MAGIC MIX

Dub . Reggae . Dancehall . Ska . Rocksteady

WEEK STARTING 19 Oct

Genre pick of the week Cover of The Black Album by Lee Scratch Perry.
At 83 years of age, Lee Scratch Perry proudly presents world his next full length solo album (complete with dub versions!), continuing his all-conquering roots & dub legacy.

Re-united with producer Daniel Boyle, the album was created over 2017 & '18 and sees a continuation of the raw, analogue sound the pair had cultivated over previous releases.

Using strictly vintage analogue equipment, they employed Neuman valve and RCA Ribbon microphones, and RAK’s early model vintage API desk to record. The ‘sound’ for the album was sculpted in these sessions - vintage, but punchy, which was then blended with Lee’s choice of super rare and custom analogue effects. Ursa Major Space Station and Stargate delays and reverbs, old choruses, plate and spring reverbs and tape delays were used to create a tight vintage feel but retaining the rawness of the 'Low Fi' roots sound Lee was (always) aiming for.

With the music coming together, the vocal sessions were held in Abbey Road studio 3, again using vintage RCA ribbon mics, over driving their EMI TG console and Fairchild compressors to create a pleasantly distorted lo-fi vocal sound.

Lee and Daniel then returned to Daniels Rolling Lion Studio to mix and dub the album live, on the mixing console - which resulted in some very authentic sounding, vintage-Perry-era dubs. A triumph for fans of that original Black Ark sound and a ridiculously strong addition to Perry's ongoing discography.



STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: The undisputed (not entirely undisputed) master of reggae returns, and it really is a wonder that he can keep coming up with the goods, but the goods are here for all to see. Head-bobbing off-beat guitar strums, dubs, we get the whole lot. It's Lee Perry, what more do you need to know?

DJ Vadim returns to the Dubcatcher kitchen for another feast of reggae, dancehall and digital bass pressure. A futuristically-leaning interpretation of the JA standards, mixed with the occasional bit of UK flaver, it sees Vadim relocate from London to Barcelona and as such, is more sun-flecked, energetic and party-focused.

As usual, a royal guest list reading like an A-2-Z of global talent: Mr Lexx (Major Lazer), Suku from dancehall legends Ward 21, BAY-C from TOK, Red Fox & studio 1 legend Earl 16 plus UK grime champion Killa P.

If you've ever been lucky enough to see this multi-textured and incendiary DJ play live, then this album should take you right back to front left, twerking and jerking you're way through myriad styles of bass culture. Also sounds mega soundtracking a hot box session in a blacked out Honda Civic! Big ting!


This is a great, long lost album from the Dub Surgeon now finally released on Ark to Ashes. Engineered by one Ricardo Villalobos (!!) and a big one for fans of Rhythm & Sound, Echospace & Seekers International, this is oceanic and thoroughly psychedelized DUB MUSIK for the deep heads and should demand your immediate attention!

Devoid of traditional rhythmic structures, ideas and motifs drift in on waves of white noise and electrostatic; the 'rainforest' fx and exotica idents indeed predating the SKRS INTL blueprint by some years.

Smothered in tape delay and aquatic reverb, the music rests below the surface of a crystalline sea, an ancient dub story lost in the vast currents of the Pacific but, like a message in a bottle, impossible the destroy and ready to be uncovered by human life once again...

Highly, highly recommended!


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Oh my! Just when you've exhausted the SRKS catalogue, here comes these 13 blissful tracks, suspended inna dub dreamscape, ready to take you off into another world. So good.

Boom! There's summat in the water this week (probably magic mushrooms at this time of year! - ed) as we get not one but TWO totally shamanic and esoteric new releases on our shelves.

Alongside Andy Rantzen's LP for Ken Oath ("Blue Hour Vol. II"), Grrrr jump straight down the rabbit hole for Tax Free here, conjuring up a mini album / collection of creeping percussion rituals and spiritual rainforest excursions.

The perfect (imaginary) soundtrack to Terrence McKenna's 'True Hallucinations' - it's hard not to be transported into a rich and varied flora of philosopher's stones and exotic species, whilst direct contact with the spirit realm is almost guaranteed.

Truly out-there and magical stuff for sound shamans and aural entheogenic practicers throughout the cosmos. Recommended! 


Made for today's sound system, Lee 'Scratch' Perry revisits his classic Black Ark album that defined Jamaican dub music. 41 years after Lee Perry defined dub music with his seminal 1976 "Super Ape" album, he returns with NYC's Subatomic Sound System to conquer again, definitively reincarnating the magic of his Black Ark studio in Jamaica, heavy on Ethiopian horns & percussion, while reinvigorating it with the 21st century booming bass & beats that capture the energy of their innovative live electronic show.

For the past 7 years Perry has toured with NYC's Subatomic Sound System, his go-to band for recreating his Black Ark studio sound live on stage in new exciting ways as a one of a kind hybrid of beat heavy electronics and live musicians including original Black Ark studio percussionist Larry McDonald. Subatomic Sound System has been pushing the envelope of electronic music in combination with reggae since their inception in 1999 mashing up everything from dub to dancehall with hip hip, dubstep, cumbia and the like. Together with Perry they have performed as featured artists at Coachella, Red Bull Music Academy, and the keynote speakers at Ableton Live's Berlin summit meeting this year, highlighting their innovative use of music software. 







Jr. Thomas & The Volcanoes

Rockstone

Recorded with OG reggae royalty in LA with Brian Dixon. Jr. Thomas & The Volcanos’ sophomore effort "Rockstone" is more than just a love letter to the roots of Jamaican music. It’s an actual love letter. Tom McDowall aka Jr. Thomas explains, 'I could write a musical love letter to all things I loved: my wife, my family, my friends, my band mates. I could write a song to tell me to "Chin Up£ when times got tough. I could give gratitude to the Jamaican artists that paved the way for the beautiful music we now call reggae. I could write a song about what it’s like to lose someone important to you. Or write a song to invigorate me spiritually. Music is healing and that’s the best therapy there is for me.'

"Rockstone" isn’t just another throwback record to an era gone by. It’s a record that takes risks within the genre, but more importantly it’s a genuinely honest record. 'I called the album "Rockstone" because true love cannot be defeated. It lives forever. We write tributes on our tombstones because they live on beyond our lives as a remembrance of something special and important to us.' 


STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Rocksteady and ska aren't really my bag usually. But this inventive album from a skilled vocalist and ingenious band have got me hooked. Their modern slant is just enough to rekindle interest in this old, foundation reggae style. There's a sugary, rose-tinted ethos with almost doo-wop chorus parts - it's a fabulously pure and honest album - just buy it!


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