An independent band since 1998, Dub Inc are nonetheless fully acclaimed by the entire reggae scene. And there's little doubt that their sixth LP, So What, is yet another important landmark in their career. Completely self-produced, as is their habit and will, this 14-track record is the result of a long process of composing and writing songs inspired by the dark events that have been going on in France. Featuring a mix of dancehall, hip-hop, and electronica influences, So What is a pure reggae album upholding the values of this rebellious, spiritual, and universal music genre.
The album uninhibitedly addresses complex themes such as identitarian closure, the anxiety of countries who only speak out of fear and rejection of the other, or conspiracy theories that have no other purposes than to confuse people ("Triste Epoque," "So What"). However, it does include a large dose of optimism too, as well as calls for love and respect for your neighbors, whoever they are. As sons of immigrants who built their lives in France and transmitted them the values of integrity, respect and solidarity, the members of Dub Inc are the epitome of the fact that we can accomplish beautiful things only together and united ("Exil," "No Matter Where You Come from"). The social themes dear to the group are present ("Justice"), but So What also features lighter songs such as "Grand Périple," offsetting the record's mood with notes of optimism. "Love is the Meaning" brings a softer touch to the album, "Fêlés" pays tribute to the band's fans and "Ragga Bizness" humorously deals with the throes of the music world. Besides these risk-taking songs, some more typical tunes are reminiscent of the band's debut albums ("Exil," "Comme de l'or").
The band's politically conscious lyrics lie somewhere between constructive projections into the future and implacable analyses on the present. Each tune is a cleverly orchestrated composition, proving once again the band's unrivaled production qualities. After five successful albums, more music from Dub Inc has been eagerly awaited. So What successfully converts on that anticipation and more, placing them for good on the upper rungs of the French musical landscape.