Words by Jesse Serwer
Greensleeves Records recently launched a series of 12″s featuring dubstep remixes of classic and new dancehall tunes, which it is collecting on a CD, Greensleeves Dubstep: Chapter 1, out Oct. 24. Although the British label is known for specializing in reggae and dancehall from Jamaica, it has long embraced British-born permutations of Jamaican music traditions, too. So it makes sense that the label would allow the practitioners of dubstep, a phenomenon whose connection to Jamaica is probably murky to some (but which has long since eclipsed reggae/dancehall’s popularity in the U.K.), to access its vaults.
In his remix of Ding Dong’s 2005 dance hit “Bad Man Forward, Bad Man Pull Up,” producer The Bug (a.k.a. Kevin Martin) adds sirens, distortion and all sorts of cacophony (as well as rhymes from Flow Dan, a British grime MC) into an original song whose brilliance was in its simplicity. The result isn’t the dubstep you’re used to but something more chaotic. (The Bug isn’t actually a dubstep producer, per se–he’s been producing apocalyptic, post-dancehall wobble since before there was a movement to stuff such things into). Other songs getting the dubstep treatment on the upcoming compilation: Busy Signal and Mavado’s “Badman Place” and Yellowman’s “Zungguzugguguzungguzeng.”