Cian Finn – This Applies in Dub
Emerald Isle & Steppas Records LP, Digital
Hello, it has been a few weeks since I last put pen to paper (or fingers to keys). Between you and me I must admit blogging was stressing me a little. The words were not flowing and the pressure of trying to please lots of eager labels and artists was starting to get on top of me. It is great that so many people want me to feature their work, but when a creative outlet starts to feel more like a chore rather than an enjoyable distraction it is time to take a break. But I am back, the cloud has lifted and I am making tentative blogging steps, easing my way back into the reggae fold.
It needed an outstanding release to get things flowing again and I think I have found one. Irish artist Cian Finn is releasing a dub set of his 2015 album ‘This Applies’ this month, aptly entitled ‘This Applies in Dub’. For me personally it is one of those records that provides a warm fuzzy feeling of familiarity. The elements that make up the set, like the Prince Fatty mixing (I love his work with Hollie Cook) and the involvement of
Ben Alpha’s Steppas Records label (I love everything he releases!) feels like two old friends saying, “welcome back to the dub fold, we have some tracks here that we know you will like”. And like it I do, it is hard, heavy, bassy and dubby, just my cup of tea.
This Applies in Dub
The original ‘This Applies’ was a critically acclaimed album of uplifting roots reggae, one of those sets that soundtracks a particular time of year. It conjures up images of sunny days, festivals and chilling in a field. As is the case with dub versions, here you get something harder and this album very much throws its lot in with the dark side. That booming bass turns ‘in Dub’ into the serious older brother. This Applies was nourishing and positive, in Dub is more about coming to terms with the demons inside. Perhaps it is the primal sounds of drum and bass which help these stripped down tracks contribute to a far more introspective mood. My personal theory is that dub reggae makes you think inwards, whereas your regular roots makes you think of your outside influence, your surroundings and your mark on the world. Have a think back to when you last danced to dub, what were you thinking about?
There is a SoundCloud link below for the track ‘Dub Away’, this is a really good example of what the album has to offer. You can hear Prince Fatty’s production fingerprints all over this one. I think he is one of the most individual and talented producers in modern reggae. His trademark sound is a nod to the past but the details, like the echo flourishes, sound very unique to him. They have a slightly jingly and melodic quality which clicks with me.
I am planning to pick this up on vinyl when it comes out (shelling out for the LP is a marker of quality for me). I have been listening to in Dub on my phone as mp3s but I am really looking forward to that punch the LP will give.
The official release is the 16th February but you can pick up an early bird copy via the Steppas Records website now. It is a limited release, not sure how limited, but if this slice of dub floats your boat then best not to hang around.
Are you a Cian Finn fan, let me know in the comments. Please also share if you can, social media is the gateway to blogs like this…
Bless, Paper Lion