One of the more enigmatic producers active on the European new roots scene, Miniman, aka Roland Rougé, began producing records around the start of the new millennium, with a debut EP, ‘Dubland,’ surfacing in 2001 as the inaugural issue on the Nantes-based Zion Gate label, swiftly followed by a debut album, En Marche Pour Sion on Age of Venus. Having since gone on to issue various complex yet minimalist excursions into keyboard-driver techno-dub, Miniman has also toured with Zion Train, Iration Steppas and other likeminded outfits. Since he benefitted from classical music training on the piano, you can hear echoes of Chick Corea and Monty Alexander in the mix, along with the more obvious inspirations of the Disciples, Jah Warrior, and Dub Syndicate, as well as the classical dub pioneers of Jamaica such as King Tubby, Prince Jammy and Sir Coxsone. ‘Amicalement Dub,’ an ironic yet highly appealing adaptation of The Persuaders TV theme tune, first surfaced on the 2005 album Stars, the collaborative album produced with guitarist Sylvain Harrand under the shared moniker Seven Seals, but the extended version featured here is far more keyboard oriented and generally geared towards dub’s abstract contours; flipside ‘La Montaigne Sainte’ bears a suitably lofty feel that would no doubt sound at its most optimal when being blasted from a full bank of sound system speakers.
David Katz ©