Even if you might think so superficially: Kubix is by no means the son of Talentix, the "sickle maker" from Lutetia (Paris), who may be known to some from Asterix Volume V "The Golden Sickle". In fact, Kubix is an extremely talented guitarist, producer and composer who founded his own label, Attik Productions, back in 2005. In 2015 and 2017 he won a Grammy Award as a guitarist.
Xavier 'Kubix' Bègue was born in 1980 in a suburb of Paris. Inspired by his father's guitar playing, he decided to learn this instrument as a teenager. After that he played relatively quickly in rock or reggae bands. His virtuosity on the Gibson soon led him to backing artists such as Barrington Levy, Lee Scratch Perry, IJahman Levi, Horace Andy, Ken Boothe, Mo'Kalamity and many others at the biggest festivals. A sought-after session musician, Kubix also played with some French reggae bands such as Meta & The Cornerstones and the Colocks, whose "Sur Les Sentiers Du Dub“ from 2013, unfortunately also in the Dubblog has not been mentioned at all. Another convincing proof that the French can do much more than just boring, monotonous steppers.
His first solo album "Kubix: Guitar Chant(Attic Productions) was released in 2020. In November 2022, five additional vocal tracks were added to the original eleven tracks and re-released as a deluxe edition. The main element of the album is of course the guitar, but Kubix really understood how to gather renowned musicians around them, who were all given enough freedom to prove their virtuosity and joy of playing. We hear Japanese pianist Aya Kato (Kymani Marley, Sean Paul, Mykal Rose, Meta & The Cornerstones ...), keyboardist Marcus Urani (Groundation) or even more surprisingly: The legendary bassist and singer of the Gladiators, Clinton Fearon, plays an example bass on Gladiators trademark track "Mix Up". On "Still Standing" with classic Nyahbinghi drums and "The Walk" we hear the legendary Vin Gordon on trombone (Bob Marley, Skatalites, Burning Spear...). Other notable guests on the album include: Eric "Rico" Gaultier (Faya Dub & Faya Horns) and Matthieu Bost (Bost & Bim) on sax, Manjul on percussions and Manudigital on bass.
The album was recorded between Paris (Wise Studio) and New York (Rift Studio) and brings together no less than 21 musicians. The recordings were directed by Fabrice Boyer alias Fabwize (Bost & Bim) and/or Sébastian Houot (Tu Shung Peng), who is also responsible for the mixing. To top it off, Jim Fox took care of the mastering at Lion & Fox Recording Studios. An incredibly beautiful album that also draws inspiration from Kubix's musical skills and experiences throughout his long career. Sometimes the guitar sounds like George Benson, sometimes like Wes Montgomery, sometimes like Ernest Ranglin.
In short: Anyone who likes jazz-heavy instrumental albums à la Monty Alexander and Ernest Ranglin will also click their tongues with relish at “Guitar Chant”. Once again a dated Dubblog masterpiece discovered much too late.