Who is JonQuan? I had never heard of him, and then the man bangs out this album: "JonQuan & Associates" (Easy Star) – one of the most beautiful reggae and Dub-Albums of the entire corona pandemic.
JonQuan's love of Jamaican music began with collecting records. Then he went from a collector to a DJ and then even a musician and composer. His new album came into being during the lockdown, as he explains: "I was inspired by the pandemic to create my own riddims to kill boredom and heal the ailments of being locked in rather than on a stage to be able to stand. Once I got into the studio and could unleash my creative energy, it became easier for me to deal with the crap.” Once JonQuan had the riddims for an album ready, he would enlist musicians and singers from and beyond reggae to help complete the album . Victor Rice ended up mixing the tracks at his studio in São Paulo, Brazil - which brings us to the point, because we're mostly interested in those here Dub-Versions - and these were of course created by Victor Rice. Actually I think that a good one Dub by no means needs a vocal original. There is ample evidence for this thesis. But with this album it has to be said that the songs that make up the first half of the album are just terrific. A pure Dub-Album would only be worth half as much. The songs bring the wonderful atmosphere of classic rocksteady and early reggae to life again. Here you indulge in the most beautiful soulful reggae vibes. This intense atmosphere occurs in the Dub-Versions naturally somewhat in the background. Instead, the rich, analogue, even "breathing" sound of the productions comes into its own. The authentic sound of real instruments is refreshing and the artistry of the musicians is impressive. It's only logical that Mr. Rice's mix is kept absolutely classic. Tubby & Co would have sounded similar. JonQuan and Victor Rice don't just stick to the imitative reproduction of old riddims and sounds. They may stand on the shoulders of the great reggae artists and musicians of decades past, but there, at great (qualitative) heights, they develop completely new and unheard songs and compositions.