Immensely talented Scottish singer, rapper, singjay and activist Soom T has once again put out a stunning album showcasing that she can never be labeled a particular genre.
She’s a collaborator with Mungo’s Hi Fi and Prince Fatty, but last year she dropped the grim hip-hop album Bullets Over Babylon, a set produced by Monkey Marc.
Her latest album is yet another set where reggae takes the backseat. But Free As A Bird is not a hip-hop album either. No, this is something else. It’s primarily based in the fields of electronica, hip-hop and disco, but with a reggae twist. And it’s superb.
Free As A Bird was originally released in selected European countries in late 2015 and now an expanded version is widely available. It comes with the original twelve tracks along with another eight tracks, of which four are remixes courtesy of Manudigital, Tygerz, Ibibio Sound Machine and Africaine 808.
This album carries sweaty bass lines that would make a disco mastermind like Nile Rodgers proud. Just listen to the funky Gimme Gimme or the glorious End of the Road. Pure dance floor wizardry where Soom T blends her bubble gum singing with fierce singjaying.
Other highlights include the dreamy Black Butterfly, the dramatic Politic Man and the powerful Broken Robots as well as the title track, which has a melody reminiscent of the jazz standard Dream a Little Dream of Me, and Upside Down, which sounds like it’s aimed a speak-easy crowd from the 20s.
Power, rhythm and melody all come together beautifully on this album. It’s a grower so you need to give it some time. But it’s well worth the time. A spot on album.
Irish production and DJ duo DJ Obese and Jay Sharp, better known as Dirty Dubsters, have dropped a new full-length set collecting a hefty 15 tracks spanning several bass heavy genres, including reggae, dub, hip-hop, jungle and house.
The duo doesn’t pull the breaks and Special Request is a dancefloor extravaganza from start to finish with its clever samples, massive drum beats and fat bass grooves.
The album hosts a ton of collaborations, including fierce performances from the versatile Soom T, rockstone-voiced Blackout JA and the stylish Mr. Williamz, just to name a few. The first single off the album – Big Sound – certainly earns its title with a driving bass line and Screechy Dan and Chip Fu showcasing their skills on the microphone.
A blazing and genre-crossing album showcasing how multifaceted reggae is.
UK roots outfit Vibronics return with another no-nonsense roots and dub album collecting twelve brand new tracks – six vocal cuts and six dub versions. This time they have teamed up with legendary vocalists Michael Prophet and Macka B alongside more contemporary talents like Soom T, Danman, Madu Messenger and I-Mitri.
The Return of Vibronics is militant with intense energy. As usual with Vibronics one might add. The vocal cuts are haunting, dark and dread and the dub versions are crammed to capacity with bass heavy sound system flavour.
This is UK bass music culture of the highest order. Sometimes almost diabolical, like North & South, and sometimes a bit brighter, like Heartbeat, even though it has an apocalyptic bass line.
Indian-born and Scotland-bred singer, rapper and deejay Soom T has teamed up with Australian producer and beatmaker Monkey Marc on the dark ten track album Bullets over Babylon, a set that crisscrosses boundaries between reggae and dubstep and hip-hop and jazz.
The bass lines are charged to the max and Soom T’s delivery is edgy and she successfully blends fierce deejaying and tongue twisting techniques with airy singing. Monkey Marc’s forward-thinking and multi-layered beats are atmospheric and dystopic with plenty of nods to hip-hop from the early 90s.
And even though Bullets over Babylon is the soundtrack to the apocalypse there’s room for a bit of optimism between all darkness and dystopic views on the world. Drill has a catchy, almost infectious, melody, and The Rebellion has a funky groove and shout-along chorus.
Bullets over Babylon sneaks up on you and demands a few listens before it can be fully appreciated. It’s refreshingly original and will keep your head nodding and thinking for almost an hour.