MAGIC MIX

Dub . Reggae . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady

WEEK STARTING 21 Jun

Genre pick of the week Cover of Never Too Much - Inc. Sly & Robbie Remix by Soul Sugar.
Following his mighty rendition of "I Want You", Soul Sugar (a.k.a. Guillaume 'Gee' Metenier) is back with another massive Soul-Reggae version, this time taking on Luther Vandross' "Never Too Much".

Fearlessly taking on such timeless classics is serious business, and Leo Carmichael delivers, once again, with a maximum dosage of finesse and feeling. Seductively delicate backing vocals from Carl Lee Sharshmidt and Karene Brown keep it as warm and intimate as one would hope, while Thomas Naim's tasteful guitar licks and Gee's minimal production allow the song to breathe and flow steadily on its own.
Recorded in Paris, Kingston, Miami and London, the resulting blend of Soul and Reggae riddims has rarely felt so natural. On the A-side, Gee's "Discomix" dubs a generous dose of the sultry backing vocals over a minimal, bassy groove that dips, dives and flows on into the sunset. UK producer Adam Prescott lets loose with an infectious 90's dancehall rerub, aiming straight for the dancefloor... ladies' choice! Finally rhythm legends Sly & Robbie drop the BASS with a heavy dancehall treatment, taking it low, letting it ride, while the vocals float on... Never Too Much!

Aswad

Live And Direct

    Aswad’s 1983 album Live and Direct was recorded at the Notting Hill Carnival. Accompanied by a powerful horn section they created an energetic show, in which they let the listener hear the depth of their music. It’s an amazing journey with highlights like “Drum & Bass Line”, “Soca Rumba”, and the fantastic “Rocker’s Medley”. This British Reggae classic is fully packed with their unique rhythm and funky grooves. Amazing beats and wobbly bass lines marks this as one of the greatest live albums from the Reggae scene.

    The long-lasting British reggae group Aswad recorded over 20 albums, released several charting hit songs, and are still performing live. 

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Andy says: Early 80's UK reggae, classic live album, recorded at the Nottinghill Carnival, no less. Aswad I'm talking about!

    House music royalty right here! Brookside Music enlist Chicago’s Ralphi Rosario, founding member of the influential Hot Mix 5, to work his magic on First Choice’s ‘Ain’t He Bad’, with an extended disco mix and a reprise dub, alongside the original version.
    The extended disco mix kicks things off with a DJ friendly, beefier, quantized drum pattern, echoed vocal refrains and heavenly swooping pads for a touch of Rosario style and added atmosphere. A refreshing update to this classic, purpose built to blast out on big systems worldwide.
    Next up, Rosario offers a reprise dub adding spiritual stabs to the original piano, as First Choice’s whispers feed in and tension building strings gather momentum. Gradually elements of the percussion are added before the full force of the beat takes hold. The vocals, for the most part, are left to those delicate “Ain’t He Bad” phrases and rising harmonies, letting the expert instrumentation and arrangement sing. Another sure-fire, hands-in-the-air staple for the locker.
    Last but not least, the original First Choice version completes the package, offering a third and final way to light up the dancefloor this summer.

    Andy Rantzen

    1/66

      Efficient Space can do no wrong right now, and the Australian label continue to give us the good stuff with a solo 12" from Psychologist-turned-producer Andy Rantzen. After peaking mass muso interest with Oz Waves' resurrection of "Will I Dream", the producer is back on the label with "1/66" - a collection of four dubs from his 1999/2000 archives. Home recorded above a lawyer’s office and next door to a brothel, the retrospective is lead by the earth shattering digi stepper "Rock Steady". Wasting no time fucking about, this rough as fuck rudeboy cut hits us with seismic kicks, sparkling stabs and plenty of dub fx, eventually adding a garbled vocal refrain and seriously subby bassline for full frequency impact. As one batshit breakdown rolls into the next, 'did I spill the bong on the mixing desk?' mayhem ensues, calling to mind the craziest corners of the On-U archive. Next up "Green Man" may satisfy all your breakbeat cravings, coming live and direct with irresistible rhythm patterns, screwy samples and the kind of drugged up downbeat vibe AFX and BOC delivered around the turn of the millennium. Things cool down a little on the flip as Rantzen rocks us with horizontal heaters "Fantasy Dub" and "Green River". The former glides from glacial digi-dub to naive FM synth melodies while the latter lollops from brookside babble to bleep-led bongripper in a few simple steps.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Patrick says: Equally adept in house, techno, lo-fi experiments and digi-dub - we've got ourselves a proto Ruf Dug right here. Rantzen's demented digital skank is currently topping our Piccadilly pops. Grab a copy while you can!


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