7" Vinyl Single / Digital Single
January 16, 2012

Artist & tune

  • Courtney John - Born To Fly / Ticklah - Born To Dub
Overall rating : (1 to 5 stars)   
It was in 2009 that the first 7" vinyl single -- a remixed version of Jahdan Blakkamoore's anthem "The General" -- was released by the NYC based Liondub45 imprint, a brand new sub-label of the already well established and highly sought after LionDub International imprint which represents the electronic, reggae influenced worlds of Jungle, Drum'n'Bass, and Dubstep. After the runaway success of its premier release, the label released two more 7" vinyl singles: Sugar Minott's "Praise His Name" (2010) and Judah Eskender Tafari's "Land Of Confusion" (2011). And now, after a year-long break, LionDub45 returns with a brand new release from Brooklyn based producer Ticklah and Jamaica's Courtney John called "Born To Fly/Born To Dub".

Both artists should need no introduction - as a founding member of the Dap Kings, Antibalas, and the Easy Star All-Stars, Victor Axelrod spreads his work across funk, soul, and African rhythms, but his more rootical vibrations are saved for his Ticklah productions. Courtney John is an experienced Jamaican vocalist who emerged in the '90s (then calling himself Yogi) and has worked extensively with Sly & Robbie on their Silent River label and the UK based Peckings camp. The collaboration with the latter led to the release of the smash hit "Lucky Man", which was accompanied by a beautiful video clip.

Courtney John's sweet falsetto voice shines bright on a fresh original riddim, which let's you hear Ticklah's funk roots in the guitar and organ licks. The busy production is filled out by a precision guitar skank, bubbling bass, and a spare percussion palette while maintaining a vintage roots feel. Both, Courtney John and Ticklah, truly deliver the best they have to offer, turning "Born To Fly" into a wonderful tune, stamped with quality all over. Also the dub version on the flipside, with its liquid bass that leads the drastically reduced riddim as expert echo treatments of the drums and pads propel the deep, heads-down groove, is worthwhile spinning over and over again.