Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Producer Dennis Bovell & Ex-Beta Band Vocalist Steve Mason Collaborate On Reggae/Dub Album

Former Beta Band front man Steve Mason has joined forces with respected reggae artist/producer and bassist Dennis Bovell for a dub reinterpretation of his debut solo album, 'Boys Outside', which was released last year. As such, the remix collaboration titled 'Ghosts Outside' takes Mason’s solo album and strips it down to its dub-reggae elements with surprising results. Mason’s haunting vocals are perfectly suited to a backdrop of stripped back dub beats and shimmering horns.

Bovell was a one time member of British reggae act Matumbi, finding success as a record producer working with a diverse group of artists including I-Roy, The Thompson Twins, Alpha Blondy, Bananarama, The Pop Group, Fela Kuti, The Slits, Orange Juice and Madness. He has collaborated with dub poet, Linton Kwesi Johnson for much of his working life. He would seem the perfect producer for a project like this.

Mason was vocalist with The Beta Band, who were a Scottish musical group who received much critical acclaim and achieved cult status amongst avid followers of the underground and experimental music scene. Their style was described as being 'folktronica', a blend of folk, electronic, rock, trip hop, and experimental jamming. Mason has acknowledged the influence of reggae and dub music on his song writing.

The pair have kindly share a copy of ‘Yesterday Dub’ ahead of the release of the album. Its a refreshingly old school reggae/dub track with throbbing bass, propulsive beats and brass trimmings. Throughout, Mason’s vocals are kept minimal; a sampled line here, an indecipherable, looped enunciation there. While the DNA of the original album comes, it still sounds miles away from the source material.

Ghosts Outside will be available digitally on July 26th and physically from August 2nd. Give 'Yesterday Dub' a listen below:

Steve Mason & Dennis Bovell - Yesterday Dub by DominoRecordCo

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