Dubkasm Ft. Lidj Xylon – Untold Stories EP (pengsound005)
Dubkasm ft. Lidj Xylon – Untold Stories EP – PengSound005. Stryda and Digistep, close friends from day one, shared and expressed their passion for roots music in unity as Dubchasm (later to be renamed Dubkasm) from around the mid 90’s. Then still in their teenage years, they have since stepped up in the ranks of UK soundsystem culture, operating from the heart of Bristol. With around 20 years of dedication to their craft, Dubkasm have provided some of the most in-demand dubplates for sounds such as Aba Shanti-I, Jah Shaka and Iration Steppas… Combining musical efforts with artists from around the globe, Dubkasm have worked with artists from as far as Rio De Janeiro, and as close as St.Pauls, Bristol. Sometime last year, Stryda approached us about these recordings they had recently uncovered in a specialist studio in St.Pauls, baking the reel-to-reel tapes in order to restore a set of vocals that had been recorded years before – a venture that was as much about recovering the music as it was about livicating the vocal of their bredrin 'Lidj Xylon', who has now sadly passed away from this world. We’ve had the pleasure of hearing a great number of productions from Dubkasm’s career up to this date, and we’ve heard a fair amount of stories from Stryda and Digistep, since getting to know them. One of our favourite stories, however, has to be the one that gives an insight into the background of this particular project, the first time they met this rastaman called Lidj Xylon, a meeting which preceeded the unearthing of these Reel-to-Reel’s that manifest these vocal recordings from back in 1998: One hot day during the summer of ’98, Stryda and Digistep had arranged a recording session with their bredrin Ras Natural, with the idea of laying down some vocal tracks with Ras Iyah on the mic. However, that day, Stryda got a call from Ras Natural, saying “Ras Iyah can’t make it… but nah worry, because me have a real fiyah man from Jamaica with me!”. Some hours later, Lidj Xylon stepped through into the studio, a humble and eternally positive figure. His voice was somewhere between singing and chanting, a sort of holy crying up into the heavens and across the earth’ After telling us this story, Stryda showed us an early dubplate cut of Ancient Order played straight off the acetate 12” on his turntable, a powerful piece, even in it’s raw stage. From that moment on, it was decided that Dubkasm should strive to do these recordings justice - these treasured memories of a bredrin and fellow musician. The following months were spent in anticipation, as Dubkasm worked hard in the studio, complimenting the carefully restored vocal tracks with new rhythms and up-to-date instrumentals that make up the ‘Untold Stories’ project for Peng Sound Records. The outcome is a truly accomplished set of tracks, featuring additional musicianship of UK Dub legend ‘Dub Judah’, as well as ‘Tes Fa Syon’ and Nyabinghi edler ‘Ras B’ amongst others. After a lot of hard work and careful attention, Xylon’s voice can now shine again… A special mention has to go out to Lewis at Stardelta, who used a virgin-cutting head especially for this job, making this one truly fine sounding pair of records. The 2 x 12” has been mastered via ½ inch tape and pressed to 180gsm vinyl at 45rpm. Each sleeve comes hand-stamped and hand-numbered. General release date is 27/6/14 – upfront limited edition available from rwdfwd.com this Monday. Check the video below for an introduction to Lidj Xylon, and a teaser for PengSound005. Check back for further audio clips, and make sure you tune in to Dj Stryda’s ‘Sufferah’s Choice Show’ this Monday 7-9pm GMT for a full feature of this record.