Subatomic Sound System’s “Living The Life” EP feat. Noble Society is a portrait of what’s to come.
In this day of social media saturation and vastly increased access to the world wide web, any artist with a dream and a laptop can deliver music directly to the fans. Artists are changing the way they do business virtually overnight. Those who resist change are paid back in reduced sales, reduced royalties, and low turnout at their shows. This new paradigm for delivering music directly from artist to fan has given many an opportunity they never had before, resulting in a vast array of emerging artists with interesting things to say, and heavy riddims to drop.
Just look at the sound system culture, for instance. Once restricted to neighborhood dances in streets and community centres, these turntablists are now able to gain an audience anywhere in the world with “one drop” of the needle. What does this mean for reggae? I suggest you buy up all your first press vinyl classics, plug in to a desktop or laptop computer anywhere, and enjoy the show. We are about to witness a renaissance in reggae and dub the likes of which we have not seen since the early 1970s. Yes, the “dances are changing.” Lucky for us as fans, turntablists and mixologists like Subatomic Sound System’s EMCH, are leading the way.
Subatomic Sound is focused on reinventing the remix album, always getting remixers who are at the top of their game who can deconstruct & rebuild the song for different dancefloors in their own signature style without compromising the original vibes. Subatomic Sound System recently got off tour backing Grammy winning dub inventor Lee “Scratch” Perry inspiring this Black Ark laced roots reggae dub mix. Their new EP, produced for Brooklyn’s acclaimed urban reggae crew Noble Society (iTunes reggae album of the year 2009) and released on the Subatomic Sound label, is fronted by international heavyweight Jahdan Blakkamoore (iTunes reggae album of the year 2010) alongside Fuego and Red X. The record features twisted versions of their big tune “Living the Life.” The record is being described as “a bass fueled ride through rootical dub, next wave dubstep, barefoot, digital hip hop, gypsy dancehall, and tropical trap.” One listen to this uniquely styled assault on the senses gives you a glimpse into the future of reggae and dub.
This record is like nothing you’ve ever heard before, and everything. The album opens with the rootical ”roots step mix” by Subatomic Sound System. Subatomic orchestrates a brutal ground assault while vocalist Blakkamore takes flight over the intense battle being waged below, his vocal constantly switching from melodic to ragga, creating a beautiful, if not downright rootsy new sound. This is my favorite mix on the EP as it is grounded firmly in roots rockers reggae. Track 2 features a stripped down vocal remix anchored by heavy bass drops and bubbling keys. Rolaz remixes “Living the Life” on Track 3 to an atmospheric digital dubstep gem. Ming follows suit with a digital remix backed by heavy synthesizers and keys. Fuego drops the club anthem remix on Track 5. This track definitely has more of a hip-hop vibe while the others are more futuristic sounding. Subatomic Sound System closes the EP with an almost naked vocal supported only by the essentials: drum and bass.
Cop this EP wherever you can find it. It’s the fingerprint for a renaissance in dub reggae.