All the way from sunny Brighton here comes King Porter Stomp with a new single, ‘Warning’. With production in the safe hands of the formidable Prince Fatty this promises to be a track well worth hearing and, happily, it is: a slow-paced brass and bass-heavy political reggae song, resolving into a fine dubbed-up section with guitar and brass fading in and out over the firm bass and drum rhythm. With a version produced by the well-respected Nick Manasseh on the flip side of this 10” vinyl release, it is a great reggae single firmly in the mainstream roots/UK dub tradition. Eight-piece King Porter Stomp, named after a classic Jelly Roll Morton song from almost a century ago (now, that would be an interesting tune to hear ska-style!), have been around for a while now – see earlier review on reggaemusic.org.uk 15th September 2012. They rightly continue to attract attention for their style which manages to sound technically accomplished and effortless at the same time: a fine achievement indeed.
King Porter Stomp ‘Warning’, release 24th November 2014 on Feet Up Records, limited edition 10” vinyl and digital download.
Future Dub Project are a group of musicians, producers, collaborators and guests gathered into a collective inspired by the traditions of bass-led dub, but reaching out into new directions. Formerly of reggae-dub act Strobe Circus, James Duff and Kyle B have added bassist Mike Pocket and DJ Thomas James to become the Future Dub Project. With the addition of guest vocalists, and Tree House Fire’s (see reggaemusic.org.uk 4th August 2014) Sam Rothon, ‘Captain Hook’ emerges as a tight and forward-looking EP.
Starting with the title track ‘Captain Hook’, with vocals from Chainska Brassika singer Ashley James and trumpets from Jonny Murray, the feel is upbeat – ska and 2-tone influenced – but with lyrics (and video) that conjure up a less insular and more diverse world than is often portrayed in reggae culture. The other core track, ‘Boogie Walk’, features Sarah Iman Telman on vocals. Its feel is different from the opener, providing us with a dancehall, electronic, assertive reggae sort of rhythm which resolves itself into a pleasingly noisy sort of rock-influenced conclusion. The production throughout is excellent and contemporary: future dub indeed. Aside from this, there are remixes of these two tracks: the radio edit ‘Smoove Remix’ of ‘Captain Hook’ is worthy of mention for its dance/funk inspiration, while the ‘Sean Paul Mash Up’ of the same song is a great toasting headlong dancehall version, again moving into dance mood as it progresses.
“For me the best thing about starting The Future Dub Project was that we came at it with a fresh energy,” says James. “With all the experience gained from playing in live bands for most of our lives, we’ve had the time to learn what works both in the studio and on stage.”
The Future Dub Project: Captain Hook EP. Release 3rd November 2014.