A New Egg Hatches
- Words: Tomas Palermo
U.K. digital-dub enterprise Universal Egg Recordings, home to Zion Train (pictured below), is back with a series of releases on a variety of formats. Over the past decade Universal Egg has introduced high-tech roots reggae from the likes of Bush Chemists, Centry, Power Steppers, and Vibronics. The label, which has been active since 1993, now rolls onward with dub hatchings from several new artists.
The first week of March saw Manchester’s Nucleus Roots drop a new four-song 10” single, “Irie Meditation.” The EP features silky vocalist Dan Hartley and excellent roots-dub arrangements. Both the title track and “Step It Up Rasta” are followed by dub versions.
Universal Egg’s partner label for 7” vinyl singles, Deep Root, has two March offerings as well. First, Amsterdam’s Slimmah Sound sees its heavy “Judgment Come” get pressed. Sista Omi’s vocals lick out with a strong anti-war message, while the dub version is an echo-filled steppers journey. Fans of Mad Professor collaborators Aisha and Kofi will hear similarities in this skillfully produced track.
But perhaps the biggest news from Universal Egg headquarters is the return of flagship artist Zion Train. The group will see its first album in five years, Live As One, slated for release in September. For those who can’t wait, “Life That I Choose,” on Deep Root, will tide us over. This 45 features emerging U.K. singer YT, author of “England Story”–a Brit take on Cham’s “Ghetto Story.” YT’s rising talent strikes again on “Life That I Choose,” a song detailing the working class and its “survival mission” in his hometown of London. If Universal Egg continues issuing new music at this pace, it’ll seem like Easter every day this year.
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