Capital Letters – Wolf EP (Sugar Shack Records)
24th Nov 2014
British reggae legend Capital Letters return with a brand new EP. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
With the re-release of the 80s Reality album and a newly remixed EP in Smoking My Ganga, Capital Letters have had quite a year. Now the reggae giants have put together a new album for release in 2015 with the Wolf EP a pre-cursor of what’s to come.
David Hill and Nick Manasseh again join forces to remix the track and present four versions of differing styles for your delectation. Sounding like an original roots track from the 70s, Wolf is brilliant in its simplicity as it regales a story of hypocrisy focusing on Rastas and Christians in true vintage style.
The main version is the Rootikal Re-Mixdown, here presented as a highly polished tune, if not fairly standard, with a great feel and instantly memorable. A catchy verse and chorus provide a track that is difficult not to enjoy.
As with a lot of reggae, the song comes alive when they’re given the dub treatment. The Rootikal Dubplate Mix brings the vocals to the front with sparse instrumentation pushed slightly back. There’s a killer bass line fighting to break free and subtle dubs scattered around that make the track very pleasant.
The third and fourth mixes take the track even further down the dub line firstly with the Rootikal Dubwise in which the vocals are all but removed aside from the occasional dubbed appearance. The bass again plays a major part as guitar and keyboard reverbs zip in and out.
Surely the finest version of Wolf comes with the closing Rootikal Deep Riddim Dub where voices almost disappear completely bar and the instrumentation is allowed to show its prowess. In an almost vintage dub style, the version is empty and spacious with each instrument individually given its chance to shine. Long dubs are perfectly placed and sound fantastic through headphones.
Roll on 2015.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. You can also follow him on Twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news.