Reviews

One Love One Heart Festival

2 – 3 September 2017, Woodland, California

We checked the forecast and were slightly alarmed to find a high temperature of 43 degrees celsius for the weekend of One Love One Heart (OLOH). A bit high, but surely nothing a little ganja and coconut water couldn’t handle! We were 2 kiwis and 2 yanks and excited to attend One Love again. (more…)

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Double Tiger – Sharp and Ready

(Easy Star Records, 2017)

Sharp and Ready is the debut full-length from Tour De Force member, Dub-Stuy Records co-founder, and John Brown’s Body affiliate Jay Spaker aka Double Tiger.

Expect heavyweight roots in a modern style with a positive mindset, as well as forays into lovers rock and other sub-genres of reggae. No surprise, bass lines are pushed to the forefront while proper stylistic respect is given. Perhaps not a classic, but a strong effort from a legit talent. (more…)

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Dub Terminator – Dub Toys

Dub Terminator consistently lives up to his namesake, and Dub Toys successfully pairs the Kiwi producer’s reliable low-end theory with a veritable crew of guests. The distinctive bass tone, amped-up yet still well-rooted, serves to connect the ten-track album tonally, while the meaningful topics and conscious lyrics provide a similar sense of continuity and an elevated listening experience. (more…)

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Israel Starr – The Producers Chair – Dancehall Vol. One

Now, I’m going to be honest here, I had no idea what to expect when I first put on Israel Starr’s latest project ‘The Producers Chair – Dancehall Vol. One’. After listening, I think it’s very safe to say this is most definitely not another New Zealand ‘BBQ reggae’ release.  (more…)

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High Smile HiFi 7”s feat. Speng Bond, Koa Aloy & S’Kaya

With three heavy-hitting conscious new 7”s – featuring vocals from Speng Bond, Koa Aloy, and S’Kaya – simultaneously released on their own Top Smile Records, Swiss digital enthusiasts High Smile HiFi have once again crafted some tough riddims which pair nicely with their global cohort of singers.

These releases (#s 12-14) feature bubbling bass lines and stabbing skanks aplenty, all straight out of the mid-1980s in aesthetic and style. (more…)

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The Groove Thief talks to Jstar + Liar, Liar single review

Jstar - Liar LiarFamed [and personal fav] underground mashup/remix extraordinaire Jstar, is on the cusp of a more ‘traditional’ album release with Stand To Order. Featuring respected vocalists Ranking Joe, Soom T, Brother Culture, and Blackout JA amongst others.

Single “Liar Liar” features Danish singer Kinck and is out already. It includes interpretations from Mikal, Capitol 1212, and the Turntable Dubbers, who all explore different expanses of bass music. Jstar was kind enough to answer a few questions about the single, album, and production work. (more…)

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Taiwan MC – Cool & Deadly

Taiwan MC - Cool & DeadlyListening to the whole of Taiwan MC’s debut full-length Cool & Deadly is a musical explosion. Throughout, the skilled French singer, frequent Chinese Man collaborator, and sure confuser of Sinophiles embraces a range of musical styles while generally maintaining a bouncy dancefloor-friendly vibe. (more…)

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Rototom Sunsplash 2016

Rototom Sunsplash 201613 – 20 August 2016 @ Benicàssim, Spain

I’m a little late with this review of Rototom Sunsplash 2016, but it is in good time to get you in the mood for New Zealand summer festivals.

Rototom Sunsplash is an amazing 8-day (9-days including the pre-party) reggae festival which encompasses music like ska, dancehall, dub and African, and includes related culture such as Rastafari, sound system, sustainability and health and well-being.  (more…)

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