Compilations / Mixes
Heights & Worship feat. Carlton Livingston:
Crucify Me /
RSD: World Hungry / Dub Pride
The vinyl operation we know and love as ZamZam keeps rolling along, this time with two characteristically appealing seven-inch releases by RSD (in a one-time pressing of 800 copies) and Heights & Worship (700 copies). Though both of these eight-minute releases are over quickly, it's easy to be seduced by their vinyl single charms.
Long-time producer Rob Smith, who helped define the Bristol sound as More Rockers and Blue & Red and as part of Smith & Mighty, appears in his RSD guise (Rob Smith Dubs) for his ZamZam two-tracker. His ample skills are showcased on “World Hungry,” which deftly conflates multiple styles in merging an uptempo and heavily syncopated breakbeat groove with deep bass lines, guitar accents, piano sprinkles, and all manner of sonic colour—echo effects, plucked strings, and even the warble of a choir. Even funkier is “Dub Pride” in the way it works jungle, acid, drum'n'bass, and roots reggae into its stuttering rhythm framework. But if the musical presentation is impressive, so too is a production design that sees Smith treating the elements like silly putty. A diverse array of sounds swims in the ever-mutating mix, and in four minutes the music shifts from genre to genre with consummate ease.On their second ZamZam outing, Heights & Worship (aka Ras Heights of Ital Sound System and Rob Paine of Worship Recordings and Solomonic Sound) join forces with reggae veteran Carlton Livingston for vocal and dub versions of “Crucify Me.” The cut lunges from the gate with a forward-thinking take on reggae and dub spritzed with harmonica and synthesizer, after which Livingston surfaces to wax wryly upon the challenges of day-to-day life in East Kingston, Jamaica. Yet as compelling as the vocal performance is, it's the instrumental material by Heights & Worship that's truly ear-catching. Without betraying the traditions of dub and reggae, the two create a soundworld bursting with energy and imagination, and the accompanying dub version does nothing but amplify the degree to which they manage to invigorate the genres with bold production treatments.