Brooklyn duo Tour de Force – Double Tiger and DJ Q-Mastah – champion bass music like few others on the U.S. reggae scene via their label Dub-Stuy and their 15,000-watt wooden speaker stack, a sound system directly aimed at destroying the Babylonian system. Needless to say, these two producers and beat makers live for the bass.
Their partly instrumental debut album Battle Cry follows the release of the excellent remix EP Old Time Love. This ten track set connects old and new, vintage and contemporary, bass-fuelled genres such as reggae, dancehall, dub and dubstep. It’s dark and gritty with pulsating and potent bass lines, sometimes accompanied by bright horns and echoing organ skanks.
I’ve recently spent some time listening to The Courtney John Project’s hard-hitting debut album Future. And if someone told me that this album was the work of smooth falsetto singer Courtney John and lovers rock giant Beres Hammond’s daughter The Wizard, I’d tell him or her to get the hell out of here. But this dubstep-flavored album is made by these two masterminds together with Grammy Award winning instrumentalist Steven “Lenky” Marsden, the one responsible for the ground-breaking Diwali riddim a few years back.
This hypnotic album showcases what the members describe as a brand new genre called rootstronic. It’s a little bit of everything with pounding drums and heavy bass lines – dub, roots, electronica, grime and hip-hop.
Future sounds like it has been produced and recorded in an abandoned industrial building in central Kingston. The beats are grim and intense with bodybuilders beating the drums and hitting the bass with sheer power. It’s the evil and lost soundtrack to movies such as The Matrix and Blade Runner. It is the future.
The ethereal voices of Courtney John and The Wizard echo between the thick walls of sound. Their version of Errol Dunkley’s Black Cinderella is a stroke of genius and so are the two cuts that use the haunting organ from the immortal Truths and Rights riddim and the schizophrenic Very Special with its bombastic tom-tom drums taken from the battlefields in Lord of the Rings.
Think that there isn’t any experimental and innovative music coming from Jamaica anymore? That all music from Jamaica is about chanting down Babylon or showing off a brand new Benz or Beamer? Think again. When you’ve listened to Future you’ll feel like you’ve been run over by a train.
To be honest, it wasn’t instant love for me. But then again, the future is usually intimidating. You need to get acclimatized and then you’ll learn to understand its beauty and truly appreciate it.
Late last year Greensleeves and VP Recordsannounced that their back catalogue was to get a remix treatment by dubstep artists for a new vinyl series. The first release was a remix of Yellowman’s classic Zunguzunguguzungguzeng.
Now it’s time for another three releases. First out is Pampidoo’s Synthesizer Voice that gets a mad re-construction by Japan’s Goth-Trad, one of the major artists on the Japanese dubstep scene.
Dubstep giant The Bug mashes Ding Dong’s dancehall anthem Badman Forward Badman Pull Up from 2006. The Bug has invited MC Flow Dan from Roll Deep to go head to head with Ding Dong. The result is vicious.
All three tunes come with a version, and if you like dubstep you probably need to check these three releases out.
My new mix – Riding the Reggae Train in 2010 – is instead a lot more diversified and ranges over several reggae genres and offers a little something for everybody. One drop, dubstep and dancehall all comes together for this treat.
The mix is built on six different riddims from producers hailing from Switzerland, Denmark, France and the Netherlands. The artists are both veterans and newcomers and are mainly from Jamaica with a few exceptions.
As usual – Riding the Reggae Train in 2010 is a continuous mix with no full tracks and some added sound samples. If you like what you hear, please support the artists and the labels and purchase the tunes. Most of them are easily available as mp3, vinyl or CD.
Listen in the player below and download by clicking the link (right click, save as). You can also listen and download via Soundcloud. Enjoy!
Gratisskivorna haglar. I onsdags släppte Tanya Stephens sin nya platta som gratis nedladdning. I dag är det dags för kanadensaren Dubmatix att göra samma sak med remixplattan Renegade Remixes Vol 1.
Renegade Remixes Vol 1 är, som titeln antyder, nya versioner av låtarna på Dubmatix senaste platta Renegade Rocker, som gavs ut 2008. De nya mixarna är signerade Nate Wize, även han från Kanada, och Dubmatix själv, som bland annat står för en funkig version av Blessings of Compassion med Alton Ellis.
Låtarnas nya versioner spänner från dubstep och house till hiphop och funk. Alltsammans kryddat med övermäktigt tung bas.
Plattan går att ladda ner gratis här den kommande veckan. Därefter är det exempelvis eMusic eller iTunes som gäller igen.