2022 / A Few Favourites / A Balearic Beat Version Excursion 

Less dub-influenced stuff reached me in 2022, than had done the year before. Maybe I missed it – I know I’ve not been at my most diligent – but perhaps since people were going out dancing again, producers switched from making downtempo dynamite back to fashioning floor-filling bangers. Nonetheless below is a list of notable releases which chugged and shuffled, Balearic-stylee, while being rocked by reverb, rimshot ricochets and seismic soundsystem bass.

A Mountain Of One – Custard’s Last Stand (Dennis Bovell Mixes)

I was lucky enough to receive the files for this release at the beginning of December 2021. Blown away by Dennis Bovell’s mixes, ignoring any embargo, I reviewed it immediately, and also included it in that year’s Balearic Beat Version Excursion round up. The tracks, however, didn’t  actually appear, on a Japan-only 10”, until the end of January 2022 – which means that I can squeeze it in again here. So good you have to shout about it twice. Later in the year, Andy Bell, aka GLOK, also gave AMO’s Star a great stripped-back going over. 

Dennis Bovell Custard

A Mountain Of One Star

The Big Idea – VIII (Sibson’s Dub Degage)

Ban Ban Ton Ton’s mate, Mikey Sibson, rendered a radical reworking of French rockers, The Big Idea. Taking a trip back to Acid Jazz’s more far-out mid-90s moments. “Imagine King Tubby at the controls of a Mexican mariachi band.”

The Big Idea - VIII (Sibson’s Dub Degage)

BTCOP – Just A Disco (Justin Robertson Deadstock 33s Remix)

Justin Robertson’s Deadstock 33s gave BTCOP’s charity-fund-raising tribute to Andrew Weatherall a brilliant bass-heavy do over. Creating considerable dynamics and tension, without ever resorting to anything as obvious as a breakdown, and tipping its hat to the Guv`nor with a sprinkling of his favourite timbale sample. 

BTCOP detail

Double Geography – Dance Survey (Ruf Dug Remix)

Ruf Dug’s rub of Double Geography’s Dance Survey was a rude digidub rumble, blasted by bursts of distorted Middle Eastern melody. 

Double Geography Dance Survey

Jeff Dread – Dub The Farmers Daughter

Jeff Dread’s Dub The Farmers Daughter, a shot of turn-of-the-millennium bottom-end pressure, excavated by Efficient Space, used a TB-303 to worry the boundary between reggae and acid house. 

JEFF DREAD - OUT ON A LIMB - EFFICIENT SPACE

Eyes Of Others – Jargon Jones And Jones

Eyes Of Others` Jargon Jones And Jones, from their Bewitched By The Flames E.P., was scuzzy, morning after the night before still stoned. Staggering home, its slow shuffle scuffed by sheets of shoegaze-y noise. 

Eyes Of Others - Bewitched by the Flames

Good Block – Naiad

Young Londoners, Good Block, produced two impressive post-punk rockers-to-rockers, whose psychedelic funk I compared to Shriekback and African Head Charge. Listening to the terrific Naiad again today, Colourbox are another clear point of reference. 

Good Block Naiad

Perry Granville – Sailing Ships (Hardway Bros Meet Monkton Uptown)

The pukka partnership of Sean “Hardway Bros” Johnston and Duncan “Monkton” Gray stretched Perry Granville’s Sailing Ships – another heartfelt homage to Mr. Weatherall (the track was actually recorded in 2020) – appropriately, into an epic dub symphony. 

PERRY GRANVILLE SAILING SHIPS

Matt Gunn – Lost In The Drohne (Rude Audio Remix)

Like Messers Johnston & Duncan, Rude Audio do something very Weatherall & Nicolson-esque with Matt Gunn’s Lost In The Drohne. Manufacturing “A monumental journey”, with a great gated guitar lick for a finale. 

Matt Gunn - Disko Drohne Remix

Projections – Echophonic

Mellower, for sure, and with its roots in more traditional, rather than post-punk or digidub, reggae, the Californian sunstroke skank of Projections` Echophonic rivaled the work of Mike Fabulous` revered outfits, Lord Echo and The Black Seeds. 

Projections Echophonic

Ruf Dug – Elephant Skank

Ruffy again, this time serving up the head-nodding, hypnotic, Elephant Skank, which I think was / is exclusive to Matt Sewell`s A Crushing Glow 2 – a serious contender for comp of the year. 

A Crushing Glow 2_Artwork_Med

The Smile – The Smoke (Dennis Bovell Remix)

Dennis Bovell transforms Radiohead off-shoot, The Smile, into a hallucinatory, “Hi-Fi headphone experience of the first order”, a devastating deconstruction of dropouts and delay.

The Smile The Smoke

Spoon Vs On U Sound – Lucifer On The Moon

Spoon Vs On U Sound - Lucifer On The Moon

Texas band Spoon are clearly big dubwise fans, having previously enlisted the assistance of both Paolo “Dubfiles” Baldini and Dennis Bovell. In 2022 they handed their album, Lucifer On The Sofa, in its entirety over to Adrian Sherwood and the On U Sound crew for a remix / reimagining. The results, retitled Lucifer On The Moon, moved between gentle sun-dappled sonics – full of strummed acoustic guitars and organic drum circle percussion – to stripped back struts, where classic rock riffs were eviscerated by echo. Tracks like Held – a cracking cover of the Bill Callahan / Smog song – are flashbacks to `90s indie-dance / “baggy”. Wild, with its combination of howling harmonica and gospel piano, is a laidback Loaded groove, crying out for a 12” mix. 

George T – Roll On, Kings Cross

George “T” Thomson, Edinburgh born, bred, and currently based, DJ / producer combined poetry and low-end theory on his single, Roll On, Kings Cross. He was also kind enough to submit to a lengthy interview, and map out his musical journey with a marvelous mix. 

George T Art 1

Telefis – Falun Gong Dancer (Jah Wobble Mix)

Telefis is Cathal Coughlan – once of Microdisney – and Jackknife Lee. Jah Wobble gave their Falun Gong Dancer a dose of his devastating bass, and a dash of Dominican chant. 

Telefis - Falun Gong Dancer

Two The Hardway – Blossom Street Dub

Amsterdam-based Betonska Records reissued this piece of early `90s Mancunian musical history, which features members of Yargo, 808 State, and Biting Tongues. Driven by scratches and sonar blips, it’s a downtempo Balearic Beat beauty in the mode of J. Saul Kane’s Depth Charge. 

Two The Hardway Who Said

Track-list

Eyes Of Others – Jargon Jones and Jones

Ruf Dug – Elephant Skank

Ruf Dug X Private Joy – Don`t Give In

Double Geography – Dance Survey (Ruf Dug Mix)

The Smile – The Smoke (Dennis Bovell Remix)

Two The Hardway – Blossom Street Dub

Projections – Echophonic (Special Dub)

Spoon Vs On U Sound – Wild (Adrian Sherwood Reconstruction)

Telefis – Falun Gong Dancer (Jah Wobble Mix)

The Big Idea – VIII (Sibsons Dub Dégagé)

A Mountain Of One – Star (GLOKs Starlight Dub)

Perry Granville – Sailing Ships (Hardway Bros Meet Monkton Uptown)

Matt Gunn – Lost In The Drohne (Rude Audio Remix)

BTCOP – Just A Disco (Justin Robertons Deadstock 33s Mix)

Mutabaruka, I Rainy & Simbad – Catch, Loot, Steal Dub

Good Block – Naiad

3 thoughts on “2022 / A Few Favourites / A Balearic Beat Version Excursion 

  1. Thanks Rob, a couple of really interesting selections I missed here. I have been listening to a lot of dub & dubstep this year. My recommendations to you are as follows.

    Mafia & Fluxy – Fire/Fire Dub
    Mafia & Fluxy – Zulu/Zulu Dub
    Mafia & Fluxy – Jah Covenant

    The above came out on 45 via Jah Shakas label.

    Lord Fumo & The Officinalis – Lost Humanity
    Vibronics ft Lance Hume – 30 Strings
    Robert Dallas – Love is my foundation
    Dougie meets Artman – Dubart
    Across & Beyond – The Three Lives
    Soul Revivers – On The Grove/Grove Dub LP’s
    Adrian Sherwood – Dub No Frontiers LP

    Cheers

    JB

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s