Tag Archives: Brain Damage

Walk the Walk is UK roots via Jamaica and France

 

122f25b5c3Brain Damage, aka French producer and mixing engineer Martin Nathan, has explored and vitalized dub for more than one and a half decade. He has played a pivotal role in cultivating the French dub scene and has forged alliances with UK dub pioneers like Zion Train, Alpha & Omega and The Disciples.

His eleventh album Walk the Walk was released a few months ago and on that ten track set Martin Nathan takes a slightly different direction. Walk the Walk was partly recorded in Jamaica and lies somewhat closer to classic Jamaican dub compared to his previous releases that has been more experimental.

The album collects only vocal cuts voiced by five reggae luminaries – Horace Andy, Willi Williams, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus I and Ras Michael. It’s a personal and conscious journey where these veterans explore their own childhood and education.

They are presented to an atmospheric and spiritual musical universe driven by explosive bass lines and haunting keys. Walk the Walk is an unorthodox and welcome take on UK dub and roots with legendary singers sounding inspired and affectionate.

 

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Tour de Force aim to push back electronic dance music to its roots

NYC’s dub crew Tour de Force follow up on their heavyweight debut album Battle Cry, released earlier this year. With Battle Cry Remixed they aim to push back electronic dance music (EDM) to its sound system origins bringing elder Jamaican dub fans together with exuberant club kids.

And to fulfil their aim they have teamed up with a diverse set of producers and mixing engineers to give listeners a whirlwind tour of the worldwide dub community.

This network includes dubstep whiz DJ Madd, raggabass pioneer Dub Gabriel, dublectro kingpin Dubmatix, reggae producer Adam Prescott and dub pioneer Brain Damage, among a few more. The common theme for all cuts is the sound of an old school and high-powered sound system.

“There’s a Jamaican culture of sound systems, and with the rise of EDM, and fans enjoying this music on festival and concert PAs, the time’s right for a stronger connection between electronic music and sound system culture,” explains DJ Q-Mastah, one half of Tour de Force.

Battle Cry Remixed comes with 15 cuts and drops on October 7, and you can listen to a preview over at Soundcloud.

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Digital dub of the highest order from Brain Damage & Vibronics

Empire Soldiers - Brain Damage Meets VibronicsUK-based Vibronics and France-based Brain Damage have teamed up to pay tribute to the seldom recognized Caribbean and African soldiers fighting in World War 1. According to the liner notes of Empire Soldiers the majority of the West Indian troops served as members of labour battalions, being the backbone of the armies – moving supplies, digging trenches and building railway and communication lines.

Or as Sir Jean puts it in the exceptionally heavyweight and downright excellent Do U Remember “Ah me she one, World War One, two, World War Two, do u remember those African soldiers, who died for your freedom… Cuz when u big up de fallen soldiers, u nah name dem at all, me check out your wallets and monuments, me nah see dem at all, memorial days a come and u nah call dem at all, me check out your books of history, we nah see dem”.

Brain Damage & Vibronics have with Empire Soldiers unleashed a beast in terms of bass lines and pounding drums. The bass line in Dub Engine is almost frightening in its heaviness and forthrightness. It’s one of those bass lines that might appear in a nightmare.

Same goes for the dub version of Do U Remember titled Do U Dub. By the title it could be confused for a love song, but, well, it’s not. It doesn’t contain much lyrics. But the again none is needed since the bass line, the drums and the echoing horns are having a voodoo session.

The set comes as a double disc with a healthy 17 tracks with lyrical tales from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean told by Madu Messenger, Parvez, Sir Jean and Mohammed El Amraoui.

Empire Soldiers is an exciting, hypnotic and bass-boosted history lesson telling the story of the colonial troops in World War 1.

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