Tag Archives: Digital

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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Pressure Sounds drops Augustus Pablo releases

Pressure Sounds has just announced a bunch of new releases from the late and great melodica virtuoso Augustus Pablo. The new releases are focusing on his digital era and spans from 1986 to 1994.

Augustus Pablo is not necessarily associated with digital output, and most of his most acclaimed material was produced during the 70’s. However, the four CD compilation Mystic World of Augustus Pablo: The Rockers Story contains one disc with a bunch of great digital tunes in a fine Augustus Pablo style.

First up from Pressure Sounds is the 45s Credential Instrumental, A Java Version and Armagiddeon (Drum Sound). All three complete with a version and available in late June.

The singles will luckily enough be followed by Pressure Sounds’ third Augustus Pablo installment titled Message Music. This one is supposed to hit the streets in July.

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The perfect Nitty Gritty album

Nitty Gritty had a short career spanning over about six years – from the mid 80’s to his too premature death in 1991. His debut album Turbo Charged was produced by Prince Jammy and put out on Greensleeves in 1986. It included early digital tracks such as Gimme Some a Your Something and Hog in a Minty, on a version of the huge Tempo riddim.

Now the relatively new reissue label Dug Out has found an obscure gem from this flat voiced singer. General Penitentiary is a showcase album with four vocals and four dubs. It was produced by Ibo Millington and mixed by Bunny Tom Tom aka Crucial Bunny and originally released on NYC-based label Black Victory in 1987.

General Penitentiary is contrary to many other tunes by Nitty Gritty only semi-digital and features both live instrumentation and computers. And it is very well executed. The riddims are just as deep and tough as you can expect from players such as Errol Walker and Wycliffe “Steely” Johnson. Just listen to the hardcore monotonous bass line in Tell Me Whata Gwaan and its version Gwann Dub.

 Nitty Gritty – and his contemporaries Tenor Saw, King Kong and Anthony “Red” Rose – has a very odd voice that may be tough coping with for a full length album. This album is therefore perfect for a singer such as Nitty Gritty.

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