UK band Resonators is back after a four-year long hiatus. The two singles – Imaginary People and Healer – off the new album have been championed by the one and only David Rodigan.
Imaginary People is their third album and it collects slow and soothing meditative roots with ethereal backing vocals and rumbling bass lines, including the bulldozing Come Through. Two lead vocalists trading places in front of the microphone along with lots of psychedelic dub effects also provide plenty of diversity to the nine sonorous cuts.
Can’t say I had heard much about Resonators up until this year when the two singles were released, but they can easily be filed next to bright shining vintage-sounding UK acts like Soothsayers and King Solomon.
Crowd-rocking and genre-switching DJ and remix wizard Jstar has shook up dance floors worldwide for the past ten years. For his new compilation Licensed Plates he has selected 14 favorites of his more than 60 official remixes dating between 2005 and 2012.
Jstar is probably most well-known for his tasty, clever and border-crossing mash-ups mixing reggae and dancehall with hip-hop, soul and R&B. Some of his finest moments are the acclaimed No Diggity where Black Street’s No Diggity rides the immortal Real Rock riddim or Regulate Rock where Jennier Lara’s reggae version of soul singer Marlena Shaw’s Woman of the Ghetto, Studio One’s ill Rockfort Rock riddim and the late Nate Dogg’s Regulate are mashed to perfection.
None of these are however included on the bass heavy and wobbling Licensed Plates. Included are instead reggae-infused re-workings of cuts from Madness, DJ Vadim, The Black Seeds, Resonators and Dub Terminator among many more. The brightest light is however Ten Feet Tall by Mr Dero & Jstar featuring Farina Miss, where the youthful and sassy Farina Miss rides a bouncy 80’s styled riddim.
Jstar has deconstructed and restructured, reshaped and built up again. He has treated the material with a sonic fusion of drum and bass, dubstep, dancehall, reggae and dub and flavored the music with audio effects, samples and a whole lot of nuances. Every time you listen back to a track you notice something new.
Licensed Plates is re-mastered from tape and the collage on the cover sleeve is made by Jstar himself. It’s currently available on CD, digital platforms or as limited double gatefold LP.