Dub Station

Dub Station and Sonbeam Get It Together

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From dancehall to traditional nyabinghi chant, Boston reggae band Dub Station and Jamaican vocalist Sonbeam (whose name comes from Son of God: Beam of Light) make for an interesting team on Get It Together. Musically they're all over the place, touching on R&B in "Mama," outright dancehall in "Dangerous," and the nyabinghi chant of "Rastafari Love," which also features Jah I. Now all of that would be merely okay, if not especially authentic (Boston with an real island vibe?) were it not for the fact that they happen to be very good at what they do and offer some of the most inventive takes on (largely) digital dancehall ever to come down the pike, thanks in large part to Rider McCoy, who not only plays live keyboards, but is also responsible for the drum programming, sequencing, and virtually every other instrument heard here -- a man with a very powerful musical vision. "Friend for Life" hits it with a one-drop rhythm and some subtle dub touches. "See Us Rise," with its positive we-can-make-it message, has some stinging guitar from Ziggy White backing up McCoy's synths. The title track echoes Black Uhuru (albeit just very slightly), not only in its pro-ganja stance, but in the backup harmonies and Sonbeam's Michael Rose-sounding vocal. While a bit smooth -- a criticism of much of the music here -- it's also a standout, as is "Rastafari Love," which might be the first recorded example of new age reggae. Interesting.

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