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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.

 

 

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:

 

 

The clean and crisp productions, along with a mixture of analog and digital instrumentation, certainly do not belie the power of the melodica in the hands of Art-X; yes, Augustus Pablo is being channeled here - Toy Story, it is safe to assume, is more Jamaica than Pixar - with the talented soloist joined by a bevy of experienced underground dub producers, most notably Lab Frequency, Manu Digital, Ondubground, and Panda Dub. 
Opener “Balls & Speed” (feat. Roots Raid) has a hint of analog crackle before the tight drums and keys spill nicely into a soulful melodica hook, teased by sound effects. “Dub Woman” prioritizes a funky groove, with a wordless vocal sample kept short. The epic intro of “Pull It Up” paves the way for a reserved electro steppers tune from Dawa Hifi; “Musical Town” sounds like Mungo’s Hi Fi’s Ruff Mi Tuff Riddim except that the expected rough vocals are replaced by a smooth blow-organ melody. That’s the key here: Art-X is clearly cultivating a myriad of sounds, but by interweaving the standout melodica wisely, what could have easily been vintage nostalgia is instead comfortable yet inventive - 70s Jamaican vibes with 40 years of outernational influence. 
“Dub That” is a solid jam with Ondubground, echoes and reverb in all the right places; Panda Dub takes the controls on “Cotton” with similarly strong results. “Swimming Dub” brings thicker bass into the mix, a trend logically continued on “Heavy Blow” (feat. Hatman). Then “Inity” takes things to a deeper state of consciousness, with Miniman providing a sonic canvas worthy of the classic roots era. “Political War” is more upbeat steppers, with nary a pause, setting up the brassy closer “Radical Plan” by Brain Damage, which is heavy with some massive echo. A lot of standout tracks here, free download via Original Dub Gathering.
 
The clean and crisp productions, along with a mixture of analog and digital instrumentation, certainly do not belie the power of the melodica in the hands of Art-X; yes, Augustus Pablo is being channeled here - Toy Story, it is safe to assume, is more Jamaica than Pixar - with the talented soloist joined by a bevy of experienced underground dub producers, most notably Lab Frequency, Manu Digital, Ondubground, and Panda Dub.

 

Opener “Balls & Speed” (feat. Roots Raid) has a hint of analog crackle before the tight drums and keys spill nicely into a soulful melodica hook, teased by sound effects. “Dub Woman” prioritizes a funky groove, with a wordless vocal sample kept short. The epic intro of “Pull It Up” paves the way for a reserved electro steppers tune from Dawa Hifi; “Musical Town” sounds like Mungo’s Hi Fi’s Ruff Mi Tuff Riddim except that the expected rough vocals are replaced by a smooth blow-organ melody. That’s the key here: Art-X is clearly cultivating a myriad of sounds, but by interweaving the standout melodica wisely, what could have easily been vintage nostalgia is instead comfortable yet inventive - 70s Jamaican vibes with 40 years of outernational influence.

 

“Dub That” is a solid jam with Ondubground, echoes and reverb in all the right places; Panda Dub takes the controls on “Cotton” with similarly strong results. “Swimming Dub” brings thicker bass into the mix, a trend logically continued on “Heavy Blow” (feat. Hatman). Then “Inity” takes things to a deeper state of consciousness, with Miniman providing a sonic canvas worthy of the classic roots era. “Political War” is more upbeat steppers, with nary a pause, setting up the brassy closer “Radical Plan” by Brain Damage, which is heavy with some massive echo. A lot of standout tracks here, free download via Original Dub Gathering.