This time I am record reviewing a double 7 inch record by Alpha Steppa and Alpha and Omega with somebody called Flex Zagazzow doing the singing. The copy we are listening to at The Gate is very interesting because one of them is black and one of them is white and I have never seen a white record before. What is also interesting about these two records is that Alpha and Omega are Alpha Steppa's Dad and Auntie so it is very nice that they are all helping each other out in music and releasing records together and it reminds me a bit of the Carter Family or the Osmonds who were both families that made music. I think it's very nice for families to make music together because then they can look out for each other and share any money you get out together.
The first record I will review is the Alpha Steppa one which is the white record. Alpha Steppa is a dubstep/reggae artist from South West England who has been around music all his life because his family have always made music so this must be why he is very good at it.
The first song on the record is called Highest Grade. When the singer sings about Highest Grade he is talking about really good hash which is a drug that drug addicts smoke to get high - I've never got high myself but I think it's okay that other people do because it makes them feel better about things. The music behind the singing is electric reggae which means it is reggae music but not made with guitars or normal drums but is instead made on electronic instruments like synthesiser keyboards. This is a very funky way of making music and I have been listening to a lot of electronic music at the Gate and like it very much, I think this is a very good example of what you can do with electronic instruments. The next song on the other side of the record is called Highest Dub and it is nearly the same as the other song except it is a dub version. I didn't know what this meant so I asked my friend Leon who also comes to The Gate and who likes reggae a lot and he told me that dub is when you get just a normal reggae tune and make the drums and bass louder and add echoes and mix other sound effects in like sirens and clicks and noises from films and anything else you like and then you can play with the speed and make it crazy and that way you can make lots of different versions of the same song. I thought this was very interesting what he said and it made me understand this record a bit better. I liked this song too.
The second record is the Alpha and Omega one which is the black one. Alpha and Omega are a reggae duo (this means there are two of them) from London and Plymouth who have been making music since the mid-eighties and are still going well and making excellent music which is also reggae music made on synthesisers. The first song on this record is called Steppas Grade and is another version of Flex Zagazzow singing Highest Grade but this time with different music made by Alpha & Omega rather than Alpha Steppa and I though this was a really good version which made me tap my foot so it must be good.
On the B-side of the record the song is called Dub Grade and is another version of the same song again. The music on this one is interesting because it has really nice bass that goes wub wub wub and reminds me of someone blowing bubbles and also has lots of strange noises in it like little bells and birds singing - I think it's nice that there are sounds like birds on the song because birds make very nice music that is relaxing to listen to. I liked this one a lot too.
Overall I would say that this is a very good pair of records that I enjoyed listening to very much. I think it is very interesting that all the songs are the same but a bit different because I am more used to hearing records where the songs are all different but I think it is good to have a lot of different versions of the same song because if it is a good song you may as well do it this way. I would give these records 10 out of 10.
|Pete with Ben Alpha on his post-review visit to the Gate - Cheers Ben.|