Record Review: Zafayah meets Dub Caravan – Out Loud EP (2012)

An outernational collaboration that spreads organic, fresh and lively reggae vibes

Zafayah Dub Caravan Out Loud

Genre: Roots Reggae / Dub

Region: Bulgaria / UK

Artists’ Website: Dub Caravan / Roots Rocket

Label: Dread Camel Records

No matter how rapid the changes we experience nowadays are, roots reggae remains a constant. As long as there is injustice, brutality

Roots Rocket

Roots Rocket

and exploitation exerted by dominant power structures, there will be also reactionary, rebellious voices.

Maintaining a true roots reggae spirit does not necessarily translate into staleness or triteness and this EP, the product of collaboration between Bulgarian reggae chanter/producer Zafayah and UK-based dub producer Dub Caravan, constitutes a proof. Their take on reggae music is fresh, energetic, organic and lively while it reproduces all the building blocks reggae is known to consist off: deep basslines, skanking riddims, relaxing melodies and conscious lyrics.

Dub Caravan

The EP contains four numbers, two vocal tracks and their respective dubs, altogether not exceeding the 16th minute mark. ‘Twenty Fuss Century’ kcicks off with a Marley-esque funky and chunky riddim and a catchy refrain. The second track ‘Microchip’ goes to another direction with a joyful horn-injected ska beat – chearful and danceable. The dub versions are making this release complete and ‘Dub Version’ is particularly enjoyable with all those meditative dub effects without any serious deviations from the classic sound.

It is obvious that all the artists’ involved in this EP love roots reggae, ska and dub music. Dub Caravan met Zafayah in a period when he was living in Bulgaria and the friendship continued even after he moved to London. There he wrote and recorded all the music of this EP with the aid of saxophonist Samson Benji (tracks 1 & 3) and trombonist Hornsman Coyote (tracks 2 & 4).

Zafayah is a reggae singer/musician who grew up in the natural environment of Targovishte in north-eastern Bulgaria, where he was also exposed to reggae music from a tender age. He is also the co-founder of Roots Rocket, the first reggae label to exist in Bulgaria. In that sense their activity is groundbreaking at a local level and it is yet another sparkle within the emerging Balkan dub and Reggae scene.

Dub Caravan is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer Felix Russ Abu. He has already released two albums, one more straight-forward reggae dub (’Happy And Free’) and one in the oriental ethno-dub direction (’Nomadic Fusion’).

Dread Camel


Discover more reggae artists via Freegan Kolektiva:

  1. Balkan Dub? Freegan Kolektiva talks with Vanya O from Radikal Dub Kolektiv / Dubble
  2. Ziggi Recado – Liberation EP (2012, self-released)
  3. Joggo – Modern Rockers Vol. 1 
  4. Dreadsquad – The Riddim Machine (2012, Superfly Studio)
  5. Fu Steps – Holidays
  6. The Uprising Roots – Skyfiya 

One thought on “Record Review: Zafayah meets Dub Caravan – Out Loud EP (2012)

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