Dreadzone – Escapades

Electro-dub pioneers Dreadzone celebrate their 20th anniversary year in 2013 with the release of their 7th studio album ‘Escapades’. The band, with roots in Big Audio Dynamite, have had a 7 album career which has spanned the credibility of a Creation Records release, major moves on Virgin and independent releases including through their own label Dubwiser Records. Their anticipated new album ‘Escapades’ was recorded at Mick Jones’ London studios and co-produced by original Dreadzone member and co-founder Tim Bran. The core members Greg Dread, Leo Williams, MC Spee, reggae vocalist Earl 16 alongside Chris Compton on guitar and Bazil on technology make up the current Dreadzone live line up.

‘Escapades’ will not disappoint committed Dreadzone fans, with the album in addition featuring Mick Jones from The Clash and Lena Cullen on vocals. The atmospheric ‘Next Generation‘ kicks off this album with electronic roots that sprout into effective vocals and engaging sampling. The variety and amalgamation of styles and genres on this record illustrates the experience this band have accumulated over their 20 year career. The defining ingredient that connects each track is the expert use of samples and this is no more perfect than in the opening to ‘I Love You Goodbye‘, a commanding speech on life, love and truth. The reggae aspects are unfortunately a brief occurrence with more focus applied to what becomes quite repetitive electronic elements. However in saying that, the positive and inspiring ‘Rise Up‘ with its fantastic reggae vocals, is reminiscent of the 1970s and 80s and the seminal Black Uhuru.

After two decades of creating influential music, Dreadzone have not lost their spark. That is not to say that ‘Escapades’ is by any means perfect, with a marginally repetitive electronic focus and no real expansion of their reggae and rock staples, a more all-encompassing blend of genres would have been a fitting celebration for this landmark year. However, with an exciting and intensive tour schedule to celebrate 20 years of recordings and live music performance, Dreadzone aren’t going anywhere and that is exactly how it should stay.



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