Dreadzone release new album

Dreadzone

Entering an impressive third decade, Dreadzone, one of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live bands to emerge from the post-rave scene, release a brand new album Dread Times on February 17th 2017.

Dread Times is the band’s eighth studio album and the third release on their own Dubwiser label. Their old skool dread sound comes bubbling to the surface on this album and it digs deeper into their dub and reggae roots whilst still keeping the beats fresh and the textures electronic. Conscious lyrics, social ills, matters of the heart and mind merge with 21st century dubwise flavours. The album is an eclectic rolling journey that recalls elements from an illustrious 23 year history while always looking ahead to the next phase.

Alongside core members Greg Dread, who produced this 12 track album, Leo Williams, Chris Compton, reggae vocalist Earl 16 and MC Spee, Dread Times introduces younger blood into the mix with newest member Bazil bringing an edge to the sonic process and Greg’s son Marlon expanding the musical range further. Don Letts also returns with lyrical contributions, as does Lena Cullen on vocals for one track, with 90s ragga duo Louchie Lou and Michie One guesting on another.

Recorded again at Mick Jones’ Bunker Studio, arranged at Dread Central and mixed by fellow founder Tim Bran, this is classic West London Zone with an updated edge. Dread music for an unpredictable world, these are Dread Times.

Pioneered by former members of Big Audio Dynamite (and, by inheritance, carrying forward the heart and soul of The Clash) Dreadzone’s two decade plus career has been championed by the late John Peel, signed to the legendary Creation Records and Virgin before finally securing their independence by founding their own aforementioned Dubwiser record label.

Since their inception in 1993 Dreadzone have steadily been releasing underground storms of albums, progressively bettering, refining and perfecting their own unique and inimitable take on dub – mixed as it is with aspects of dance, sublime guitar riffs, folk roots sentiments and breakbeat bass styles – whilst bringing the party to every club, dancehall and field they’ve shown up at. Always blowing audiences away and steadily earning for themselves the best possible reputation as a live act in the process.

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Artists’ website: http://www.dreadzone.com/

‘Mountain’ – the current single:

Dreadzone release their 7th studio album ‘Escapades’

Dreadzone (known for their unique, dub / folk / electronic / dance album, ‘Second Light’, which featured their debut top 40 hit, ‘Little Britain), released their 7th studio album ‘Escapades’ on September 9th 2013. ‘Escapades’ features guest vocalists Mick Jones (The Clash) rising star Lena Cullen and many other guest collaborations from stars such as Don Letts and Tim Bran.

The album was born out of the heavy touring schedule which ensued when Greg and Leo resumed their duties alongside Mick Jones and Don Letts when Big Audio Dynamite reunited for a pan-world tour in 2012. Dreadzone founder Tim Bran, alongside Mick Jones and Don Letts, original members Leo and Greg Dread and present members MC Spee, Earl 16 and Chris Compton, soon transformed their ideas founded on tour into musical reality, and Escapades was born.

A busy summer of festivals, followed by an extensive 21 date UK tour throughout autumn, will once again see Dreadzone with their unique live performances of their classic tracks and highlights from ‘Escapades’.

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Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

Artist’s website: http://www.dreadzone.com/

DREADZONE – BEST OF: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE DREAD’

Dreadzone

On 9th May 2011 Dreadzone, the fervently followed British institution and original pioneers of UK bass culture present  The Good The Bad And The Dread – a compendium of their excellent musical story so far. Still going strong after seventeen years, Dreadzone have carved a large niche and cult following. Hit records, critical acclaim and a huge, devoted fan base are theirs, due in part to their utterly storming live shows. The all-killer-no-filler 16 tracks collate the many highlights of  the Zone’s’ output to date – a coherent and still fresh-sounding body of work.

Dreadzone deal in accessible yet credible club sounds with pop nous, referencing everyone from Woody Guthrie and Max Romeo to John Holt and classic films. They also like to wander into uncharted territory, melding Celtic, Jamaican and Asian influences to their riddims and samples, thus turning out unique, quirky gems like Captain Dread and Little Britain. The latter track is available here in its more rare vocal incarnation, which wasn’t featured on the album Second Light (the instrumental was). Their dubwise beats and bottom end, often adorned with the unmistakably dulcet tones of Earl Sixteen are a product of the cut-and-paste magpie nature of the ever-morphing world of dance music. Other collaborators who’ve passed through the house of dread include cultural figurehead Don Letts, Melanie Blatt and Alison Goldfrapp.

Dreadzone originators Greg Dread and Leo Williams are respectively the drum and bass in seminal post-punk-electro-pop band Big Audio Dynamite. Tim Bran was also a founding father, and is still involved in shaping the Dread sound. Dreadzone was born from the duo’s shared love for reggae, ska, dub, dancehall, hip hop, breakbeat and the burgeoning electronic music scene of the time. Dubstep, UK funky, 2-step, Jungle and the multitude of fangled sub genres have been born post-Dreadzone, and whilst it maybe a sweeping statement to claim they’ve been a direct influence on all such producers, they can definitely stake claim to a very large branch on the family tree of all things dance, quality and of black origin. Dreadzone have released six artist albums: 360, Second Light, Biological Radio, Sound, Once Upon A Time and last year’s Eye On the Horizon. They delivered a storming set on Later with Jools Holland and performed their top-twenty hit Little Britain on Top Of The Pops. That single has since become ubiquitous, due to countless TV program syncs and generally being a much-loved anthem. John Peel was a big fan of the band too. He included five Dreadzone tracks in his festive fifty and chose their 360 LP as one of his top ten albums of all time. Ironically that release hasn’t been available since the closing of Alan McGee’s iconic label Creation records, to which the they were signed. Dreadzone also DJ under the Dreadzone Soundsystem moniker, tearing up dancefloors worldwide in a fashion that’s unmistakably their own.

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Dreadzone are: Greg Dread (beats and electronics) Leo Williams (bass) MC Spee (MC), Earl 16 (vocals) Chris Compton (guitar) and Chris Oldfield (technology).

The Best Of DreadzoneThe Good, The Bad & The Dread
Tracklisting:

Zion Youth (Dreadzone Mix)
Little Britain (Vocal Version)
Ali Baba
Captain Dread (Single Edit)
Iron Shirt
Digital Mastermind
Biological Radio (Edit)
House Of Dread
Life Love & Unity (‘96 Mix)
Fight The Power (‘95)
Return Of The Dread
Gangster
I Know
The Good The Bad & The Dread
Different Planets
American Dread

Fairport Convention Cropredy 2009 Festival Review

With the threat of hitting the big four O this year, it was time to try some new activities to try and prove to myself that I was still young and restless! Courtesy of “the one and only” ..Folkmaster.. (apologies Darren), I trotted along to Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival armed with cold weather gear (well, after 4½ years in ….Brisbane…., the ….UK…. is cold – and camping would be freezing!) and a very open mind – what had I got myself in to?

The day dawned fine and sunny as I arrived in Oxfordshire, the tent was erected with relatively little swearing and angst although it did take strategic and careful logistical planning to avoid the large lumps of cow dung! All sorted and unpacked and it was off to find out what all the fuss was about.

With no real prior knowledge of Fairport Convention (heresy, I hear!!) and my life obviously lacking, I was both enthusiastic and cautiously optimistic about the education that lay in store. Armed with vino, camping chair and souvenir programme, (note the priorities!), I set myself in amongst the other festival revellers eagerly awaiting the entertainment. We were not disappointed. What an array of talent, variety and sheer chutzpah! It was fantastic. There were acts for all – traditional folk; folk rock; folk punk (!) (or should that be punk folk?) and pop! It was three days of sheer delight!

Along with the music, there was the Cropredy atmosphere – an aura of comradeship, fun and don’t-care attitude prevailed. When they say that it is ….Britain….’s friendliest music festival, they weren’t kidding! Browsing around the many stalls, children’s entertainment and food vendors just added to the sense of ambience.

But back to the music and where to start. All the artists were excellent but my personal highlights included Richard Thompson and I was thrilled when he played Vincent Black Lightning 1952 as that was my introduction to his music; Dreadzone – energetic, crowd-pleasing and thumping good tunes!; Seth Lakeman – having danced to his set at Stokes Bay Festival, it was great to see him again and Cormac Byrne from Uiscedwr who joined him on Lady of the Sea; Nik Kershaw (my nostalgic return to the 80s and the heady days of youth.) Colvin Quarmby – with Gerry Colvin’s groovy hands – they deserved a set of their own!! And of course, the incomparable Fairport Convention who were joined by the lengendary Yusaf Islam aka Cat Stevens.

When Sunday morning came and it was time to dismantle the tent and begin the journey home, a sense of mild gloom came over me – my first Cropredy was over – never again would I be a Cropredy virgin but…. Although the first time is special, the next time I would be a veteran.. roll on Cropredy 2010!

Sarah Burch August 2009

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Festival website: http://www.fairportconvention.com