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Album Showcase: Pinnacle Sound – “Still Dread”


Pinnacle Sound’s 5th album is in the wake of the previous ones – roots that make you smile” –  these were the words Pinnacle Sound chose to pitch their fifth release, Still Dread.

“Roots that make you smile.” Its simplicity in claim got me grinning, but my experience in listening gave me full admiration realizing that the French recording collective knew how profoundly true the short statement was and how its blossoms were infinite as spins in the records circle.

Pinnacle Sound is yet another confirmation to this listener that in all pockets of the earth, groups of dedicated reggae enthusiasts continue to cultivate invigorating roots and dub to power us for an endless growth ahead.

Pinnacle Sound, left to right: Ocman Dread, Jolly Joseph Ras Salam, Dr. Charty

Pinnacle Sound, through analog recording and passionate collaboration, once again delivers a familiarity of unique sounds that snuggly fit into the universe of Lee Perry’s smoky and decorated style of dub with all the bouncy balls, bells and whistles.

For those new to France’s roots reggae recording collective, Pinnacle Sound, Still Dread is a perfect entry point. Ocman Dread and Ras Salam once again call on Jolly Joseph and Dr. Charty to accompany them on guitar, bass and keyboards. The four musicians took a winter week at One Buck Studio to craft quirky riddims in alchemy, transitioning the sound into wobbly vinyl classics ripe for unique voices to be inspired and ready to fill reverb chambers to the maximum.

Pinnacle delivers a funhouse of a foundation to discover some really incredible singers. Sometimes I forget, in a world often focused on bands and single artists, that much of recorded reggae has been the sound of one band or producer decorated with a variety of singers from track to track. It’s really enjoyable to experience how these reggae disciples carry this tradition. Through the portal of Pinnacle Sound, you will be led down a rabbit hole of some of Europe’s  best reggae singers and beyond.

Beautiful classic reggae vocals drip kindly throughout the record. “Thank You” featuring Les Steadies, is a positive major chord split-bar classic that really stands out as something special.

These songs, while playful and full of analogue ear candy, submit to a greater depth and emotion when it comes to the arrangements and chord movements. They have slow climbs and plateauing peaks with proper bi-phased hi-hats and cushiony kick drums to snap us gently home.

Lots of very fun keyboard and bass interplay through the record with skanking slapbacked guitars and percussion scratch the itch of liveliness.

If you fall far enough, there is plenty of fun happening in the back spaces of every track to wander around and take in the view from the dub deck.

Available on 12” and streaming worldwide, Pinnacle Sound continues on upward and  upfully excelsior.

Pinnacle Sound’s Ocman Dread


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Bass player and songwriter for Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, James feels, plays and lives the music. Lucky for us he also has the knack for remembering what happened and writing it down in his own voice.

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