Broken Beats

EB 090CD EB 090CD

Echo Beach presents a release of reworks of classic songs by Horace Andy, from RSD, Oliver Frost, Dubblestandart, Der Transformer, Dub Spencer & Trance Hill vs. Umberto Echo, Fenin, TVS and Eva B. Horace Andy's voice is an instrument that, once heard, is never forgotten, regardless of whether you first hear it on one of the numerous Jamaican reggae singles that he recorded during the '70s or -- like most people -- on one of the Massive Attack albums he collaborated on as a vocalist. His vocal style influenced countless root singers and the combination of his timbre with Massive Attack's spartan hip-hop beats still inspires legions of fans and copyists all over the world. Although his merits as a roots reggae singer go back to the '70s, Horace Andy has always loved experimenting: he recorded two albums with the British dub master Mad Professor and for a track on the Inspiration Information series by the Strut label he let house master Ashley Beedle work with his voice. Last, but not least, a Black Star Liner remix of his song "Do You Love My Music" which was released by Echo Beach emerged as an evergreen amongst soundsystems across Europe. Echo Beach has now picked up on this tradition, and the much older tradition of versioning, by asking friends of the label to rework Horace Andy's classic tracks in their own sound outfit. But this time, the label hasn't trawled old Studio One tapes for historic vocal snippets. That would be soooo '90s; no, Horace Andy personally put in an appearance to sing new versions of his classic tracks on top of timeless and contemporary riddims. Age may have deepened his voice, but it is by no means weaker, as can be heard on this album, on which Echo Beach welcomes old friends and new faces: there's Rob Smith, who works under the label and producer name RSD. Dubblestandart have in the past collaborated with Echo Beach to produce riddim versions for Ari Up, Lee Scratch Perry and Mikey Dread; their version of "Money Money" picks up where a long list of legendary cuts of this song left off. Dub Spencer & Trance Hill are the jack-of-all-trades of versioning, capable of even twisting a dreadlock into the hoary beards of classic Metallica tracks. Together with wily studio fox Umberto Echo, they have declared war on Babylon again in the shape of a dub treatment pock-holed with weird delay effects. Der Tranformer show their love for vintage equipment from the days of King Tubby, and present Horace Andy as the true Mr. Loverman with "She Say." TVS (Trance Vision Steppers) have applied 20 years of studio and stage experience to Horace Andy's immortal hit "Skylarking." Oliver Frost should be familiar to friends of the lounge gods of Jazzanova and Daniel Best's Berlin reggae forge Best Seven. The mixes of Eva B and Fenin pulse in the intersection between Berghain hypnosis and Yaam relaxed-ness, but the focus -- as for all the other musicians featured here -- is always on the spiritual identity of the songs and the deep respect they have for the 40-year career of an exceptional artist.