Don Letts, AKA The Rebel Dread, has mixed the next release in the acclaimed Late Night Tales series.
'Version Excursion selected by Don Letts' will arrive on 24th September and showcases the GRAMMY-winning musician, broadcaster, commentator, and DJ's famously broad taste in music. Work by Ghetto Priest, Zoe Devlin, Quantic, The Tamlins, and Khruangbin all feature on the 21-strong tracklist.
“A disciple of sound system, raised on reggae n’ bass culture, my go-to sound was dub. 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," Letts said of the release. "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," he continued. "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.
“Truth be told I’ve wanted to work with the Late Night Tales crew from the get-go. 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," Letts added. "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."
Letts' parents were members of the Windrush Generation that moved to the UK from the Caribbean islands following World War II. Named after the Empire Windrush, the ship that first transported people to Great Britain from Jamaica, their arrival would shape sound system culture, dance music, art, and literature in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland through to today.
Find out more about the impact of this in DJ Mag's long read on the pioneering DJs of that era who paved the way for what would become UK dance music. Then dive into Letts' top tunes inspired by London's legendary Notting Hill Carnival. Ahead of his Late Night Tales release, an exclusive new track, ‘E = MC2’ by Gaudi Meets The Rebel Dread featuring Emily Capell, has been released online.