Dubs & Downs

by Kabanjak

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about

Kabanjak has been exploring genres of all sorts of design that pull from hip-hop, electronica, reggae and soul to create some of the most forward-thinking music to come out of Europe. Stepping out this time as a one-man band, the musician has orchestrated a new work which employs all of his talents as a producer of up-to-the-minute sounds.

Kabanjak’s latest solo venture, Dubs and Downs, strips his collective influences down to the lone elements of reggae and dub. Largely instrumental, the EP opts for tempos that are never disturbed beyond the fuss of a soft, tropical breeze. Dubs and Downs evokes the gritty living of coastal life and takes its cues from reggae’s most diverse spectrum; everyone from Lee “Scratch” Perry and King Tubby to Augusto Pablo and Sugar Minott can be referenced.

With only a spare seven tracks, Kabanjak manages some truly sultry gems. “Home Again” (featuring Til Schneider), an undulating groove of equatorial heat, is accented with horns that are drawn across the number with painterly, breezy streaks. “Everything is Alright”, which features on the EP in three different versions (each one a slight variation in groove and melody), adds chunk and heft to its rhythm, the hollows of its groove filling up with the resonance of deep bass.

Keeping the corners of these structured rhythms stone-tight, Kabanjak allows ample room for a flush of blue melody to expand within the perimeters. Some of reggae’s most pronounced elements are found here (prominent use of the melodica features throughout) and Dubs and Downs employs a judicious mix of one-drop and steppers, styles given fresh designs through the producer’s impressive arrangements.

On the EP’s most strident cut, “Boomdraw”, guest Amlak Redsqaure offers a honeyed toasting that slightly roughens the otherwise smooth flow of this organic Reggae. The same number appears yet again as an instrumental to allow a closer listen at all the smaller nuances that go unnoticed behind Redsqaure’s cavernous vocal.

It is perhaps opening number “More Love” which sums up this experience of unperturbed, island living, the untouchable calm in both the waves of the sea and sand. Echoing with the colours of twilight, the number perfectly sets the bar high for club-driven reggae, and is delivered by a well-known name in underground music culture.

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released June 30, 2017

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Switchstance Recordings Köln, Germany

The label's creed and therefore the style of its producers and DJs is to have ultimate freedom, whether in their musical movements or in "switching" between various styles. The aim of the label is to combine early musical influences such as Funk, Jazz, Latin, 90´s Hip Hop and Reggae with the most progressive techniques of electronic music production.

"Quality Grooves since 2001"
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