Various – ‘Evergreen’ EP (Reggae Roast)

‘Righteous’, Reggae Roast Records’ first release of 2011, provides a versatile mix of new talent and dub pioneers that engineers a hypnotizing, escapist offering of traditional roots reggae accompanied by a selection of well placed remixes from Bristolian producer RSD (Earwax/Punch Drunk) and dub-happy newcomer Dark Arx.

It’s easy to forget the fundamental elements of today’s UK bass culture and the direct influence that dancehall, dub and reggae had on early dubstep. Fans of Mala and Coki circa 05/06 will feel a certain nostalgic twang with the title track. Produced by Danman’s hypnotic chanting over slow, rhythmic beats are made for the dancehall but wouldn’t sound out of place in either one of Mala or Coki’s sets.

Dark Arx delivers a nice techno-dub metamorphosis, replacing the swaying step of the original with a jittery, atmospheric beat whilst RSD provides the Bristolian bass-weight we all know and love. Fans of Peverelist & Joker, pay attention.

Although ‘Righteous’ is no piece of musical innovation, it’s perfectly formed for it’s intended demographic. Mixing the deep, organic fundamentals of dancehall energy with forward thinking UK vibes. Reggae Roast’s capacity to showcase new production talent outside of its traditional roster gives a great insight into the adaptation of specialist roots reggae and projecting it out to freshman ears.

Lucinda Runham