Review: Fat Frog's second EP of 2019 on his own Purple Fade finds him link with Donovan Kingjay and Addis Pablo. It's "Never Giving Up" first off with a spacious dub and tight studio work making it a clean and crisp affair that complements the heartfelt deliveries of Kingjay nicely. Things get more spaced out and cosmic on "Version" and "Melodica Cut" before finishing off with a stripped back, slower and more subliminal version.
Review: Robert Ffrench originally laid this one down in Creative Sound Studio in Kingston in 1985, but it could well be hot off the press yesterday. Here it comes as a nice extended mix by DJ Shortie with some superb studio effects and spaced out trickery. Its sleek futuristic sound comes from the interstellar dancehall lead synth, a stunning thing that twists your mind inside out while the clean drums glide below. Add in the vocal toasts and it's a timeless classic. On the flip, Shortie Ranks offers "Dance In A Skate Land", a version that is subtle treated, with the echo upped and the lead drawn out to take you into another dimension.
Five Rivers Band meets Disciples - "Tribute" (feat Chazbo) (3:23)
Five Rivers Band & Disciples Riddim Section - "Tribute" (version) (3:25)
Review: Second time around for the Five Rivers Band's mid-2000s collaboration with UK dub stalwart - and Jah Shaka affiliate - The Disciples. The "45" first hit stores back in 2014, though it was recorded a few years earlier during the sadly too-short life of producer Devin Booj, who passed away in 2010 aged just 36. Check first A-side "Tribute", where attractive melodica motifs (provided by guest musician Chazbo) and spacey synthesizer chords weave in and out of a breezy digital reggae groove. Over on side B the Disciples provides a delightfully dubbed-out "Version" that adds greater low-end weight to the already chunky riddim.
Review: Given the anger in the United States surrounding the antics of President Trump, it was almost inevitable that we'd see a cover version of Roy C Hammond and the Honey Drippers' Nixon-era funk bomb "Impeach The President" at some point. It's a great cover, too, with Fysah Thomas providing a sassy, venomous lead vocal over a fine, horns-and-drumbreaks-heavy funk backing track courtesy of backing band The Get Down Underground. On the flip they completely re-build the track, re-casting it as an authentic dub reggae workout complete with delay-laden vocal and horn snippets and an all new rhythm track. It's rather brilliant all told and arguably even better than the A-side version.
Family Man & Youth Professional - "Southern Version" (version) (3:51)
Review: More than 40 years after its initial release, Afrik revisit the blissed out reggae of Melford Jackson's one and only hit, "Southern Africa". At its heart is some fantastic chord work, which trills and shimmers above the rumbling drums and jangling little guitar riffs. The flip finds Jamaican reggae bass player Family Man link with Youth Professional Band for the enchantingly aimless and wandering "Southern Version", in which it is so easy, and so enjoyable, to get lost in on a lazy afternoon.
Review: This old school Winston McAnuff tune has long been out of print. The Jamaican singer and composer behind it was also known as Electric Dread and fused funk, dub and reggae into his own unique forms, often with real social and political power in his lyrics. This is the first time it has ever been pressed on its own 7" and includes a natty dub on the reverse by Fatman Riddim Section. The original, "Unchained", has wailing vocals that speak of real passion and pain as they muse on black independence. The lazy grooves wiggle beneath, with rolling percussion and acoustic guitar riffs all adding to the experience.
Review: Dub heads will be keen to cop this hard to find, long out of print Winston McAnuff tune 'What A Man Sow.' This is its first time on 7". Only 500 have been pressed and it comes with a full colour sleeve as well as a tasty dub on the flip from Fatman Riddim Section. The main attraction though is the a-side, with its impassion vocals crying out up top and bearing plenty of raw and honest soul. Shakers and swaggering dub, reverberating bass and acoustic guitar riffs all colour in the airwaves in warm and welcoming ways.