Words by LargeUp Crew—
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Words by Addis Pablo—
Augustus Pablo, who would have turned 70 this Saturday, was a pivotal figure for reggae, both as a producer known for his distinctive and often minor-key-dominated sounds, and as music’s first true melodica specialist. The late Pablo’s distinctive sound also carried over to his record label, Rockers International, which released numerous recordings from the ’70s through the ’90s. (Classic reissues from the label, back in press after years out of print, are available in the LargeUp store). Here, his son Addis Pablo, who is taking his father’s instrument of choise into the 21st century with his collective Suns of Dub, has collected some of his favorite tunes from the Rockers catalog, most featuring his father’s inimitable melodica playing.
Words by Saxon Baird— Jamaican music continues to spread far beyond the island’s shores and pop up in surprising places. Take the unlikely Tel Aviv-based duo of Kalbata & Mixmonster, who usually specialize in 2-step, techno and funk. In 2011 they set out to make a 100% analog dub album in the spirit of King Tubby with a 16-track tape machine, a vintage mixing desk and a handful of musicians. After cutting the tracks, the duo set out to Jamaica to find some of their favorite DJs to lay original vocals, all to analog tape in the spirit of recording techniques used in the ‘70s and early ‘80s on the island.
Fast-forward more than three years later and the accumulation of their work, titled Congo Beat the Drum, has arrived, and it is easily one of best things we’ve heard this year. (LargeUp the bossman Walshy Fire for tipping us to this one). Released this week via the UK’s Freestyle Records, the project comes equipped with bass loads of throwback dub, steamy roots reggae and fiery dancehall with famed Jamaican deejays like Echo Minott, Major Mackerel, Little John and, in one of his very last recordings, the late Prince Jazzbo.
Congo Beat the Drum is not just strictly re-hashing vintage Jamaican styles, though. The album is also peppered with modern elements of the duo’s electronic backgrounds, injecting a refreshing vibe to the reggae, dub and dancehall they’ve cut to tape. It’s a nod towards the golden-era of Jamaican music the duo utilized as a blueprint, while simultaneously maintaining a refreshing and forward-thinking sound.
Words by Deejay Theory —
What happens when you cut razor sharp new school flow over timeless dub versions? You get this wicked new combination from bussing young Portmore, JA artist Masicka and iconic dub producer and pioneer King Tubby. Any reggae collector has a King Tubby tape in their archives, and it’s refreshing to see a youth like Masicka paying tribute with this seven-track “old to the new” session produced by JA powerhouse Equiknoxx Music. It’s not all about guns and girls—sometimes you need to dig into the roots for inspiration…nicely done on all fronts. Stream four of the seven tracks below, download the full EP here. Pree the video from the sessions for full effect.
Words by Kieran K. Meadows—
Words by Jesse Serwer
After some concern that it might be canceled this year on the heels of recent rioting in London, the annual Notting Hill Carnival will go on as planned this Sunday and Monday, Aug. 28 and 29. As anyone who’s been to the Europe’s biggest Caribbean fete will attest, navigating the streets for the top sounds and foods can be a bit tricky. Those attending this year’s event then should applaud Time Out London (AKA the “OG” Time Out) for putting together an extensive guide to this year’s carnival.