Sly & Robbie Meet Dubmatix: Dictionary
Juno-winning producer/composer Jesse King collaborates with the famed Jamaican reggae rhythm section on a new album, Overdubbed. This cut captures the bass-heavy essence of the dub form, but is fleshed out in appealingly inventive fashion.
By Kerry Doole
Sly & Robbie Meet Dubmatix: - "Dictionary" (Echo Beach): Dubmatix (real name Jesse King) is a Toronto-based producer/composer/musician/remixer with an international reputation as one of the most original dub and reggae producers around. He has been nominated for a Juno for Best Reggae Recording seven times, winning in 2010 for Gonna Be Alright.
That stellar rep is being enhanced by his latest project, Overdubbed - Dubmatix meets Sly & Robbie. Released two weeks ago and grabbing global attention (airplay on 700 stations), it is a collaboration with Sly & Robbie, regarded as one of the best rhythm sections ever.
King, given access to cuts by the dynamic duo, has beefed them up in highly creative fashion. "Dictionary" is a fine example, capturing the enduring appeal of classic dub while inserting ear-catching touches. The primarily instrumental track features the occasional chant of "are you ready?" atop the stomach-pummelling bass and percussion, scratching (by Illorn) and keyboards. Just when you think it is fading out, the horns of the Heavyweights Brass Band kick in, taking you briefly to another dimension.
The Sly & Robbie collaboration is the most recent partnership of Dubmatix and a reggae great, as he has previously worked with the likes of Alton Ellis, Freddie McGregor, Sugar Minott, Eek-A-Mouse, Horace Andy, U Roy, and The Mighty Diamonds.
Of note: Dubmatix is the son of the musical renaissance man (and FYI contributor) Bill King who guests on the album. A prolific artist, Jesse King is juggling plenty of other projects, including a sixth Dubmatix studio album skedded in the fall.