Jah Warrior: African King / African King Dub
Zam Zam

Xoki & Hieronymus: Deep Recall / Journey Home Dub
Zam Zam

What we've got here are two new limited-edition seven-inch singles from the Portland-based dub label Zam Zam (500 copies each and presented in hand-screen printed and stamped sleeves), with this time UK roots and dub-reggae producer Jah Warrior (Steve Mosco, also responsible for creating Jah Warrior Records in 1995) and Danish dub-tech label Kyoto Sound founders Xoki (Theodor Zox) & Hieronymus (Jakob Ivarsson) doing the honours.

Even though Mosco experienced a reintroduction of sorts when Dub From The Heart, his first-ever Jah Warrior seven-inch from 1996 was reissued on Honest Jon's Dug-Out label, the UK producer has been consistently active since he began producing tracks in the mid-‘90s, with most of his albums and singles appearing on Jah Warrior Records. On this Zam Zam outing (mixed by Russ Disciple), the A-side's “African King” is a high-energy dreadstepper as fine as they come, with a deliciously spiky guitar riff nicely doubled by the bass pulse and complemented by off-beat piano accents and a reverb-drenched drum track. Even punchier, the flip's swinging dub version batters its breathlessly pumping 4/4 groove with a series of sharp percussive stabs and trippy delay effects. Turn it up and let the music's royal storm fill the room.

Deep Recall, the first seven-inch vinyl release from Xoki & Hieronymus, is a little less manic than Jah Warrior's outing though every bit as satisfying. The title cut oozes aromatic skank in its laid-back flow and rootsy bass lines, and courts a spacy, even woozy vibe in its incorporation of synthesizer squiggles; the groove slithers like it hasn't got a care in the world, content to let itself be coated with heady atmospherics. As laid-back is the B-side's “Journey Home Dub,” which strips things down a tad to give the pulsating bass line a bit more breathing room while also not scrimping on the goblinesque synth flourishes. The only downside to Zam Zam's fabulous singles? They're over too soon!

December 2012