DBA Recommends: Now Thing 2
Two decades ago the Mo’ Wax label released a compilation of instrumental dancehall tracks true to their roots in reggae and ska, with succinctly expert composition and the type of experimental engineering that draws in electronic music listeners of all persuasions. 2001 was a time just before social media became a burgeoning arena for listening to music, and sharing songs, stems and samples. Purism in some parts of dancehall still decried digital riddims over analogue and live creation, but ‘computerised’ sound had been mutating dancehall since at least the 1980’s. At the time they needed a ‘Now Thing.’ This sequel only builds on the first record’s fortitude.
Where reggae is reflective, dancehall is reactive – notes Jamaica’s Spragga Benz – and the mouthwatering quality of this compilation lies in its dedication to those classic respondent beats that body you, as well as in the orthodox use of reverb and time-warping oscillations.
Steely and Clevie, veterans of the scene, reemerge with Bitter Blood, a tune that delivers tangy twangs and vocals assembled into a sort of aural collage. Lion Face comes through with Unleaded, a frenetic groove sampling what sounds like toy synths and power tools played live, giving something that is somehow both highly energised yet actually quite a chill bop. Number 8 on the tracklist, Andre Grey’s Muddy, is a whole body experience, sound system notwithstanding.
2021 being what it is, the year people can come out from behind their screens, where we can reintroduce our feet to the dancefloor, is the perfect time for a ‘Now Thing 2’. Buy here.
Words: Jodanabel Villain