Dubkasm: Transform I

Bristol, England's Dubkasm blurs the lines between dubstep and traditional roots reggae on their stunning new album.

Release: Transform I
US Release: 2009-09-15
UK Release: 2009-08-24
Label: Sufferah's Choice

With all of the hype fit about Dubstep, the new dance craze that swept the hipster nation in 2009, it’s refreshing to hear a group focusing more on the “dub” end of this otherwise exciting new hybrid of electronic music than the “step”. Such is the case of Dubkasm, a Bristol-based outfit with ties to Brazil, whose apparent aim is to steal the dub sound back from the trendy nightclubs of the U.K. (and U.S. for that matter) and return them to the massive, roots-rooted sound systems where they so rightfully belong. That’s not to say Transform I, the group’s latest opus, is not without its own intriguing forays into the realms of dirt-floor digital stepping. There are elements of such throughout the course of this 18-track set, which features guest vocals from some of the U.K.’s finest voices of reggae, including Dub Judah, Ras Addis, Levi Roots, and Akfrikan Simba among others. But when you add an arsenal of instruments stemming from the Brazilian origins of Dubkasm’s chief architect, Digistep, and the traditionalist Rastafarian messages transmitted within the lyrics of the album’s cameo appearances, you get a unique work that would fit nicely between Burial, Massive Attack, and Max Romeo in a well-thought-out DJ set.


Director Spotlight: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock helped to create the modern horror genre, the modern thriller, and the modern black comedy. He changed film, even as he was inventing new ways to approach it. Stay tuned through October as we present our collection of essays on the Master of Suspense.


'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.