12 Levels Above Secret
Area X
The Small Axe People
December 18, 2009

Track list
  1. 38
  2. Beast Of The Wild
  3. Blinker
  4. Codex
  5. Cordoned
  6. Directory
  7. Disclose
  8. Pop O Matic
  9. Quirk
  10. Resistant
  11. Safer
  12. Walking
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Lead Instruments : 4 Backing : 5 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
After the reviews in 2001 of the first Small Axe People album "Original Version" and one of its successors, the 2003 release "Once Upon A Version" by Teacher & Mr.T and mine of 2004 release "Portion Of Version" and in 2005 of the first 'vocal' album, a joint effort with legendary Studio One and Treasure Isle veteran DJ Dennis Alcapone "Just Version" and one year later in June 2006 of "V Is For Version", followed by 2007's "The Wildest Version", last year gave us the Area X album "Dub One" together with its instrumental companion "Generation Version" and then in 2009 "Creation" and recently "Skank It Up" by The Small Axe People, the latest release before this "12 Levels Above Secret" album, the dub companion to "The Wildest Version" by Area X, like the Small Axe People, the brainchild of the very amicable long time reggae and dub (and yes, even dancehall) aficionado Ray Hurford, editor, owner and writer of 'Small Axe', the reggaezine that has become an institution over the years, first on paper and later on the internet.

Actually this is thus the album I've mentioned in a couple of reviews already, the already announced Area X' "The Wildest Dub" but now upon release retitled into "12 Levels Above Secret". As I already wrote in my review of "The Wildest Version", that album seemed to incorporate a new direction, as the riddims at times reminisced stripped down hardcore dancehall patterns and it remains clear here in the Area X dub versions that the riddims heavily bear that influence. This album is almost a strange yet very intriguing dancehall/dub symbiosis that can once more be easily recommended to all Wackies, Rhythm & Sound, Augustus Pable and Lee 'Scratch' Perry aficionados, yet also to those afraid of too much minimalism, but enough has been 'left off' for the dry-to-the bone enthusiasts. The album is even more enjoyable when played back to back with "The Wildest Version" by The Small Axe People. To hear it, visit The Small Axe People, to buy it, visit Small Axe People Paypal.