Record Review: Fu Steps – Holidays EP (Original Dub Gathering Productions)

Fu-Steps deliver two original vocal tracks and the accompanying steppin’ dub versions.  It is a powerful and memorable release that puts Fu-Steps in the frontlines of their niche of combining skanking reggae with dub soundsystem culture.

We are a bit late with this review, but we cannot keep this for ourselves: ‘Holidays’ is a very good release from a promising duo – the Fu-Steps – and you can download it freely from Original Dub Gathering productions’ website.

Even though this release was set to accompany you in your summer holidays, it works equally well in the winter time. The title track kicks off with catchy guitar licks to give place to vocals and drum breaks which turn skillfully  into a catchy reggae riddim. The guitar melody is really what makes the song trippy and nostalgic with a traveling chilling spirit. It is a soundtrack as you leave the city behind or as the Fu Steps say: ‘the stress of the crazy town’ (Freegan Kolektiva would add: let’s change the city so it is more humane; love your place). The dub version keeps the interest high, utilizing most of the dub tricks known for such bands and some more. Fu-Steps seem to have listened carefully the dub back catalogues, from Jamaican originators to some European outfits like the Basque Dub Foundation.

The second track is more electronic in sound, but the vocal melodies are equally catchy. The beat as well as the heavy bass line reminds more European dub soundsystems (UK, France), something that becomes more evident in the dub version ‘No Peace For the Dub’: the beat is more stripped-down to command hands and feet to move in the dub bass meditation. Big Ups!

‘Holidays’ is a good release that absolutely deserves a download and some soundsystem rotation. Fu Steps come exactly where laidback ska/reggae meets the dub soundsystem to create a modern mix of reggae. There is a lot of potential if they focus more on their tiny little niche. It is one of the few releases that can bring you in many different places and moods in a very short time.

Kudos for the memorable vocals melodies and refrains as well as the overall song arrangements.  The vocal quality  is surprisingly good, with catchy harmonies and reggae attitude. They deliver the tracks in the traditional Jamaican soundsystem culture: first the vocal version, then the dub. From skanking to upbeat dub soundsystem dance.

Waiting for the upcoming full-length!



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