Release Date: 6th December 2019
We always try to bring something special when it comes to release a single on vinyl. This time, we are pleased to announce the return of one of the most obscure and talented vocal group from the early 80's: Time Unlimited. It's been more than twenty years that Donovan Joseph, Hugo Blackwood and Orville Smith, have been off the musical scene as Time Unlimited. During the recording sessions of the Roots Architects project in 2017, we had the chance to meet Donovan Joseph passing by the studio. Straightaway, we were telling ourselves that we had to see his legendary group name written on black wax again. Here it is, with a deep rub a dub cut backed by the High Times Players remembering the golden years of the group!
a1. Time Unlimited - Right Time Come
b1. High Times Players - Dub Time Come
Release Date: 29th November 2019
After over five years since we've released the first chapter, we are nearly ready to drop "Steppin' Forward" 2, which will be our final release of 2019. This time the compilation includes 16 previously unreleased tracks from 27 artists and will be out on the 29th of November across 3x12" vinyl and digital.
a1. Baodub ft. Jahvorem - Heavy
a2. D-Operation Drop - Lockdown
b1. Dubbing Sun & Blue Hill ft. Kali Green - Filtering Lies
b2. Halcyonic & G Roots Meets Digid ft. Vale - Enchanted Dub
b3. JahYu - Empowerment
c1. Lapo - Legalize VIP
c2. iSt3p - Steamroller
d1. Blind Prophet - Righteous Stepper
d2. WuduB!? & Irieginal Nutty Tree ft. Ras Tinny - Give Thanks
d3. Kandee ft. Pijule - Apu Taita Waira
e1. Professor Skank ft. Danman - Jah
e2. Adam Prescott - Outernational Dub
e3. 6blocc ft. General Jah Mikey - Too Rude
f1. Teffa - Coca
f2. Tetrad - Kiwi Dreams
f3. Frenk Dublin - Statement
Release Date: 6th December 2019
In March 2018 Blackwood Soundsystem hosted a dubplate session with King Alpha and Fikir Amlak in Lahr (Germany). Fikir Amlak voiced a dubplate called “Ancient Man” for Tree Of Life Soundsystem on the “Harder Than The Rest Dub”, a heavyweight version of Culture’s “Holy Mount Zion” from 1978.
This dubplate marks the birth of the “Tree Of Life Sessions”. The raw dubplate material was sent to T-Jah to get the final mix. He was inspired by the lyrics and the art of singing so that besides mixing fyah hot dubplates he produced an own version of “Ancient Man”, which is featured here with two additional dubs.
The song’s trademark sounds are the playful erhu theme, a bansuri flute and a kalimba that create the unique atmosphere of the tune.
Later Fikir Amlak also rerecorded his tune “Ekos”, another King Alpha production, for Tree Of Life Soundsystem. This time Clive Chin’s & Errol Thompson’s “Extraordinary Version”, based on “Ordinary Man” by Lloyd Parks, builds the foundation for the dubplate. Again T-Jah cut an own version inspired by the original clavinet melody from 1972. T-Jah invited some guest musicians to spice up the tune. The guitars were played by the Dub Shepherds. Hazel Dub added sweet melodica vibes to the dubby second mix. Plug Dub Soundsystem’s own Señor C recorded a mystical flute that echoes throughout the final version of the record.
a1. T-Jah meets Fikir Amlak - Ancient Man
a2. T-Jah - Ancient Dubwise
a3. T-Jah - Dubman
b1. T-Jah meets Fikir Amlak - Ekos
b2. T-Jah meets Hazel Dub - Melodica Ekos
b3. T-Jah meets Señor C - Flute From Ancient Time
Release Date: 1st November 2019
ZamZam’s first encounter with the music of Diggory Kenrick was “The Lion Flute,” a wind-led cut to one of Jamaican music’s toughest riddims, the Mighty Diamonds’ “Africa.” Years later it still hasn’t left the box, and it led us on a quest to acquire as many of his tunes as possible… E3 became obsessed with reaching out to him for a collaboration, and “Temple Duel” b/w “Temple Dub” is the resulting plate. Collaborations with legends including Bunny Lee, Lee Perry, and Jah Wobble have resulted in an extraordinary catalog of 7”, 10”, and 12” singles, to say nothing of producing an outstanding documentary on Mr. Lee, “I Am The Gorgon,” and countless liner notes and production credits for the untouchable Pressure Sounds label.
Kenrick’s signature sound is haunting and richly melodic, phased and distorted, lending an ancient-to-the-future vibe to everything he touches, whether rootical collaborations or left-field version excursions.
Alter Echo & E3 and Headland had been wanting to collaborate for some time, and Kenrick’s high-plains-meets-far-east vibes seemed the perfect opportunity to build something truly unique.
The scene takes place deep underground, in blackened chambers untouched by the sun, ancient halls where reverb space is the guide and ritual combat is the only way out. Subsonic 808 bass undergirds a near-industrial mid-range bass guitar groove, stiff snares, stick-fighting percussion, and the melody an ever-present narrative arc through the dark. “Temple Dub” strips down the flute and widens the cinemascope, with claustrophobic panning and vertiginous detuning echoes creating ghostly traps for the unwary.
Strictly limited to 700 10" copies for the world. No digital, no repress. Art and design by Polygon Press. Mastered by Sam Precise. Releasing first week of November, 2019.
a1. Alter Echo & E3 Meet Headland & Diggory Kenrick - Temple Duel
b1. Alter Echo & E3 Meet Headland & Diggory Kenrick - Temple Dub
Released 25th October 2019
Mala joins forces with Natty and wordsmith Benjamin Zephaniah on new single Word & Sound.
Word & Sound - a reference to the Rastafari terminology, word-sound power - the idea that the vibrations of speech and music impact the world, far beyond both that we can touch and see.
Speaking about the record, Mala said:
'The making of this record happened so naturally, the words inspired me to create the music. Their message and intention was set. Conscious vibrations using words and sounds.'
The single sees the official relaunch of Mala's I&I Music - famed for its limited and much sought-after vinyl only white labels.
a1. Word & Sound
a2. Word & Sound (Instrumental)
Release Date: 25th October 2019
Brand new Ep from the London's own Mowty Mahlyka aka Dark Angel, well know for his previous Moonshine Recordings killer release 'Propaganda'.
Riddims for this double 7" beauty were cooked by the Moonshine all stars - Bukkha & D-Operation Drop. Expect some serious dubwise fayah!
a1. Bukkha & Mowty Mahlyka - Give Dem Di Fire
b1. Bukkha & Mowty Mahlyka - Give Dem Di Dub
c1. D-Operation Drop & Mowty Mahlyka - Dem Haffi Run
d1. D-Operation Drop & Mowty Mahlyka - Dem Haffi Dub
Release Date: 18th October 2019
With the original version already proving a massive hit with DJs such as Target, Mistajam, Toddla T and Rene Lavice on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, as well as becoming something of an anthem at festivals across the summer, we've enlisted the help of the one and only Gentleman's Dub Club to give "Stranger In Town" the roots reggae remix treatment.
Taking the original parts and dubbing them up, adding extra guitar, bass and horns, they've taken the vocals of Canadian reggae star Exco Levi back to its roots in a classic style adding some vintage sounding vibes. With a dub version that is exclusive to this vinyl (not available digitally) - this should be massive with DJs.
a1. Riddim Punks ft Exco Levi - Stranger In Town (Gentleman's Dub Club Remix)
b1. Riddim Punks ft Exco Levi - Stranger In Town (Gentleman's Dub Club Dub)
Release Date: 18th October 2019
Continuing the march to 100 releases, ZamZam 75 comes from one of our favorite contemporary producers, Alex Waitoa, the man known as Akcept. Hailing from Christchurch New Zealand, steeped in that country’s unique sound system culture, with a rep cemented by a string of deep and dread releases on crucial imprints including Amar, Moonshine, Sentry, Modern Hypnosis, and Artikal, we are very happy to offer the next chapter in his already strong discography. With roots, UK dub, techno, and dubstep as points of reference, Akcept operates in an open space where creativity and personal exploration are paramount.
Murderous on dub for some time, “Cambridge Road” (named for Green King Cuts’ HQ where the tune originated) is a weighty, slyly menacing 140 rocker featuring Akcept’s signature syncopated percussion chops & a slithering, minimalist bassline. A disquietingly distorted hook, pitched & chorused vocal snippets and test tones lead the way through a dark dance equal parts eyes down & wariness - danger lurking around every corner.
“Over & Out” is the secret weapon, a loping, lumbering behemoth of dubwise built for serious Sounds, a stew of filtered hi hat, heaving bass, sampled drum fills, swung shaker, oddly-looped reggae horns, and claustrophobic spaces navigated by cagey reverbs.
a1. Akcept - Cambridge Road
b1. Akcept - Over & Out
Release Date: 27th September 2019
Dub-Stuy lines up another party anthem with Dancehall Saga, a new 12” single featuring Paris-based producer Von D and Kingston vocalist Blackout JA. Both artists have previously contributed to the label, Von D with the acclaimed Wicked Scam EP and Blackout JA on Dubamine’s single “Nicodemus.”
On Dancehall Saga, Von D and Blackout JA team up for a collaboration that is sure to hit all the right notes for those who like to get busy in the dance. Fresh from a series of releases on his own Dub Galore imprint, Von D combines a syncopated dancehall inspired beat pattern with the pressure of high-grade dubstep to cook up a stomping riddim with enough weight to clear a path straight for the reload.
Blackout JA flexes his deep, rugged flow and invites one and all to partake in the vibe of the dancehall, namechecking everything from ganja to Instagram to Sister Nancy’s classic “Bam Bam.” Flip to the B-side for Von D’s dub treatment, putting the deadly riddim front and center with classic dub flourishes as bits of Blackout JA’s vocal and piano and guitar licks echo across the track.
The Dancehall Saga SP is another sureshot from Dub-Stuy, essential 21st century soundsystem music sure to resonate with fans and newcomers worldwide. The single is set for release on digital and vinyl formats and will also feature a very special video with dancers filmed by Raatid Magic Films in Jamaica.
a1. Von D Ft Blackout JA - Dancehall Saga
b1. Von D - Dub Saga
Release Date - 16th August 2019
Glaswegian youthman producer and Mungo's Hifi's Walk & Skank resident Escape Roots returns to NICE UP! with his debut vinyl release, enlisting the talents of Hempolics vocalist Dandelion for a tribute to the many uses of the herb. Riding a reconstructed classic dancehall riddim, Dandelion extols the many different uses of the cannabis plant, from soap, toothpaste and shampoo to milk, butter, CBD oil and of course his treasured Ganja Socks!
Already getting runs on big sounds, expect to hear this blasting out in a dance near you soon.
a1. Escape Roots - Ganja Socks ft. Dandelion
b1. Escape Roots - Ganja Socks Version
Release Date - 26th July 2019
A collection of contemporary reggae, dub and electronica, which marks a broadening of musical horizons for the label beyond reissues of lost African guitar dance music.
The LP covers a range of Jamaican inspired sounds, including roots reggae, dancehall, dub and jungle, which may act as a taster for potential future releases.
01. Majah Tunder - Wicked Man
02. Teshay Makeda - OMG
03. Owen Hender & Trevor Westcarr - Last Days (Dub Version)
04. UK Principal - Theme (feat. Charmaine Holder)
05. Mosi - Search
06. D'Oxman - The Best Is yet to Come
07. Mad-X - Real Sensimilla
08. Charmaine Holder - Carry Come (feat. UK Principal)
09. Markee Ledge - Conscious Brother
10. UK Principal - More Peace (Junglist Remix by Sasha Khan)