Release Date - 15th March 2019
Khaliphonic 11 is a truly epic release from one of our most prolific artists, Brendon Moeller AKA Echologist, AKA Beat Pharmacy. In just the last two years, Moeller has released on labels as varied as Echocord, Silent Season, Kynant, and Rohs!, to name only the most well-known. Recognized globally for a singularly organic and dubwise approach to techno, we are proud to have a close working relationship with an artist who coaxes humanity and warmth from machines like few others. The Dub Purpose EP is one of his finest achievements.
As we planned a third ZamZam release from our favorite well of hardware sonics, four tracks emerged as comprising a set that simply did not want to be separated. The four tunes that make up this EP felt like chapters in a single gorgeous narrative, and so a 12” was born.
We asked Brendon how dub influences his process, and what this EP specifically is about. He replied:
"Dub facilitates whatever vision I have with music, which is one of the reasons I incorporate a dub approach in everything I do. Whether infusing Nyabinghi rhythms with epic strings, roots dub with industrial dread or grungy modular antics with stepping vibes, dub is the glue that keeps it together. The inspiration behind these tracks are On-U Sound, Wordsound and Bill Laswell, travellers who understood the possibilities of dub."
The Dub Purpose EP does in four tunes what many LPs struggle to do in eight - it builds a cohesive narrative arc that moves from menace, to exploration, through mystery, closing with beauty. And just wait til you hear it on a proper Sound…
Mastered by Sam Precise.
a1. Beat Pharmacy - Guerrilla Conditions
a2. Beat Pharmacy - Vagabond
b1. Beat Pharmacy - Amble Dub
b2. Beat Pharmacy - Resolve
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
Release Date - 12th July 2019
Ophir Kutiel AKA Kutiman is a multi-instrumentalist from Tel Aviv, a “psychedelic space funk architect” to quote Straight No Chaser. When we were approached by his label Siyal about recruiting ZamZam/Khaliphonic artists for a remix project, we loved the idea right away - dub without borders or boundaries is our passion, and getting our hands on Kutiman’s freeform analog explorations felt like an amazing opportunity to push that passion further. All four remixes revel in the freedom of the original tunes, and each, while anchored in dubwise techniques, are totally unhindered by tempo or other genre constraints.
Alter Echo & E3 open with a remix of “Unknown,” the set’s only 140 tune, full up with a bubbling cauldron of bassline and flutes, esoteric vinyl archaeology, spring reverb shocks, and swung percussion.
J:Kenzo, known for 140 and 160 bpm sound system bangers, here takes the chance to stay deep - but in a chill mode - unfurling a beautiful journey of syncopated drum work and slapping percussion framing the lush, meandering melodies of the original “Behind The Noise."
Gulls’ rework of “Mineral” rocks with an offbeat feel, technically in four, but swaying like it’s in three. Plucked guitar figures recall the African roots of contemporary bass music, and tape hiss buffets the listener back and forth through a sonic hall of portals and passages.
Perhaps the most surprising of all four four versions is Headland’s closing “Lucid Dream” remix, which sets course for dub techno country and never looks back. Combining the best of the producer’s masterful sound design and sense of build-and-drop dynamics with the idiom’s 4/4 pulse and focus on immersive space, Headland closes a set as inspired as the album it was based on.
a1. Kutiman - Unknown (Alter Echo & E3 Remix)
a2. Kutiman - Behind The Noise (J:Kenzo RemIx)
b1. Kutiman - Mineral (Gulls Remix)
b2. Kutiman - Lucid Dream (Headland Remix)
Release Date - 26th October 2018
Known for a broad swath of genre-obliterating club tracks on crucial labels including Critical, Exit, and 50Weapons, Sam Binga approached us earlier this year with a radically different kind of project, a collaboration with Welfare, true junglist and label boss at D&B bastion Rua Sound. The result of their team-up is Conamara Fieldworks. Its unique inspiration and patient process are best described by the duo themselves:
"In early November 2016, we set off through the bleakness of an Irish November into the wilderness that is Conamara, County Galway, Ireland, with about half an idea of what we wanted to do. Our friend Laney had been kind enough to allow us the use of a 300 year old cottage overlooking the sea, itself belonging to her family through generations which she was bit by bit restoring to its former glory. The isolation was perfect - very little in the way of creature comforts, no network coverage, but plenty of turf for the stove and Guinness for the belly.
Our routine for the next few days consisted of trudging the length of the rugged coastline in search of interesting sounds we could potentially process into usable elements for some kind of dub/dub techno-inspired composition...This took us inside tidal caves and abandoned ruins, across sheep fields, up and down mountains and winding country lanes, in and out of the odd pub, under upturned boats and (carefully) across huge washes of seaweed-covered shoreline. Using our handheld recorder (shouts Danny Scrilla for the lend) we assembled a palette of varied noises, constantly battling with the peaking and distortion created by the incessant Atlantic gusts.
Each evening, following some intense huddling around the stove and vital Irish home cuisine and stout, we'd examine and dissect what we had collected that day, sometimes discovering the most interesting material firmly planted in the background of the soundscapes. A certain amount of (but not too much) processing later we had the bones of a few short loops of each sound which made some kind of musical sense when played alongside each other.
Binga suggested staying true to the craft and keeping the rawness to the foreground by attempting to develop the loops into full compositions via live desk mixing, arrangement and effects. We said our goodbyes to Conamara and a month or two later said our hellos to the Dubkasm shedio. Following a crash course from the dynamic duo, we set to work for the day, learning as we went along and enjoying to the full the unpredictability, intuition and sheer vibes a dubbing session can bring, particularly in a studio kitted out with some fine analogue gear which undoubtedly helped us to keep that damp, saturated feeling that Conamara had sown."
The resulting collection of music speaks for itself, and does so in its own language. It is meditative, deeply textural, and richly saturated, with awesome sound design, generous bass weight, and dubwise finesse. Referencing ambient, concrete, and dub techno while never letting any genre dictate its path, Conamara Fieldworks is a deeply rewarding and intensely involving listen. A restrained yet transporting remix from the one Ossia completes the set.
a1. Sam Binga & Welfare - Trá na Feadóige
a2. Sam Binga & Welfare - Muirbhigh (Ossia Remix)
b1. Sam Binga & Welfare - Cloch Na Rón
b2. Sam Binga & Welfare - Iorras Beag
b3. Sam Binga & Welfare - Muirbhigh
Released 22nd June 2018
Paul Dickow AKA Strategy is a musical polymath with a signature sound derived from his immersion in hardware-based electronic music. He has spent close to two decades traveling freely through house, techno, rave, noise, ambient, and sounds more difficult to categorize. Strategy’s sound is inimitable because it is literally built by hand - his hands. Through all of this sonic journeying, including multiple full length releases, a constant has been his love of reggae and dub, yet somehow a proper dub album has never emerged - until now.
After two much-loved 7” singles on ZamZam - to say nothing of dubwise excursions on Idle Hands, Shockout, Peak Oil, 100% Silk and more - “Dub Mind Paradigm” is the fulfillment of a clear, simple goal. "I set out to make a full set of dub tracks good enough to make an album -- something that had always eluded me-- and it worked, finally. A simple exercise in seeing if we could launch the capsule to orbit Planet Reggae and make it home again.”
Reaching Planet Reggae, the album explores analog caverns of dubwise at all tempos, from the 80s to 140, full of the ghosts of ancient and future technologies, glimmering shards of hope among heaps of folly, ruin and rubble. Music fans with crates deeper than the contemporary will find shades of Wackies, Firehouse, Unity Sound, Burial Mix and more, but only winks and nods… no one sounds like Strategy, and Strategy sounds like no one.
Mastered by Sam Precise.
Art & design by Polygon Press.
Distributed by Unearthed Sounds LTD.
Limited to 700 vinyl LPs - no repress, no digital.
a1. Cloaking Device Dub
a2. Horizontal Dub
a3. Downtown Dub
a4. Deposed Tyrant Dub
b1. Speaking Dub To Power
b2. Shaking The Dub
b3. Sisyphus Dub
b4. Lone Wolf And Dub
Due End Of January 2017
Jerome Meyer AKA Von D is a master craftsman, well-known for releasing dubstep and bass music since 2009. On an increasingly prolific trajectory since last year, recent 12”s on Infernal Sounds, Trojan Audio and Scotch Bonnet have signaled his renewed focus on dubwise productions. We are proud to say that Von D’s Khaliphonic debut sees him fully committing to reggae and dub - in his words, “going back to my musical roots.”
“Politricks” is a masterwork, cut from the same living rock as the classic Cuss Cuss riddim, a simply huge bass and drum workout that is truly one for the ages. Politricks is an anthem for now, a call to avoid the dead-end of politics-as-usual and a warning to beware of the lies politicians tell to keep themselves in power - full of promises but changing nothing. Von D says that “working with Don Cotti was very natural,” and their easy relationship is audible - the tune fits the vocal like a glove, and Cotti’s instantly-recognizable singjay style gives even more gravitas to an already heavy track. The dub version spools out Von D’s signature saturated echoes even further, and opens up spectral chambers of reverb that shimmer and glow.
The B side “Ygrec” is an equally massive tune, just as compelling if more meditative and mysterious, coming in both one drop and power-steppers mixes for maximum versatility and vibes. Both tunes and their versions feature an incredibly robust, warm, human sound - one that simply can’t come from machines alone - live drums, bass, and kete drum among other instruments maintain the tradition of live musicians in dub - to say nothing of expert desk-based mixing and deployment of live analog effects the way the elders intended. Both tunes dial in at 140 making them perfect for roots and dubstep selectors alike.
Von D got his start as a drummer and engineer outside Paris, in the heady days of original jungle. Early releases on Disfigured Dubz, Hench, Boka, Black Acre and the seminal V Recordings, as well as his reggae-oriented Liquid Wicked project, cemented his reputation. Don Cotti is a prolific producer, DJ and MC with releases stretching back to 2006 on labels as varied as Bass Face, Studio Rockers, and Soul Jazz.
Mastered by Lewis at Stardelta. Art & design by Polygon Press.
a1. Politricks ft. Cotti
a2. Poly Dub
b1. Yrec Dub
b2. Yrec Dub 366