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Entering an impressive 3rd decade, Dreadzone, one of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live bands to emerge from the post-rave scene, release brand new album “Dread Times” on February 17 2017.
‘Dread Times’ is the band’s 8th studio album and the 3rd release on their own “Dubwiser” label. Their old skool dread sound comes bubbling to the surface on this album and it digs deeper into their dub and reggae roots whilst still keeping the beats fresh and the textures electronic. Conscious lyrics, social ills, matters of the heart and mind merge with 21st century dubwise flavours. The album is an eclectic rolling journey that recalls elements from an illustrious 23 year history while always looking ahead to the next phase.
Alongside core members Greg Dread, who produced this 12 track album, Leo Williams, Chris Compton, reggae vocalist Earl 16 and MC Spee, Dread Times introduces younger blood into the mix with newest member Bazil bringing an edge to the sonic process and Greg’s son Marlon expanding the musical range further. Don Letts also returns with lyrical contributions, as does Lena Cullen on vocals for one track, with 90s ragga duo Louchie Lou and Michie One guesting on another. Recorded again at Mick Jones’ Bunker Studio, arranged at Dread Central and mixed by fellow founder Tim Bran, this is classic West London Zone with an updated edge. Dread music for an unpredictable world, these are Dread Times.
Pioneered by former members of Big Audio Dynamite (and, by inheritance, carrying forward the heart and soul of The Clash) Dreadzone’s two decade plus career has been championed by the late John Peel, signed to the legendary Creation Records and Virgin before finally securing their independence by founding their own aforementioned Dubwiser record label. Since their inception in 1993 Dreadzone have steadily been releasing underground storms of albums, progressively bettering, refining and perfecting their own unique and inimitable take on dub – mixed as it is with aspects of dance, sublime guitar riffs, folk roots sentiments and breakbeat bass styles – whilst bringing the party to every club, dancehall and field they’ve shown up at. Always blowing audiences away and steadily earning for themselves the best possible reputation as a live act in the process.
In 2018, Dreadzone move forward as a 5 piece, after parting ways with their guitarist after 10 years, and are focusing more on the electronic and dub elements of their stage show – a sound they developed in earlier years of Dreadzone. Their old skool dread sound comes bubbling to the surface on new album ‘Dread Times’ which digs deep into their dub and reggae roots whilst still keeping the beats fresh and the textures electronic.
Dread Times is the band’s 8th studio album and the 3rd release on their own Dubwiser label. The album stormed into the Top 40 UK Official Album Charts on release in 2017 – the first time the band have charted in over 20 years. The album also made the Top 10 in the Indie and Dance Charts.
New album DREAD TIMES out now
2018 DREADZONE LINE-UP
Greg Dread – Drums MC Spee – Vocals Earl 16 – Vocals Leo Williams – Bass Bazil – Technology
“One of the few acts to have truly explored the possibilities of Dub & Reggae” Rock Sound * *“Dreadzone’s is a joyous noise; bouncing beats with samples bashing into live vocals” Q
Dreadzone are still going strong after over 20 years with core members Greg Dread, Leo Williams, MC Spee and legendary reggae vocalist Earl 16 alongside Chris Compton on guitar and Bazil completing the current Dreadzone line up. They continue to tour extensively around the world and are currently in the studio writing and recording a new album for release in late 2016.
Dreadzone formed in 1993 when the former Big Audio Dynamite rhythm section; drummer Greg ‘Dread’ Roberts and bassist Leo Williams teamed up with musician, producer and mixer Tim Bran. Throughout the 1990’s Dreadzone had continually remixed itself; chopping and changing members and record labels (including stints on both Virgin and Alan McGhee’s Creation). Greg and Tim decided to approach the new millennium with a fresh idea in the form of the Dubwiser Club night at Notting Hill Arts Club. They channelled their energy into club nights that fused dub and reggae with contemporary beats to create the perfect soundtrack for people from different planets. This proved a fertile musical playground and it was in this climate (helped by their new ‘Dread Central’ studio complex) that the band would create Sound, released on Ruff Life in 2001.
Electro-dub pioneers Dreadzone re-issued their classic 2001 album ‘Sound’ on their own Dubwiser label in 2015. Written and evolved over a two-year period, Sound features contributions from Don Letts, Earl 16, Aswad’s Brinsley Forde and MC Det. As this re-issue demonstrates, the album as a whole sounds as fresh and vibrant today as it did upon release. Indeed, tracks such as Digital Mastermind and Dread’pon Sound have now reached ‘classic’ status, becoming entrenched favourites in the Dreadzone live show.
To mark the release of Dread Times, Greg Dread will be providing the support at Tunbridge Wells, playing an extra special DJ set featuring some exclusives from the new album and some rare Dreadzone material!
Also DJ Matty Dread will be keeping us moving....