Version Xcursion Past And Present 2004-2008

Toronto, ON's Version Xcursion have raised the subgenre of nu-dub from a zero profile affair to durable club vibe, and this collection is a five-year journey through their recorded output. Beginning with a few tracks from their only album, Radio, Aram Scaram and Sassa'le's productions have become steadily more assured as the years passed by, culminating in some truly hard-hitting new songs. What were once fairly straightforward combinations of house and reggae signifiers quickly evolved into more original synth sounds and hybrid riddims. "Rock Da Dub," from Radio, showcases dub poetry on top of a left-of-centre house beat, but the following year's "Moments" and "Jenn-ee Rocka," featuring vocalist Treson, reveal a more fully developed, pop-friendly sense of song craft. Not all their productions are magic, such as the power ballad-like "Breathe," but a new collaboration with rapper Masia One is its antithesis, hitting hard enough for those who demand uncompromising hip-hop and dubstep but retaining a strong sense of individuality. (Independent)