Review: Muscut's second EP in September is as hot as the first, and comes from Polina Matskevich, who is part of the Chillera band behind the label's other offering this month. Her trippy electric guitar rings out at the heart of each of these cuts while an experimental approach to sound collage, studio effects, field recordings and dub all colour the spaces around. "Gryaznly Sled" is a mysterious cut awash with warm southern guitars, then things get heavenly and soul soothing thanks to the gentle chords of "Avgust Na Zakate Dnya". "Toyota" is a more traditional but superbly slow and cavernous dub, and the flips explores more harmonic melodies and fatter rhythms. It all adds up to a rather refreshing EP.
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: Jah reins supreme over the four spiritual dubs that make up this roots package from Joy & Happiness. Sattalite's "Jah Praises" is a call to arms, albeit a gentle one, with impassioned vocals drawing your attention. Ant Henderson's "Sing To Jah Dub" is as echo drenched as dub comes and will leave you feeling lost at sea. Brother Dan gives himself over completely to Jah on "Jah Is My Strength" while things are pared back to a icier dub on closer "Strength Of Jah Dub". All hail the king.
Review: Another carefully considered reissue from Wackie's tackles two of Kingston born John Clarke's tracks from 1978. They first landed on the Jumbo Caribbean Disco label (which was actually based in Brooklyn) and here are just some of the tens of gems he recorded for the imprint. Both tracks are super hazy dubs with the clipped rhythms of "Big Leg Mary" and burrowing lead coming on heavy, while "Wasn't It You" is a smooth and deadly jam. This one has been known to fetch upwards of 100 quid on second hand markets, so move fast to secure yourself a sure fire winner.
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: September is a big one for Digital English who have two stone cold killers out on the same day. This one marks a return to the label for Lin Strong, Empress Baby Luv and boss Digital English, as well as a debut for Kniox and Indica Dubs talent Chazbo. There is a brain cleansing crispness to the off-balance chords of "Sufferation" while the sub runs impossibly deep. As ever, Chazbo serves up chest pumping, floor filling warrior synth lines on the excellent "Sounds Of Meditation" and the boss strips it back to a deeper, slower dub to round things up in mesmeric fashion.
Review: It's been four years since Fat Freddy's Drop's "Ten Feet Tall" and the ongoing remix series that joins the dots between the New Zealand outfit and the best beat makers in Berlin. Winnie & Somow are house and reggae aficionados who straddle that divide on a remix that has a rumbling bottom end and super silky lead vocal from Joe Dukie. As much as it makes you want to move, it also tugs at the heartstrings. LoYoTo then layer in endless reverb to their remake, which is invitingly cavernous and dubbed out as they rework Dukie's vocal into something more detached and blissed out.
Review: Jabesh and I David combine to great effect here for a selection of dubs that fuse the old with the new. There are classic guitars and drums on title track "Hold A Meditation" but the broad, smeared synth bass adds some contemporary cool that makes it suitable for a range of different settings. The "Dub" version has lush wet claps and mesmeric filter work before a tooting top line on "Rocktone Melody" gets you in a different state of trance. Closer "Rock To The Dub" sees I David show off his mastery of the studio buttons and rounds out a solid 7".