What do you actually call music - and in our case Dub - which was created entirely on the computer? Digital Dubs, laptop music, EDM (cheekily modified: Electronic Dub Music)? The digital craft is not that brand new - it's been an unbelievable 35 years since Prince Jammy produced the Sleng Teng-Riddim and thus triggered a paradigm shift that was to fundamentally change the reggae world. For a good 15 years, digital sounds have dictated where to go - and Jammy, who became King after Tubby's death, was the measure of all things, at least in the first decade. Today his recordings are only acoustic witnesses of bygone days, and the early digital works of other producers and musicians such as Fatis Burell, Bobby Digital or Gussie Clarke have only survived the time - if at all - slightly better. What they all have in common, however, is the immense and lasting impression they make in reggae (and in Dub) have left.
Al was certainly influenced by thisdubb exposed; however, his music has overcome the narrow boundaries of roots and dancehall and is open to well-dosed pinches of other music genres. Much appreciated for its two wonderful “Planets of Dub"Releases, the Berliner now publishes a selection of laptopDubs that the wait on planet of Dub Vol. 3 is intended to shorten. That makes "Mesozoic Valley“(One Drop Music) by no means a stopgap; the (this time) purely digitally orchestrated pieces can definitely stand on their own. The opener “Jurassic Extinction” was a great success, sneaking up with a restrained string sample and then creating a physically noticeable pressure wave with a drum & bass drop - at the appropriate volume, mind you. This first "Woah ... killer bass!" Impression extends over the entire length of the album and is my personal tonal leitmotif of "Mesozoic Valley", which is also otherwise due to excellent mixing and perfectly placed, but still unobtrusive (analog!) Dub-Effects shines.
Is everything okay then? Not exactly; The above-mentioned “well-dosed pinches” are too strong for my taste this time - a little less trap and hip-hop elements (“Velociraptor”) and Dubstep bonds ("Tethys") would be the conservative Dubhead better liked. Instead, I would have liked more “lifelike” samples like the initial strings, which contrast nicely with the programmed beats. The biggest shortcoming of the album, however, is the lack of hooklines - neither the aforementioned punchy, almost subsonically perceptible bass nor the successful mixdown help: If no melodic phrase or bassline wants to cling to your ears, the tracks will splash more or less when you listen to them often interchangeably. The very interesting concept into which Aldubb has embedded his tracks: The titles tell of the Middle Ages, the drifting apart continent Pangea, the Tethys and everything that crawls and flies in the Jura - until the asteroid comes and the great extinction begins. The music itself has no relation to the titles; Put simply, no Velociraptor screams at us on the track of the same name; the huge Triceratops does not want to stomp in his piece and draw attention to himself in terms of sound. That's not to say I liked an acoustic comic better; Just my attention and the associated recognition value would have been much higher.
Ultimately, “Mesozoic Valley” leaves me as a reviewer with thoroughly ambivalent feelings. In contrast, all those Aldubbs earlier works like “Let There Be Dub"Or" Advanced Physics "appreciate and love, cannot understand this dichotomy and add one star or another to my rating. Go ahead!