It’s no secret that Volfoniq holds a special place in my heart, because his collaboration with Organic on Volforganic Dub was the first track I played on the first ever Dub Zone way back in May 2007. Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength, combining traditional tunes with dub mixes that delight and inspire.

His new album, Ernest has just been released by the excllent LibreCommeLair netlabel, also home to other great artists such as Arrogalla, Volatil, Mastermind XS & Mildtape, to name just a few who have featured in other Dub Zone mixes.

The new album features collaborations with Volfoniq’s listeners, who were encouraged to submit their own greetings via a soundcloud dropbox. These have been incorporated into the “Bonjour” and “Au Revior” tracks.

Aside from collaborating with listeners, almost the whole album is a series of collaborations with the best of the best in the online reggae community. The opening track is “Autobahn Garten”, featuring Tribuman, which starts with Volfoniq’s trademark accordion, with a nice rootsy groove and classy horns, which is augmented by a lovely wobbly bassline. Tribuman, Control Tower and Benjamin Leska collaborate later on the fabulously jazzy/rootsy “Magnesium”, and Benjamin Leska returns on the penultimate  track  “Memori”, & Control Tower returns later with “L’amour Est Enfant Dub”, both of which are delicious accordion-led grooves.

“Taiwan Massala” is a collaboration with Kou Chou Ching and Jambassa, mixing up bhangra-style tablas with raps from the Taiwanese masters.  “Libre Comme Dub” is a love affair with the LCL label featuring Mildtape and Ebsa, with some more wobbly basslines.

The track called “Balkan Banghra” was always guaranteed to get my attention, and it’s the only track on the album accredited only to Volfoniq. It delivers exactly what the title says, augmented only by another great wobby bassline, and it’s magnificent!

Perhaps the most exotic “collaboration” on the album is on “Hypnos”, which features Jean-Paul Sartre (yes the long-dead French Philosopher), which has a great driving beat.

All in all, it’s been a long wait since the last full-length Volfoniq album. In fact he says on his website that it’s taken 7 years to gather together all the fragments to make this musical diary. It’s definately been worth the wait. This album already makes it into my top 10 albums form 2011, and I strongly encourage you to download it.