Album ReviewsEntertainment

Dub Kartel sets the mood

Dub Kartel is an unconventional group, and their debut album of the same name only reinforces their image.

The Halifax-based reggae, hip-hop and dancehall music group consists of seven tightly knit friends who have spent the last five years touring Canadian music festivals perfecting their vibrant and energetic sound.

The album’s opening track, “Burnt Roots,” sets the laid-back mood perfectly with Jamaican singer, Jah’Mila Smith’s harmonious crooning supporting the fast-paced, yet articulate lyrics.

The reggae influence is particularly strong, echoing the tradition of artists like Bob Marley, but putting Dub Kartel’s own electronic spin on it.

“Island Redux,” with its trumpet-dominated score, brings to mind good times on the beach, and is further developed by the gentle xylophone and bongos heard in the song’s softer moments. The lyrics, meanwhile, speak of partying all day and lighting up, creating a very low-key melody.

Juno Award-winning hip-hop artist, Ghettosocks, delivers a low, throaty sound that provides a great contrast to vocalist Kyle “KDZ” McCracken’s much higher lyrical tone.

“Hot Fyah” features reggae artist, Icious, whose low tone once again compliments McCracken’s higher voice.

The two singers manage to match their flows excellently, switching between one another seamlessly as they weave the story of a “sexy girl” together.

“We were put here to create,” are lyrics from the song, “Payday,” and are a fitting way to end the album.
Filled with the same life and vigour that dominates the group’s sound, the song caps off the overall groovy message of good times and happiness.

Be it for party tunes or relaxing, Dub Kartel’s self-titled release is a fun, easy-going album to listen to, that creates a soul-pleasing vibe from start to finish.

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