It’s quite often that EDM fans forget the reggae roots of a lot of our beloved music, especially when it comes to bass music. Not only early jungle but modern D&B, dubstep and even the current riddim and leftfield trends have both roots and dancehall reggae to thank for their sick beats and cool vocal samples.
With the importance of reggae well-established in bass music, one of the important figures in reggae is making an emergence of sorts after being in the roots and dancehall games for years. PicStitch was recently nominated for a Grammy and with renewed interest in his influential back catalog, he’s decided to team up with his group The ReggaeStra to create two new singles. With “Ram Dancehall” and “Don Dada,” this long-time reggae artist is now being named a promising up-and-comer.
With each of these tracks containing PicStitch’s unique vocal quality and vibrato (yes, vibrato in reggae), they have almost opposing vibes and beat structures. “Ram Dancehall” is a chilled-out version of a dancehall track, with some roots injected in there for a mellow feel. On its own, “Ram Dancehall” has ta danceable vibe but it would easily be remixed or sampled to filth in any bass music genre to make a sincere EDM banger.
“Don Dada” is similarly sampleable but it takes its own opening bits from the dancehall classic “Pass the Kouchie” by The Mighty Diamonds (adapted in its more popular form “Pass the Dutchie” by Musical Youth), so it’s a dub in its own right. The samples here, however, come from PicStitch’s chorus and, despite the track’s happy dancehall vibe, could fill any bass track that could, in the words of the great Koop from Human Traffic, “turn Hare Krishna into a badboy.”
PicStitch and The Reggaestra’s work is good enough to stand out in their own genre and “Ram Dancehall” and “Don Dada” are just more proof of that fact. The roots and dancehall vocal legend and his team may not even want to be remixed or sampled for a bunch of raving punters but with these tracks it’s definitely fun to imagine and OG reggae artists more than deserve the EDM world’s attention as they continue to make great work that rules reggae and inspires countless other genres.
“Don Dada” and “Ram Dancehall” are out now on Picaxe Production, a label PicStitch co-manages with producing partner Danny Axeman. The tracks can be streamed or purchased on multiple platforms by clicking here.