The meeting of Paris-based Von D and Dub-Stuy has been a long time in the making. The French producer first caught the ears of label head Quoc Pham back in 2009, with his dub-oriented productions under the Liquid Wicked alias. Following a recent return to the dub world - after releases for Black Acre, Boka, and Skream’s Disfigured Dubs - some Von D demos made their way to Dub-Stuy and the result is Wicked Scam, a four-track EP of hair-raising and socially-conscious dub music boasting a cast of world-class vocalists and musicians.
The EP centers around its title track, a spacious and heavy riddim with a deadly groove, live guitar, and a stunning lyrical turn from NYC’s Jahdan Blakkamoore, who lent his voice to “Pool Party”, the first-ever Dub-Stuy release. Showing his versatility, Jahdan adapts seamlessly to the riddim’s contortions to deliver a damning statement of the wicked scam politicians and the 1% are running on the rest of us. “Liberation over Liberace!”
Continuing the social theme of the title track, London’s self-styled future dancehall singer Don Cotti lends his rugged voice to ‘Mek A Truce’. The track unfolds somewhere in between song and dub version, with horns and sound effects taking turns between Cotti’s incantations for people to “mek a truce” regardless of race or religion. The last collaboration on the EP sees Von D reach back to the music’s foundation with a vocal from Lone Ranger, a Jamaican deejay who began his career with Coxsone’s Studio One in the 1970s. On ‘Till A Morning’, he shows off his finely-honed chatting by inviting all to come and dance over a jumping riddim featuring live guitar, bass and piano.
Closing the EP is a sample of the legendary Bunny Lee talking about King Tubby and Lee Perry birthing dub before Von D unfurls his own studio experimentation on ‘Surrealiste Skank’, a dedication to the timeless power of dub music.
Wicked Scam further cements Von D’s talent for combining an authentic sound with a modern ear. The bass envelopes the listener without ever choking them, the melodies uplift the soul, and the lyrics feed the mind.
released November 3, 2017
Produced and mixed by Von D at Vonalog Studio. Mastered by Star Delta.
Guitars on Wicked Scam by Émmanuel Heyner.
Guitars on 'Till a morning' by Momo Boombass.
Piano on 'Till a morning' and 'Surréaliste Skank' by West Finga.
Bass on 'Till a morning' and 'Surréaliste Skank' by Thierry Petit Cheveu.