Over the past several years, France has become one of the new hubs for dub and sound system culture. It now hosts some of the biggest reggae festivals in Europe (such as the Reggae Sun Ska and Garance Reggae Festival), the dubs coming out of the country are being played at sessions all over the world, and the number of sound systems and crews continues to grow (the magazine I-leaf attempted to list all the sounds in France, and made a poster of its results).
It’s with this backdrop that Ras Mykha and Dub Livity decided to put together a sample of France’s dynamic scene. Spread over 2 CDs are a collection of 35 tracks, most of them exclusive and unreleased, that show off the best french dubmakers and singers.
Quite refreshing is the amount of female voices on the compilation; from the already well known Marina P, Daba Makourejah and Mo’Kalamity, to the newer (and welcome) voices of Jazzy Lei, Sista Charlotte and Sis Irecla. But the album is also balanced with talented male MCs such as Joe Pilgrim, Ras Mykha, Yehoud I and Jacko.
The productions have a distinctive ‘french’ touch, mostly defined by a roots and dub stepper sound, but are spread out across the whole spectrum, ranging from Ackboo’s heavy “Lef Mi Nuh Babylon” to the mellow and conscious “Rise Up” by Inner Rose. There are also a few digital injections, courtesy of Creation Culture.
But whether you are curious about the state of the french dub scene, or you are simply seeking new sounds, you should definitely give this compilation a listen.
And hopefully “Vol.1” hints at a number of future follow ups.
Various Artists – Frenchtown Hifi Vol.1 (Frenchtown Records/Musicast)
Buy on Itunes
- K-Sänn Dub System – Beware (feat. Sis Irecla)
- K-Sänn Dub System – Beware Dub
- Roots Ista Posse – Tell Them Again (feat. Ras Mykha)
- Roots Ista Posse – Tell Deh Melodica
- Rootical 45 – We Are The Generation (feat. Daba Makourejah)
- Rootical 45 – Dub Generation
- Barbés.D – Stop di Shado (DiscoMix) (feat. Ras Hassen Ti)
- Jacin – Conscious Education (feat. Adé)
- Jacin – Conscious Education version
- Indy Boca – Hopeful (feat Sista Aude & Far Esat)
- Indy Boca – Hopefull Dub
- Dawa Hifi – War & Crime
- Dawa Hifi – War & Crime Dub
- Jahspora – We Try (feat. Humble Youth)
- Jahspora – Try Dub
- Ackboo – Lef Mi Nuh Babylon
- Ackboo – Dub Mi Nuh Babylon
- Scient’Sim – Change (feat. Jazzy Leï)
- Scient’Sim – Change In Dub
- Mo Kalamity & The Wizards – Majesty
- Mo Kalamity & The Wizards – Majesty Dub
- Nyabin Sound – Mr President (feat. Jacko)
- Nyabin Sound – President Dub
- B High – Beware (feat. Marina P)
- B High – Dubplate Born To Be High
- Odessa – Youthman (feat. Yehoud I)
- Odessa – Youthman Dub
- Inner Rose – Rise Up
- Inner Rose – Rise Up (Dub by Pilah)
- Creation Culture – Take It Easy (feat. Sista Bethsabée)
- Creation Culture – Dub It Easy
- ITP Music – My Enemy (feat. Sista Charlotte)
- ITP Music – Dub My Enemy
- Fu Steps – To The Next Generation
- Fu Steps – Dub Generation