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Demanding a full embrace, both visually and aurally, Golden Dawn Arkestra is not an EP for the faintly funky. Yes, Sun Ra is a clear influence, but this is its own cosmic trip. Opener “Afropocalpyse” allows cascading keys, half dirge and half call to prayer, to set the tone before the well-delivered groove arrives. Layered, with an appropriate focus placed on the brass, until the vintage vocal, tinged gracefully yet slick, takes the lead. Showcasing Golden Dawn Arkestra’s engaging ability to mix eras, sounds, and influences, the track only concludes once a soaring guitar lead is given its due.
 
“Oasis (The Legend of Nathaniel Horne)” eases into its theme slowly: spaghetti-Western bass and whistle alternating with horns and guitar for an entrancing desert odyssey, doors of perception open wide. “Dimensions” goes further into the psychic groove-lands, requesting the listener to ‘sing and dance’ and ‘come and join us now,’ as though psych-funk had fueled Random Access Memories rather than disco.
 
The vocal chant, heavy groove, and prominent horn melodies of afrobeat make “Masakayli” a standout, which nicely sets up the ambling future/past caravan music of “Saharan Knights.” Instruments pop, creating an appropriately massive atmosphere, before striding surf-rock takes the tune into sonic dervishes not often whirled. Dancing off with “Selemat,” equally influenced by snake and Moog charmers, this too-short blast of timeless creativity is delightfully dusty despite its polished elements.
 
“Afropocalypse” is available as a free download, while the whole album is stream-only until the August 19th release date:
 


 
As a bonus, in case you’re at all questioning how wild and funky things would get live, here’s a rendition of Mulatu Astatke’s “Kasalèfkut Hulu:”
 

 
Demanding a full embrace, both visually and aurally, Golden Dawn Arkestra is not an EP for the faintly funky. Yes, Sun Ra is a clear influence, but this is its own cosmic trip. Opener “Afropocalpyse” allows cascading keys, half dirge and half call to prayer, to set the tone before the well-delivered groove arrives. Layered, with an appropriate focus placed on the brass, until the vintage vocal, tinged gracefully yet slick, takes the lead. Showcasing Golden Dawn Arkestra’s engaging ability to mix eras, sounds, and influences, the track only concludes once a soaring guitar lead is given its due.

 

“Oasis (The Legend of Nathaniel Horne)” eases into its theme slowly: spaghetti-Western bass and whistle alternating with horns and guitar for an entrancing desert odyssey, doors of perception open wide. “Dimensions” goes further into the psychic groove-lands, requesting the listener to ‘sing and dance’ and ‘come and join us now,’ as though psych-funk had fueled Random Access Memories rather than disco.

 

The vocal chant, heavy groove, and prominent horn melodies of afrobeat make “Masakayli” a standout, which nicely sets up the ambling future/past caravan music of “Saharan Knights.” Instruments pop, creating an appropriately massive atmosphere, before striding surf-rock takes the tune into sonic dervishes not often whirled. Dancing off with “Selemat,” equally influenced by snake and Moog charmers, this too-short blast of timeless creativity is delightfully dusty despite its polished elements.

 

“Afropocalypse” is available as a free download, while the whole album is stream-only until the August 19th release date:

 

 

As a bonus, in case you’re at all questioning how wild and funky things would get live, here’s a rendition of Mulatu Astatke’s “Kasalèfkut Hulu:”

 

 

The Giants, it seems, are actually trying to be humble. With Reel 1 & 2 - Adapted Chapter, they’ve successfully taken on many of reggae’s most famous riddims, dubbing them not into spatial oblivion, but rather as funky instrumentals primed for the dance. Consistent in quality, and with several standout tracks: this is an impressive album. What about naming the originals you ask? Well, we all need homework from time to time! (EDIT: or you can check out this Spotify playlist direct from The Giants!)
 
“Adapted Chapter Dub” features a warm skanking guitar, before allowing a sample to make The Giants’ mission clear: ‘strictly rub a dub.’ Bringing the groove to the front, “Crafty Dub” is at times sparse and at times swirling and busy, with cascading keys nicely reappearing throughout. The short “Honey Dub” pushes the bpm up just a bit, before “Brixton Prison Dub” takes a darker percussion-laden approach to a familiar tune, which makes the bursting horns a mid-way surprise.
 
“Earth Dub” allows its riddim to slowly assemble, teasing with pieces until the melody-line finally - though temporarily - emerges from the shadowy haze, at times almost hinting at industrial mechanization. “Old Time Dub” gives away its origins immediately via a few very familiar words from Triston Palmer, yet the tune itself lets the horn move to the front-and-center, reverberating with power even as the rhythm section evaporates.
 
As a spoken ‘Irie’ echoes, “Rocking Miss D Dub” rides a short, tight groove, revealing some engaging layers along the way. Then “Drum Song Dub” - the most uptempo on the whole album - shows off a few classic tricks of dub engineering (lasers and spring reverb) while featuring a haunting theme. “House Of Parliament Dub” initially sounds formal, with calling horns, which makes the restrained breakdown and buildup even better.
 
The delicate “Rain Dub” gives way to the chaotic “Mash Dub,” where reverberation reigns supreme. The horns return, cut short and emphasizing the echo, on the appropriately-titled “Drifting Dub.” While announced as ‘strictly drum n bass,’ “Bad Boy Dub” ventures into some jazzy guitar to bring its disparate elements together smoothly. “Dedication To Flabba Dub” does feature a powerful bass-line, giving a nice nod to a legend while also leading nicely into the horn-line of “You Don’t Remember Dub.” “Night Fall Down” seems to imply that the album is winding down; in reality the slow - yet groovy - tune is merely setting up the expected ambling bass on an excellent closing statement in the form of “World Jam Dub.”
 
It’s safe to say that while most of these are going to be familiar to the average dub/reggae connoisseur, there’s far more here than just updated covers of known versions… these are modern and updated interpretations recorded in loving classic analog style. Tune in now, this 18-track is even a free lossless download:
 
Reel 1 & 2 - Adapted Chapter by The Giants
 
The Giants, it seems, are actually trying to be humble. With Reel 1 & 2 - Adapted Chapter, they’ve successfully taken on many of reggae’s most famous riddims, dubbing them not into spatial oblivion, but rather as funky instrumentals primed for the dance. Consistent in quality, and with several standout tracks: this is an impressive album. What about naming the originals you ask? Well, we all need homework from time to time! (EDIT: or you can check out this Spotify playlist direct from The Giants!)

 

“Adapted Chapter Dub” features a warm skanking guitar, before allowing a sample to make The Giants’ mission clear: ‘strictly rub a dub.’ Bringing the groove to the front, “Crafty Dub” is at times sparse and at times swirling and busy, with cascading keys nicely reappearing throughout. The short “Honey Dub” pushes the bpm up just a bit, before “Brixton Prison Dub” takes a darker percussion-laden approach to a familiar tune, which makes the bursting horns a mid-way surprise.

 

“Earth Dub” allows its riddim to slowly assemble, teasing with pieces until the melody-line finally - though temporarily - emerges from the shadowy haze, at times almost hinting at industrial mechanization. “Old Time Dub” gives away its origins immediately via a few very familiar words from Triston Palmer, yet the tune itself lets the horn move to the front-and-center, reverberating with power even as the rhythm section evaporates.

 

As a spoken ‘Irie’ echoes, “Rocking Miss D Dub” rides a short, tight groove, revealing some engaging layers along the way. Then “Drum Song Dub” - the most uptempo on the whole album - shows off a few classic tricks of dub engineering (lasers and spring reverb) while featuring a haunting theme. “House Of Parliament Dub” initially sounds formal, with calling horns, which makes the restrained breakdown and buildup even better.

 

The delicate “Rain Dub” gives way to the chaotic “Mash Dub,” where reverberation reigns supreme. The horns return, cut short and emphasizing the echo, on the appropriately-titled “Drifting Dub.” While announced as ‘strictly drum n bass,’ “Bad Boy Dub” ventures into some jazzy guitar to bring its disparate elements together smoothly. “Dedication To Flabba Dub” does feature a powerful bass-line, giving a nice nod to a legend while also leading nicely into the horn-line of “You Don’t Remember Dub.” “Night Fall Down” seems to imply that the album is winding down; in reality the slow - yet groovy - tune is merely setting up the expected ambling bass on an excellent closing statement in the form of “World Jam Dub.”

 

It’s safe to say that while most of these are going to be familiar to the average dub/reggae connoisseur, there’s far more here than just updated covers of known versions… these are modern and updated interpretations recorded in loving classic analog style. Tune in now, this 18-track is even a free lossless download:

 

 

Roots Raid's From The Top features consistently tight dub/reggae production, in addition to a bevy of smooth-singing guest vocalists, allowing the whole album to glide along with a firm sense of identity, purpose, and place. Lighter future roots? Aware modern dub? Regardless, it’s all thick multi-faceted grooves that cleverly still sound sparse.
 
Turbo Turps and Billy Berry alternate on the mic on “Western Rumors,” a gripping vocal examination of present-day socioeconomic concerns. A taught delayed guitar and echoed effects carry the track even when the riddim section is cut out. The first of two Shanti D tracks, “Don’t Love My Style,” celebrates rub-a-dub, from its drum-and-bass to its echo chamber to its sinsemilla, all sung in the seasoned French MC’s distinctive style. Ranking Joe’s opening shoutout to Big Family Sound precedes a rather unique production, with samba-esque digital drums and a pitch-shifting synth melody. “Steppaddict,” with Mael Hornsraid providing the funky, layered horns, is a hazy-yet-polished instrumental; then Billy Berry returns on vocals - which sound especially inspiring when given room to breathe - atop an arrangement that hints at an Afrika Bambaataa influence. Immediately following is the dub, which takes the traditional approach of introducing the original track before pulling out, and then experimenting with, instruments and voice alike.
 
“Chant In Down (Ruff Cut)” appears to feature an uncredited Billy Berry, but the clear priority is the heavy dubbing, including some doom-filled low-end rumblings. “Get Out,” with Mighty Cricket, follows a similar ‘verse into chaos’ formula, though the track drags just a bit as the dub completely collapses and then staggers forward for several more minutes. Next, Shanti D chants down urbanity on the seemingly sparse “Beware; thankfully the horns tease just enough as the rhythm provides a sturdy musical framework. “Swimming With The Dub” does carry some aquatic qualities, with its plinking guitars, but it’s the dubbed-out vocals (from “Beware”) and the second-half shift of the groove to the forefront that make this version so memorable.
 
As the album winds down, “Riddim Wise” - a slightly crashing instrumental - keeps it short and sweet; in closing, the spiritual “Sâdhu Teachings” mixes the dub aesthetic with subcontinental influences, including a powerful-yet-uncredited female vocal. Available for free digital download from ODG Productions, which continues to carve out a crucial niche for itself in the modern dubiverse.
 

 
Roots Raid's From The Top features consistently tight dub/reggae production, in addition to a bevy of smooth-singing guest vocalists, allowing the whole album to glide along with a firm sense of identity, purpose, and place. Lighter future roots? Aware modern dub? Regardless, it’s all thick multi-faceted grooves that cleverly still sound sparse.

 

Turbo Turps and Billy Berry alternate on the mic on “Western Rumors,” a gripping vocal examination of present-day socioeconomic concerns. A taught delayed guitar and echoed effects carry the track even when the riddim section is cut out. The first of two Shanti D tracks, “Don’t Love My Style,” celebrates rub-a-dub, from its drum-and-bass to its echo chamber to its sinsemilla, all sung in the seasoned French MC’s distinctive style. Ranking Joe’s opening shoutout to Big Family Sound precedes a rather unique production, with samba-esque digital drums and a pitch-shifting synth melody. “Steppaddict,” with Mael Hornsraid providing the funky, layered horns, is a hazy-yet-polished instrumental; then Billy Berry returns on vocals - which sound especially inspiring when given room to breathe - atop an arrangement that hints at an Afrika Bambaataa influence. Immediately following is the dub, which takes the traditional approach of introducing the original track before pulling out, and then experimenting with, instruments and voice alike.

 

“Chant In Down (Ruff Cut)” appears to feature an uncredited Billy Berry, but the clear priority is the heavy dubbing, including some doom-filled low-end rumblings. “Get Out,” with Mighty Cricket, follows a similar ‘verse into chaos’ formula, though the track drags just a bit as the dub completely collapses and then staggers forward for several more minutes. Next, Shanti D chants down urbanity on the seemingly sparse “Beware; thankfully the horns tease just enough as the rhythm provides a sturdy musical framework. “Swimming With The Dub” does carry some aquatic qualities, with its plinking guitars, but it’s the dubbed-out vocals (from “Beware”) and the second-half shift of the groove to the forefront that make this version so memorable.

 

As the album winds down, “Riddim Wise” - a slightly crashing instrumental - keeps it short and sweet; in closing, the spiritual “Sâdhu Teachings” mixes the dub aesthetic with subcontinental influences, including a powerful-yet-uncredited female vocal. Available for free digital download from ODG Productions, which continues to carve out a crucial niche for itself in the modern dubiverse.