Dubkasm Ft. Solo banton & Rudey Lee – Emotion/Are You Ready Review

DUBKASM ft. RUDEY LEE / SOLO BANTON EMOTION / ARE YOU READY Sufferah’s Choice Any music lover that has even the vaguest interest in what makes Bristol such a musically engaged city, such a unique source, will know that dub music plays a big part in this city’s musical movements. Bristol is so deeply steeped in soundsystem culture that there is no need to adhere to any specific outside rules or regulations within music. Childhood friends Digistep & Stryda formed Dubkasm in 1994 and continued to show their participation in the Roots Scene throughout the 2000’s with several 12” and 10” releases on their own ‘Sufferah’s Choice’ label - anchored in roots & culture yet reaching deeply into the UK sound of Steppers Dub. Dubkasm, whilst drawing from the traditional palette of roots music, have always strived to push an original sound with their music and have continued to do so with their latest album, ‘Transform I’. It is with the aforementioned confidence afforded by the grounds laid by the pair in Bristol and indeed worldwide, that Digistep & Stryda have decided to touch on a different angle of their music yet again and take a side-step down the avenue of digital 80s reggae. consistency and accomplishment is something that is often lacking in the fast-track, digital age of music. This new Dubkasm production solidifies their position in the reggae world as an outfit who can truly uphold a high standard and quality of music, whatever style they touch. Hard hitting digital drums, raw analog synth bass and 8 bit sounds provide the backbone to this tough, yet bubbling JA riddim. The track gives a nod to early Jammy’s, Steelie & Cleevie and Gussie Clarke Productions as well as having a certain low-end power, that sits it comfortably with previous Dubkasm productions. A good 80’s style reggae track of this sort would not be complete without at least one vocal on the riddim and close affiliate’s of Dubkasm and all around top vocalists Rudey Lee & Solo Banton step up to the mic in fine style. On the A-Side, Rudey Lee comes with a lovers style vocal, but rather than talking about the ladies, this one’s directed at his love for music: ‘Music so nice and music so sweet … nuttin’ can cool this here musical heat.’ The vocal flows with the rhythm effortlessly, you find yourself lost in the groove, vibesing right until the beat cuts out for a 2-second pause. Stripping things down to Rudey’s chorus alone, it’s just a quick breath before it drops right back in without loosing any of its initial energy. On the flip, a track entitled ‘Are you Ready’, Solo Banton makes up the deejay cut, with fast-paced lyrics about reaching the higher level of self-understanding and appreciation of positivity. Both the vocals have a certain movement to them with perfectly executed, conscious lyrics that drive along with the rhythm as one. This is the kind of gear that will uplift the dancehall whenever it is played, one of those plates to wake up the dance and get the party started. With the two vocal cuts by Rudey and Solo, plus additional instrumental versions, this is one of those records that will stay in the selectors bag for a long time. Daniel Davies.