Friday, April 26, 2013

Baroque Dub Mixtape Fourty Four [bdmx0044] Misshapen Pearl

We kick things off in fine style with a massive dubwise selection from Bass Explorer Sound System's flo.wise, representing with a superlative roots dub reggae riddim mix. Then no apologies for promoting yet another Pupajim cut (after the two played on the last mixtape) What can i say? I'm still loving his voice! Similarly, yet another Dreadsquad track on rotation here, this time showing just how good he is at bringing the best out of a mix. This reworking takes the Skrillex/Damian Marley anthem back to its reggae roots by removing all traces of that dubstep wob wob bass. You could almost say he's taken the Skrillex out of the track and come up with a masterpiece. Time for some digidub classics with Michael Rose and Willie Williams both in full effect before taking a breather courtesy of King Tubby's Gold Dub. Then it's my very great pleasure to big up the mighty Friendly Fire band - I'm not just honoured to know them as friends but also one of their biggest fans. This single off the highly recommended Balsall Heat LP is one of the best things they've done. Much respect.

Mr Williamz' Sit Down Steady is more slackness than I'd usually play out but with such an infectious riddim you'll just have to ignore the lyrics. Then Jah Screechy's Walk and Skank which I was reminded of by a recent remix of the track by Version Big-Fi. This leads quite appropriately into another of their top class remixes - this time of MikkiM's Guns Of Kingston, itself a reworking of the Clash classic. Got to love reggae for its infatuation for version 'pon version! No apologies for featuring Version Big-Fi yet again, for me they represent all that's best in online music culture and they truly deserve every shoutout they get.

Once more at risk of repeating myself, here's another choice performance from Alborosie - I'll let my Sicilian heritage excuse me for again plugging his music, but this track has such jump up hip-hop energy that it deserves the exposure. Then next up is another track from Prague-based DJ, producer and musician MikkiM. He's not unlike Dreadsquad in flirting in the mainstream and a kind of upfront reggae that sometimes flies a little too close to handbags-in-the-air territory... what's no doubt great live party music can sometimes be a little too cheesy for me, but this track's got enough invention in its manipulation of sampled loops to keep things interesting.

For this release I wanted to steer a bit further away from the usual safe reggae selections and what better way than to follow up all this breakbeat dancehall than with a Coldcut track - these guys are unwittingly responsible for my love of dub reggae as I used to avidly listen to their KissFM shows on Saturday nights during the 90s. Their beats and sampling mayhem was followed in the schedule by Manasseh's own radio show - which became my education in bass culture.

Since things have descended into a bit of nostalgia, why not throw in some Stone Roses and a dash of Radiohead? The 90s was a massively influential period for me musically but I've never stopped looking out for good new music. The last two selections on this mixtape are a good reminder that something interesting is always out there waiting to be discovered... Firstly the Havanna Boys come up trumps with a pretty good K&D impersonation before we ride into the sunset with the wonderful latin electronica of Cabo San Roque remixed by Luciano. Until next time.

With thanks to the original artists for their music and inspiration. Support them by buying their music.

[01] King of Kings / Babylon Man - flo.wise selection (00:00)
[02] Pupajim - Mr Bossman + dub edit (06:12)
[03] Skrillex & Damian Marley - Make it bun dem (Dreadsquad remix) (11:36)
[04] Michael Rose - Binghi Dub (14:40)
[05] willie williams - Iya One Say (19:01)
[06] Roots Radics - King Tubby's Gold Dub (22:44)
[07] Lion Art feat Elevayta (with Friendly Fire Band) - Welcome to Holland (25:30)
[08] Mr Williamz - Kriminel (Riddim) (29:09)
[09] Mr Williamz - Sit Down Steady (29:36)
[10] Jah Screechy - Walk and Skank (33:08)
[11] MikkiM ft. Zareb & Squeechie - Guns Of Kingston (Version Big-Fi Mix) (37:10)
[12] Alborosie - Ragamuffin (43:10)
[13] MikkiM feat Quench - Grrrlz (46:39)
[14] Coldcut - Boogieman (49:21)
[15] The Stone Roses - Shoot You Down (Soul Hooligan Remix) (53:49)
[16] Radiohead - Street Spirit (Dirty Dub Hole) (58:18)
[17] The Havanna Boys - Paul's Dub (65:30)
[18] Cabo San Roque vs. Luciano - Calypso 08 (71:11)

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baroque Dub Mixtape Fourty Three [bdmx0043] Come Together Brothers Sisters

What better way to get this Christmas mixtape started than with a yule tide invocation for peace and brotherhood? Christmas is also a time for celebrations and Digitaldubs and YT get the party properly going with their hymn to sound system culture. Next up, Stand High Patrol presents the first of two vocal cuts from the immensely gifted Pupa Jim - one of those distinctive voices that heralds a pure, must-watch talent. Next a nod to Brazil with Marcelinho da Lua's jump up anthem - a good opportunity to send a shout out to Munchbreak who this year travelled out to Sao Paulo and have since been forging musical connections with bands and producers from this wonderful melting pot of a country (I wonder if Feva's been caning this one in his jungle set?). Another shout out goes out to the inspirational Version Big-Fi who for years have been releasing free music of the highest quality. Much respect. We're into old-school On-U territory with 2Badcard's Equal Rights and Justice, then onto the second offering from Pupajim - this time backed by a production from the ever excellent Disrupt. Can't get enough of that 8-bit goodness. Talking of talented producers, what a great reggae reworking of the Wendy Rene Stax classic. I particularly like the politics of Alborosie's flip side 'Tears'. Initially released in Dec 2010 and still all too relevant today, given the continuing financial crisis. From one great female vocal to another - Dawn Penn's No, No, No, that killer Saxon Sound dubplate that always reminds me of great times at the Notting Hill Carnival. More happy remeniscences with New Zealand's Pitch Black - purveyors of fine aotearoa dub - in full effect. We've been delighted to have a number of our good kiwi friends come and visit this year. How I still pine for the land of the long white cloud! Gregory Isaacs passed away a couple of years ago but his voice and presence is still a force to be reckoned with. Then more dancehall goodness with Red Dragon's Duck Dance - a bit of fun to get your booty moving. I'm conscious that recent mixtapes have stayed relatively safe in Dub/Reggae territory so here's an afrobeat inflected offering from the wonderful Blundetto - an eclectic French collective who effortlessly straddle a wide variety of musical genres from reggae to soul and beyond. I was gutted to have missed Solo Banton's album launch party earlier this year at Birmingham's one and only PST - a club that's defined much of reggae culture in the city in recent years. Much respect to Pecker, Juggla and of course the entire Jam Jah crew - Robin, Damon and co. Your conscious sounds are a true inspiration. Now that the party's in full swing, it's time to crack open another killer dubplate - this time from the Street Rockaz Family and Ilements' take on the Man of the Living riddim. Then we go truly global with Bole 2 Harlem, a brilliant musical collaboration that fuses elements of Ethiopian music with American hip hop. Finally it's time to wrap things up with a wonderfully smooth dub from the Groove Corporation who year on year continue to release nothing but quality productions.

As always, with thanks to the original artists for their music and inspiration. Support them by buying their music.

[01] Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus - Run Come Really [edit] (00:00)
[02] Digitaldubs feat. YT - Sound System Culture - (03:09)
[03] Stand High Patrol - Brest Bay (06:28)
[04] Marcelinho Da Lua - Tranquilo (08:56)
[05] Version Big-Fi - Come Again (13:12)
[06] 2Badcard - Equal Rights and Justice (16:28)
[07] Pupajim - Double Lock (21:53)
[08] Jaba feat. Wendy Rene - After Laughter (Comes Tears) (25:18)
[09] Alborosie feat. Wendy Rene - Tears (After Laughter Comes Tears) - (28:38)
[10] Dawn Penn - You Don't Love Me (extended version) (32:11)
[11] Pitch Black - Urbanoia (34:54)
[12] Gregory Isaacs - Badness (40:39)
[13] Red Dragon - Duck Dance (43:44)
[14] Blundetto - Rocroy (with Akale Horns) (47:29)
[15] Solo Banton - No (50:42)
[16] Ilements - We All Can Make It (53:40)
[17] Bole 2 Harlem - Bole 2 Harlem (57:06)
[18] G-Corp Meets Bobby Blue - Better Dub (60:02)

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Baroque Dub Mixtape Fourty Two [bdmx0042] Feast

What was once a regular monthly event has now lapsed into a yearly feast, but what a feast it is! A rich dub stew laced with a hearty dose of roots and culture, a sprinkling of dubstep bass and a dash of funky reggae. To kick things off Ez3kiel and Manasseh brew up a potent psychedelic mix that sets the tone for the usual globetrotting adventure into rich sonic delights.

Juakali, a singer and MC from Trinidad currently based in Los Angeles, picks up the story with a heartfelt anthem that's both dark and brooding yet full of light and optimistism. Next up, Greek dub artist Vlastur represents with fat slice of soundsystem friendly dub sprinkled with eastern string samples and beautifully shimmering delays.

As Greece is feeling the brunt of the financial sector's uncontrolled, under regulated, self-serving greed - a tragedy that's callously leaving entire nations in its wake, it's time to speak up about exactly where money and priviledge come from. "How did you get your money, Sir? Where did you get your money, Sir? Who did you walk on? Who did you steal it from?" Sweet and true, from the Adrian Sherwood-produced album 'Longtime Traveller' comes a truly prescient and heartfelt song full of sorrow but powered by the undeniable logic of a truth that's too authoritative to be ignored.

Midnite's Pagan Pay Gone takes us deeper into a conscious meditation on the same theme. Their hypnotic chant is beautifully picked up by Jolly Mukherjee's deep bass lament. Known as India's King of Strings, here he underpins his usual cinematic arrangements with fat bass and skanking guitars that take us on journey to sun-baked desert caravans full of eastern promise.

From these evocative, exotic travels, Lady Ann brings things straight back to the here and now of street concerns with a great track from an unofficial special tour CD by Scicilian reggae superstar, Alborosie.
Time to take a breather with an uncharateriscally laid back Noiseshaper contribution before DJ Riot submerges us into deep aquatic dubstep territory. We emerge with Freear's bootleg remix of Isrealites. Cheeky and fun, it bounces along with such pure joy that it's easy to forgive how overcompressed and raw it sounds (can't ask too much of a freebie mix). Although probably only meaningful to UK residents of a certain age it's hard to resist the nostalgic charms of those Vitalite samples!

Time to get back to some proper roots and culture, first off with Zap Pow on an infectuous funky reggae tip then courtesy of a classic Prince Far I & the Arabs instrumental cut. Wayne Jarrett and Earl Sixteen bring up the rear before we wrap things up with a little known Bob Marley and the Wailers downtempo doowop love song from their early rocksteady period.

[01] Ez3kiel - Handle With Care (00:00)
[02] Manasseh meets The Equalizer - Flash It Again (04:30)
[03] Juakali - Living in Babylon (07:06)
[04] Vlastur - Cycladic Dud (10:45)
[05] Jeb Loy Nichols - To Be Rich Is a Crime (15:57)
[06] Midnite - Pagan Pay Gone (19:34)
[07] Jolly Mukerjzee - Madhuvanthi (25:31)
[08] Alborosie, Specialist & Friends - Informa feat. Lady Ann (30:47)
[09] Noiseshaper - Cultura Pura (33:56)
[10] DJ Riot - Mermaid Dub (37:45)
[11] Freear - Israelites Remix (40:30)
[12] Zap Pow - United (44:49)
[13] Prince Far I & The Arabs - Lion Stone (48:28)
[14] Wayne Jarrett - Praise Jah (55:25)
[15] Earl Sixteen - Foot of the Mountain (58:59)
[16] Bob Marley and the Wailers - Chances Are (61:43)

With thanks to the original artists for their music and inspiration.
Support them by buying their music.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Baroque Dub Mixtape Fourty One [bdmx0041] Yard Sounds

Lot's here to get excited about, including a number of obscure 10'' and dubs by various unknown soundsystem artists. Get in touch if you can identify any of the missing names. I'm particularly proud to be featuring EarlyWorm, an old RDW friend who's recently signed up to Dubmatix's label Renegade Recordings. Much respect!

[01] Luciano - Babylon is Jah Footstool + Dub (00:00)
[02] Big Youth - Love is What We Need (G-Corp remix) (04:00)
[03] Johnny Clark - I Want No Guy (09:48)
[04] Unknown - Jah Supplication (13:40)
[05] Bush Chemists - Water's Edge (15:19)
[06] LIDJ Incorporated - Natural Healer (19:05)
[07] Ronnie Davis - False Leader (23:29)
[08] Rod Taylor & Soul Syndicate - In The Right Way (26:40)
[09] Unknown - Praise Him + Dub (29:09)
[10] EarlyWorm Sound System - The Battles of Electric Selectah & the Natty Droid (Tonight's episode Dub King Killahs) (32:19)
[11] Natural Roots - Children of Jah + Dub (36:32)
[12] Chilled Suspects - Corrosion (40:11)
[13] Unknown - Ever Living Jah (45:27)
[14] Ragana - Where This Love Goes (48:39)
[15] Dubcreator feat. Izyah Davis - Where Were You + Dub (53:20)
[16] Yami Bolo - Ethnic Cleansing (Disciples Remix + Dub) (58:29)
[17] The Amharic - 1990s (62:34)

With thanks to the original artists for their music and inspiration.
Support them by buying their music.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Baroque Dub Mixtape Fourty [bdmx0040] Massive!

We kick things off with a suitably chilled out track from Polish tech-dub netlabel Qunabu. It's been a while since I've included this kind of electronic dub on one of the mixtapes. Then Army Of One pick up the pace with a wonderful reworking of Horace Andy's Every Tongue Shall Tell.

Next up is the first of many selections from the Africa Beat label - I'm just loving the bouncy good vibes of their dancehall releases! The screw dem riddim here appears as an instrumental by Dreadsquad followed up by Perfect's take.

Then we're back to more traditional baroquedub vibes with Nick Holder's upfront UK steppers anthem followed neatly by a dubstep-ish offering from Bdum Bdum Sound. Regular listeners will be well aware of my slight loss of faith in the dubstep scene, but this track's got all the bassbin defying, floor shaking, head nodding fun I used to like in the genre. Top work!

Legends of the sound system, Iration Steppas represent with a classic conscious lyrical outing. At a time when many are thinking about their New Year's resolutions, it's a timely reminder that dreads is an attitude not a fashion. Be it, live it - it ain't about what you look like but about who you are.

Perfect is up again with another riddim from Africa Beat, this one entitled Bad Boys 2009. I so wish I'd found this track a few months ago before my set at Shambala's Roots Yard - this one's made for blasting across fields of tents at a festival! :) Burro Banton jumps on the riddim without dropping a beat before switching to the Cherry Pie riddim with No problem. This is dancehall as party music rather than gangster slackness. As it should be!

Junior Cony was a relatively recent discovery for me. I can't recommend his blend of upfront dance dynamics and big dubs enough! This one grooves and powers along before propelling us into Little John's floor pleaser. After what some purists might find a little too mainstream it's time to get back to some classic roots with Freddie McKay's timeless sermon and a perfect Johnny Osbourne double. You might say that they don't make 'em like that any more but the Mad Professor's mix of assorted Negus Roots backing tracks is a great example of the next generation taking on the reggae mantle and reinventing it in exemplary style.

I couldn't end this 40th anniversary selection without a nod back to the global perspective and world beats and breaks that have peppered previous compilations. What better example than Caliajah hip-hop/reggae crossover, or Djosos Krost's wonderfully funky MPC workout, followed by some chilled beats from Yonderboi?

We finish off with the ever prolific M. Ward whose She & Him duets with actress Zooey Deschanel, I'd particularly recommend to fans of 50s nostalgia. Here he wraps things up neatly with a nearly seasonal ditty. Here's to the next One Hundred Million Years...

[01] Experimenthal Dubbing Sessions - Broke Mi Nekk (00:00)
[02] Army Of One - Revelation Dub (06:08)
[03] Dreadsquad - Screw Dem (version) (11:23)
[04] Perfect - Reggae Music (13:11)
[05] Nick Holder - Moments in Dub (16:03)
[06] Bdum Bdum Sound – The 7 Solution (19:05)
[07] Iration Steppas feat. Tena Stelin - Locks (22:34)
[08] Perfect - 10 Pound of Ganja (27:14)
[09] Burro Banton - Nah Drop Di Ting (30:48)
[10] Burro Banton - No Problem (34:17)
[11] Junior Cony - Originally Dub Mix 1 (37:24)
[12] Little John - Block Traffic (41:47)
[13] Freddie McKay - I'm A Free Man (45:19)
[14] Johnny Osbourne - Truth And Rights (47:52)
[15] Johnny Osbourne - Black Starliner (vocal) (50:30)
[16] Negus Roots meets the Mad Professor - Wicked Skank (54:08)
[17] Caliajah - Es El Tiempo (feat. Breda Ghatto)(58:17)
[18] Djosos Krost - Cover Me (feat. Little Tasha) (61:42)
[19] Yonderboi - Tameless (64:34)
[20] M. Ward - One Hundred Million Years (70:51)

With thanks to the original artists for their music and inspiration.
Support them by buying their music.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Baroque Dub Mixtape Thirty Nine [bdmx0039] Heavy, Heavy Culture

We kick things off with a heavy, heavy dub from an experimental Welsh band who are equally versatile in rap, reggae, hip hop, and punk before getting back to more familiar baroquedub territory thanks to Linval Thompson's roots classic followed by DEB Music Players, produced by the legendary Dennis Brown, laying down the perfect groove.

From Jamaica we take a trip to the Hawaiian island of Kahalu'u with reggae band Natural Vibrations, before heading off to the land of the long white cloud and two choice remixes of the already wonderful Cay's Crays. We're now truly in digi-dub territory with Radical Guru's steppers anthem leading the way for Israeli DJ Kukan Dub Lagan here sampling what sounds to me like an uncredited Ari Up, being as upfront and raw as only she can be. Regular favourites Radikal Dub Kolektiv pull off a neat 'half time da riddim' trick on the classic steppers beat, which brings us neatly back to some conscious one drop lyrics from Ras Michael, followed by more wise words courtesy of Rod Taylor.

Sly & Robbie Meet The Mad Professor with a psychedelic mix perfect as an introduction to Heavyweight Dub Champion and Brooklyn-based Dr Isreal. The ever prolific Dubmatix lightens the mood (check out the new album and his contribution on the forthcoming on Dub Side of The Moon remix album) then things start to wind down with Beres Hammond's Last War. From one great singer to another and a little bit more with a Michael Rose dancehall killa. Time to call it a day with Max Romeo's crowd pleaser.

[01] Llwybr Llaethog - Mynd Adre' Dub (00:00)
[02] Linval Thompson - Jah Jah Dreader Than Dread (04:44)
[03] DEB Music Players - Ragga Muffin Style (08:15)
[04] Natural Vibrations - Reggae Singer (11:58)
[05] Fat Freddy's Drop - Cay's Crays (Digital Mystikz remix) (15:59)
[06] Fat Freddy's Drop - Cay's Crays (Kalbata remix) (20:19)
[07] Radical Guru - New Decade (original mix) (25:21)
[08] Kukan Dub Lagan - What a Day (30:05)
[09] Radikal Dub Kolektiv - Sackaj (36:26)
[10] Ras Michael - None a Jah Jah Children No Cry (43:33)
[11] Rod Taylor - Don't Give It Up (47:20)
[12] Sly & Robbie Meet The Mad Professor - Cool Dude (51:14)
[13] Dr. Israel - Survivor (54:07)
[14] Dubmatix - Aint Got No Love Dub (59:28)
[15] Beres Hammond - Last War (63:36)
[16] Michael Rose - A Little Bit More (67:39)
[17] Max Romeo - Chase The Devil (72:00)

With thanks to the original artists for their music and inspiration.
Support them by buying their music.

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