Review: Lafayette, Louisiana, may not be particularly associated with the bowel-bothering sub-bass and ricocheting drum hits of dubstep. Nevertheless, it's home to Bukkha, a producer whose floor-friendly dubstep releases are shot through with high-grade dub reggae influences. "Ruling Sound", featuring the slick and soulful vocals of Junior Dread, is a perfect example. It's effectively a dubstep/steppers reggae fusion, and a very good one at that. The producer's love of original dub can be heard loud and clear on the accompanying "Ruling Dub", which beefs up the sub-bass whilst ramping up the reverb, delay and tape echo. The flipside TMSV Remix, which boasts crunchier, jungle-influenced breakbeats and even weightier sub-bass, is also pretty nifty.
Review: The second salvo in Moonshine Recordings' Joint Forces series brings together tracks from Deadroom and Baodub. The former handles the A-side, first unveiling the deep and rumbling bass, steppin' dub riddims and jaunty melody motifs of "Footprint Dub" before reaching for the restless wobble bass and delay-laden drum hits of "Crashed Weed". Baodub takes over on the flipside and can be found merrily skanking away to the mutant reggae stabs, fizzing electronics, twisted sirens and skittish beats of "Call Da Police". To round things off nicely, the same artist slaps down the rolling dunk funk of "Find The Dub", where glistening guitar lines, melodica and delay-laden stabs shuffle around the smoky sound space.
Review: Recently revisited by RSD on the Broken Beats album, Horace highlight "Cuss Cuss" gets two superb reworks from DJ Madd and TMSV. The former goes for a starker, more traditional dub vibe, allowing the original riff to play a lead role in the arrangement while the rich steppy beats drive the groove forward. TMSV flips for more of a traditional dubstep flavour with a more prominent halfstep and uglier bassline. Both versions are incredible. No cussing please...
Review: For the third volume in their Joint Forces series of collaborative EPs, Moonshine Recordings has pitted various producers against each other. DTR dominates the A-side, first joining forces with Akcept on the ultra-deep dancefloor dubstep of "Liberation Cry" (think echoing horn lines, rich sub-bass and trippy effects) before inviting Bukkha into the studio for the exotic dub cheeriness of "Hard To Explain". Bukkha returns on the B-side alongside Blind Prophet. They begin with the dark sub-bass pressure, ricocheting guitars and echo chamber riddims of "Stone Dub", before successfully beefing up the beats for the rock solid 4/4 thump of "Stone Dub (VIP)".
Review: Full circle: Lo-Fi Pon De Hi-Fi was a key motivation for Moonshine's M.O when first released in 2004. Inspired by the work of Dubdadda (right the way back to his Community Charge days), they've been given the opportunity to re-release the 11 year old document and bring it to a whole new generation of dub heads. Like all the most authentic material, it's timeless; the heart-punching emotions on the opener "Give Love", the humming bass and organ echoes of "Trod On", the syrupy harmonies and silky space on "Revival" and the effortless funk in "Flute Skank"... This still sounds incredible now and will do in another 11, 21 or 51 years.
Review: Ireland isn't the first place you'd think of when it comes to sturdy soundsystem dub flavours, but Cian Finn is quickly changing this perception with some deep, driving conscious mic craft. It's clear his years as front man for Irish festival faves Intinn have paid off as we're treated to a series of versions, each one paying attention to a different aspect of dub. Highlights include the sonorous hollow tones of Radikal Guru's version of "Ireland Dub" and the raw stomp of Alpha Steppa's "9 Years Dub". Serious soundsystem material!
Review: A second record to this Junior Dread name comes in remix form, with Moonshine Recordings plucking versions from Joseph McGann & Sam Barrett's Gorgon Sound project. The two Peng Sound artists deliver a harmonic remake of cheerful flutes, light backing vocals and walking basslines with keys to match. Hungarian producer DJ Madd, who has close ties with the Bristol's Black Box, sits Junior Dread's vocals deeper in the mix which lightly expels the word 'freedom' behind a wall of bass and 808 kicks, while frenetically designed percussion will keep the feet moving while the heads are down.
Lion Sleeps No More (feat Earl 16 & MC Spee) (4:22)
Dub Sleeps No More (4:23)
Review: Longstanding bassmith King Yoof has played a role in many genres and styles over the years including breaks, house and drum & bass. It's dub, however, where he really relishes and shines. Hot on the heels of a recent Caspa remix comes a fresh, system-shaking original. Widescreen, bouncy and laden with FX and rim shots, there's heaps of space for the contrasting tones of Earl 16 and MC Spee to vibe off each other playfully and consciously. Authentic.
Review: The Moonshine Recordings crew return with another platter that matters, brandishing a double drop of skank up business to nice up any dancefloor. "Cool Me Off" finds Murda and Tuffist providing the perfect digi dub minor key bed for Roots and Rose to lay down their heartfelt harmonies. Junglists will flip for the B where Murda goes on a solo flex to add his Chopstick Dub twist with amen-rattling precision. One listen and you'll find this an appropriately titled slab; you will need to cool off after dropping this!
Review: Moonshine clearly can't let go of Subconscious, the 2013 album from Polish dubster Radikal Guru. Earlier this year, the label issued the Digitalizer Riddim 12", pairing up Subconcious highlight "Stay Calm" with a triplet of superb version excursions. Now that same YT-featuring cut appears on this rather dashing green 12", given the royal remix treatment by Glasgow's finest, Mungo's Hi-Fi. In the hands of this quartet, "Stay Calm" is transformed into a more conscious dubwise stepper and is complemented by the flipside take on "Earthwalker" by Sekkleman. Here the track is treated with all manner of delay, and boosted by some real sub heft.
Review: Moonshine Recordings present Fire, a two track slab of future-programmed digi dub and jungle that joins the dots between Poland and Jamaica. Bouncy vibes rule the roost on the A Side original cut as Brother Culture lets rip with a heartfelt sermon with his distinctive gruff melodicism. Need to up the ante? Flip for the dub remix from HOT and submerse yourself in sea of timeless jungle. Heaving with amen action, it's testament to HOT's breadth and badness. Keep the fire burning!