Review: Standby for a much needed reissue of this absolutely gold standard dancehall cut. It's one that fetches over 300 quid on second hand markets and has always been in demand since first release back in 1987. Its easy to see why - the drilling, hard stepping drums and bass, the glistening future-retro synth work that gleans in the sun, and a killer delivery of the vocal line. It is the only tune ever put out by The Banker aka Cecil Campbell and Ini Kamoze, but was an absolute belter then, and still is today.
Jamtone - "Use It With Caution Dub" (feat Ital Horns) (3:00)
Review: Here comes a heavyweight, summer ready dub designed for naughtiness. It lands just in time for pubs and bars reopening so expect to hear it bleeding out into he streets form cars, sound systems and balconies as people soak up some rays. The explosive a-side features legendary MC and Brixton local Brother Culture with his "Balance", featuring vocal odes to the herb and wobbling riddims. On the b-side is the superbly heavy "Use it With Caution Dub" where the brass of the Ital Horns takes centre stage alongside dub master Jamtone.
Thriller U - "Give Me Collaterals" (version) (3:31)
Review: Top Ranking Sound continue their fine run of form with another big hitter this July. Frankie Paul leads the charge with "Don't Pressure Me" and its rugged drums, tumbling bass and hooky riffs. all with some summery steel drums layered in to finish things off in Caribbean style. Pinchers take the second slot with the more natty and physical "Grammy", which has a real edge to it as the drums roll on. Things slip into more digital territory on Thriller U's "Give Me Collaterals", which has oodles of echo and reverb to flesh out the bottom end. A second version offers another fresh perspective on this crisp dub.
Review: Top Ranking Sound bring together a wealth fo dub masters for this four track 12". Frankie Paul opens up with a love struck ode that rolls on natty piano chords and is detailed with acoustic riffs to keep things moving. Yellow Man's "Gaze" slows it down, with echoing claps stacked up on top of each other and the sweet piano chords retained. Mikey General then steps up with a version, "I Love You", a tune to tug at the heart strings thanks to the lyrical depth and yearning. A final version of this one closes out a lovestruck package.
Descanse/ADMSDP/Juntos/Mmmm (feat LA Warman) (22:10)
Review: DJ Python's hypnotic take on dembow is second to none. The New York DJ and producer can send you wild with the slowest of tempos and does that again here on his second superb album on Incienso. His tactile drum programming weaves and wanders beneath the most bendy and gooey of synth lines. The tension between those percolating drums and the star gazing keys and pads up top is what makes his music so enthralling - life is slowed to a crawl and everything seems to take on more beauty and resonance as a result. Tracks here are variously coloured with eerie vocal samples, field recordings or deconstructed jungle percussion, and every single one snakes its way into your mind, body and soul. "Mas Amable" may just be one of the albums of the year.
Review: Underrated yet prolific singer Horace Martin's debut album from 1985 remains his best. It is one that fetches high prices on resale markets - if you can find it - so now gets a welcome reissue by Mister Tipsy. It was written at the time when dub, reggae, dancehall and rocksteady were all cross-pollinated with one another and so the nine tracks that make it up are both fresh yet familiar. From sweet rolling odes like "My Ghetto Queen" to slower, more thoughtful tracks like "Give Me Your Love" this is an album for lovers and thinkers alike.