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Kandee - Skank Fiction

Kandee - Skank Fiction

Kandee - Skank Fiction

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Beautifully Crafted Dub That Resonates Like Tone Poems


The nineteen dub pieces that comprise Skank Fiction—the first LP by Nantes’s stepper Kandee—are sweet and sonic inventions of a very high quality—and beautiful reggae through and through. The songs are so well structured that they might even be called tone poems, each setting up a feeling and mood that, taken as a whole, make this an album more than well worth listening to.

What is even more enjoyable is that the entire album can be downloaded for free from Maree BASS Productions, and considering the musicality and excellent production values, this a must download for every dub lover’s library.

Maree BASS, from Perigueux and Nantes, has done dub world a service with Kandee’s release. In fact, the whole dub scene around Nantes is to be congratulated. Joining Kandee as featured artists are French singers Ma Ma Tya and Fyah Lo, as well as sound system steppers RDH, Tsunami Wazahari, and Mahom.  The French dubmasters are even accompanied by Mexican skankmaestro Mexican Stepper all the way from Tecamac near Mexico City. But core to all the good music is the careful song structuring of Nantes’s Kandee.

KandeeKandee’s music touches upon many feelings, from the almost delicate, Thermal Efficiency that opens up this album, to the playful romp of a child in Kid Vision, to the anthemic Rough Steppa. You might be able to guess at the feelings that are inspired by Zulu Swing or Limbo. And yet each song is controlled and built to create a sonic landscape that all the reverbs, wonks, and whistles that make up dub music merely reinforce. Make no doubt, this is reggae music ina dub stylee and no matter where your feelings may be after getting lost in a song, Kandee’s commitment to the skank brings you right back home to the heart of reggae.

I once heard a member of the Skatellites say, “In instrumental music, the title is everything.” (I think I was listening to Eastern Standard Time at the moment.) In Skank Fiction each title sets up a musical idea, a sense, and at hought. Take for example Kandee’s La Baleine spatiale (The Space Whale). Once set up by the title, it is hard to think about much else BUT a whale floating through space. In Delta, with its electronic melodica, one is transported to the Nile delta and a haunting far-east feeling straight out of Augustus Pablo.

Skank Fiction is a set of these types of tone poems, each musically different, each build with different (and not excessive) sonic hoots and hollers, echoes and reverbs, yet each song is firmly anchored by the knowledge that these are not the mere twisting of electronic knobs and pushing of magnetic buttons; these are songs written and crafted by a person dedicated to making good music, structuring a song well,who loves reggae music, and who prides himself on musicality.

This album is a tribute to French dubmakers, especially to a core group of dedicated musicians around Nantes. Kandee has taken his talent and the talent of those around him and assembled a great album. Maree BASS has made it free for us to listen to; much to their credit and our thanks.

To Kandee and Maree BASS: I will GLADLY pay for the next one. This one is super.

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