‘The spirit of dub continues to drive all the music I make,’ says Brian May a.k.a. Beam Up. ‘This album takes those dubwise qualities of rhythm, space and bass, to shape a series of tracks that could be tagged as a variety of genres.’
Dedicated to the great Osborne ‘King Tubby’ Ruddock, ‘…for repeatedly showing there are no rules’, Innerstand builds on that great legacy in its presentation of a truly contemporary, outernational dub experience.
Abetting Brian May are a diverse trio of vocalists, each of whom brings unique qualities to the project: Terrence Alfonso Bowry, a UK-born Canadian national whose experience has mostly been gained on Shanghai’s jazz and blues scene (where he worked alongside artists of the calibre of Wynton Marsalis) brings an ear for sophisticated harmony and improvisation; Jornick Joelick, a French-Guyanan rastaman with a big voice bringing an earthy, rootsical quality; and Katya Tasheva, a polyglot singer with what May calls ‘sublime frequencies’ whose background spans traditional (including world-music mavericks and former Beam Up compadres Rotfront), pop and drum- and- bass.
The album is a musical journey that of course references King Tubby’s Kingston, Ja. and Rhythm and Sound’s Berlin, but also the Balkans, Japan and Australasia (and more); as well as Pablo, Glen Brown and The Skatalites, influences such as Prince suffuse the set, which sometimes takes on the feel of a version excursion, as May’s riddims nod to the classics of the past, subliminal echoes of the great dub tradition, though it’s more usually in the form of ‘inspiration’ than carefully worked out covers. The Wire mag has already called this ‘timeless top-grade dub’ on the basis of a sneak preview, and we think that just about sums it up…