Published Dec 02, 2014Forty years into an illustrious career that has found the Jamaican duo playing on and producing some of the most important albums in reggae history, Sly & Robbie seemingly have little left to prove. But over the past decade, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare have ramped up their musical output, proving to fans and fellow musicians that there's still life left in these aging artists. After releasing Underwater Dub last April, their first set of pure dub reggae in a while, Sly & Robbie aim to reach back even further on their latest, Dubrising.
Reuniting with longtime producer Paul "Groucho" Smykle for their first collaboration in 30 years, the album's eight tracks benefit from a throwback 1980s studio sound — high-compression and front-and-centre vocals — that perfectly complements Dan Donovan's (of Big Audio Dynamite) tasteful keyboard playing.
Tracks like "Satan Fall" and "Drone Sniper" play off Shakespeare's rubbery bass lines, while "To the Rescue" and "No Surrender" utilize modern dubstep beats and hip-hop rhythms. By incorporating modern sounds into their oeuvre, Sly & Robbie strive to stay relevant by weaving the past into the present. (Taxi)