Pretend you just got off work, because it’s time to get comfortable and light one up! Producer, singer-songwriter and roots reggae leader E.N Young is here to help you fill the room with ganja smoke with his latest single “No Complaint”. His roots-inspired, dubbed-up take on a classic Half Pint tune from the early 80s of a similar name, “No Complain”, is fused with an added original verse written by E.N. An ode to the magical plant (as well as the inaccurate stereotypes and countless injustices surrounding it), the original song was a perfect fit for E.N to cover, and he absolutely did it justice.
Starting with extra emphasis and effects through pitch-bending keys, “No Complaint” stands out ever so slightly more than its predecessor, making this cover that much the better.
Young puts it, “The song features a rootsy vinyl inspired lofi sound of the early years in reggae music. The lead synth has a classic duck tone wobble with King Tubby-type dub effects surrounding it.” After listening to “No Complaint” on repeat for a little bit, it’s believable that this cover could’ve prompted the legendary Jamaican producer who perfected dub music come to E.N for some advice.
In the only way he knows how, E.N Young pulled some additional inspiration from the early days of reggae by adding his own section of dub at the end of the song in order to extend the mix… a trick common for singles back in the day in order to fill the entire side of the 12-inch vinyl. Typically, the move in Jamaica would be for the engineer to physically cut the recording tape on what he thought to be the kick, only to actually be cutting the snare, causing the dub section that was spliced in to start with a hard cut on the snare.
Of course, Young was able to replicate this perfectly with his own cut before the dub section kicks off. “I grew up hearing this hiccup on the 12-inch extended versions and grew to love it. The dub version also features subtle effects on the bass that resembles the likes of Mad Professor from the UK.” For me, these added details were able to turn the song into such a soft landing.
The dub vibes that take over for the last two minutes float you back to reality so gently; it’s really gratifying to listen to.
With an ever-growing list of production credits, the experience that E.N is obtaining while working with so many different types of artists is only serving as the fuel and influence for his own projects. He is able to get tips, tricks and inspiration from such a wide range of reggae artists, all the while never forgetting to remember the roots of the music, vowing to continue to create and pay homage to the legends that got him where he is now. With that being said, the future is only going to get brighter for this soldier and pioneer of the reggae music.
Purchase or stream “No Complaint” single:
E.N Young – “No Complaint” (Extended Version)