Bristol duo Dubkasm – radio personality DJ Stryda and Digistep – put out one of the best albums of 2009 – the groundbreaking and ground shaking Transform I. That album contained newly recorded material, whereas the latest Dubkasm set collects some of their earliest and previously publically unreleased material.
The recordings put on Brixton Rec are mostly dubplates previously only available via sound systems such as Aba Shanti-I and Jah Shaka. The vinyl version of the compilation collects four vocals – two by Tena Stelin, one by the late Lidj Xylon and one by Dubkasm regular Ras Addis – and each is followed by its cavernous dub version mixed by Aba Shanti-I himself to achieve the ideal sound balance on his sound system.
The CD and download version contain three bonus tracks – a melodica version of one of Tena Stelin’s vocal cuts, a vibrant track where Aba Shanti-I mixes and sings live in the studio and a live recording captured in a dance. The latter is as authentic as it gets, even though the audio quality leaves a lot to be desired.
Brixton Rec is UK roots and dub of the finest sort – it’s slow, melancholic and meditative with rich, hypnotic dub effects and lyrics about love and spiritual devotion.
The album comes with sleeve notes telling the story of Dubkasm’s early years including rare archive photos. Brixton Rec is released on vinyl, CD and digital download on Monday October 8.