Seekersinternational - Ragga Preservation Society EP
Released 23rd June 2017
Seekersinternational sends dub into another dimension, a place where the laws of physics appear irrelevant. Formerly solid structures are made improbable and surreal; songs become dizzying, recursive mazes. But for all this weirdness, the Canadian producer has generally hung onto dub's loved-up feel. This cassette is different.
Appearing on Japan's Diskotopia, the RaggaPreservationSociety EP traces dub's sonics as they developed into ragga jungle. The manic style is sunk deep in the dance music consciousness. Hearing it get a cubist makeover is a bit like having familiar memories smashed up and reassembled as crazy paving: in other words, disorientating. Crowds of sampled ragga chatter vie for attention, repitched chords and cartoonish basslines hint at two (or more) different keys, and breakbeats and delay trails meet in gruesome pileups. Structures are fragmented and, thanks to the release's mixtape sequencing, it can be hard to tell what is "track" and what is "transition." Most are probably a bit of both.
The chaos is glorious, but the EP is made extra special by the moments when unexpected order emerges. Somehow, several of these tracks are, well, catchy. The best come in a run on the A-side: "SoundDedication"'s sliced piano chords and delirious chipmunk coos, into "DanceGwaan(EazeUp!)," whose skittish breakbeat is cut with tender synth chords, and then "NoCompetition"'s quiet storm sweetness, aided by twinkling Rhodes and a female vocal. On the flipside, "ChannelTwo(MurderousDub)" is just as good. A sliced vocal and bassline form an improbably singable hook, before tumbling into a big old sentimental piano breakdown. Or perhaps the word "breakdown" is redundant on this marvellously broken release.
Side A Sample
Side B Sample
02. AmenBreadren (feat. Sipreano)
05. NoCompetition (feat. K!dlat)
06. Bubblers(Inter-rude) (feat. Sipreano)
07. TellURudeBwoy (feat. wzrdryAV)
10. GunRingoX1&2 (feat. Sipreano)