Review: A Rocket In Dub returns to Krachladen Records in the same month that he appears on a split 12" with Graph. This time he has put together four 7"s that explore his famously dubby, minimal sound. Each cut is a precise experiment in sound, with icy hits and liquid chords washing over you while various different dub moods percolate below. There are incidental jams that encourage your mind to wander, then more dense and intense cuts of late night menace. It is another accomplished work in the catalogue of a dub technician who has been on top of his game for years.
Review: African Nightlife is a pair of Dutch producers who cook up some intriguing and hugely original material back in the mid-nineties. Opener "4Rest" is a melange of drunken synths and hurried drums with tribal claps that sounds like little else, "Brubaker's Slide" and "Brubaker's Skank" is dub in the style of Adrian Sherwood, and closer "Make Up Your Mind" is a dark, pressurised and bass heavy rhythm detailed with myriad effects and percussive sounds that are bleak and otherworldly. That these tracks are all more than 20 years old is hard to believe because they still very much sound from the future.
AJ Franklin & The Inn House Crew - "Where You Gonna Run To" (feat UK Principal & Vin Gordon) (4:15)
AJ Franklin & The Inn House Crew - "Where You Gonna Run To" (feat UK Principal & Vin Gordon - version) (4:17)
Review: The Inn House Crew are well known instrumental reggae producers who have made Room In The Sky their regular home. Their second release this month is a tasty hook up with AJ Franklin, UK Principal and Vin Gordon. "Where You Gonna Run To" is a popping dub fleshed out with cavernous drums and bass that sit together perfectly. Synth details and hits spit out and horns drift to sooth your soul. The effervescing vocals version on the flip injects a dose of warmth to an already steamy cut. Another standout effort from this ever reliable crew.
Review: Alchemy Dubs pull out all the stops to celebrate release number 10 as they present - for the first time ever on vinyl - the aptly named "Alchemy" by UK dub legends Alpha & Omega. It's a flabby number that stomps and swings like an elephant. Distant vocals and intoxicating melodies weave in and out as the beat plumps on and takes you every step of the way with it. Ojah sorts out a heavyweight dub refix on the flip to make this an essential little purchase.
Review: Blimey, if this isn't major meeting of musical Midas minds then we don't know what is. Alter Echo, E3 and Headland all collaborating with legendary dub flautist Diggory Kenrick. "Temple Duel" sets the scene in deep underground chambers, untouched by the sun. Reverb space is our only guide and ritual combat is the only way out as we make our way through subsonic 808 bass foundations, a near-industrial mid-range bass guitar groove, stiff snares, stick-fighting percussion and Diggory's torchlight melody. A truly fluid hypnotic narrative that arcs through the dark, if you're looking for an even foggier route flip for "Temple Dub" where the torch is extinguished and you have nothing but your sonic wits to take you home. Only Diggory knows if you make alive or not...
Review: Alvin Davis is a musical polymath. He has worked in the worlds of jazz, reggae and soul with a slew of well known names such as Prince, Edwin Starr, Maxi Priest and David Hinds. This super limited 7" offers up a great horn and sax lead instrumental piece with Alvin's horns leading the charge. The mood is one of casual rejoice and subtle celebration - the hits in particular are a lovely hook that keep you locked. On the flipside, things get dread fuelled and deliciously dubby thanks to a rework from Alien Dread.
Review: True to their usual form, Krachladen Records serve ups big release that is split between Dusseldorf IDM masters Graph aka Stefan Jurke & Jens Beyer and A Rocket In Dub. This is the first in what is promised to be a new series that pops up a few times a year. Graph's 'Gowc Gowac' is a deadly dub with plenty of sci-fi motifs that help add to a feeling of revelation despite the heavy bass. 'Kon Konwac' is all whirring sounds, clacking hits and looped sonic freakiness that keeps you guessing. The three cuts from A Rocket In Dub all offer atmospheric dub with otherworldly found sounds that have you gazing on in awe.
Augustus Pablo/Rockers All Stars - "Africa 1983" (3:04)
Augustus Pablo/Rockers All Stars - "Africa Dub" (2:52)
Review: This choice various artists 10" brings together three of reggae's most iconic names - Hugh Mundell, Augustus Pablo and Rockers All Stars. Mundell's impassioned cries on "Africa Must Be Free" resonate as loudly now as they did back then, while "Park Lane Special" from Pablo is a swaggering gem full of multi-layered synths and icy, snaking hi hats. Rockers All Stars appear on three cuts of meandering dub, and each one is laced with fine chord work and a real sense of optimism.