Sly & Robbie Meet Dubmatix – Overdubbed
Sly & Robbie Meet Dubmatix – Overdubbed
- Smoothie feat. Megative, Prince Alla, Screechy Dan
- Riding East
- Great Wall
- Comunication Breakdown feat. Jay Spaker
- Dirty Flirty
- Great Escape
- Shabby Attack
- Frenchman Code feat. Tréson
- Burru Saturday
- Ruff House
- Riding East (Original Western Mix)
- Communication Breakdown (Dub)
- Burru Saturday (Bonus Mix)
- Great Escape (Dancefloor Dub)
- Riding East (Alternate Version)
- Smoothie (Dub)
SLY & ROBBIE
Although associated primarily with the reggae and dub genres, there will be only a small group of music fans on this globe, who have never heard of the prolific Jamaican riddim section and production duo Sly & Robbie. Drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare teamed up in the mid-1970s after establishing themselves separately in Jamaica as professional musicians. After more than 40 years having worked with x-amount of artists in reggae and other music genres, being responsible for changing the face of reggae several times, and getting 11th Grammy Award nominations and the Gold Musgrave Medal in recognition of their contribution to music, it’s obvious that these Jamaican riddim twins have rightfully gained a legendary status.
Since his debut release “Champion Sound Clash” in 2004, Toronto-born multi-instrumentalist, composer and sought after producer Jesse King aka Dubmatix has amassed over 500 releases to his credit, multiple awards both at home in Canada and abroad, and a massive fan base particularly in Europe where he tours every year. Throughout the years the prolific Canadian has continually evolved his style and is praised by fans as well as music connoisseurs for his relentless inventiveness and creative style.
OVERDUBBED… THE BEGINNING
Dubmatix started working on ‘Overdubbed” after having talked to Echo Beach label boss Nicolai Beverungen about new projects of which doing something with Sly & Robbie could be taken in consideration. Initially just an idea, later became reality when the record label that has the album masters provided 20 Sly & Robbie dubs without vocals to work with. Dubmatix then selected those he thought were perfect to work with as, to him, they were a nice blend of styles and sound from the renowned duo. The first thing Dubmatix started doing was to load up only drums & bass plus some of the percussion parts and take it from there. Thus he created completely new tracks driven by Sly’s drumming and Robbie’s bass play, with a few of them featuring guest appearances from vocalists as well as musicians. Guests involved in this project include Prince Alla, Screechy Dan, Megative, Jay Spaker, Treson, Pato Irie, Bill King, Pablo Paul, Shaky, Illorn, Aaron Kazmer and the Heavyweights Brass Band (Chris Butcher-trombone, John Pittman-trumpet & Paul Metcalfe-saxophone).
OVERDUBBED… THE FINAL RESULT
After having given the album (10-track LP/13-track CD/17-track DR) a few spins, it’s obvious that anyone familiar with the artist’s catalogue simply has to conclude that “Overdubbed” is Dubmatix’ ‘piece de resistance’. It, however, requires an open mind and ear as well as a broad musical taste to fully appreciate an album that includes genres like 1970s reggae, triphop, breakbeat, Afro-Brazilian, dub and more. Although “Overdubbed” spans genres, the music always maintains dub/reggae sonics and approach – as might be expected from Dubmatix.
Starting with the Massive-Attack-esque “Dictionary” (do check the superb horns part coming up towards the end of this tune), Dubmatix takes you on a musical journey that let’s you experience a variety of soundscapes, some of them being really breathtaking and mind-blowing. Not every track hits home at once, but those that do so include the roots-oriented “Smoothie”, the mesmerizing “Communication Breakdown” featuring the beautiful falsetto of Brooklyn-based artist/producer Jay Spaker aka Double Tiger, the powerful instrumental “Shabby Attack”, the gorgeous “Frenchman Code” with its late ’70s rub-a-dub sound and the real nice vocal addition of Tréson, and the instrumental “Ruff House” with its early reggae vibe that invites you to skank to the music. Although the other tracks might not instantly appeal to your ears, it’s recommended to give them repeated listenings to let them grow on you.
Conclusion "Overdubbed" is a fascinating album that somehow urges you to keep it playing over and over again.