A weighty tribute to prior travels, now perhaps slightly yearning, Manudigital’s Dub Trotter takes listeners from Europe to Asia to the Americas. Composed during the artist’s 2018-2019 global tour, there’s a clear nod to that era’s Bass Attack album while venturing deeper into the bass bins.

Opener “L’île Aux Canards” sets the vibe: thick and mystical with EDM-driven breaks, all of which seems appropriate for a track composed on an island off of New Caledonia. “Noumea Hotel Room” pushes the tempo, bringing with that a dubwise rave sensibility. When the beat drops, Manudigital’s palette for the release is further revealed.

“Must Get Remixed,” a Bass Attack update, features Peter Youthman holding down the microphone in a full-force fashion, with production support from ODG (of OnDubGround fame). A herbalist anthem, this remix takes the sparse digital structure of the original and transforms it into a late-night killer. “Manila” rolls in on an Eastern twang, while the riddim constructs itself; a stomper, this continues to introduce intriguing elements before stripping them all away and repeating the process.

A modern take on a traditional style only per se, “Canada Airport” pushes into the future/past, questioning whether this is 1984 or 2024. Is there much difference? Then “Iztapalapa In Dub” elevates triumphantly, Bungalo Dub co-producing.

Blackout JA brings his unique rasp to “Safe Guard,” which is frankly a rather full-on electro-dub banger. “Eurostar” finds its pitch soon enough, via a sense of subtlety by delaying the drop.

With Joseph Cotton’s poignant lyrics, “Dub De 13” is the strongest statement here, referencing the deadly attacks that occurred on 11 November 2015 in Paris, leaving over 100 dead and more than 400 wounded. The original cut’s rubadub becomes something more frantic, begging the politicians of the era to ‘come together and draft up a peace plan; use diplomacy in front a bombs; and give more power to the musician; so rise it up again this is a one blood song.’ Yes, there is a Junior Reid sample as well. The closing, mournful – no, that’s for about five seconds – “Mexicali” brings a sense of akouphene, if you will…

This is – as should well be clear – an album of heavyweight European dub, clearly intended for fans of the style. Strap in then, for there’s plenty of potency for all to enjoy here, as Manudigital shows his late-night sound system side.

More info:
Manudigital website
Manudigital Youtube
Manudigital 2018 Interview with The Groove Thief

The Groove Thief
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