I know pretty much fuck all about Reggae and Dub other than the UB40 tapes my mom would play in her Uno Fire, and nights out at Cool Runnings. I also saw Damian Marley live in a haze of smoke at Blue Lagoon for Zakifo. That’s about it. Other than that, they’re not really genres I’ve ever gotten into. Like, I smoke a lot of weed, but not enough to bop to dub at home. And reggae has just kinda always felt like Gospel music for Rastas.
So, that I find myself listening to ‘Dubokaj Meets Fortune Shumba’ on repeat is a new experience. I find myself entranced by the experimental reggae and dub beats of Dubokaj and hypnotised by Fortune Shumba’s soulful vocals. On Soundcloud, the release is tagged as reggae but 3 of the 7 songs are dub mixes. I’m not great at telling the difference tbh. Dub is what reggae sounds like when played in the bath, right? Cause this definitely has that dreamy underwater feel with synths echoing through the haze.
Lyrically, Fortune cynically explores lust, love, and relationships. From the opener of Trinidad Babies, in which he swears it isn’t a love song, to the moody Nobody in which he laments through a vocoder how much nobody knows how much he misses “you”, Fortune takes a more emotional and sentimental approach than I typically wouldn’t expect from music I typically associate with potheads.
I don’t know too much about the swiss producer Dubokaj, unfortunately, although his work on this project makes me want to explore more of his catalogue. I do know, however, that Fortune has shown he can’t be pigeon-holed and has added his touch to a variety of beats by collaborating with a wide range of artists over the last 2 years. From his ‘Dawn EP’ in 2015, to now, the back-up dancer for Moonchild has steadily been putting together a body of work that’ll see him in the foreground of stages in days to come.