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Augustus Pablo & Rockers All Stars: Lightning & Thunder

Horace Swaby, better known as Augustus Pablo, who died in May 1999, is here at Dubblog really no stranger. I have to admit that his premature death at the age of just 44 touched me deeply. The somewhat jazzy Far East sound of the exceptional musician and producer Augustus Pablo has always struck a chord with me. The first Augustus Pablo album to add to my collection was Tommy Cowan produced and mixed by the immortal King TubbyItal Dub“. Published by Trojan in 1974, Ital Dub“ is an ingenious snapshot and shows Augustus Pablo on his way to becoming a producer of his own works. Whether Peter Tosh or Augustus Pablo was the first to make the children's instrument melodica socially acceptable in reggae will most likely no longer be clarified.

A few days ago the album “Augustus Pablo & Rockers All Stars: Lightning & Thunder“ (Onlyroots) appeared. An incredible collection of previously unreleased and Dubplate mixes of the legendary Jah Shaka, heard here under the title "Gates of Zion" and a completely different mix to the original. The vocals come from the then very young George Nooks aka Prince Mohammed. The original reads "Yeah Dub' and is on the 'Chanting Dub With The Help Of The Father" by the Rockers All Stars. Surely other riddims will look familiar to you. So the King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown's "Stop Them Jah" became "Leave The Dreadlocks" and "Omo Valley." Dub“. Another Jah Shaka favorite is the title track "Lightning & Thunder", here the mix was titled "Sons of Negus". And now comes my absolute highlight and the grandiose conclusion of the album: "All Nations" & "All Nations Dub“. Originally found on the 1975 Upsetters album: Return Of Wax entitled "One-Armed Boxer". So folks, there is actually a lot to discover on the "Lightning & Thunder" and as long as such delicacies are still slumbering in the archives, I am worried about the continued existence of the Dub/Reggae don't worry.

Even if you already know or even own countless Augustus Pablo albums, I can still strongly recommend listening to this release. In my opinion even an absolute must.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

6 responses to “Augustus Pablo & Rockers All Stars: Lightning & Thunder”

OK, I admit it!

Wouldn't it be another review from the "pen" of a special one DubConnaiseurs ;-) Written with the usual devotion, I would have shelved the album without even listening to it again. Notices like “unreleased recordings and dubplates" would not have really aroused my curiosity.
I would have simply claimed, "I know everything" ;-( and I really only clicked on the "Radar" very briefly. I heard the melodica and thought "no, not now and above all, not again melodica ;-( "
But now that we have received the urgent recommendation to listen again, I have to admit that it is fundamentally a mistake not to listen to the "Elderers". There aren't even my favorite riddims from the good old reggae days here, but my impression is that the melodica isn't as dominant here as I know it from Augustus Pablo. There have always been good exceptions.
And although I also appreciate a crystal-clear, super clean and finely thought-out sound, it's the "soot and dirt" on this album that drips from every pore and "stinks" very pleasantly. It just fits perfectly with an ambience that I would really like to have back. Dark or dimly lit basements that have been converted into clubs and where the ganja smoke is already dripping from the ceiling in liquid form because the air is completely saturated with it. I've been thrown out of "chichi large-capacity discos" several times because I tried to save this atmosphere somehow.
But the trend was unstoppable. Everything should come across as licked and people only wanted to sit on marble toilet seats. ( Long live polemics / if it is a question of polemics at all ). "Backwaahn" says hello. In addition, I prefer the strongly weakened lighting, if only because I am very sensitive to light in certain "other circumstances".
I also find a "blueprint" for this sound, which I have now "described" again, in "All Nations / Dub“. That sounds really nice like “No compromise !
Just DubWise!
Well and the best thing about it is that I have the "Return Of Wax" at home. Somehow I feel that Dub but not stuck. I could never have said that I Dub but now I'm excited as hell to see if I can find this version at home again. I'll check that out in a few days.

"Soon Come" ……………….. lemmi

Well, lemmi, what can I say? I almost slipped through this album too. With his comment under the "Release Radar" recommendation, Philipp really got the ball rolling for me. Only after that did I pay more attention to the album. In my opinion: it was worth it.
Ok, the cross-referencing was really a tedious job through the archive.

Ja Ras Vorbei !

Of course, I also read Philipp's comment. On the one hand he made us curious, but on the other hand he also wrote,
"Unfortunately, the material falls off a little toward the back." That suited me very well, because I didn't feel like I had time for a "new" Augustus Pablo album again, and it was easy enough for me to wave it through. The "wave through" thing has happened to me more often lately and unfortunately that was almost always a mistake. See Horace Andy "Midnight Rocker" (an amazing album).
But in reggae there is a solution for everything ;-) and, as Burning Spear so aptly put it, “JAH IS MY DRIVER” I can only confirm, he too DUBBLOG IS MY DRIVER!!! And just for this reason I'm probably not a really good one Dub slipped through the suspenders.
So ! Thank God It's Dubblog!!! ………………… Lemmy

Oh thank you for the flowers Ras Vorbei... fortunately this review came as I continue to be very impressed with this album and thank you very much for the serious research into the riddims and track names. I could hardly have done that.
My relationship with Augustus Pablo has always been special in a way, as I only found out about Augustus Pablo in the early 90s after intensive listening to Bob Marley and Peter Tosh Dubmusik and then slowly but surely rolled up the field from this corner... and, as already described, I was thoroughly attacked by the "virus" and not yet healed (but I don't want a cure at all, I like the current state excellently ). I also particularly like the "dirt" mentioned by lemmi, although I think that the songs (I hear them as wav files) have been prepared very well and come across as pretty fat, which unfortunately doesn't apply to all Pablo releases... it doesn't matter, Thanks to this album, the Pablo sound "rotates" again through my universe and continues to amaze me...

You are right Philip!

I just listened to it "normally" without a flag on Bandcamp and that sounds really FAT!
Otherwise I often tend to exaggerate and here I am expressing myself too softly.
I should have written:
Fat soot and thick dirt ;-) …….. although this is of course very fine, clean dirt. So almost a biological one
high-quality humos layer.

As long as ……………. lemmi

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