Moonshine Recordings – ‘Steppin’ Forward’ LP [VA]

MSLP002 digital cover

As the Moonshine back catalog continues to grow in both size and undeniable quality, the imprint has launched one of the finest campaigns to date with the ‘Steppin’ Forward’ VA LP.  The anticipation of this release has been surging through the underground community, listeners and bloggers alike.  Having been fortunate enough to receive an early copy, I don’t think there has been a day in the past three weeks that I haven’t played at least half of the album.  During my long commutes home from university, sitting in the standard Los Angeles traffic, this album has played an integral role in me not wanting to roundhouse-kick nearly everybody on the highway while simultaneously throwing hand grenades during my acrobatics.  For that, I thank Moonshine and every artist featured deeply.  ‘Steppin’ Forward’ brings a plethora of new – to Moonshine – talent (Compa, OSC, Numa Crew, Adam Prescott, and Dubsworth, among others)  under the label’s umbrella, which is likely an indication of what us listeners can expect to see in the coming year as far as releases.  I’ve mentioned a couple of my favorite tracks below, but make sure you bag this LP, whether you’re a vinyl or digital head, because each track is top-shelf business.

My absolute favorite off this release is Numa Crew’s ‘Knowledge’.  The swinging halfstep percussion provides perfect avenue for the syncopated collection of delayed vocals and horns to drift in and out of the mix.  The LFO pressure on the sub is immense and injects a lasting amount of energy into the listener with its single bar presence.  Compa’s ‘One Lion’ is another one of my favorites.  It’s spacious aesthetic and rolling bongo hits invoke a seamless listening experience, while the vocal processing adds an element of introspect that always gets my mind moving in the right direction.  The last I’ll mention is Hatti Vatti ft. Cian Finn – ‘Education’.  This one will prove to be a prolific anthem simply due to the profound message of Cian Finn’s vocals.  Everybody, including myself, would be wise to remember these words when in times of defeat or struggle.

Make sure to listen below, as Moonshine has put up clips of the entire album to preview.  I’ve also included links to pre-order (vinyl) or keep your eye on for the release date – March 24th.

MOONSHINE RECORDINGS | PRE-ORDER VINYL | JUNO

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That’s it for today, I’ll catch you soon, fam’.  One love.

– Kinman

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Vibration Lab Sets The Weekend Off Right

What’s going on bredren?!  That’s right, Friday is finally here – thank jah.  As Lowkey said yesterday it has been really hectic for all of us the past couple weeks with work, school, life, our own musical commitments, etc., so we apologize for the days that lacked posts.  We are doing our best to keep it in a daily fashion, though, so don’t hate 🙂

Today I wanted to highlight a feature that hit the shelves/web today.  It seemed the perfect compilation to set the weekend off with the right kind of vibes.  Hailing from the boys over at Vibration Lab, this EP is jam-packed full of proper Reggae vibes and includes remixes by some really amazing artists.  The EP, titled ‘Tribulation Time’, features vocals from a very prominent figure in Reggae/Dub history, Linval Thompson.  This guy has worked with Scratch Perry, and has produced albums for Eek-A-Mouse, Freddie McGregor, and The Wailing Souls (to name a few).  Not to mention that a lot of the Scientist’s early work was based off of Thompson’s sound.  A true legacy this man is.  But anyways, back to the EP:

The Vibration Lab originals are top-notch digi-dub productions.  You can feel the organic warmth of the old school dub styles, despite it’s digital composition (big up the sound crew for that!).  Thompson’s vocals are extremely uplifting and really hit deep in your soul.  The beat itself brings you back, man.  Closing my eyes I felt like I was sitting in a smoke filled room just smiling and looking around, seeing everyone else smiling and laughing with each other.  Really feeling these jams.

As for the remixes, I’m going to take straight from the press release because I think it is a perfect introduction for the artists involved:

“When it came time to figure out who we wanted to remix this project two names came to mind. First, RSD aka Rob Smith aka Smith & Mighty, who was an original inspiration for our sound and whose records like ‘Kingfisher’ ‘Forward Youth’ and ‘Jah Way’ showed us the possibilities. The other was an artist named Radikal Guru, who was also an early influence for Vibration Lab with tracks like ‘Rudeboy Skank/Kingston Town’ and ‘Strong Dub’.  We really felt blessed when they both agreed to do it and the results blew our mind! The significant thing about this project is that all the mixes have their own unique sound and all our outstanding! Next we found two Dub Stars of the future, Riddim Tuffa who have been blazing up the the scene with their special Digi-Dub style and fashion and the incredible Adam Prescott who has been remixing the likes of Mungos Hi-Fi and making dubs with Brother Culture and Daddy Freddy. “

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All I have to add to this is that the interpretations of Radikal Guru and RSD are seriously unreal.  Take a listen for yourselves and YOU be the judge.

Vibration Lab ft. Linval Thompson – Tribulation Time EP

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Like I said, this release hit the stores today, so make sure that you show some support to these guys.  Available in digital format and limited vinyl (500).  If you want the vinyl before anyone else shoot them an email direct at vibrationlabsound@gmail.com and order direct, using paypal.

Hope these tunes put a smile on your face like they did to mine.  May the vibes be strong this weekend, we’ll see you on Monday.

Massive shout to Vibration Lab, big up to Radikal Guru, one out to RSD, Adam Prescott and Riddim Tuffa.  All parties involved in this release deserve love.  A seriously big one.

To the gods.

-Kinman