Confucius Top Ten – November 2013

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ConfuciusWith more aliases than a fleeing fraudster, Paul Bimler AKA Nava, AKA Confucius, AKA Midnight Dubs, AKA Soulprovider, has been a fixture on the New Zealand DJ and production scene since 1999, when he released his debut EP as Confucius.

Not long after this he linked up with Gabriel Calcott, AKA Messenjah, to form the reggae and dancehall production duo known as Reality Chant. Under this label, the two who have worked with such artists as Luciano, Jah Mason, Chrisinti, Hi Kee, Michael Rose and many others.

In addition to his work with Reality Chant, Paul regularly collabs with his brother Damien, AKA Mysterious D, on drum n bass and dubstep production. As CMD and Joint Forces, they have a slew of releases between them, working with vocalists and producers internationally.

Recently under the alias Midnight Dubs, Paul has also been working with Melbourne producer L Que on some old-school influenced jungle, revisiting that original reggae-junglist vibe. Keep an eye out for an EP dropping in the not-too-distant future.

Tune into RDU 98.5FM on Thursday nights, 8pm – 9.30pm to catch him on The Supafly Show, hosted by Soulprovider and DJ Boz Boz, for one-and-a-half hours of pure funk and soul. This is Christchurch’s only funk show, and has been running since 1999. For this man, funk and reggae are two sides of the same coin.

More info:
Reality Chant Facebook

NICE UP TOP 11

As I could not narrow this list down any further, here is my Top 11! Cue up your YouTube and come on a journey with me. You’re going to hear some new school, some stone cold classics, and some tunes that are gonna make you think, “This guy needs his head read.” Yeah well, that’s just like, your OPINION, man.

These are tunes and albums that I have loved forever and have stood the test of time. Ideally this would be a top 100! It is really tough narrowing down your favourite tunes so harshly and there are stacks of other tunes that I can’t remember right now, but these are the ones that immediately spring to mind. Here we go, in no particular order. Selecta…wheel and deal!

1. The Wailers – Dreamland

This is a track I want played at my funeral. It strips away all pretense and just talks about the pure, spiritual experience of a simple life, the important things. And the melody is something else. It harks back to a different time when we were innocent and not concerned with petty, material things. “We’ll get our breakfast from the tree / We’ll get our honey from the bee / We’ll take a ride on the waterfall / And all the glories we’ll have them all.” Nuff said.

2. Dennis Brown – Rub A Dub All The Time

This is one of my all time faves. Just NICE. I can’t really sum up in words how much I love this tune. It encapsulates everything I love about reggae. Dennis Brown’s voice has this ache in it that just kills me. And the “Black Roses” riddim for me is up there with “Police In Helicopter” and “Satta Massagana”. Desert island biznis.

3. Hugh Blackwood and Alimantado – Reggae Music

Crucial version on the “Vibrate On” riddim. I love the way the combination of bassline, melodica (Mr Pablo) and vocal takes you on such a journey. This sort of stuff is not really suitable for the dancehall these days, but you can just imagine back in the early 80s, and a huge, dusty yard full of completely irie, sun-drenched skankers just blissing out to this. Listen to it loud.

4. Dub Terminator ft. Gappy Ranks -Godfather (Sub Divizion remix) (second tune on this link)

The man Dub Terminator needs no introduction, he is a long time cohort of Reality Chant, repping roots reggae in Aotearoa. We were blessed to be able to remix this tune.

Sub Divizion is another collab between myself and Messenjah. We wanted a banner to encompass our more digital-sounding productions, as Reality Chant focuses on the pure roots.

I am very proud of this remix. We spent a while on the drum and bass, and it sounds good on a big rig. You gotta love that vocal too. Gappy Ranks is the mantis. It has been a bit of a theme song for me lately, “I’m a godfather, I’m a teacher I’m a doctor I’m a lawyer / I’m a godfather, I wanna be like Nelson Mandela / I despise when ya call me a kingpin.” With so many young dudes posturing and trying to be “playas” nowadays, it is good to remember to earn respect for the right things.

5. Stylo G ft. Sister Nancy – Badd

This is mashing my speakers at the moment (the original, not the Drum n Bass remix). It is pure dancehall fyah. For me, with new reggae and dancehall, it is all about mixability with other genres such as hip-hop and jungle.

There have been a lot of remixes and mash-ups of “Bam Bam.” In my opinion this is one of the best because it samples the original, rather than using a re-recorded vocal. And it is not really a remix, it’s a whole new work. Sickness. In fact, everything I have heard by Stylo G so far I have liked.

6.  U-Roy – Runaway Girl

U-Roy’s “Dread In A Babylon” was the first reggae album I ever bought. I didn’t know who U-Roy was at the time, but I listened to it at Galaxy Records after school one day. I was about 12 and I freaked out. I thrashed the hell out of the album and still have it in my crates!

The sound is so classic, the original dancehall vibe, a US RnB inspired rockers riddim with U-Roy’s timeless toasts laced perfectly through the mix. The man’s tone and timing are impeccable.

7.  Reality Chant ft. Luciano – Work Hard (Country Living riddim)

I had to include a couple of originals in here. We are very blessed and proud to have worked with the man Luciano. He has one of the sweetest voices to ever grace my monitors. This riddim was inspired by the Papa Levi (NZ) song “Country Living” and has been versioned by many vocalists. Alongside the original, this has got to be my favourite version on this riddim.

8. Chopstick Dubplate ft. Fragga Ranks – Roadblock Tonight

Killer tune, one I frequently pull out in a jungle set to cool things down. It has the nicest horn-line and the heaviest, mellowest bass line. It is ideally flanked on either side by slightly heavier material. Chopstick Dubplate don’t really put a foot wrong.

9. The Wailing Souls – Fire House Rock / Scientist  – The Mummy Shroud

The bassline on this is so slowed down and so irie. This is the tempo the whole world should operate at. If we slowed down to this tempo, the world would be a much happier place.

The original tune is bad ass. The Wailing Souls are one of the sweetest vocal trios in history, and then the Scientist version just strips it back to its essential DNA. Slow, heavy rockers, it has nothing to prove, it just SWINGS. Flabba Holt and Style Scott once more. Roots Radics are invincible.

10. Freddie MacGregor – Big Ship

Come on. This has got to be one of the sweetest reggae tunes of all time. Flabba’s bassline (nice big slides) is so on point, and Style Scott’s kick and snare just pins the major key groove so well. It is sweet and lovely but still hard as rhythmically.

Roots Radics kill the groove as usual. I love the lyrics too, “When I’m ready you must hold on steady / We’re moving off at lightning speed yeah.” My family and I are currently renting a beautiful house overlooking Sumner Beach in Christchurch and we can always see the ships coming into Lyttelton Harbour. This tune makes a regular appearance from my 6-year boy whenever we see a “Big Ship Sailing On The Ocean, We don’t need no commotion.”

11. Barrington Levy / Kemar McGregor – Murderer in Dub

Oh. My. Gosh. This was my soundtrack to summer last year. Massive dub, massive vocal, this is about big tunes being shared with friends while skanking together at a massive outdoor rave. BASSLINE.

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