From South London label Unit 137, who previously brought us Hylu and Jago’s dubbed-up mixes of the Anansi Riddim (see reggaemusic.org.uk 25th July 2012), along comes a new EP of versions around the Youthman Riddim. This is the first full-length release from producer Sleepy Time Ghost (who also featured on the Anansi Riddim mixes).
This time round we find two treatments of the Youthman riddim, from Ras Demo (aka Demolition Man) and Lionpulse, plus a remix from Hylu and Jago and a very strong dub from Joe Ariwa, alongside father the Mad Professor himself.
The release opens with ‘Rule Your Destiny’ with its pure vintage style roots vocal over the established Youthman rhythm track. This is followed through with ‘Bad Days are Gone’ with a very different DJ-style vocal treatment over the rhythm, breaking off mid-way through into a brass/bass interlude before returning to the vocal and a dub conclusion: a great track that hints at the glory days of dub but manages to avoid sounding retro, a powerful version that is likely to be widely and loudly played. Joe Ariwa’s ‘Youthman Dub’ is an excellent bass-driven dub of the original rhythm, clear and sharp, echoing away like there is no tomorrow and propelling dub into 2013 where it belongs. The fourth and final track is ‘Bad Days are Gone’ again, this time featuring Lionpulse in a remix from Hylu and Jago: an elaborate mashed-up forward-looking mix reminiscent of both dancehall and dubstep, all at one-and-the-same time in a strong steppas treatment – an exhausting conclusion to a fine release.
Sleepy Time Ghost: Youthman Riddim; release 18th February 2013 on Unit 137 label, vinyl/download