"...The Phnom Penh-based collective’s second album, Dub Addiction Meets Kampuchea Rockers Uptown, is an epic fusion of reggae and dub with Khmer saravan ... it represents the band’s most ambitious project yet.
Professor Kinski, the German music producer and Dub Addiction band leader says “Cambodia is a country with an exciting musical past: old Khmer Rock, Sinsi Samouth, Rua Sorey Sothea, all killed by the Khmer Rouge. When I arrived in Cambodia in 2002, there was nothing left except cheesy karaoke. Hearing those beautiful voices and melodies inspired me to use those old styles and create a new fusion groove out of it with Western funk, house, big beat and electro influences. The Cambodian roughness in those days was very exciting and gave me the idea to let my music sound more dirty and raw than common Khmer pop.”
The album sounds more epic, more massive, more dub than the first one. The 13 tracks feature a veritable Who’s Who of the local music scene. Cambodian hip hop icons Pou Khlaing and Nen Tum make guest appearances on The Fruit Song, while Nigerian vocalist Okoro Elias Jefferson debuts on Okoro. The main ragamuffin toasters are MC Curly and DJ Khla, the latter someone Kinski compares to Cutty Ranks, Sizla and Anthony B. “Never forgetting his Khmer roots, DJ Khla is toasting about the country‘s pride in its Khmer heritage, modern development and everything that can be positively highlighted after the end of the civil war.” When songs steer too close to potentially dangerous political territory, Khla cleverly switches to metaphors – fruit being his favourite.
Bass player Sebastien Adnot from France was schooled in the sound of reggae by Jamaican friends long before he arrived on Cambodian shores in 2011. But it was here that he discovered Khla. “One day, I saw this Khmer guy playing keyboard reggae. I said that’s fantastic! You play reggae! That’s my music. He said: ‘What’s reggae?’ You’ve never heard of Bob Marley? ‘Who’s Bob Marley?’ Never mind. Can you sing? ‘Yeah, sure...’ So he starts to play a song for me and I swear it’s pure 100% ragamuffin. I found out months later he was an orphan raised in a pagoda and he took his ‘reggae’ from the monks’ chanting. And he’s a star here; he’s on TV every few weeks. All the Khmer people know him. I have a star in my band, which is a gift.” ... THE ADVISOR MAGAZINE - CAMBODIA