Brooklyn-based conscious reggae artist Rob Symeonn’s distinctly pitched voice is both fragile and deliberate, which allows his clean-living roots and culture lyrics to sound inspirational rather than bossy. Songs like “King Tafari,” “Good Over Evil,” and “Empress,” on the 2006 album Chosen One (Redbud), showcased his range and consistency, as did this year’s uniquely cognizant “Pork Eater” on dubmaster Tiklah’s full length for Easy Star. These releases firmly established Symeonn as one of New York’s primary Rasta crooners.
While Chosen One’s original backing tracks were solid roots fare laid down by Jamaican musicians Val Douglas, Noel Alphonso, Bongo Herman, Dalton Browne, Jerry Johnson, and Barnibus, Symeonn’s voice seemed prime for remix treatment. Redbud Records fulfills those wishes with a new vinyl and digital EP, Rob Symeonn Remixes Volume 1, featuring versions by Biggabush, Zeb, Shanti Roots, and Amon
Glyn Biggabush, a.k.a. Lightning Head, presents a U.K.-style steppers mix that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Jah Shaka set. Brooklyn’s Zeb, a.k.a. The Spy from Cairo, is a renowned downtempo and global beats producer and musician. He brings his passionate mix to an additional steppers-style mix.
Representing Austria’s Vienna Scientist label, Shanti Roots throws down a throbbing, irresistible dub house rework, which balances organic and electronic elements to a “T”–watch out for Francois K dropping this at Deep Space. Finally, New Yorker Amon is an West African-trained drummer who’s also made the club rounds at Afrokinetic, Turntables on the Hudson, as well as shows with Rich Medina. His Latin-style mix ripples with New York street flavor.
One of the first essential releases for summer 2008, Rob Symeonn Remixes Volume 1 is available June 17.
1. Chosen One – Zeb’s Steppers Mix
2. Chosen One – Biggabush’s DubSteppers Mix
3. Message In The Music – Shanti Roots DubHouse Edit
4. No More – Amon’s Afro-Latin Mix
5. Amon’s Try Love Instrumental