Artist / Title :
Mungo's Hifi And Kenny Knots - Rasta Meditation/Meditation Dub
Mungo's Hifi And MC Ishu - Belly Ska/Belly Ska Dub

Label : Scotch Bonnet      Format : 10" Discomix     
Date :
August 16, 2005
Rating : (1 to 5 stars)

The rise of UK roots throughout the whole of the 90’s has had a phenomenal effect on the fortunes of roots and dub -- inspired by Shaka and taking up his call, The Disciples, Alpha and Omega, Jah Warrior, Conscious Sounds and others introduced this music to an entire new generation of listeners.

Others followed where they led, but all to often, by the end of the 90’s, the genre had become somewhat over derivative, arguably relying too liberally for its cues on the classic Exterminator sound.

Exceptions to that rule from this year was the constantly inspired work from Gussie P (a formidable talent), the great "Foundation Rockers" 12" disco from Ryan Moore and Brother Culture (an intense, dreamlike mix, not to be missed) and the pounding digital purge and boom of Jah Warrior/Conscious Sounds/ Prof Frisky "Man Fi Strong" which exemplified a peak of clever and inspired mixing in a wider genre increasingly characterised by clichéd, dirge like mixes.

This 10" by Mungo's Hi Fi then, is a pleasing addition to the UK style -- "Meditation Dub" features a ragga vocal style from the ever popular Kenny Knotts, but the rhythm is pure early/mid 80’s dancehall style with one of those ever recurring Channel 1/Studio One style bass structures. It works well, and the dub is quite ethereal. This is one aimed squarely at the dancehall -- though the light headed version lingers in the mind.

The other side -- "Belly Ska dub" -- is a pleasing affair, working on two levels : It will work in the dancehall, but the version is a clever and subtle mix. This is no plain and simple "hammering digi bass drum steppers cliché mix" -- all too often a repetitive, off putting and annoying feature of "new roots" releases nowadays but instead, this mix aims for a hard b line, contrasted with offbeat, strange weaving drum/percussion structures, which keep the listener intrigued. There is also a delicate horns line which pays respect to its origins in Don Drummond, Roland Alphonso and Tommy Mcook -- without ripping them off.

All in all a pleasing work to watch out for -- One to rock the dance, but still smart and inspired enough to intrigue the imagination, as good dub should.

Professor Barnabas