Richie Culture Bag Of Herb Review

Richie Culture – Bag Of Herb Remixes – Review

Various Artists: Richie Culture Bag of Herb Remixes Review by Mr Topple for

Totally Dubwise Recordings are back – this time with a big selection of remixes across a track from 2020. And it shows the breadth and depth of the outfit’s capabilities – as the remixes cover various genres really well.

Bag of Herb was originally released by Richie Culture in 2020. The track is in a classic Reggae formation: drop-beat bass, those call and response horns, skanking guitar and bubble rhythm on the keys. Culture’s singjay-come-vocal is expressive and engaging – and the track is a very competent offering, with an attractive musical backdrop and main melody. Then, across four remixes the Totally Dubwise team have provided a selection of versions that all compliment the original equally well.

The selection opens with the producer of the original track, Robbie Melody, giving us his VIP Mix. He’s expanded on the original by including some additional/extended synths and samples, including back-spins, heavy reverb and engineering across Culture’s vocal.

Melody has also improved the mastering compared to the original. The sound is richer and fuller, slightly higher in overall dB and with more attention to detail on the various instrumental lines – especially the horns and synths/samples, which have moved to the fore. Overall, Melody has provided a slick and skilled offering.

Then, the Subtifuge Remix takes Bag of Herb back to an Old Skool Jungle vibe.

He’s avoided the traditional Jungle effect of taking a track’s original BPM and simply doubling it; instead speeding the original vocal up slightly and then increasing the BPM accordingly.

This means Culture’s vocal remains strong but the Jungle elements can be fully developed.

He’s left the opening stripped-back to just vocal and accompanying instrumentation before bringing in the Jungle drum arrangement: Two Step-led, with the snare on the two and four and the kick/hi-hats frantically filling in the space in between.

Subtifuge has included some decent breaks and drops, too – keeping the natural ebbing and flowing of the riddim very fluid. There are nice touches with the vocal engineering (note the use of ‘next room’ decay/compression); while the bass is suitably deep and resonant, but not overbearing – keeping the original’s pattern. Overall, Subtifuge has delivered a well-constructed and technically skilled throwback sound which marries extremely well with Culture’s original.

Jamie Bostron brings Subtifuge’s sound bang up to date with a remix that is more DnB than Jungle – and makes its intentions clear from the start.

The signature Two Step-based hi-hat/snare/kick combo is still present with additional syncopation and dominance on the snare compared to Subtifuge.

Then, other elements have been played with. The role of the horns has been reduced while the main vocal has been pared back with additional reverb added. The breaks are still present – with Bostron honing in on the Reggae original for these. Some nice synths and samples come into play, including a reverberating spaceship gun.

However, it’s Bostron’s bass that is central to the sound. He’s taken the 808 and placed it fairly high up the bass clef’s register, and then added a donk engineering style across it (one which is really cleverly arranged, too) – setting it deftly apart from Subtifuge’s Jungle remix and taking the sound from classic to contemporary. The main drop is well-constructed – going from stripped-back to the Reggae sound and then building to a crescendo before it happens.

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Richie Culture Bag Of Herb Review by Mr Topple / Pauzeradio PR Services (23rd May 2022).

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