An uncompromising roots reggae album from General Smiley

General Smiley, half of the successful deejay duo Papa Michigan & General Smiley, a duo that recorded the excellent album Rub a Dub Style for Coxsone Dodd and the immensely popular Diseases for Henry “Junjo” Lawes, has teamed up with U.S. producer McPullish for his new album.

General Smiley Meets McPullish at Dub Cove – released in December last year – is a completely different story compared to the bubbling grooves General Smiley recorded in the 70’s and 80’s.

This is a modern roots and dub album with sparse arrangements and heavy bass lines. And mean heavy as in ultra-heavy. These thunderous bass lines could probably be of service if you’d like to try and force the doors to Fort Knox.

The eight vocal cuts – where of one is a combination with Sylford Walker – come with their dub counterpart. General Smiley’s voice has changed during the years and he doesn’t sound as vital as he did back when. It’s deeper and darker and not as melodic as it used to be. It might also have something to do with the style, since he on this set sometimes rather speaks than sings or deejays.

McPullish and General Smiley have created an uncompromising and hypnotic reggae album that doesn’t make an effort to please radio dj’s around the world. However, it might just blow a fuse or two when sound systems set tunes such I Wish or Natty Natty on heavy rotation.

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