Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 24th 2009 Releases


Transform I

Sufferah's Choice CD

Sufferah's Choice 2LP


'Bristol meets Brazil: 'Transform I’ is the result of many years of work carried out between these two musical hubs. A heavy, authentic blend of roots and dub reggae, Dubkasm’s sound varies from militant digital steppas to acoustic vocal tracks, with Brazilian rhythms and samba instrumentation occasionally woven into the mix. Atmospherics and percussion recorded in Brazil reflect the journey of producer Digistep tracing his Brazilian roots, as instruments such as berimbau, zabumba, cavaquinho and cuica are called into play, while his Bristolian counterpart DJ Stryda captures some of the finest vocalists from the UK’s reggae and dub scene and promotes the material worldwide. The album’s conscious Rasta messages are conveyed over lovingly-crafted roots rhythms. Amidst the more traditional dub styles, nyahbinghi drumming bonds with samba, capoeira percussion rides one-drop rhythms, and the first album to mix UK dub with Brazilian influences is born.

'Dubkasm is a UK and Brazil-based roots reggae/dub outfit from Bristol, England. Formed by producer Digistep and DJ Stryda in 1994 during the emergence period of the UK 'digital dub' sound, their debut release in 1996 was 'Chemical Reaction Dub'. Since then they have released nine records on their own Sufferah's Choice Recordings label (named after DJ Stryda's well-established Bristol radio show) and received consistent radio and soundsystem play, most notably by the legendary Jah Shaka. Dubkasm have collaborated with UK producers including Aba Shanti-I and Iration Steppas, and artists such as Dub Judah and Levi Roots. A dub version of Transform I is currently in the pipeline, along with a bristol dubstep remix album to follow, featuring pioneers of the scene including Pinch, Peverelist and RSD. Meanwhile, their live shows, fronted by veteran micman Afrikan Simba combine exclusive dubplates, live saxophone and improvised sound effects - guaranteed to move any crowd.'

"Like many innovations heard for the first time, you wonder why this has not been done before. The Brazilian percussion of zabumba, cavaquinho and cuica fold neatly into nyabinghi-style drumming on the old school rasta chant of 'Brazilian Moses', and peps up the steppers of 'Sangue Brasileiro'. These functions are used sparingly on a debut that turns out more orthodox than first expected, but that orthodoxy is a strength, as DJ Stryda and Digistep's production ranges across the stylistic spectrum of roots reggae. Basic tracks were laid at the Dubkasm Studio in Brazil, with overdubs at studios in London, Nottingham, Bristol, Norway and the Digitaldubs Studio in Rio de Janeiro catering for a large cast of vocalists including Dub Judah, Tena Stelin, Levi Roots and Afrikan Simba. Transform I's well-crafted arrangements utilise horn section, flute and melodica in equal measures - just go to the instrumental 'Nyah Keith' (not the Burning Spear tune) for an example of modern roots reggae at its finest. As an object, the double vinyl with gatefold sleeve, featuring a beautiful piece of naïve art from Ras Ropert, is irresistible."
- Steve Barker / The Wire review (August 2009)