [ exclusive DJ mixes ] ***
Moonshine Recordings' latest, Steppin’ Forward, is a truly impressive compilation, with genre heavyweights and underground heroes alike contributing Jamaican-influenced future bass productions. OSC & Dubsworth’s “Ital Vital” (feat. Ranking Joe) starts things off solidly with some electro-tinged steppers before Numa Trio’s “Knowledge” arrives, loaded up with rootical melodica and dirty bass. This heavier and deeper approach is clearly thematic, as Compa lays down an atmospheric haze atop a relentless loop on the low-end of “One Lion.” On Vibration Lab’s “Buy You Gold,” Wayne Jarrett’s emotional vocal is well-suited for the downtempo groove; Violinbwoy, keeps it heavy yet allows for a snaking Eastern-tinged melody on “Echo Park;” then Hatti Vatti & Cian Finn collaborate for the slow conscious vibes of “Education.” 6Blocc’s “Sweet Dub,” a heavy almost-16-bit track, speeds the tempo back up; Hylu Jago’s meeting with Sleepy Time Ghost (feat. onlyjoe) is definitely the mellowest yet, as sax and vocals freely mingle. If RSD’s contribution, “Know U 2,” is tight techno with skanking echoes sneaking out through the beat, then Kalbata’s “Man God” must be tight techno with vocal samples sneaking out through the melody.
 
On the most-previewed track of the album by far, Zion Train receives a smooth remix from Radikal Guru, with “Share The Flame” balancing their respective lighter and darker vibes quite nicely. Then Tuff & Powa (featuring speedy vocals from Kinetical) turn out a dance floor banger with “Outlaw Music,” before Adam Prescott’s meditational “Kingdom” slowly ascends triumphantly. For the final two, “Truth & Right” funkily shuffles, as The Illuminated smartly allow the organic instrumentation to shine through, while Alpha Steppa’s “Shinkansen” takes the riddim from the iconic “Alpha Steppa Sound” and re-imagines it by prioritizing melody along with bass.
 
While a reconsideration of the tracklisting might have created a slightly better flow, stepping (haha) between tempos and influences does allow each track to stand on its own, as well as presenting this as a properly varied collection of likeminded - but not derivative - bass artists. As an added bonus, there’s a 6Blocc digital freebie available for download: the obviously-tempoed and dancefloor-friendly “Sweet Dub (Skanx 140 Rmx).” 

Preview all the tracks here:
 

 
Get your free on here:
 

 
And if you’re purchasing then Surus is your best bet for either digital or 4x12” vinyl (Part 1 and Part 2).
 
Moonshine Recordings' latest, Steppin’ Forward, is a truly impressive compilation, with genre heavyweights and underground heroes alike contributing Jamaican-influenced future bass productions. OSC & Dubsworth’s “Ital Vital” (feat. Ranking Joe) starts things off solidly with some electro-tinged steppers before Numa Trio’s “Knowledge” arrives, loaded up with rootical melodica and dirty bass. This heavier and deeper approach is clearly thematic, as Compa lays down an atmospheric haze atop a relentless loop on the low-end of “One Lion.” On Vibration Lab’s “Buy You Gold,” Wayne Jarrett’s emotional vocal is well-suited for the downtempo groove; Violinbwoy, keeps it heavy yet allows for a snaking Eastern-tinged melody on “Echo Park;” then Hatti Vatti & Cian Finn collaborate for the slow conscious vibes of “Education.” 6Blocc’s “Sweet Dub,” a heavy almost-16-bit track, speeds the tempo back up; Hylu Jago’s meeting with Sleepy Time Ghost (feat. onlyjoe) is definitely the mellowest yet, as sax and vocals freely mingle. If RSD’s contribution, “Know U 2,” is tight techno with skanking echoes sneaking out through the beat, then Kalbata’s “Man God” must be tight techno with vocal samples sneaking out through the melody.

 

On the most-previewed track of the album by far, Zion Train receives a smooth remix from Radikal Guru, with “Share The Flame” balancing their respective lighter and darker vibes quite nicely. Then Tuff & Powa (featuring speedy vocals from Kinetical) turn out a dance floor banger with “Outlaw Music,” before Adam Prescott’s meditational “Kingdom” slowly ascends triumphantly. For the final two, “Truth & Right” funkily shuffles, as The Illuminated smartly allow the organic instrumentation to shine through, while Alpha Steppa’s “Shinkansen” takes the riddim from the iconic “Alpha Steppa Sound” and re-imagines it by prioritizing melody along with bass.

 

While a reconsideration of the tracklisting might have created a slightly better flow, stepping (haha) between tempos and influences does allow each track to stand on its own, as well as presenting this as a properly varied collection of likeminded - but not derivative - bass artists. As an added bonus, there’s a 6Blocc digital freebie available for download: the obviously-tempoed and dancefloor-friendly “Sweet Dub (Skanx 140 Rmx).” Preview all the tracks here:

 

 

Get your free on here:

 

 

And if you’re purchasing then Surus is your best bet for either digital or 4x12” vinyl (Part 1 and Part 2).

 

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:

 

 

Now that the Year of the Horse is upon us, HK producers and DJs are hitting their stride. Better than horsing around, neigh? Drum n bass and hip-hop take the lead this edition, but we’ve also got some eclectic mixtapes from genres further afield. Ha.
 
Puns aside, seems reasonably appropriate to begin with Casey Anderson’s house/techno mix “Year of the Horse:”
 

 
In hip-hop, Ekorb aka Nick Cage has dropped a few beats for hungry ears on “Swanson’s Pre Mature Slaughter" …
 

 
… The Dope Boy collective have released the latest installment, 2.5, of their Hong Kong Underground Cypher, full of multilingual freestyles …
 

 
… and EazyBeatz has a new EP Noise Pollution out along with a promo video in advance of his E-Zilla beat tape.
 


 
Mixtapes? Got plenty! K-Melo for The Getup! Radio has recently come out with “Episode #8,” packed with enough funky vibes to warm hearts and feet alike; Paragon’s Johnny Alpha has dropped a classic mix that’s also not short on feet-movers; fellow Paragoner LëKSs ventures deep into the modern gypsy sound on “Va Prendre Ton Violon!;” Fun Key goes to the “Deep Red Sun" on a dreamy house mix; and both Sert and Muggsy explore the liquid depths of drum and bass (the latter is sadly not embeddable). 
 









 
Whether you went to the Jubei show this past weekend of not, both Bass Music China and Heavy Hong Kong have released interviews with the drum n bass DJ/producer, in Chinese and English respectively.
 

From the general surrounds, Macau’s Youth Somoan recently released the dancehall Out A Road Riddim, featuring vocals from Wickerman, QQ, Famous Face, Mr. Lex and Mr. Vegas, while Shenzhen’s A DJ Called Quest dropped “Love & Bass,” an appropriately-themed drum and bass journey:
 


 
And what’s The Groove Thief up to you might ask? Rhetorical questions aside, it’s an equally romantic (as non-overt mixtapes go) “Valentine’s mix for the dub lovers" as featured artist Koncrete Roots kindly said:
 


 
Much respect to all the talent our often-oppressive city still manages to cultivate - keep fighting the creative fight!

For music you ought to be listening to, make sure to follow me over at The Groove Thief on Facebook, where you’ll have about a 10% chance of seeing anything I decide to post… 
 
Now that the Year of the Horse is upon us, HK producers and DJs are hitting their stride. Better than horsing around, neigh? Drum n bass and hip-hop take the lead this edition, but we’ve also got some eclectic mixtapes from genres further afield. Ha.

 

Puns aside, seems reasonably appropriate to begin with Casey Anderson’s house/techno mix “Year of the Horse:”

 

 

In hip-hop, Ekorb aka Nick Cage has dropped a few beats for hungry ears on “Swanson’s Pre Mature Slaughter" …

 

 

… The Dope Boy collective have released the latest installment, 2.5, of their Hong Kong Underground Cypher, full of multilingual freestyles …

 

 

… and EazyBeatz has a new EP Noise Pollution out along with a promo video in advance of his E-Zilla beat tape.

 

 

Mixtapes? Got plenty! K-Melo for The Getup! Radio has recently come out with “Episode #8,” packed with enough funky vibes to warm hearts and feet alike; Paragon’s Johnny Alpha has dropped a classic mix that’s also not short on feet-movers; fellow Paragoner LëKSs ventures deep into the modern gypsy sound on “Va Prendre Ton Violon!;” Fun Key goes to the “Deep Red Sun" on a dreamy house mix; and both Sert and Muggsy explore the liquid depths of drum and bass (the latter is sadly not embeddable).

 

 

Whether you went to the Jubei show this past weekend of not, both Bass Music China and Heavy Hong Kong have released interviews with the drum n bass DJ/producer, in Chinese and English respectively.

 

From the general surrounds, Macau’s Youth Somoan recently released the dancehall Out A Road Riddim, featuring vocals from Wickerman, QQ, Famous Face, Mr. Lex and Mr. Vegas, while Shenzhen’s A DJ Called Quest dropped “Love & Bass,” an appropriately-themed drum and bass journey:

 

 

And what’s The Groove Thief up to you might ask? Rhetorical questions aside, it’s an equally romantic (as non-overt mixtapes go) “Valentine’s mix for the dub lovers" as featured artist Koncrete Roots kindly said:

 

 

Much respect to all the talent our often-oppressive city still manages to cultivate - keep fighting the creative fight! For music you ought to be listening to, make sure to follow me over at The Groove Thief on Facebook, where you’ll have about a 10% chance of seeing anything I decide to post…