Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dub meets Disco, Boogie meets Dub

Ever since first hearing Risco Connection many years ago I have been obsessed with finding music where the worlds of reggae and disco collide. Since my favorite form of reggae is dub, it's even more exciting to find dub with a 4/4 disco beat. This rare track by D-Roy Band is a nice example of dub with a stomping "steppers" groove that could mix well in a house or disco set.

D-Roy "Trenchtown Skank"

I also love finding a fantastic disco or boogie single with an inventive dub or instrumental "version" on the flip. Sometime in the late 1970's dance music producers began to borrow heavily from the studio innovation that dub producers were experimenting with. Lots of heavy reverbs, delays and panning and just a touch of vocals really added excitement to sometimes standard dance mixes. Often the dub is preferrable to the vocal mix on the A-side.

The Rah Band were a British funk band from the 1970's who really
blossomed in the 1980's under legendary producer Richard A. Hewson (his initials form the R.A.H in Rah Band). Hewson released the cult classic 12" "What Shall We Do When The Disco's Over" on the Rinder and Lewis AVI label in 1978.

Released in 1983, "Messages From the Stars" is his true masterpiece. Unleashing one of the fiercest boogie synth basslines ever committed to tape on top of heavy drum machines, "Messages From the Stars" is tough to beat on the dancefloor. And yet the wistful female vocals and cosmic subject matter give it a softer edge that is irresistible.
On the b-side Hewson really lets loose and gives us just the hook of the vocals lovingly dubbed out while the drums delay and flange all over the mix. It's called the "astro mix" and it really takes you to outer space!

Rah Band "Messages From The Stars"

1 comment:

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