LATE NIGHT WITH LETTS!

DJ, broadcaster and filmmaker DON LETTS has curated an album of cover versions for the Late Night Tales series.

Mindful of the role played by covers in the development of Jamaican music, on Version Excursion, Letts has selected 21 dub transformations of songs by the likes of The Clash, Joy Division, War, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Althea and Donna, Kool & the Gang by such artists as Ghetto Priest, The Tamlins, John Holt, Rude Boy, Matumbi, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Easy Star All-Stars and more, many of them exclusive remixes.

“A disciple of sound system, raised on reggae n’ bass culture my go to sound was dub,” says Letts. “Besides being spacious and sonically adventurous at the same time, its most appealing aspect was the space it left to put yourself ‘in the mix’ underpinned by Jamaica’s gift to the world – bass. But that’s only half the story as the duality of my existence meant I was also checking what the Caucasian crew were up to not to mention the explosion of black music coming in from the States. That’s why this version excursion crosses time space and genre, from The Beach Boys to The Beatles, Nina Simone to Marvin Gaye, The Bee Gees to Kool & The Gang, The Clash to Joy Division and beyond. You’d think it impossible to draw a line between ‘em but not in my world. Fortunately, the ‘cover version’ has played an integral part in the evolution of Jamaican music and dub covers were just a natural extension.”

Check out this cover of Big Audio Dynamite’s ‘E=MC2’ by Gaudi The Rebel Dread ft. Emily Capell…

 
“Truth be told I’ve wanted to work with the Late Night Tales crew from the get go,” he adds. “We’re talking nearly two decades such was the allure of their musical aesthetic typified by curators like Nightmares on Wax, The Flaming Lips, MGMT, Trentemoller, Khruangbin and countless others. Now being as old as rock’n’roll (born in ‘56) and having nearly 20 years of Culture Clash Radio under my belt I figured I was tooled up to musically juggle with the best of ‘em. But I wanted to carve out a space that was distinctly my own – something that reflected my musical journey and the culture clash that’s made me the man I am today.”

Set for release on 24 September, Don Letts’ Version Excursion is available to pre-order here.

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