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The Rootsman is anEnglish DJ/dub musician with 15 years experience and a discography thatincludes over two dozen EPs and albums since 1994.
"Versions of theUnseen" is a 6 track remix EP follow-up to the most recent album"Realms of the Unseen" on Third Eye Music and is thankfully availabledomestically for ~$7 via Portland, OR label BSI Records. This is myfirst taste of Rootsman besides his 2 remix albums with Muslimgauze:"City Of Djinn" (which is being re-issued by Third Eye in February) and"Return to the City Of Djinn". The 6 tracks here include the albumversions of "Al Andalus" and "Beyond the Hills", 2 Rootsman dub mixesof the former and a Ras Boras (of Treponem Pal) remix of the latter,and the non album track "Imitator" remade by BSI's Landau. Of the 3versions of "Al Andalus", the album version is the best. MC Johnny Lonedrops a laid back Spanish history rhyme about "Al Andalus land of kingsand queens" over a smooth, mid tempo dub-hip-hop backing. The dub mixesare similar and, of course, delete much of the vocals save for theoccasional blurt out through the echo chamber. "Imitator" is very inyour face with barrages of snare heavy drumming and sudden sampledvocal outbursts. You can dance to it, but you might hurt yourself. The2 versions of "Beyond the Hills" are very different. Ras Boras' remixis uptempo and playful with a bleepy electro sound and an amusing Dr.Dre style high-pitched keyboard melody. The original is down tempo withsome gentle wailing female vocals, piano, gurgling synth lines,beautiful flute (?) melodies and tabla rhythms. All together, this EPis nice and varied and good news for dub fans. I'm intrigued enough toseek out an album next.