Dreadzone–Sound (Out 31st July 2015 on Dubwiser)

Dreadzone–Sound (Out 31st July 2015 on Dubwiser)

Electro-dub pioneers Dreadzone to re-issue classic 2001 album ‘Sound’ on their own Dubwiser label. Good news, if not that unexpected I guess, given Dreadzone’s skill in reinterpretations of their own material the majority to good effect, suggests the put time and effort into, made all the more pleasing that now t’s out on the bands label.

Internally formed in 1993 by Big Audio Dynamite rhythm section; drummer Greg ‘Dread’ Roberts and bassist Leo Williams with musician, producer and mixer Tim Bran. Throughout the 1990’s Dreadzone had continually remixed itself; chopping and changing members and record labels (including stints on both Virgin and Alan McGee’s Creation). Greg and Tim decided to approach the new millennium with a fresh idea in the form of the Dubwiser Club night at Notting Hill Arts Club

‘Sound’  on it’s first release was described thus “ The band channelled their energy into club nights that fused dub and reggae with contemporary beats to create the perfect soundtrack for people from different planets. This proved a fertile musical playground which had an immediate impact on the Dreadzone mindset, and it was in this climate (helped by their new ‘Dread Central’ studio complex) that the band would create ‘Sound’”. Out originally on Ruff Life in 2001.

Written and evolved over a two-year period, ‘Sound’ features contributions from Don Letts, Aswad’s Brinsley Forde,  Earl 16 and MC Det. As this re-issue demonstrates, sounds fit for today, just listen to  opener, ‘Return of The Dread’ which also marks the first appearance of a certain MC Spee; ‘Return of The Dread’ for me, still features on my stationary bike mix, not going to deny it, myself and that song have become closer over the years, and I won’t entertain any kind of slagging off, right! The more electronica beat and strum, charged ‘Crazy Knowledge features some good guitar riffs and samples, even a nod to the B.A.D. days, ‘mean Old world’ draws on past influences in it’s conception, whereas ‘Digital Mastermind’ is bright more organic and modern-day timeless.  The percussion on ‘Straight To A Soundboy’ alone is worthwhile and busy, ‘Dread’pon’ older school dub mashed with flavoured electronica, samples and beats. All of the 12 tracks are longer, averaging 6 minutes a song.

Dreadzone are still going strong after over 20 years in the game with core members Greg Dread, Leo Williams, MC Spee and legendary reggae vocalist Earl 16 alongside Chris Compton on guitar and Bazil. They continue to tour extensively, and this re-issue is being accompanied by an extensive set of tour & festival performances. ‘Sound’ either on record or live is worthy of investigation on mass, a solid body of work as good now as in 2001, the album taken as a whole works – creative soundscapes utilised well. Good band, on good form.8.2/10


Fri 9 BARNSTAPLE The Factory
Fri 23 DERBY Flowerpot
Sat 24 NORWICH Waterfront
Fri 30 WARWICK Copper Rooms
Sat 31 NARBERTH Queens Hall

Thu 12 CAMBRIDGE Junction 2
Sat 14 EDINBURGH Electric Circus
Sun 15 LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Fri 20 BRISTOL Fleece
Sat 21 MEGADOG Manchester Academy 1

Tue 1 SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion (With Levellers & Ruts DC)
Wed 2 READING Rivermead (With Levellers & Ruts DC)
Thu 3 DONCASTER The Dome (With Levellers & Ruts DC)
Fri 4 WOLVERHAMPTON Civic Hall (With Levellers & Ruts DC)
Sat 5 BLACKPOOL Empress Ballroom (With Levellers & Ruts DC)
Sat 12 PORTSMOUTH Wedgewood Rooms
Thu 17 LONDON Under the Bridge
Fri 18 STOWMARKET John Peel Centre

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Dreadzone–Sound (Out 31st July 2015 on Dubwiser)