Don Letts to release new compilation album of dub covers

Don Letts

Culture Clash Radio presenter Don Letts is releasing a compilation album next month featuring dub covers and remixes of famous songs. 

The Brixton-born DJ, filmmaker and Grammy Award winner has put together a selection of covers that pay homage to works that have inspired him across his 40-year career. Version Excursion is a 21-track LP featuring dub takes on artists such as Kool & The Gang, The Beatles, Groove Armada and The Clash.

Letts, who got his break directing music videos for Paul Simonon and co., said of the project:

“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.

“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.”

The Brixton-born filmmaker has selected 21 dub covers for the compilation.

The album will be released on Late Night Tales, a record label specialising in compilations. The team have previously worked on projects with the artists including Jordan Rakei, Floating Points and The Flaming Lips.

Speaking on the collaboration, Letts said:

“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.

“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.”

Version Excursion is released via Late Night Tales next month.

Version Excursion Tracklisting:

1. Ghetto Priest – ‘Hercules’ (North Street West ‘Late Night Tales’ Dub) (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Aaron Neville 

2. Prince Fatty & Shniece McMenamin – ‘Black Rabbit’ – Originally recorded by Jefferson Airplane 

3. Wrongtom Meets The Rockers – ‘Dub In The Supermarket’ (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by The Clash 

4. Gaudi Meets The Rebel Dread ft. Emily Capell – ‘E = MC2’ (Exclusive track) – Originally recorded by Big Audio Dynamite

5. Rude Boy – ‘Superstylin’’ (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Groove Armada

6. Capitol 1212 ft. Earl 16 – ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ (Full Vocal Dub) (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Joy Division

7. Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno – ‘All I Do Is Think About You’ (Far East Dub) (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Tammi Terrell

8. Zoe Devlin Love ft. Tim Hutton – ‘Caroline No’ – Originally recorded by The Beach Boys 

9. John Holt – ‘You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine’ (Mad Professor 2021 Dub) (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Lou Rawls

10. Cornell Campbell – ‘Ital City Dub’ (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Marvin Gaye 

11. Matumbi – ‘(I Can’t Get Enough Of) That Reggae Stuff’ – (Dennis Bovell Remix) (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Kool & The Gang 

12. Gentleman’s Dub Club ft. Kiko Bun – ‘Use Me’ (Ben McKone Dub) – Originally recorded by Bill Withers

13. Black Box Recorder – ‘Uptown Top Ranking’ – Originally recorded by Althea and Donna

14. OBF – ‘Sixteen Tons of Dub’ – Originally recorded by Merle Travis

15. Yasushi Ide – ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ (Space Dub Mix) (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Bill Withers

16. The Tamlins – ‘Baltimore’ – Originally recorded by Randy Newman

17. 15 16 17 – ‘Emotion’ (Dennis Bovell Remix) (Exclusive remix) – Originally recorded by Samantha Sang 

18. Ash Walker – ‘There’s Nothing Like This’ (Exclusive track) – Originally recorded by Omar

19. The Senior Allstars – ‘Slipping Into Darkness’ – Originally recorded by WAR

20. Easy Star All-Stars – ‘Within You Without You’ – Originally recorded by The Beatles 

21. Khruangbin – ‘Dern Kala’ (Khruangbin Dub Mix) 

The album is currently available for pre-order in digital, CD and limited edition vinyl formats and will be delivered on Friday 24th September 2021.