A few dubbier things that could / should crossover….
Alpha & Omega – Yemenite Chant – Partial
Veteran British dub duo Alpha & Omega originally released Yemenite Chant as a now sought-after 45 back in 1992. The pair, Christine Woodbridge and John Sprosen, who’ve worked closely with Jah Shaka, here place the vocal hook from Israeli singer, Ofra Haza’s late `80s global smash Im Nin’alu over a racing roots stepper. The chant of the title should be instantly recognizable to anyone who experienced the second summer of love, giving the tune plenty of Balearic potential. It’s a song to be filed alongside stuff like Indica All Stars’ cover of Marshall Jefferson’s Open Our Eyes. Reggae made by folks who also appreciated the power of acid house and rave. As with all of Alpha & Omega’s singles the bass is so bold that it’s almost impossible to digitalize.
Kulture Blak & Ras Asha – On My Path – StudioStarLine
The more I play this 12, the more I love it. The label, StudioStarLine, is new, I think, while the song, in its spacey OG mix especially, sets off some serious referential fireworks. Lush, this is “loved-up” house meets roots reggae’s cry for universal overstanding. Recalling Earl Sixteen singing with Leftfield, Barrington Levy`s Vibes Is Right, Carlton, Smith & Mighty’s Do You Dream, and the Coffee Shop shake of Big World’s Morning Light – a tune once championed by DJ Harvey. On the ambient acapella take, which is just voice and jazzy keys, vocalist, Ras Asha, verges on Cleveland Watkiss territory. As if that weren’t enough, there’s a brilliant remix from Ashanti Selah, son of the mighty Aba-Shanti-I, that adds a ton of new instrumentation. The track tumbling and rumbling, chocka with great guitar overdubs and funky Clavinet-like fills. The live drum rolls, still letting the strong vocal shine, powerfully preaching, spreading positivity. His dynamite deconstructed dub is well stocked with gated and stuttered trippy trance-y sequences. Waves of reverb feedback.
Pampidoo – Synthesizer Voice – Rhythm Discs!
This one, I’m guessing, is already massive. The gruff voiced Denzil “Pampidoo” Palmer growls over a cracking computerized Sleng Teng-like rhythm, laid down by Lloyd “King Jammy” James back in 1987. Barely pausing for breath, like a chap possessed. The OG is already a winner. Then Legowelt`s remix somehow goes one better. Opening with a chilled, spaced out intro, before dropping the dangerous bass-line. Wonky keys speed up, slow down, and Pampidoo is processed, as if pushed through a vocoder. The machine manipulation bringing out the musicality, and melody, in his marvelous MC madness.
Rheinzand – Facciamo L’amore (Pete Blaker Remix) – Music For Dreams
Editor par excellence, and a particular favourite of the aforementioned Harvey, Dutchman Pete Blaker, reworks Rheinzand’s much-loved Facciamo L’amore, into a dub epic. Pete slows the song, from the band’s acclaimed 2022 album, Atlantis Atlantis, right down, and stretches it out to nearly 11 minutes. The makeover, a midnight moonlit musical voodoo drum ritual. Haunting, hypnotic, steamy, and super sexy. Taking its time to get it on, at around the 5 minute mark piano and harp / koto start peaking through, before the track hits a rush, a passing peak, of frantic flamenco guitar. Rumour has it that there’s a whole album’s worth of this groovy gear on the way.
Slowly & Liliana Andrade – How About All About (Us) – Flower Records
Masato Komatsu, AKA Slowly, teams up with Portuguese vocalist Liliana Andrade for a 45 on Flower Records, and the results rival Candy McKenzie`s recently reissued Remind Me. The cover of this sweet 7 carries a cartoon of a Mu-Tron Bi-Phase, a machine, I believe, that was beloved by the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry. The music, appropriately then, mixes reggae with street soul. Aligning the Linn LM-1 R&B snap, crackle, and pop, and `80s synth squelch, of Mtume’s Juicy Fruit, or Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing, with choppy lovers rock keys and echoed 6-string action. The instrumental mix revealing the uplifting, and constantly climbing, nature of this ace arrangement.
Jennifer Touch – Shot Shot (Richie Phoe Remix) – FatCat
Brighton-based producer Richie Phoe totally transforms Jennifer Touch’s Shot Shot. Phoe, who had a huge hit with his version of Isaac Hayes’ Bumpy’s Lament, and also turned in a terrific cover of Jacob Miller’s Baby, I Love You So, takes the track, from Jennifer’s new Midnight Proposals long-player, strips back the `80s referencing synth-pop, and sets its skanking. The percussion clanking, industrial, while Ms. Touch’s teutonic tones, in this context, can’t help but invoke Invada artist Anika’s “Nico-meets-On-U-Sound” readings of Bob Dylan, The Kinks, and Yoko Ono.