Youthie & Macca Dread: The Roots Explorers

Although the first months of 2022 me in terms of Dub left quite at a loss, if not downright disappointed, there seems to have been a real boost of very good releases in the last few weeks: At first they were convincing JonQuan & Associates at full length, then delivered Dub Vallila a fine album and now Youthie & Macca Dread's latest set "The Roots Explorers' out of the speakers. What an eclectic mix of reggae, jazz, Dub and world music in the broadest sense, which corresponds to the predecessor "Nomad Skank“ is in no way inferior.

Ras Vorbei's apt review of "Nomad Skank" could be reproduced here 1:1, especially since the protagonists are the same as back then: Youthie - a gifted musical craftswoman - works on trumpet, flute and accordion, producer Macca Dread takes care of the congenial sound . All in all, it's like an acoustic journey around the world, with rough stays in various francophone countries, with the Celts and with the - how do you say politically correct these days? – well, with the “Mobile Ethnic Minorities”. In any case, there is no boredom here, the compositions, arrangements and musical ideas are far too sophisticated for that. Thanks to the dynamics that are well preserved in the mixdown, "The Roots Explorers" doesn't sound tiring even after repeated listening: decent bass and punch on the drums - what more could spoiled ears want?

And yet you have to consciously get involved with this album - it's one of the (more or less) intellectual kind. Lovers of bare bones riddims of the classic kind could be a little overwhelmed by the musical opulence and ask the legitimate question what all this has to do with Dub had to do. Not much, dear readers, not much. Rather, "The Roots Explorers" is one of the best and most diverse instrumental albums in the reggae genre, hands down.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

11 Responses to “Youthie & Macca Dread: The Roots Explorers”

Yeah man

Hands down and thumbs up!!!

But first I have to admit that despite all the enthusiasm I've always felt with Youthie, I still can't manage a whole album in one go. I like flute, trumpet, violins, harmonica and accordion and all these instruments played by Youthie and her music friends in a very subtle and almost world embracing way. But maybe my hearing is a bit damaged, so that sometimes it is a bit of a strain for me to fully enjoy the melodies and improvisations played in higher frequencies. Nevertheless, every single tune is a demonstration of the joy of playing and openness to everything that's grooving around the world.
I don't know if it's the right word for it, but I even hear a little rumba and with tango it really kicks things up.
On the whole, however, for me it fulfills all the criteria that characterize Jamaican reggae, Jamaican residents and the Jamaican attitude to life in general.
What's the saying in Jamaica?! "Out Of Many, We Are One"!!! yeah man ! I can feel it! As long as the basis remains Africa and related to music, as long as the basis is reggae, nothing can actually go wrong. And even if "Rumba" and Tango and possibly also styles that I can't name yet flow in, the basis for me is unmistakably Reggae. And really FAT!!! That becomes clear with “Tango for Roots” alone! When after the already very promising intro, where I also think I hear an accordion (or isn't it a big melodica ;-) ), the riddim really grooooooves. Sure, tastes differ (I've heard about it), but if you don't feel anything, you don't belong in the goal anymore, but at the cash register at Netto or, best of all, he (or she) should push the shopping trolley together. How can something like that leave you cold? Probably only those who like to go to "Jürgen Drews is homosexual". Or those punks or heavy metal freaks who only notice if you ......
ok, stop ! I noticed it ! I'm going into freak mode again! (Besides, there are sometimes nice people who read and write here too, who can also listen to punk, don't they Andy?) So I'd rather shift down a gear again.
And so I write in full humility that I am really looking forward to this album and can hardly wait to put it in my CD player and let it rotate. Above all, the also very successful “Nomad Skank” will no longer feel so alone during the breaks in the game (which can sometimes last a year or two).
I also detect in this review a certain allusion to statements of mine that have referred to the craft of white musicians in particular. But it can also be a coincidence, because I'm not only in the DubBlog intensively about my music feeling "labere" (or "fundamental" and theatrical theses for the best ). Maybe I haven't mentioned anything about it here, but I think just mastering the craft is not enough, because it takes a lot of magic and Youthie has - from my point of view - not only the craft, but also a lot of magic! That's how I got to know reggae! My first reggae record ever was a sampler that had the perfect name on the cover.

MAGIC REGGAE!!! ……………………………………. lemmi

I'm with you there, lemmie - "The Roots Explorer" is an album that demands and yes, also a little exhausting. In the most positive sense, mind you - a lot of ability, stylistic diversity and courage to implement a clearly defined artistic idea rain down on the listener. As a reward for this, one discovers new nuances over and over again with repeated listening.

I would also like to recommend "Nomad Skank Rework" - here Alkemist has given some tracks from the album a fresh cell treatment:


Mmmmmmm gtk!?!

To be honest, that wasn't really necessary. I can't see this as a fresh cell cure. The “Alkimist” (sorry, I don't mean that in a bad way) only got a rather musty sound here. Even if I took the term "musty sound" from you, I assume that you don't feel that way here.
I find the sound of the "Nomad Skank" much much crisper and also much fresher.
The alchemist has left a door open here somewhere, so that in connection with a possibly open window in the room opposite, it draws quite a bit of secondary air. For me it sounds too noisy or musty, as you occasionally say. Of course, muff is more likely to develop when the window is closed and I'm beginning to doubt my theory, but that should be enough as a description of my perception for now.
Possibly (certainly) my sound here is different than yours. Maybe you hear that as a Wafe file ( or "all around carefree file" ) with a perfect sound. Although I am fobbed off with the mp3 version. The CD, on the other hand, is really tasty, but I think the data from Nomad Skank on Spotify also sound more brilliant than these airy ones Dubs from the alchemist.
But I think that you and many others who aren't as disgusted as me about all this computer "shit" lag behind are in a completely different league when it comes to sound.
By and large, I have a certain standard setting for volume here; Bass, treble and the rest of the sound.
I am also a very attentive “follower” and fan of your “Deep In Dub“ Playlist and I actually always got along very well with the sound. The other day my volume control was even a little quieter than usual, because I may have pulled a few pieces of wisdom from Albert Einstein, for example, on youtube.
Back in Dubblog I then did something that I rarely do (sorry for that).
I pressed go or play on "Editors Choice" and although my sound was set even lower than usual, as I said, I was almost catapulted out of my seat. I thought WOW!!! That's how it is done ! Old Swede what a sound!
Was right there Dubmatrix "Frontline Dub“ ! But it's also really fatter Dub !!! People let you tell this one Dub will carry you everywhere!!!

So either you or many of you have access to the Deep Dark Net Of Sound or I have to look again to see where I still have deficits. Of course I can also turn it up louder, but that will be an endless spiral because if I turn it up louder, "Editor's Choice" will also get louder and so on.

Youthie rules !!! …………………… Lemmy

I'll tell it like it is: With my Spotify Premium subscription, I listen to two Harman-Kardon Citation 500 speakers via Airplay / Chromecast / Bluetooth, depending on my mood - the highest audio quality clean as it is, i.e. without additional bass, treble or EQ settings; only the lowest possible audio normalization is switched on. The Citation parts put my previous B&W boxes in the shade - audiophiles, on the other hand, would want to bang their heads against the wall. In this respect, good sound is a fairly individual idea. Tracks over a large sound system with oomph bass are awesome, but in the long run they mutilate the auditory nerve and do not determine the technical environment in which the tracks were mixed.

Yes, I know - everything was better in the past and vinyl is the warm-acoustic blockbuster. That's true, if my memories aren't too glorified. Today it's just mp3 & co, and over time my ears got used to this inferior quality. Sad, says one – I don't care, I say. Everyone makes their own trade-off between sophistication and convenience. For one it is this, for the other that.

I'm a fan of Spotify though, because it's free to use and I like the idea that every time you play a tune, a drop of water falls into the artist's royalty bucket. It's not much, but it's dripping steadily. With other formats, the profit margin may be greater, but so may the number of copiers - plus, we know how the game works: one buys it and gives copies to 10 people, and they in turn...

oh well "Nomad Skank Rework" is an attempt to open up to a different audience. One likes it, the other shudders. I love "Pagoda" and that's been worked up pretty well on the rework album...thumbs up, hands down :)


Oh oh,

I had to google what audiophile is. It's somehow related to high-end. (For me they are all idiots but that would be unqualified if I were to write this here). It's like those who eat everything that's on the table. Luckily I was able to only eat what I liked. Maybe I should reassess that and realize that it was and is a privilege.
I can't understand it at all! If I understand correctly, they want to hear the music exactly as it was recorded. With that they submit to the taste and skills of the sound engineer, if I'm not mistaken. Let's stick to the comparison with the food. When I hear high-end, I assume that the engineer/chef has seasoned the food perfectly to my individual taste. In most cases it even works. I rarely have to season food, but if the cook hasn't added enough salt to the food, I have to correct it a little by seasoning it. At the "PizzaMan from Swizzaland" I don't even start to eat before I've even walked over it with a salt and pepper shaker, only to round it all off perfectly with a good portion of oregano. I couldn't do anything with a "high-end pizza". And I don't even start eating at the Chinaman until I've slapped a shovelful of sambal olek on it.
Please do not get this wrong. I feel like I have some spare time right now so I'm writing something out of my sewing box or "call it as you like". You can “of course” see and do it differently than I do, but I just have so little understanding for it and can’t understand how you can be so hard on yourself and take everything as it comes. If fried potatoes are seasoned too weakly, I have to add salt to them! Otherwise it would be a pity about the potatoes.
I could also say that if the high-end freaks are audiophiles, then I'm audiophobic.....

I do it more like Pipi :

2 x 3 makes 4 –
widdewiddewitt and 3 makes 9e!
I make my world - widdewidde as I like it ...
Hey – Pippi Longstocking hollahi-hollaho-holla-hopsasa
Hey - Pippi Longstocking - she does what she pleases.

"Nonstop Nonsense" - to be continued :

The whole thing with vinyl, cd or just data from the current mixes with me more and more to a soup, which in the end can taste equally good everywhere. Even vinyl discs can sound like they were recorded in the stairwell. And a good stream can catapult me ​​completely out of my seat again. It always depends on whether the sound is well seasoned and whether it is basically an edible cuisine. Russian cuisine has always sounded awful to me. And at the moment, and for the foreseeable future, Russian food is boycotted by me anyway, despised and flushed down the toilet.

Nevertheless, a vinyl disc has the highest priority for me. This is probably mainly due to my character. A new reggae / Dub – Holding the disc in your hands and looking at the usually awesome cover while enjoying the whole feel is and remains unsurpassed for me. A CD is just a compromise and a compromise is just a "New German" word for defeat. And data on a hard drive is just too abstract and impersonal for me.

Yes, and I could have almost become a fan of Spotify too, but the “leakage rate” is extremely disappointing. Everything that was taken away from me just hurts me a lot.
The last big shock I had to suffer was a Dub by Joe Pilgrem and The Ligerians. "DUB FIRE!!! I also have it as an intro in one of my special playlists, which not only run on the side, but have the same significance for me as a concert in the Royal Albert Hall.

I'm fed up with the whole playlist now because it's completely worthless to me without this intro.
Shouldn't the "billionaires" of Spotify be responsible for this, but possibly even the management of Joe Pilgrem and The Ligerians themselves, I can only spit contemptuously here. What is this shit?

I would have bought the vinyl long ago, but there are only vocal versions on it and I would only have them for the four/six Dubs also added to the "Nice Price" but that's just a loose action for me.

How can you get this disc without the Dubs publish ! There are completely irreverent "high-end species" who care for the sensibilities of reggae and Dub Fans don't want to show the slightest understanding, been "making out".

In the past, everything was better because I didn't even know that things were so good there Dubthere are. What I don't know doesn't bother me!

So it came across as if you handed a hungry wolf a delicious leg of lamb, let him smell it briefly and then gave him the finger. I am accordingly stinky now!

Specially to you again gtk. I think I know that you don't want to change much or anything in the sound. Therefore, I would like to emphasize again that I definitely do not count you among the people I indirectly – but intentionally – “offended” in the brackets above. You are the exception to the rule ;-)
These high-end mokels are not music freaks, but sound freaks. They also buy a whole car full of bass speakers and only refresh themselves with the voluminous drone. Others buy a Harley and listen to the sound of the exhaust all day long.
I, on the other hand, even sometimes commit the sin that I even accept Dubs by Adrian Sherwood and add an echo or reverb here and there. Doing something like that with Adrian Sherwood is really a bit of a mess from my point of view, but I like to break taboos.
The "DubSyndicate / Live at the Maritime Hall” basically gets a small inconspicuous robe made of Hall, because without this additional robe the disc is boring. With a hint of reverb it becomes - at least for me - a masterpiece!
I feel like I like to treat myself to a complete menu with the most unusual ingredients and spices, while the "high-ends" apparently prefer to be content with raw food without dressing, salt and pepper.

"I'm done" ………………….. lemmi

I've only been reading you for about a year and would like to thank you very much for the inspiration I'm allowed to experience here. I have determined 25 of the im DubBought the albums discussed in the blog, heard a lot more via Spotify and continued digging my own Dub-Horizon expanded. (And subscribed to the Riddim)

I actually come from the punk corner (hello Lemmi!), then as a skinhead I listened to a lot of ska and early reggae, but not with the supposed hippie music Dub employed. Almost 30 years later I was hit hard when I accidentally found "500 Volts of Dub' heard from John Holt. Not a great record at all, but it caught me and it has been ever since Dub my daily bread, or rather manna.

That was two years ago. I'm so happy about that Dub has become part of my life and you contribute to it.

So so Claas ;-)

So you're the punk here ;-) Sorry if I got you mixed up, but I always thought our punk here was called Andy. Or is he also punk?

It's the purest punky reggae party here ;-)

yeah man ! Roberto Blanco In Dub : "A little Dub must be !!!"

Beautiful Wooochenähnde …………….. lemmi

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