Earl Sixteen – Conquering Lion / Danman – Jah Guide & Protect, 10″ Single, Indica Dubs (ISS041)
Side A1: Earl Sixteen – Conquering Lion Side A2: Saxophone Rootsman – Conquering Horns Side B1: Danman – Jah Guide & Protect Side B2: Indica Dubs meets Forward Fever – Guiding Dub
I am struggling to think of other music genres that work like reggae. The whole concept where a guest vocalist sings over your beats and dubs is an interesting way of doing things. You wouldn’t imagine someone like Adele voicing all manner of singles from different labels and producers, so why does it work in the reggae world?
There are two sides to this apparent creative freedom. On the positive side I think this is what helps keep reggae relevant, fresh and evolving. With the lack of constraints of being contracted to a specific record label, artists have the freedom to pick and choose who they want to work with. For the producers and labels, being able to have a big name vocalist working with you for one off projects is more cost effective, and can do wonders for your reputation and profile.
The downside, particularly in the old days, was the murky business of royalty payments, or lack of them. There are plenty of stories of artists not getting fair payments for the work they did, probably due to the unstructured nature of the business. Although from what I can see this seems to have been cleaned up. One artist I spoke to recently was so happy that for the first time in his career he was making some money. This was due to his 70s album getting reissued by a label that was fair and professional, the concept of royalties was actually real!
So here we are with the latest Indica Dubs single, with the talented guest vocalist Earl Sixteen featuring on the title track Conquering Lion. Earl has a long biography and the artists he has worked with reads like a who’s who of reggae’s royalty. Would the opportunity for guys like Sukh from Indica Dubs to work with Earl Sixteen be there if the reggae world operated like the rest of the music business, probably not? It seems like a win win for both sides.
Conquering Lion is my favourite Indica Dubs single so far. It is a soothing biblical track with a strong, positive message about working together for a common good. Perhaps if more people listened to records like this then we wouldn’t live in such increasingly aggressive and confrontational times. Conquering Lion is the antidote!
Track two Conquering Horns features Dutch musician, Saxophone Rootsman and this dub mix features some impressive live sax. Rather than a big cheesy 80s style sax solo (sorry, being brought up in the 80s has tainted the sax for me), the sax is very lyrical and acts as the vocal. It works so well that you can almost understand the sounds coming out. The B side is slightly heavier and features Danman, from the mighty Iration Steppas sound system, with Shelly Ravid providing the backing vocals in the chorus. All tracks produced by Sukh (Indica Dubs) and Angelo (Forward Fever).
Another excellent Indica Dubs release, these guys are very consistent with their quality, no fluff here. The single is out mid August and you can pre-Order the 10″ vinyl or get the digital download instantly from their Bandcamp site.
Have you had any issues with royalties, leave a comment, it will be interesting to hear your experiences. Give me a Facebook share if you can as well. Bless, Paper Lion