13 – 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…)
The latest 10″ release for Culture Dub Records comes from the Basskateers and Sticky Joe, with Sista Bethsabée and (the doubly-skilled) J. Pattersson providing vocals while the instrumentals/dubs emphasize the horn-work of Becky. This is a true European collaboration – Germany, the UK, and France are all represented. (more…)
29 – 31 July, Bersenbrück, Germany
Reggae Jam has been rated the number 1 reggae festival in Europe by Riddim magazine readers, and hearing this I had high expectations. I guess I experienced many highs and a few lows throughout the festival. (more…)
7 – 10 July 2016 @ Carquefou, France
Dub Camp 2016 was an incredible experience with 19 sound systems (actual sound systems!), many other DJs, singers, players of instruments, sound conference and Q&A sessions over 3 days and 4 nights. Somehow I have to attempt to condense that into this short review. (more…)
Foundation Sound (2016)
Out now on 7″, a heavy new piece of modern roots music with a vintage touch, as an almost 70-year old I-Kong delivers the message “Don’t Sell your Soul” over a riddim produced by Foundation Sound out of Norwich, UK. A hauntingly conscious lyric fades into a slightly extended jazzy sax version on the A-side, with a dark raw dub on the flip. (more…)
Jim the Boss’ latest endeavour, Hudson Soul out via Boom One Records, is an earnest homage to the sounds of 1970s Jamaica, one that wisely features intriguing yet on-point production far beyond the stylistic foundation. The result is the right type of timeless music, where grooves lead the way to somewhere deeper; a fact that’s doubly true as the proceeds are being donated to the family of the late Dan Klein of Daptone Records reggae band, The Frightnrs, who recently passed away following a diagnosis of the disease ALS in late-2015. (more…)
Attack Released, a French production duo comprised of Nino Selecta (Fogata Sounds & Large Up Radio) and Waks (Barrington Levy’s current tour engineer), combine their skills and technical knowledge to craft a tough-yet-bubbling riddim for their second release: World Leaders.
A four-track EP complete with both dub and riddim, plus on-point vocals from UK’s Murray Man and France’s Dapatch Selecta, this is a fine showing all around: the attack has definitely been released! (more…)
Artwork: Maël Boutin
The aptly-named Bent Backs Records are a Brooklyn, New York-based label, specializing in 12″ vinyl. Now on their fourth release – each of which finds a younger vocalist paired with a proper reggae legend (such as Johnny Osbourne and Devon Clarke) – it’s Waterhouse-style extraordinaire King Kong followed by rising French singer S’Kaya plus a tough dub from Hypa. (more…)
Dubmatix’s The French Sessions actually provided much of the soundtrack on my road trip through France last summer, centered around attending the Reggae Sun Ska Festival in Bordeaux. So with a sentimental attachment to the originals, hopes were high that these remixes could maintain the magic of the originals. Fortunately the Canadian producer – who teamed up with a talented younger generation of current singers for the initial release – was equally prudent in choosing a wide range of artists for this project. France is still the focus here, aside from American act Tour De Force who still fit in both stylistically and nominally.
I better get my disclaimers in nice and early. Although this is my opinion on revival dub reissue LPs, I am much more a 7 and 12s man and I only buy and play out originals. That rule however has never followed for albums. Through the years I have picked up a few, although rarely had the time to sit down and listen. Having relocated from the centre of London out to the greenery of UK’s home counties I find myself driving around more. All of the albums have now had a dust off and I have rediscovered my love for revival dub. (more…)