Album Review: Gentleman’s Dub Club – Lost In Space [Easy Star Records; January 2019]

Just as the new year has sunk in, Gentleman’s Dub Club drop Lost in Space on Easy Star Records, their latest instalment of contemporary dub rhythms and rhymes. The ten-piece collective that met in Leeds are a staple outfit in the modern dub and diaspora scene, and after five successful albums and back-to-back touring and festivals, have hit the world with an 11-track offering of an intergalactic conceptual album based in space.

After building anticipation in a fittingly astro-vibe intro, the stomping starts straight away with ‘Light The Fuse’ that has the characteristically catchy brass riffs and deeply danceable bassline drops.

Following on is an almost down-tempo offering of reggae sentiments, with lead singer Jonathan Scratchley’s vocals prevalent as the lyrics describe the outer space journey that is the concept of the album in ‘Ground Shakin’’.

Next, we travel with the band to a strange alien planet, and the groove slows right down, as we imagine exploring the new horizons – the modern production on this otherwise slowed-down reggae classic adds the alien space aesthetics.

‘Gods of War’ opens with cosmic synths, driving offbeat rhythm, building brass then the intro of the all-important bass line. Lyric-less, this instrumental track features the various solos from trumpet and saxophone sharing centre stage.

Saving the words for the next track, featuring the first of two collaborations on the album with Swedish dancehall star ‘Million Stylez’ on ‘Turning Back’, the classic reggae toasting styles fit perfectly within the catchy structure and lyrics of this future anthem.

Keeping with their concept of travelling to a strange world and finding a genius skanking alien playing “the perfect bass line”, it feels as if we too have climbed aboard a spaceship with the intro to ‘Eye of the Storm’ in which the title suggests – a storm of stomping, wobbling bass and brass building to a final climax and dropping into irresistible two-time ska.

‘Midnight Healing’ is reminiscent of the band’s skill at writing anthem classics that you hear bellowed out from sound systems at festivals the country over, such as ‘Fire’ and ‘High Grade’.

The album overall is a fantastic addition to contemporary dub music and an album that doesn’t let down a shining record of classics from Gentleman’s Dub Club. It transports you not only to outer space but to Gentleman’s Dub Club’s next concert where hearing the songs live whilst dancing will produce the true impact.