Khaliphonic 07 review
Jerome Meyer AKA Von D is a master craftsman, well-known for releasing dubstep and bass music since 2009. On an increasingly prolific trajectory since last year, recent 12”s on Infernal Sounds, Trojan Audio and Scotch Bonnet have signaled his renewed focus on dubwise productions. We are proud to say that Von D’s Khaliphonic debut sees him fully committing to reggae and dub - in his words, “going back to my musical roots.”
“Politricks” is a masterwork, cut from the same living rock as the classic Cuss Cuss riddim, a simply huge bass and drum workout that is truly one for the ages. Politricks is an anthem for now, a call to avoid the dead-end of politics-as-usual and a warning to beware of the lies politicians tell to keep themselves in power - full of promises but changing nothing. Von D says that “working with Don Cotti was very natural,” and their easy relationship is audible - the tune fits the vocal like a glove, and Cotti’s instantly-recognizable singjay style gives even more gravitas to an already heavy track. The dub version spools out Von D’s signature saturated echoes even further, and opens up spectral chambers of reverb that shimmer and glow.
The B side “Ygrec” is an equally massive tune, just as compelling if more meditative and mysterious, coming in both one drop and power-steppers mixes for maximum versatility and vibes. Both tunes and their versions feature an incredibly robust, warm, human sound - one that simply can’t come from machines alone - live drums, bass, and kete drum among other instruments maintain the tradition of live musicians in dub - to say nothing of expert desk-based mixing and deployment of live analog effects the way the elders intended. Both tunes dial in at 140 making them perfect for roots and dubstep selectors alike.
Von D got his start as a drummer and engineer outside Paris, in the heady days of original jungle. Early releases on Disfigured Dubz, Hench, Boka, Black Acre and the seminal V Recordings, as well as his reggae-oriented Liquid Wicked project, cemented his reputation. Don Cotti is a prolific producer, DJ and MC with releases stretching back to 2006 on labels as varied as Bass Face, Studio Rockers, and Soul Jazz.