Goin' On >
Sound System ON ALL FREQUENCIES is a portrait of
life in New York City done in words and sound. With an eclectic
crew of men and women rolling over ten deep, it is a collection
of snapshots seen through many different eyes, a reflection of a
wide range of attitudes and experiences. The beauty of this city
lies as much in the history of its vast musical traditions as it
does in its reputation as a birthplace of innovation. Subatomic
Sound System stays focused on both.
album opens with a thumping hip hop beat, driving reggae bass line,
squelchy dub echoes, and police sirens: Welcome to New York. Daddy
Lion Chandell hails up the crew and explains "On all frequencies,
on all levels, this a’ music to chant down the devil."
Wheel up! From there, the album launches into a handful of unorthodox
hip hop and dubby dancehall rooted tunes, each with its own unlikely
twist and notably with a cast that is heavy on female mic control.
is based on the Subatomic Sound System rhythm that won the Red Bull
Vinlyab remix competition a few years back. Like a collision of
Massive Attack and the Neptunes, a space age beat with blasts of
sizzling jungle snares, strings, and a narcotic music box piano
crouch under a unique blend of singing and rapping that lyrically
describes a badass woman’s psychology. Next up, ”No
Static” comes with a marriage of soul and
underground hip hop: Poetic lyrical vignettes about building relationships
in the urban jungle ride over classical influenced jazz guitar and
a subsonic reggae bass punctuated with a universal mantra-like chorus
"I don’t want no static/ I’m tired of bein’
so dramatic." Stepping up the intensity, “Ghetto
Champion” brings an earth shaking baritone
vocal, grimey dancehall beats, booming bass, future-proof dub vibrations
and a Stevie Wonder inspired clav hook. Now the stage is set for
a song Beat Magazine calls “a revolutionary anthem”.
Soaring old school jazz vocals call the people to action while a
shifty broken beat drum pattern, a heavy reggae bass line and dubby
key skanks pound out the riddim with a dubstep feel. Cut back to
the hip hop vibes: On “Doin’
It”, a warm vintage beat with futuristic syncopation
teams up with a funky JB flavored guitar loop, some reggae skanks,
and spacey dubs to face off with the rapping of a tough-but-not-gangsta
independent woman. “Thru the
Next Gate” finds a heavyweight acoustic bass
colliding with an electronic UK grime sensibility, police choppers,
and plenty of bleepy dub while intense ‘escape from the Matrix’
themed lyrics flesh out the message through heavily harmonized singing
the midpoint of the album, ON ALL FREQUENCIES leans
into more musically eclectic territory, starting with “Fly
Free”, a cross between a reggae stepper, broken
beat, and old school funk. Funky ass bass, super get down clav,
and vintage guitar drive this riddim while a ton of African percussion
and sultry heartfelt female vocals carry it home. Next up is “Our
Father, Our King (Middle East Dub)”, a crazy
out of left field reworking of a traditional Jewish folk song, Avenu
Malkenu, done in classic 70s Jamaican dub production style. What
appears to be a reggae rockers riddim gets twisted up with of a
slithery middle eastern guitar melody, melodica, and tons of pulsing
analog echoes. Taking you back to the beat that opened the album,
“Breakin’ Down the Barriers”
has anthemic impassioned reggae vocals and gospel harmonies that
call for unity and progress over a thumping reggae fueled hip hop
beat, dubby echoes, and police sirens. On “Troddin’
Along”, an aggressive jungle laced dancehall
riddim with a funky afrobeat clav line and funktastic Moog hook
are the foundation for rough chatted verses and a catchy melodic
chorus about “Troddin’ along this dusty road, lookin’
for the half of the story that’s never been told”. “Feel
Thru Life” has a dynamic dubby trip hop vibe
built from a shifty syncopated beat, sexy female vocal, sparse heartbeat
reggae bass, clean Hendrix like guitar, and climaxing middle eastern
percussion. This leads to the search for a “Heart
of Gold (Subatomic Dub)”. On the surface it
is a reggae riddim with dubby echo effects and deep male singing
and chatting, but then there is the unlikely inclusion of a driving
acoustic hip hop bass, orchestral strings, and Latin flavored guitar
lines and percussion that culminate in an unexpected cinematic outro,
not unlike a Gorillaz experiment. “Hypdroponic
Dub” closes out the album with a heady four
on the floor electronic beat with wild percussion, Brazilian Wes
Montgomery flavored guitar melodies, warm clean guitar skanks, looping
funky distorted reggae keys, and lots of warm ambient throbbing
echoes to slingshot the listener into a fuzzy slack jawed trance
This Album Came About >
the overwhelming positive response to the Subatomic Sound System
Code Orange Relaxation mix CD
plus the wide array of vocalists who became involved with Subatomic
through the Dub Champions performances, we decided to put together
an album of strictly Subatomic Sound System beats that had a similar
overall vibe to the Code Orange Relaxation Techniques mix CD. That
explains the eclectic mix and as well as the meaning of the title
'On All Freqencies'. Serving it up on a on a laid back tip with
a little bit of everything in the mix, on all frequencies and on
the People Are Saying about the Album >
gun smoke. Cop that!"
-OJ Lima, VIBE magazine editor-at-large
surprise of the year... ‘On All Frequencies’ takes on
dub, underground hip hop, broken-beat and dancehall and packs them
into 14 sonic gems. [The song] ‘Ghetto Champion’ is
what Damien Marley should have been working on."
gives me the same feeling I get listening to early Massive Attack
work, not because of the sound directly,
but because of the artistic energy & flavor everyone brings
into the project. Great work!"
the roots of bass heavy dub with a funk-styled edge of underground
hip-hop, SSS bridges dancehall energy and multi-cultural communication.
Solid beats, meaningful messages and remix trickery."
- BPM Magazine
they may ply their trade in an assortment of reggae, hip-hop, broken
beat, and jungle tracks, each is approached with a maverick, dub-wise
sensibility that shouts a clear music-first missive to the masses.
The band delivers as advertised, hitting you thoroughly on all frequencies."
- XLR8R Magazine
Sound System hurl themselves into the vacuum with fierce force,
taking you on a dubwise journey with a powerful message and style
-DJ Synapse, Beautiful/Decay Magazine
Now here's an album I want to have on vinyl. A true collector for
selectors! ...[Subatomic Sound System is] one of the most important
bands contributing to the expansion of modern dub"
-Chronic Sonata/ DubSelector.com
stunned. Seriously, these tunes are top shelf, first class dynamite.
I LOVE THEM! Massive tunes! Brilliance."
-Mista Micha, The Chill Pill, BayFM
'Rize Up' is a virtual revolutionary anthem."
- The BEAT Magazine
Staff Pick Single ''Breakin'
Down the Barriers''
Official CD Release Date
January 1st, 2007
New York City, NY