Gravel-voiced UK chanter Blackout JA has joined forces with eclectic Polish producer Dreadsquad on the aptly titled set World Destruction, an album where Blackout JA rages against corruption, police brutality and poverty.
Two singles have so far been lifted from World Destruction and they showcases two completely different sonic landscapes. Last Tune is a hard and heavy UK steppers cut designed to mash up sound system dances, while the Edwyn Collins cover A Girl Like You is delicate and gracious with its elegant melodica and slick organ.
Best of the bunch is however the steady one drop Innocent Persecution, the bouncy 80s sounding Never Give In and the aggressive Police Brutality, where message and vocal style blend perfect together.
Almost two years after the release of his Heavy This Year set French deejay and singer Taiwan MC returns with a second EP. Diskodub is an eight track effort and a hybrid of funky digital reggae and futuristic contemporary dancehall complete with psychedelic dub effects and a haunting melodica.
The set is produced by Soap, Chinese Man, Dreadsquad and Manudigital with lyrics written by Taiwan MC when on the road. Each of this producers have their own distinct style, but it all blends together nicely.
Taiwan MC showcases his tongue twisting skills on What a Joy and Tell Dem, the latter a version of Augustus “Gussie” Clarke’s successful Telephone Love. Album opener Diskodub closes with a high-pitched G-funk synth and Pon di Road borrows its guitar melody from Johnny Cash’s classic Ring of Fire.
Taiwan MC also chats over a bouncy version of King Tubby’s brutal Tempo riddim and Manudigital’s remix of Blaze It Up pays tribute to the classic Sleng Teng riddim.
The up-tempo and explosive Diskodub is an invitation to a digital reggae dancehall party.
German singer and trombone player Dr Ring Ding has played a key part on the German ska and reggae scene since the late 80s. He took his name in tribute of The Skatalites – who has released a single with the same name – and formed Dr. Ring Ding & The Senior Allstars in the 90s and went solo in the early 2000s.
He has worked with most subgenres within reggae, including, ska, roots, dancehall and dub and now he has joined forces with Polish Dreadsquad for an album dedicated to the pioneers of the early computerized dancehall scene, including innovative producers and musicians like King Jammy, Bobby Digital, Augustus “Gussie” Clarke and Steely & Clevie.
The title of this 14 track set – Dig it All – is a clever one and catches the sound and atmosphere very well. Dr. Ring Ding might be dismissed as a mere novelty act, but he has a free flow, entertaining lyrics and a feel for catchy melodies and hooks.
Dig it All is a playful album from start to finish and the riddims created using loads of classic gear from the old days, for example Yamaha CS-01, Casio MT41 and MT100, Roland Space Echo, Fisher SpaceXpander and the Coron DS-08 drum synth, catch the sound of mid-80s both successfully and respectfully.