Why is this song so heavy? You can only assume that it is intentional; that the waves of bass which crash out of the speakers are the result of a conscious desire to make an earth shaking roots tune, rather than heavy-handedness at the mixing desk.
As you might expect, the low-end propels the song forward, but the hook is still a vocal one – and there’s able assistance from a guitar riff as well, providing a good deal of melodic staying power.
The lyrics, delivered in a gruff but positive manner, are a classic affirmation of Rastafari faith, of not being swayed by evil and being close to Jah.
The song was released in 2000, on the limited, self-released album World Tour. The release is a CDr, not a proper CD, and is on his own Dread At The Controls Imprint.
Mikey Dread was a true legend in the Reggae world, having been at the forefront of roots in the 70s. Tragically, he died in 2008 of a brain tumour.
Boards Of Canada are undoubtedly a rare sort. You might put Aphex Twin and Burial in the same class; they make weird electronic music that straddles the world of Ambient and IDM.
“1969” exemplifies the strange charm Boards Of Canada’s music has. A scratchy, lo-fi beat holds up a truly cosmic synth. These two elements create the hypnotic backbone of the song. Then, some disturbing and garbled lyrics appear.
The “hook” of the song – in so far as it has one – is the discordant wave of bleeps.
As with much Boards Of Canada music, the sound is both beautiful and disorientating at the same time.
The song was released in 2002 on Geogaddi, which has a vaguely occult feeling, full of obscure references to vaguely occult things.
A lot of more hardcore songs about Rastafari can be quite impenetrable to people who don’t listen to a reggae.
The accent is thicker, the subject is religious, the version is more African influenced.
Here, the essential theme is feel good roots reggae. It’s very easy to vibe along to this. That doesn’t mean, however, that the song is somehow diluted and the message lost. The lyrics are a strong affirmation of the Rastafari faith.
The bassline is relatively restrained, but as this is a roots reggae song, it’s naturally very present…
The majority of the melodic power is from the singing. The verses and chorus flow into one, each as catchy as the other.
There’s also the guitar picking, which adds that crucial embellishment, a great little riff.
The song was released in 2000, much later than you might think, on Humble African.
When 2-Step legend and dubstep pioneer El-B gives you recognition for your drum programming, it probably means you have a knack for making impressive beats.
This track isn’t even one of the more rhythmically complex songs in the Slaughter Mob arsenal, but still packs some heavy percussion laden firepower…
There’s more of a halftime, traditional dubstep feeling to “Heamophwiza”, providing fertile ground for the grimey, distorted bassline to take root. It’s a simple enough recipe, but mastering a rolling groove like this is a crucial art for this kind of music.
Even so, the relentless congas and hi-hats rattle out a dark and tribal sequence throughout, keeping the atmosphere paranoid.
Although many of their most potent songs are from their early 00s Garage days, a song like this shows how they could adapt with the times without sacrificing their essence. The song, sometimes spelt “Haemophilia”, was released in 2009 on Southside Recordings, on Di Hit Maker E.P.
Hip Hop has a long tradition of diss tracks. It’s good for the artists because it gives them exposure and generates hype. It’s good for the listener because it’s funny and brings out the most acerbic side to MCs.
Acknowledge is a great diss track. The background to it is that a rapper named Boogieman had accused Masta Ace of ripping of one of his tracks. The Boogieman track was called “Ghetto Love”, and the Masta Ace one was called Ghetto Like. So Boogieman released a track entitled “Just You Wait” dissing Masta Ace.
Masta Ace’s reply is “Acknowledge”, a scathing reminder to other MCs about Masta Ace’s talent and long standing in the rap game.
The word play is on point, and the message is a straightforward one: who’s Boogieman?
Such a takedown deserves a decent arena, and the instrumental provides a fantastic backdrop to the lyrics, with a deep, smooth bassline and some catchy strings sampled from “Home” by Cafe Del Mar.
The song was released in 2001, and also appeared on the album Disposable Arts.
“Time”, by 60s vocal group The Flirtations, is actually very hard to find. Unless there has been a crediting error somewhere, the original might not be on the internet…
Soul purists might object strongly to this speed garage remix, but it’s a quality song in its own right, if not quite so classy.
The vocal hook is a banging one for sure, especially when those hard driving choruses hit. The track had the status of an anthem within the Speed Garage and Niche scenes, and is now a stone cold classic.
As is usual for a speed garage banger, the bassline is both heavy and warping, providing the lynchpin of the track. It’s a catchy one too, a very important trait for a song like this one. The drums skip and dance magnificently, providing a swinging feeling. And that’s about it; just those three elements work great together!
The song was released in 2003 on an E.P. with a couple of other remixes on.