Reggae . Dub . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady


Genre pick of the week Cover of Inspiration by Jah Wobble & PJ Higgins.
With "Inspiration" Jah Wobble returns to his roots, the love of his youth; reggae music. With the singer PJ Higgins he found the perfect companion, voice and songwriter to accomplish this endeavor with flying colors - a match made in heaven. Already the opener "My Heart's Burning" sparkles with the magic that arose during the recording sessions between Wobble and Higgins and sets the groundwork for the next seven tracks to come. PJ Higgin's vocals are piled layer upon layer and weave seamlessly in the deep, dubby bassline and the mellow guitar sounds. This masterfully, delicate reluctance is present over the full length of the album. Now and then, for instance with “I Did Bad”, it almost gets trip hop-ish and you wouldn't be surprised if at it's finale suddenly Tricky would sneak around the corner.

It's only with the third track, “King Of Illusion”, that you finally notice that the foundation of this album is actually reggae. The trumpet of Sean Corby and the offbeat-played keys by Wobble himself make slight references to the bygone sound of Studio One. The core part of this masterpiece is of course the title track “Inspiration”. Alex McGowan caps it all off with his very distinctive guitar playing and the thriftily applied Fender Rhodes add extra virtuosity to the already very complex arrangement. “Floating On High”, sings PJ Higgins and means the transcendence you achieve when you addict yourself to all your inspirations and consider yourself as an aggregate of them. On “What Have I Become” there's no holding back anymore though and she catches fire delivering a performance that goes right through you. The drums and percussion played by Marc Layton- Bennett add a heavy dose of voodoo to the mix.

All in all, this is a well-rounded package trying to be a classic reggae album but overstating the case by turning out to be much more than that. If PJ Higgins and Jah Wobble were new kids on the block, they'd be a pair to keep an eye on. Keeping an ear to the ground doesn't hurt though

Johnny Clarke

I Don't Want To Be A Rude Boy

From the very successful Jamaican Recordings 7’’ Singles Club, here is the 23rd release. An under promoted Johnny Clarke classic advising against the rude boy badness that hit Kingston, Jamaica in the 1970’s. Cut for Bunny 'Striker' Lee in 1975, it comes backed with its original King Tubby version (which was then used by Augustus Pablo on 'Tubby's Dub Song').

Nightmares On Wax

In A Space Outta Sound

"In A Space Outta Sound" harks back to the trippy beats of NOW's sophmore album "Smokers Delight", woven together with some heavy references from older dub reggae sounds, recalling Prince Far I and Lee Perry, or subtle 70s soul and soul-jazz grooves. This is George Evelyn, aka EASE's fifth album for Warp in a discography that spans over ten years. Nightmares On Wax is one of Warp's biggest selling and longstanding artists and is most famously known for his "Smokers Delight" album, now regarded as one of the classic downbeat albums of the 90s.


2xLP Info: As the final part of the ‘NOW Is The Time’ campaign celebrating 25 years of Nightmares On Wax, Warp presents double gatefold vinyl represses of the Nightmares On Wax back catalogue. Includes printed inner sleeves and a download card for the full audio.

Nightmares On Wax

Thought So...

From 'bleep' pioneer to purveyor of the sunkissed, psychedelic downbeat funk, Warp records prodigal son returns - his sixth long playing release for the label. "Thought So..." continues the seasonal fun with it's warm, Quincy Jones-inspired soul, rootsy reggae and gentle, deep-funk. All tracks conceived during an odyssey from Leeds to his new home, the Balearic state of Ibiza.


2xLP Info: As the final part of the ‘NOW Is The Time’ campaign celebrating 25 years of Nightmares On Wax, Warp presents double gatefold vinyl represses of the Nightmares On Wax back catalogue. Includes printed inner sleeves and a download card for the full audio.

Linval Thompson

Jah Jah The Conqueror / Version

From the very successful Jamaican Recordings 7’’ Singles Club, here is the 24th release. 'Jah Jah The Conqueror' was one of Linval Thompson’s big hits for producer Bunny 'Striker' Lee in the mid 1970s, and comes backed by its 'Conquering Dub Version' on this killer 45.

Although renowned for their unrelenting pursuit of boundary-pushing minimal techno, Cologne's Kompakt charmed all and sundry earlier this year with a curveball release from a couple of acclaimed party starters. Marcus Worgull and Danilo Plessow (that's Motor City Drum Ensemble to you and me) combined under the name Vermont for an album of adventurous jam sessions and sleek synth soundscapes, which drew from sonic curiosity and the spirit of informal collaboration  rather than the laser-like focus of the club tunes both producers have become known for. For this 12" release another revered hero of contemporary dance floors enters the stage, as Norwegian disco connoisseur and cosmic techno expert Prins Thomas plunges into three brilliant reworks that emphasize the rhythmic elements of original cuts "Dynamik", "Elektron" and "Macchina" without betraying their laid-back vibe. He does so by turning to airier variants of classic dance music styles - techno, house, even a hint of dub reggae (on the magnificent "Macchina Remix") - and let them do the legwork. The result presents itself as thrusting as needed and as relaxed as possible.

Lumberjacks In Hell maestro Marcel Vogel pilots the third excursion on his Intimate Friends label with the able assistance of his talented crew. Milos Gersi returns on vocal duties, this time joined by the sweet sounds Gianna Tam, while the possibly insane Dr. S Proper adds some percussive magic. Our ensemble cast take us for a trip through space and time to Jamaica '93 with a treacle slow reggae hip hop hybrid that'll get the lovers rocking in no time. African Shakedown expert Noema ups the ante on remix duty, pushing the tempo and looping the beat for a rolling groover with the right amount of bump. On the flip, Newcastle's NY*AK gets snug and cosy with Detroit's finest, pulling off the seemingly impossible and flipping the original into a storming house cut that'll have em hanging from the rafters.

Bucky Skank rides again! The Glaswegian take on the classic 'Sleng Teng Riddim' already received massive props at the beginning of the year and now they close it with this clever bag of tricks. First up, JD Twitch teams up with his old mucker Dave Clark (LUMA / Sparky) for an electrified, highly corrosive Sleng Teng-club-rub. Complete with big screaming vocal sections and a sinister, dark aesthetic. Next up is Jabru, The West Country gent with releases upcoming on Futureboogie and Huxley's Saints & Sonnets with a digital dub gem in the shape of "Whiteboard Jungle". Resonating with all the hazed and blurred beauty of classic dub, Jabru works the tape delays and drum boxes with style, unleashing a beast of a groove which should slay dancefloors the world over. Highlight of the EP in my opinion comes when Richmond & Sheraton deliver "Under Mi Flat Cap", a minimal but highly infectious take on Sleng Teng with super squelchy, sopping wet reverbs drowning the track and a superb, slightly tongue-in-cheek vocal. Made even more fierce and frenzied on "Flat Cap", the pair adopt an almost ragga-like aggression with buzzing sawtooths and long, tense breakdowns. Absolutely huge in the dance! You need this! Vinyl only!

NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Carl Craig - More Songs About Food And Revo... |
Fri 24th - 6:16
JUST IN: William S Burroughs - Break Through In Grey Room / S... |
Fri 24th - 4:49
JUST IN: David Bowie & The Philadelphia Orchestra - Peter And... |
Fri 24th - 4:08
JUST IN: Various Artists - Whyte Horses Frosinone Mixtape Vol... |
Fri 24th - 2:49
NEW TO PRE-ORDER: Thom Yorke - Modern Boxes / Landgrab |
Fri 24th - 2:16
E-newsletter —
Sign up
Back to top