The “Step In Time” EP is the latest release from prolific Nottingham-based producer, engineer, songwriter and DJ Kevin Thomson AKA Origin One. The project features vocal offerings from Rider Shafique, Nadia Latoya (MELONYX), Charlie P and K.O.G, documenting the struggles and experiences of Origin One’s peers during Covid-19 and lockdown. Funded by Help Musicians UK as part of a proposal to support musicians impacted by the pandemic, the release is available on extremely limited 200-press vinyl.
Musically mapping the journey of reggae through the decades, the EP features both vocal stylings and instrumentals from Origin One. Opening with “Babylon 19 feat. Rider Shafique”, reminiscent of 2006 dubstep and steppers music, the track highlights the Tory government’s failures to deal with the pandemic in a considerate way for artists. Referencing the Rastafarian belief system where Babylon refers to the corrupted, capitalist and colonial world, Rider Shafique highlights his reluctance to adhere and agree to the Babylon 19 measures.
Shifting through to a classic lover’s rock groove with a nod to the roots and reggae releases of the 1970s, Origin One collaborates with one half of Nottingham-based duo MELONYX, Nadia Latoya, on “Just Beginning”. With a love of reggae dating back to her childhood, additionally influenced by her uncle King Jammy and the records he would bring round to her house while he was on tour in the UK from Jamaica, Nadia’s timelessly soulful vocals glide across Origin One’s production. On the track, she pieces together a widely experienced tale of a romance cut short by isolation; "Kev wanted to use the concept of our experiences through the pandemic so you’ll hear some subtle references to this in my lyrics… a lover’s spin on a lover’s rock feel”, she explains.
Harking back to the mission at the heart of the EP, “Dance Again feat. Charlie P” sees the renowned Essex-born reggae vocalist speculate the energy and excitement that comes with returning to the dance after two years. Set against a backdrop of a 1980s dancehall riddim, the parallels between the frustrations of the shutdown of live events during Covid-19 can be drawn between the restrictions of blues dances during the 70s and 80s. Aligning with the theme of live music, recent Nubiyan Twist collaborator K.O.G shares his experiences as a touring artist on closing track “Nuh Money Nuh Fren”. Finding his whole world pulled away with lockdown, he found himself questioning the recognition of his value when faced with no money, no friends, and a lack of opportunities. Bringing together trap-influenced reggae, hugely prominent on Jamaican radio, with elements of UK and US 808 influence, the track pulls together the widespread influence of the EP, further highlighting the restrictive nature put upon musicians during lockdown.
Origin One’s vast skillset has led him to produce and engineer releases for the likes of Bru-C, Harleighblu, Devilman, MC Spyda, Irah and more. Additionally, he has toured with UK Hip Hop legend Klashnekoff as his DJ, written and performed as part of a live orchestra for Natalie Duncan and worked as a studio engineer for Wiley. Closer to home, Origin One is a key player in the Nottingham community and is the director and owner of the city’s DTR Studios. Ordinarily known for his sounds reflecting UK Bass music, Jungle, DnB and Hip Hop, coming together to form his own interpretation of Sound System culture, his 2021 Tru Thoughts release saw him collaborate with Portuguese-London songstress Nãnci Correia.