Saturday, March 22, 2008

Naphta Long Time Burning [review]

Dublin, Ireland: not necessarily the spot where you would expect the classic sounds of Jungle and Dance Hall would thrive, but Naphta has concocted an album full of dubby, waist-winding cuts that aim to bring back that old time feelin'. I've had this disc in my possession for a minute, and for one reason or another, didn't get around to reviewing it. I'm sober and awake, so let'er rip!

"Can't Stop"
From the intro's "ready for it!" loop to the Luther Vandross samples, right alongside the crazy Amens and expertly-dropped piano loops, this one is just a beautiful Jungle gem. You almost hate for albums to come out swinging this hard, because the assumption is it can't get better than this...

"Won't Stop"
...then it does. Naphta creates an addendum to "Can't Stop", mashing up various elements of the track and creating newer, deeper riddims out of seemingly random snippets of sound, creating a hard-hitting Dance Hall tempo expedition.

"Prince Trojan"
This one showcases how Naphta is so def, he can hone in on those jazzy melodies and make them work in both a hardcore Dance Hall vibe into a more Jungle style tune. Loads of fun riding with this one.

"I Need U (Draw Near)"
This one is more of the classic, seductive Jungle vibes. Big, warm basslines, classic roots vocal samples and chanting in the background, and lovely edits to classic breaks, this is one is a time machine to 1995 Ragga styles.

"Bagman Skank"
This one reminds me of Congo Natty's Drum & Bass output circa 2000, when he started moving into the more steppin' style of DnB while still keeping his large sample library in tune to the sound.

"Jungle Republic"
Nice, mid-tempo track that dabbles in a DnB/Jungle BPM but maintains a nice, dubby vibe throughout. Love that melody in there. Just a nice, vibing cut.

"Babylon Babies"
This is an interesting tune; I want to say it's an interlude, due to the length, and the fact that it's not as fleshed out as the other cuts, but it skanks along just the same.

"Upriver"
This track sets up the next one nicely, establishing a brooding mood over the horizon, kind of like riding in one of those boats from Apocalypse Now, with the murky waters and fog and such...

"Copy Rider"
...then the ride starts getting a bit choppy, and you start seeing natives in the woods, holding spears, and all of the sudden its a battle between you and them. Weapons thrown, weapons shot, as you're paddling faster, trying to find your way out of this deep, dark nightmare...

"My Heart Beating"
...and you awake in a cold sweat to realize it was all a dream. You slept with the DVD player on all night, and your roots CD playing in a loop, over and over. What a night.

"All Kinda Style"
This track is the sounds of the tribes in the deepest parts of the wild, putting on centuries-old ceremonies, full of syncopated congas and chanting...

"Street Dancing"
...and out comes the tom-toms, and it's a full-on dance party! This cut is one of my favorites. While the bassline would fit so perfectly with a disgusting Amen rinseout kind of vibe, the tempo is more on a Breaks-style of vibe. Interesting twist.

"Soundclash 1 (VIP Mix)"
One of the other anticipated cuts is this VIP of Naphta's release for Fanu's Lightless label. This is the amen tearer that we were waiting for, and it'd delivered to perfection, aided by a wash of synths and some fat, dubby bass. Ultimate satisfaction.

"Long Story"
And the story ends. We get into the helicopter and leave this crazy Dublin town to its own wild nights and ragga stylings.

I must say, being that I am so deep into the sounds of Jungle, Dub and Dance Hall, this disc was a no-brainer. The fact is I didn't expect it to be SO varied, and was definitely impressed with how well the tracks worked off of each other. Naphta has a gift of creating these tracks that can go in so many different directions, but he also knows when to just establish that groove and ride that bitch to the end. If you are a fan of Dub in all of its differing formations, I suggest grabbing this, early.

rock the dub gives Long Time Burning 4.5 out of 5 stars. Solid execution of the styles within, and a great example of a multi-talented producer making great music and enjoying the art of manipulating sound.

Burn Deez: "Can't Stop", "I Need U (Draw Near)", "Soundclash 1 (VIP Mix)", "Street Dancing"

Naphta's Long Time Burning is available NOW for purchase. Hit up THE FEAR STORE for more details.

www.myspace.com/djnaphta
www.thefear.ie
www.weareie.com

2 comments:

Knowxone said...

Great review! I'm heavy into drum & bass and dubstep right now, so this sounds like it's right up my alley (No Weezy).

Anonymous said...

I bought the CD 2 months ago and it is really worth the money! Loved any track and they really fit in the album framework. "I need U" is the track that mae me love it. A real recommendation!