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Med Tone Records
If It Wasn’t For Jah
Asaf Smilan was born in Jerusalem (Israel) in 1980 to a family of musicians. His father was a bass player and composer and his mother was a piano teacher. In his early teens Asaf started to play the drums and on the age of 12 he formed his first band alongside his brother Ilan who played guitar and bass. Asaf studied in Tel-Aviv’s high school of the arts and specialized in playing jazz music. In his early twenties Asaf discovered reggae music, after listening to artists like Prince Far I, Augustus Pablo, Burning Spear and King Tubby.
In 2006 he formed with his brother their first reggae band, ‘Zvuloon Dub System’, adopting their name from one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Shortly, the band started to play in all the major festivals in Israel and began to backing up some of the top reggae singers visiting Israel, such as Apple Gabriel, the lead singer of ‘Israel Vibration’, and UK dj Brother Culture. The band opened the stage for some international reggae singers such as Don Carlos, Barrington Levy, Alpha Blondy and Groundation. In 2011 the band toured in Canada and Cyprus.
In 2012 the band released their debut album ‘Freedom Time’. The album consists of 9 original songs, and a groovy reggae version of Voodoo Chile by Jimi Hendrix. It presents the band’s vision of contemporary roots reggae and dub. The album came out under the band’s independent label, “Med.Tone \ Records”. The album includes a guest appearance of top Jamaican dj, Ranking Joe. All the tracks in this album (as well as all the later releases of ‘Med Tone Records’) produced, recorded and mixed by Asaf and Ilan at their home studio in south Tel Aviv.
In January 2013 Med Tone Records released “Weed Out”, a 12” maxi single feat. new songs from international reggae stars Cornell Campbell and Ranking Joe.
In February 2014 Med Tone Records released ‘Love Is Stronger’ a 7” single feat. the legendary Viceroys in a new original song.
In April 2014 Med Tone Records released ‘Anbessa Dub’, an Ethio-Reggae album featuring a fusion of Roots Reggae and Ethiopian music from the golden age of the 70’s. The project includes several artists from the ‘Beta Israel’ community (the Jewish Ethiopian community that immigrated to Israel) playing the music they grew up with, in their mother tongue. The collaboration of these artists with the members of Zvuloon Dub System creates a new style of music which is neither ‘Ethiopian music’ nor ‘Jamaican Roots Reggae’, but rather a new sonic manifestation that crosses borders and cultural boundaries. Shortly after the release of ‘Anbessa Dub’, in the summer of 2014, Zvuloon Dub System went on an international tour in the USA, Canada and Jamaica, performing in renown festivals such as the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival in California, Victoria Ska Fest in British Columbia, Canada, the African-Caribbean music festival in Chicago, and Reggae Sumfest in Montego Bay, Jamaica. While visiting Jamaica, the Smilan brothers recorded some of Jamaica’s greatest voices such as the legendary U-Roy, Cornell Campbell and the late Sang Hugh, over original riddims. In the last couple of years they focused on developing their home studio into a 16 track studio with analog tape machines, spring reverbs and tape echoes that can reproduce an authentic roots reggae sound.
In June 2016 Med Tone Records released ‘If It Wasn’t For Jah’ a 12” maxi single feat. new songs from Anthony Selassie, Ranking Joe and I-Jah Salomon.
- A1 – I f It Wasn’t For Jah – straight from Kingston, Jamaica new tune from Anthony Selassie. With a soulful voice and powerful rasta lyrics Anthony taking over this heavyweight 70’s style steppers riddim and bringing a true hit song.
- A2 – Red Sea Dub,In the tradition of King Tubby a heavyweight dub version feat. the Med Tone All Stars band , mixed live on the mixing console by Asaf Similan.
- B1 – Politician, The veteran Ranking Joe coming with big tune, carrying a strong message to all of the politicians all over the globe.
- B2 – Unity Horns, Deep Nyabinghi version feat. horns man I Jah Salomon on saxophone taking the riddim to the next level by playing ancient melodies with Ethio-jazz flavors.
Official Website: Medtone.Bandcamp.com