From the Unit 137 label comes this impressive second release from their resident producer Sleepy Time Ghost (see reggaemusic.org.uk 27th January 2013 for a review of his earlier EP based around the ‘Youthman Riddim’). This time round STG offers a four-track EP built upon the slow and strong roots sound of the ‘Ghost Train Riddim’. This starts with ‘Meditation’ (featuring Macka B and Zico), followed through with ‘Jah Can Read Your Thoughts’ (featuring vocals from no less than Mikey General). Next up is the remix from Hylu and Jago entitled ‘Babylon’, before the EP closes with the source rhythm track itself which will doubtless be an inspiration for further versions, mixes and dubs in the future.
Unit 137 has by now built up quite a reputation with its unique project – a South-East London-based collective of musicians, DJs, producers, vocalists and engineers, sharing their own recording studio, record label and sound system and drawing-in a whole range of contributors. Overall this new release reinforces that reputation and manages to bring together older established reggae traditions with a contemporary nu-sound system feel based on the combination of live instrumentation and studio digital production.
Click here to listen to a preview.
Sleepy Time Ghost: ‘Ghost Train Riddim’ EP released (Unit 137) on 19th April 2014 for ‘record store day’ (vinyl format); 21st April 2014 (digital format).
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