After recently reviewing The Erin Bardwell Collectives latest release Our Time, it is only logical that I also take a look at SN Dubstation’s recent 4-track e.p. Whereas the former have their feet planted very firmly in a very specific point in music’s past, that of rocksteady, ska and the emerging reggae of the late sixties and early seventies, SN Dubstation are very much the story of those genres going forward into the future.
What You Talk About is a fusion of reggae and dub built largely around a core ska guitar sound, but by not adhering strictly to the purists rulebook and leaning heavily on urban dance vibes and pop sensibilities, what results is something both appealing to the old-school fan base of those genres and yet commercially viable to the present tastes. The best of both worlds really.
The vibe is always bright, upbeat and fresh with enough chameleon-like dynamic changes that subtly move the listener from a sunny Caribbean heyday to a modern, cutting edge dance scene and back to an illegal blues party without you noticing the joins. It is a joyous soundclash of old and new, charging headlong into a bright future but taking its time to tip its hat to past music pioneers as it does so. The e.p. could just have easily been titled, What Ska Did Next!