Review: London label i&i Musik surfaces with their debut transmission which spreads a powerful yet roots-laden message from the combined talents of Jamaica's highly acclaimed reggae veteran Mike Brooks, Archiver, Adalphus, and Matteo Boyero. Up top, the original version of "Pusherman" sees the vocals of Brooks sit perfectly over an Archiver production, followed by a classic dub take. Here Archiver strips back the track allowing all the intricate layers to breathe with the guitars (courtesy of Matteo Boyero), flutes & driving bass and drums taking centre stage. Down below Archiver and Boyero team up with Wallace Adalphus whose vocals bring an infectious and positive charm to "Good Morning". (Hand stamped 10" on black vinyl with a free i&i Musik sticker included. Packaged in a brown paper bag.)
Review: Partial are not mucking about in early 2021 as they unleash an avalanche of new 10"s that dig deep into the annals of dub history and come up with plenty of golden oldies well deserving of a reissue. On this one, UK dub stalwart's Centry and Manasseh step forward with 'Foot Pedal Dub' and 'Basement Dub' which are well wanted by the dub community and are previously unreleased raw instrumental dub cuts from 1991. Sound system plays from the likes of Aba Shanti helped establish them then and have kept them in the news since. 'Old King Cole' is from 1992 and is a sick instrumental with blazing horns.
Review: During the mid-to-late 1990s, UK reggae artist Mackating released a string of roots and dub-focused albums and EPs, many of which were mixed by Nick Manasseh. "Words Of The Prophet", which here gets the reissue treatment, was one of those singles. In its original form, the 1997 cut is a fine chunk of sunny, summery UK roots reggae rich in soulful vocals, hazy guitars and spring-fresh flute solos. Manasseh's "Prophets Dub" version is heavy and spaced out, too, making it a superb alternate version. Over on the flip you'll find the female fronted "The Earth Is The Lords", a more dub-fired vocal number rich in echoing chords and gentle melodies, plus the weighty, riddim-centric "Lords Dub".
Review: Muscut's releases tend to meld existing musical forms into interesting new shapes, and this three-tracker from St Petersburg producer Marble is no exception. While rooted in the deep bass and distinctive rhythmic patterns pf dub, it's not like any dub record we've heard before. That's no bad thing though, because 'Jah' and 'Asamat', in particular, are superb, with the Russian artist combining jazzy woodwind sounds - some 'as played', others electronically manipulated - with touches of subtle surf-rock guitar, deep bass, and rhythms created from unusual electronic sounds. Even more brilliantly bonkers is 'Sawboy', where what sound like energetic clarinet solos stretch out across a squelchy, TB-303 bassline.