Review: This tasty 10" from Ukrainian label Muscut features skilled musicians Ganna Brizhata, Polina Matskevich and Ira Lupu. Together as Chillera, they make for an EP that is influenced by everything from psyche to soft rock, dub to funk. Each track brims with live and authentic musicianship that makes them that bit more essential: "Koblevska AR" is all twinkling keys and star-gazing chords while "Pro Fun" is a more propulsive bit of funky dub with knotted bass guitar and splashing cymbals. "Spielc" closes things down in romantic fashion with plenty of bendy pitches and wah-wah effects.
Review: There will always be a place for politically charged records, but lines like "The government man bring the working man down to his knees/It's time to take a stand against the government man" seem particularly relevant right now. It's the lead cry on the a-side of this new 7" from eight-piece band Christel & The Goldmaster AllStars who have a bold two piece horn section driving along this fusion of ska, reggae and rock which was first recorded in 1998 and has recently been unearthed. The flipside version has sci-fi studio effects and warped synths layered in for extra trippiness.
Review: This is a very confident debut from previously unheralded Balearic musician Pablo Color, whose music - on this evidence, at least - is as vibrant as his musical moniker suggests. The Swiss producer begins with the warm and atmospheric "Viajando", where echo-laden electric guitar motifs rise above a gently shuffling dub disco groove. "The Sunset of Puerto Sagunto" sees him sliding into Jonny Nash style ambient territory, while "The Guitar & The Sea" is a crackling, intoxicating, bongo-driven weird-out that sounds like an unlikely hook up between Black Merlin and Mudd. The EP is completed by a fantastic deep space dub of "Viajando" by Kejeblos (with support from Lexx on keyboards). Impressive stuff, all told.
Review: The release of any new Gerard Hanson record is a cause for celebration, but we have to admit to being doubly excited about this one. It marks the long-serving producer's first solo Convextion release since 2016 and contains two killer cuts. The un-titled A-side is particularly impressive, with Hanson wrapping immersive, delay-laden electronics and sumptuous deep space chords around a bustling, dub-fired Motor City techno groove. Even by his standards, it's superb. Over on side B, he's back in atmospheric deep techno mode, offering up a poignant and melancholic affair that's as deep, spacey and emotional as anything he's ever done before. Given his track record, that's some accolade.
Review: Reggae vocal prodigy Sandra Cross famously had her first hit at just 14 years old, and since then has remained a foundational part of the worldwide scene. Having worked with vital names like Mad Professor and Sly & Robbie, Cross has put out more than 60 odd tunes to date. Scoops continue their spotlight on her with a big new 7" that has contemporary dub riddims overlaid with her gloriously sunny and positive voice. "Jah Love" is the sort of timeless tune that works in any setting and any weather, while the "Version" on the flip packs a more direct punch.
Review: Given the popularity of Todd Terje's 2012 nu-disco anthem "Inspector Norse", it's a bit of a surprise that we've not seen more cover versions over the years. By our reckoning, this is only the second, following the release of The Gene Dudley Group's heavy funk take in 2015. Cruisic's version is very different in tone, re-imagining the Norwegian's spiraling dancefloor epic as a shuffling jazz-funk workout where Terje's spiraling synthesizer lead lines are replayed on electric piano and flute. There are plenty of synths involved, but it's an altogether warmer and looser take on the anthem-like original. Slowly provides the obligatory B-side remix, turning Cruisic's version into a jaunty summer synth-dub workout with a touch of dub disco flavour.
Review: "Call Of The Righteous" is the latest in an ongoing series of releases by Indica Dubs and Chazbo. Once again it is a 10" that boasts the perfectly interwoven drums, chords and bass of Indica, with the chest pumping, uplifting and warrior style synth leads of Chazbo. The bass rolls deep, the tops are crispy as bacon and the frequencies can be felt in your chest while hits ricochet about to enveloping effect. The low riding swagger and infinite horizons of "Raw (Dub Mix)" has to be the pick of the bunch for us.
Review: Roots, reggae and dub all permeate this silky suite of cuts from Digital English, which look as far back as they gaze into the future for their inspirations. There are digi-vibes on Lin Strong's "Valley Of Elah" before the clean and crisp riddims of Chazbo's "Over The Mountain" are lit up by harmonic chords from the heavens. An echo-drenched dub version then leads into the bumping "Running Away" which implores you to confront your fears, while Kniox's "Chatty Mount" has a meandering lead synth that drifts in the distance. Arguably best of all though, is Digital English's closing cut "Chatty Dub" - a real killer with crisp hits and endless bass ripples.
Review: The Rhythm & Sound label in association with NYC based legendary reggae label Wackies - a relationship full of musical respect. This release brings a previously unreleased reggae tune by the Chosen Brothers. The B-side contains the R&S dub interpretation: one of the deepest R&S production so far!