For a lot of reggae-lovers the last years were a hard and rocky road to go. The output just does not feel and particularly sound as good as one would like it to be. To repetitive, to flat-sounding, excessive use of voice-effects such as vocoder to cover the non-abilities of the singers, ect.
Nevertheless there are good productions out there and the last months has seen some outstanding releases, mostly coming from the uk (ofc). The tunes are well produced, having deep and organic basslines, using effects to add ambience (not to cover weakness) and they are complemented by the voices of DJs or Singers. By that they are not only creating that certain dub-vibe but also an oldschool feeling so many older reggae lovers are missing from a lot of the reggae productions of the last years. The releases are including great remixes by producers from the dubstep scene, who are adding their own interesting and versatile ideas of deep, bassline intensive soundsystem music. Here I want to give place to three of those releases.
Coming out of the Vibration Lab, this riddim is deep and dubby. The sweet voice of Linval Thompson is the perfect add to the bassline, creating a very organic feeling. Four remixes and three dub versions are accompanying the original tune, any one of them providing a certain interpretation of the original tune (e.g. check the trumpets on the Adam Prescott remix). Without exceptions the remixes and dub versions are all heavyweight business, created to make your subwoofer work. It is a crucial release, pressed on two vinyls.
Alpha Steppas are pushing this kind of style for some time now and their releases never disappoint. In march they released the Alpha Steppas meets Jahyu E.P. (listen to it here). The E.P. has a strong dubstep feel to it, with some mid-range wobbles and half-time beats. To the contrary June sees the release of their first 7 inches in a double set. A percy for all soundsystem lovers, it is orientated towards reggae and steppa riddims, no half-time beats on it at all.