Peter Abdul & The Abeng Musical Box - "Inflation" (2:55)
Russ D In Front Room Studio - "Inflation" (Dubwise) (2:57)
Review: Italian label Dig This Way serves up a third sizzling offering, this time featuring Nigerian singer Peter Abdul. He does his heart aching work over a solid rhythm from Abeng's Musical Box and the results are steeped in romance and yearning. A flip side dub from Russ Disciple is also well worth checking for its smart effects and fathom deep bass. Abdul is a relative unknown but for his 1984 album Get Down With Me, which head in a more boogie and funk direction. Regardless, this is a tasty dub, make no mistake.
Review: Italy's Babe Roots crew show off their silky dub techno credentials here with a couple of immersive new singles. "Music Mission" (feat Galas) is a bottomless cut with warped bass rumbles and endless echo overlaid by a classic reggae vocal from Galas. "World Struggle" (Ambient dub) casts you free from the dance floor with its floating chords full of grainy greyness and cloudy tension. The EP highlight might be "World Struggle" (feat Danny Coxson), a heavyweight, slow motion dub with earth shattering kicks and a deeply buried low end oscillation that's detailed with thunder claps and a soulful Danny Coxson musing on struggle up top.
Review: Lee Perry's studio band was famously known as The Upsetters but also recorded as Black Ark Players, named after his famous studio. This is their one and only album and it first landed in 1980 as another part in the infinite musical puzzle around Lee Perry. The previously hard to find record marks the end of one era and the start of another as it came right at the start of the demise fo the studio. It is built on a bedrock of heavy beats and bass, with spooky dub styles and spacey synth styles that add layers of intrigue that never let up.
Jamtone - "Use It With Caution Dub" (feat Ital Horns) (3:00)
Review: Here comes a heavyweight, summer ready dub designed for naughtiness. It lands just in time for pubs and bars reopening so expect to hear it bleeding out into he streets form cars, sound systems and balconies as people soak up some rays. The explosive a-side features legendary MC and Brixton local Brother Culture with his "Balance", featuring vocal odes to the herb and wobbling riddims. On the b-side is the superbly heavy "Use it With Caution Dub" where the brass of the Ital Horns takes centre stage alongside dub master Jamtone.
Review: Centry's essential In Dub set gets a welcome reissue from Partial Records. It first came out in 1993 with all 10 cuts making a devastating impact with varied roots sounds and heavy dubs keeping you locked. Band members Nigel Lake, Chris Petter and Dougie Wardrop also layered in plenty of horns and guest vocal drops by the likes of Danny Red, King General, and Barry Issac, and the whole record is dubbed out and phased to infinity and beyond. Limited to just 500 copies, this timeless document of dub is sure to move fast, so don't sleep.
Descanse/ADMSDP/Juntos/Mmmm (feat LA Warman) (22:10)
Review: DJ Python's hypnotic take on dembow is second to none. The New York DJ and producer can send you wild with the slowest of tempos and does that again here on his second superb album on Incienso. His tactile drum programming weaves and wanders beneath the most bendy and gooey of synth lines. The tension between those percolating drums and the star gazing keys and pads up top is what makes his music so enthralling - life is slowed to a crawl and everything seems to take on more beauty and resonance as a result. Tracks here are variously coloured with eerie vocal samples, field recordings or deconstructed jungle percussion, and every single one snakes its way into your mind, body and soul. "Mas Amable" may just be one of the albums of the year.
Review: Kiss, Cuddle & Torture: Volume 2 is the second album offering from The Hempoloics on their own Zee Zee. It's another of their unique collisions of reggae, hip hop, pop, dancehall and funk and comes with plenty of upbeat riddims that will no doubt get as much radio play as previous singles. Showing real development as well as lush chords, masterfully overdubbed keys and complex arrangements that were apparently written by the whole band together, it's another successful record. Check the contemporary flow and funky riffs of "Bongadashi" or more horizontal dub flexes of "In The Night" for highlights.
Review: Standby for KC White's excellent 1973 version of the song made famous by Dawn Penn. The submissive message of the lyrics rings out over fat bass and has just as superb an effect as first time round. This wasn't White's only cover, because he is best known for covering hits like "First Cut Is The Deepest", always adding his own spin and at least equally the quality of the source material. The version on the reverse is a heady one and these are such enduring tunes that this is the fourth time they have been reissued since first time round. Crucial.
Review: The Kingstonians were a relatively short-lived Jamaican band whose greatest work was produced by Derek Harriott between 1968 and '70. It was at the tail end of this period that they recorded their sole album, "Sufferer", an early reggae classic featuring a swathe of sought-after cuts. It's from that set that these two tracks are taken. For the record, both have appeared on 7" singles before, but are so hard to find that collectors are willing to spend up to 500 Euros to find original copies. A-side "Hold Down" is particularly potent, with the vocal trio's fuzzy vocals rising above a killer early reggae rhythm much in Hammond organ stabs, warm bass and clipped guitars. "Nice, Nice" meanwhile is a more up-tempo affair that gives a little more prominence to a typical early reggae guitar riff. Together the two tracks make for a suitably scintillating package.
Review: Underrated yet prolific singer Horace Martin's debut album from 1985 remains his best. It is one that fetches high prices on resale markets - if you can find it - so now gets a welcome reissue by Mister Tipsy. It was written at the time when dub, reggae, dancehall and rocksteady were all cross-pollinated with one another and so the nine tracks that make it up are both fresh yet familiar. From sweet rolling odes like "My Ghetto Queen" to slower, more thoughtful tracks like "Give Me Your Love" this is an album for lovers and thinkers alike.
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.
Review: The Monotrones are Hans Kirschner and Stephan Rendke, and dub doesn't come much more spaced out and eerie than this under the radar gem. It's a loveable oddity on the Sojus label powered by a distinctive Monotron and first landed in 2018, quite possibly from another dimension. "Zuckerfee" has a tongue in cheek ballet sample that shows the pair have a sense of humour, while "MsidS" is a heavy weight stepper. "Return Of A Spacecowboy" traps you in suspense and echo and "Sojus 31" is a fairground ride in the stars.
Thriller U - "Give Me Collaterals" (version) (3:31)
Review: Top Ranking Sound continue their fine run of form with another big hitter this July. Frankie Paul leads the charge with "Don't Pressure Me" and its rugged drums, tumbling bass and hooky riffs. all with some summery steel drums layered in to finish things off in Caribbean style. Pinchers take the second slot with the more natty and physical "Grammy", which has a real edge to it as the drums roll on. Things slip into more digital territory on Thriller U's "Give Me Collaterals", which has oodles of echo and reverb to flesh out the bottom end. A second version offers another fresh perspective on this crisp dub.
Review: Top Ranking Sound bring together a wealth fo dub masters for this four track 12". Frankie Paul opens up with a love struck ode that rolls on natty piano chords and is detailed with acoustic riffs to keep things moving. Yellow Man's "Gaze" slows it down, with echoing claps stacked up on top of each other and the sweet piano chords retained. Mikey General then steps up with a version, "I Love You", a tune to tug at the heart strings thanks to the lyrical depth and yearning. A final version of this one closes out a lovestruck package.
Song To Bob (feat Aston "Familyman" Barret & Aston Junior) (4:29)
Right Time Come (3:10)
Pretty Stranger (5:41)
Les Eaux Sauvages (feat Nina Vitalia) (3:32)
O Sopro De Inae (feat Alessandra De Queiroz) (3:23)
Find A Way Home (feat Alessandra De Queiroz) (3:28)
Praying For The Angels (feat Alessandra De Queiroz) (3:54)
Blessings From The Last Ark (feat Ashanti Roy & Watty Burnett & Kenroy Fyffe) (3:41)
Ancestor Spirit Dance (3:36)
Review: The rhythms for this new labour of love from Praying for the Angels were recorded olds cool fashion, in just one clean take. Those were then embellished with Puraman on vocals and guitar, Boris Perck on bass, drums from Xan Albrecht and Wouter Rosseel on lead guitar while the records mesmerising synths all come from Bos Debusscher. Along the way there are sojourns into psychedelic rock, jazzed up reggae, heart warming love songs and plenty of spiritual anthems, afrobeat gems, deep rolling roots and more besides.