Review: Second time around for Vivien Goldman's inspired debut single, "Launderette", a fine chunk of no-wave era NYC heaviness that first slipped out way back in 1981. The title track is typical of New York's open-minded post-punk scene, with Goldman adding her distinctive vocals to a bass-heavy backing track big on dub bass, Melodica style flourishes and Latin-tinged percussion. Flipside "Private Armies" is a little more experimental in tone, with dubbed-out guitars and layered vocals riding an unflinchingly heavy, punk-funk style bassline and clicking, high-octane rhythm track. It's arty but impressive and arguably even more potent than the more familiar A-side.
Review: Dubwise Productions main man Chris Jay has been plugging away at the fringes of UK dub and reggae since the mid 1990s, swapping an early fascination with jungle for a desire to great digital reggae and dub tunes. He's at the controls throughout this rock solid EP, first providing the cheery, synth and guitar heavy riddim behind Martin Melody's soulful "We Are Jah People", before reaching for the tape delay and reverb on the heavier and stripped back "Dub People" version. He repeats the process on the flip, offering up a jaunty, 90s style digi-reggae riddim for Mike Turner (the rather tasty "Can't Stop The Vibes") which is then re-imagined as a delay-laden, sub-heavy bumper ("Can't Stop The Dub").
Review: It would be fair to say that Lee 'Scratch' Perry's work with The Full Experience, a female vocal trio comprised of Aura Lewis, Pamela Reed and Candy MacKenzie, is not among his best known material - in part because only limited amounts of it was ever released in the late 1970s. This brilliant anthology from Doctor Bird does its best to fill in the gaps by gathering together Full Experience tracks from various largely little-known releases, including a clutch of cuts that have never before appeared on wax. Highlights include the dancefloor-focused disco-reggae sweetness of "Disco Fits", the super-soulful "Ice Cream", the Congoes-esque "Young Gifted & Broke" and the brilliant 12" mix of "Disco Devil", which is based on Perry's fine riddim for Max Romeo's "Chase The Devil".
Review: The feels you get from looking at the artwork on this one - which it must be said bears more than a passing resemble to the series of pool paintings David Hockney did while living in LA - perfectly encapsulates the vibe of the music. It's laidback, stupidly warm and very much a place you want to be. The gently lilting disco-dub of "Groovin" is one for any outdoor session, while the Silent Dream version on the flilpside is a little more noodly and loved up. Either way, these are two choice cuts.
Review: Something of a mini holy grail for reggae and roots lovers is this much sought after offering from Carlton Stephenson that was originally released on Ethnic Fight subsidiary "Reggae" label. The origin date is unknown but this reissued version comes from the original Half Moon master tape that was produced by Larry Lawrence. Heavyweight vocal roots all dusty and authentic on this one, with sparse production making it all the more alluring and unique. The instrumental is filled with some slick studio trickery to round out a vital 7".
Review: Mr. Cloudy's Space Of Variants label has been a prolific force since launching in 2014 - the sheer number of albums issued in the dub techno vein is really quite startling. It's quite remarkable also that this marks the first compilation on the label, gathering together label regulars and newcomers alike for a fantastic trip through hypnagogic landscapes filled with clouds of reverb, tasteful delays and of course plenty of those quintessential dub techno chords. From Natur's captivating "The Lake" to the beatless hiss of "Flux 32" by Kaban, this is a deep dive for those who can't get enough of the dub techno sound.