Release Date: 13th August 2021
- El Michels Affair reimaginging Liam’s Ekundayo Album.
- Produced by Leon Michels.
- Also includes three unreleased vocal tracks from the Ekundayo sessions.
There has always been a Reggae inuence in the music of El Michels Affair. From their cover of “Hung Up On My Baby” done in a Reggae style, to the general sound and approach that permeates Leon’s production style. While recording Bailey’s 2020 Ekundayo album, they did some straight forward reggae tunes inspired by different eras alongside some modern R&B tracks that would ‑t more comfortably next to Frank Ocean than Jacob Miller. It is this same notion that old and new can live so comfortably together that birthed the idea of Ekundayo Inversions.
Traditional dub came out of reggae in the late 60s and early 70s when pioneers like King Tubby and Lee Perry started taking the multi track recordings of songs and running them back through the board adding effects and additional instrumentation. These recordings are called “dubs” or “versions” and are typically instrumentals with ourishes of vocals from the original tracks.
El Michels decided to use the blueprints left behind and make something using the inuences of today. He wound up straying so far from the traditional format that it didn’t seem right to use the word ‘Dub’, hence Ekundayo Inversions. All the songs are tied together by WhatsApp messages between Leon and Liam that perfectly narrate the story of this record and their working relationship.
One of the highlights on Ekundayo Inversions is a guest appearance from the legendary Lee “Scratch” Perry on the “Ugly Truth” version. L$P switches between singing and talking, proclaiming his powers one minute and playing with the track’s title the next. On “Awkward take. 2” Leon takes one of the most experimental songs from Ekundayo and actually straightens it out. A track that once seemed to be oating in space has now been anchored by the addition of drums and bass. “Faded”, a version of “Paper Tiger”, is given the full EMA treatment with the addition of emotive horns over an uncomfortably sparse rhythm track peppered with Liam’s voice drenched in delay and echo.
“Champions” features a verse from Black Thought of The Roots and halfway through, El Michels sends the rhythm section 50 years back. At the end of the day, Ekundayo Inversions is a testament to how strong the original songs are. Whether they’re in a R&B style, reggae style, stripped down to their bare bones, or loaded with production, the songs will move you.
a1. Conquer & Divide feat. Black Thought
a2. Amazing Woman
a3. Angel Face
a4. Walk With Me
a5. No One Else
b1. Ugly Truths feat. Lee Scratch Perry
b2. I Love NY
b4. Awkward (Take 2)
b5. Lucky Man
Release Date: 14th May 2021
Next up to bless Aloe Vera Records is Rivas Studios' namesake and head honcho, Roger Rivas. The veteran LA producer provides a sublime, organ lead cut, reminiscent of the work of rocksteady legends such as Jackie Mittoo. Backed by Italian ska specialists, The Officinalis, this is an essential 7" for any lover of the golden years of Jamaican music.
a1. Roger Rivas & The Officinalis - Green Pepper
b1. Roger Rivas & The Officinalis - Version
Release Date: 23rd April 2021
The story behind EM13 is one that sees Equiknoxx crew (Gavsborg + Time Cow) in a quite a sought-after Air bnb in Kingston. Invited to this cozy spot by RTKal (Birmingham based MC + Frequent Equiknoxx Collaborator), saw us trying different methods to cancel out the sounds of the Hope Zoo + Kingston traffic as we nested in the second floor of this Hope Pasture dwelling.
We originally went there as our studio was under renovation and we decided we wanted to lay some bars down with RTKal. The night took an interesting turn when we began to commend people that have made big strides in dancehall culture, with Elephant Man’s name reeling high in the discussion. Elephant Man is quite a character which we believe deserves a very focused applause for bringing a refreshing ‘burlesque’ flair to the Kingston scene in the early 2000’s. When we think of Elephant Man we think of an outlandish 120bpm ‘Jiggy Mixture’ of Grace Jones & Lee Scratch Perry meets Busta Rhymes.
After long nostalgic discussions, Time Cow & RTKal both begin to vocal the ghostly synth + drum repetition concocted by a volca beats trial run by Gavsborg.
a1. Time Cow & Rtkal - Elephant Man
b1. Gavsborg - Making Love To Volca
Release Date: 30th April 2021
Akae Beka's inimitable style, developed over decades performing with St. Croix based band Midnite and countless recordings (including 2014 iTunes reggae album of the year BEAUTY FOR ASHES and RIDE TRU). At the point of his untimely passing in 2019, he had released over 70LP's. He is without a doubt one of the most prolific reggae artists ever known and his quanity is always matched with quality, with his albums consistently featuring in the top 10 on the billboard charts reggae LPs.
This release makes no exception. 5 years on from the original 2016 CD and Digital release which charted at number 6 in the reggae billboard charts, this timeless masterpiece is being re-released on 12" Vinyl and Cassette tape, courtesy of Before Zero Records. Produced by ZIK bassist, JAH David, LIVICATED was Akae Beka's debut release on the Zion High Productions (ZHP) label. The album features solid original riddims composed and arranged by the ZIK family with musical contributions from Aston Barrett Jr. (drums), JAH Bless (horns), Chet Samuel (guitar), and Yami Bolo (melodica). Particularly striking on LIVICATED are the strident, Burning Spear-like horn arrangements and the variety and range of Drew Keys' keyboard voices.
a5. Loose the Gates
b1. Have Heard
b3. Handle Sumptin
Available: 29th March 2021
Few artists enjoy a legacy that involves a re-engineering of the very genre in which they work. Lee “Scratch” Perry is such an artist. As a pioneer of dub reggae Perry viewed the mixing console as musical instrument in its own right. The influence of his revolutionary approach has been felt world-wide and into genres far beyond reggae. His 1976 effort, Super Ape, is considered a masterpiece of this or any genre. Working with The Upsetters at his Black Ark studio Perry created a sound with such a lasting appeal that The Rough Guide includes Super Ape as one of their 100 Essential Reggae releases.
A1 Zions Blood
A2 Croaking Lizard
A3 Black Vest
A5 Curly Dub
B1 Dread Lion
B2 Three In One
B4 Dub Along
B5 Super Ape
Release Date: 2nd April 2021
"Fyah" features Wellette Seyon on vocals for the title track, followed by a triumphant horns cut from Dubkasm's brilliantly talented Digistep on the sax. After that, Dub Conductor take a journey deep into the mixing board with two dubwise cuts of the rhythm, with additional melodica melodies from Lucadread.
Dub Conductor have been crafting this track for more than 5 years! After many many versions of the Rhythm, we can say for certain that we are happy with the result - crisp, clear dubs which blend roots and steppas music just the way we like it!
a1. Dub Conductor - Fyah ft Wellette Seyon
a2. Digistep & Dub Conductor - Air
b1. Dub Conductor - Water Dub
b2. Dub Conductor - Earth Dub
Release Date: 19th March 2021
Brazilian artists Nina Girassóis and Paulera join the Dubquake roaster with their neo-roots reggae hit “Heavyweight Sound’”. The track is getting pressed on to 7” vinyl with the dub version “Heavyweight Dub” on the B side.
Nina Girassóis, hailing from São Paulo, compliments the track with her sweet voice, singing and raising awareness about the ongoing Brazilian social-economic crisis. Nina tells us “Brazil is a country that’s rich in resources but only very few people get to reap the benefits. It’s not getting better with the current political situation. The lyrics were written in 2012, but things just kept on getting worse and worse”.
a1. Nina Girassóis - Heavyweight Sound
b1. Paulera, O.B.F - Heavyweight Dub
Release Date: 26th March 2021
For the first time on 7-inch vinyl, Acid Jazz present short versions of both Get The Music Now & Africa, taken from the super rare self-titled album by Ipa-Boogie.
Originally released in 1978 these tracks are some of the only known recordings by this obscure band and present the listener with some of finest afro-boogie and afro funk there is.
This release launches the Albarika 45 series on Acid Jazz, with many rare singles and unknown versions due throughout the year.
Mastered and lacquer cut by Frank Merritt at The Carver.
a1. Ipa-Boogie - Get The Music Now
b1. Ipa-Boogie - Africa
Available: 5th March 2021
The 30th release on Dubkasm Records, following up killer works since that first record, a Jah Shaka favourite, ‘Every Lion’ with Lidj Xylon came out in 2003, and was followed by a steady flux of high grade music over the last 17 years or so, with many milestone releases including collaborations with Iration, Aba Shanti-I, Mala, Lidj Xylon, Mad Professor and more –
Anyway – here comes ‘Kings Music’, the most prized and deadliest dubplate from the vaults of the Dubkasm studio in recent years, pressed up on a heavyweight 12″, hand-stamped, and cut with four wicked dub mixes –
Each one hits nice in it’s own way – from the first cut, which lets the synthline sprawl out and introduces the full structure, through to 2nd and 3rd dubwise cuts focusing on the percussive details and rhythm foundations, and of course the fourth cut, the raw dub to explore the depths of this ruff & tuff stepper.
Each cut comes straight off the mixing desk, live & direct with Digistep on the board, sliding faders, running the fx red-hot into endless trails of reverb and delay, heavyweight dub style – play one cut after the next and zone into the hypnotic rhythm and dread bass.
There’s a real cosmic kind of feel to the tracks too, swirling synthesizers and full-focus percussive elements drifting ever-forward and outward like some kind of lift off into outer-space dubwise, anchored to earth only by that thunderous combination of bass, and drum – the kind of bass and drum that you KNOW will drop, very very heavy on a big sound.
These tracks have all been tested on the big soundsystem – previously only on dubplate by Dubkasm and the likes of Iration Steppas – but we’re 100% sure these’ll be lighting up many dances over the next years to come, the perfect tune to celebrate that time that will inevitably come, when we can finally string up those speakerboxes again and rally round. In the meantime…. Turn this one up extra loud and enjoy the vibes.
Cut loud & heavy, by Lewis at Stardelta Mastering.
Hand-stamped edition, 180g heavyweight disc, vinyl-only.
a1. Kings Music (Cut 1)
a2. Kings Music (Cut 2)
b1. Kings Music (Cut 3)
b2. Kings Music (Cut 4)
Release Date: 12th March 2021
a1 w/ Willi Williams: See Mi Yah
a2 w/ Jah Cotton: Dem Never Know
a3 w/ Koki: Rise and Praise
a4 w/ Freddy Mellow: Truly
a5 w/ Rod Of Iron: Lightning Storm
b1 w/ Sugar Minott: Let Jah Love Come
b2 w/ Walda Gabriel: Boss Man
b3 w/ Bobbo Shanti: Poor People Must Work
b4 w/ Ras Donovan & Ras Perez: Let We Go
b5 w/ Paul St. Hilaire: Free For All
b6 See Mi Version
Available: 12th March 2021
a1. w/ Cornel Campbell: King In My Empire
a2. w/ Jennifer Lara: Queen In My Empire
a3. w/ Paul St. Hilaire: Jah Rule
a4. w/ Shalom: We Been Troddin
b1. w/ The Chosen Brothers: Mash Down Babylon
b2. w/ Jah Batta: Music Hit You
b3. w/ Love Joy: Best Friend
b4. w/ The Chosen Brothers: Making History