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Review

Mysticwood: The Mystic Way of Dub

An album with a good cover is definitely a big plus for me. Because a good cover is a sign of the appreciation of the music. Musicians who don't bother with good cover design seem to think that their own music isn't worth it. Of course, we all know counterexamples from Jamaican music history. But when we think of the really great works that have survived the trends and fads, they're mostly albums with good artwork. If "The Mystic Way of Dub' by Mysticwood will be a great work is debatable, but the cover certainly fulfills the requirement. And I have to say: I like the music too. A lot. Everything here sounds like the good old 70sDub-Sound has never gone astray and has been consistently developed into the present. The classic Dub-Principle, reloaded. In other words: full arrangements, beautiful bass lines, classic ones Dub-Techniques and production on analogue equipment - but now with full dynamics, super clean bass sound and a dash of steppers. It is a Swiss quality production by Charlie Mystic, 22 years old, multi-instrumentalist and Dub-Fanatic from Geneva, whose studio is in the immediate vicinity of OBF. "The Mystic Way of Dub' is his debut – which, by the way, is an album with eight tracks, but only four rhythms, because each piece can be heard twice: once as dubbig instrumental and once as a full-grown one Dub. The press info aptly comments: “Strictly instrumental and dubwise, no compromise, no vocals, because there's no need!"

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Mouflon Dub Sound system: Moc

Look to Poland. It's getting better there too Dub produced – albeit mostly under the radar. There's Muflon Man, a tinkerer and producer who's been into reggae and Dub composed. In 2005 he was on the then leading sampler series “Roots of Dub radio" to hear. He is now known as a muflon Dub Sound system at Dubophonic landed and there with "Moc“ (Dubophonic) released a beautiful showcase album consisting of five riddims, each of which can be heard in two versions. Still, "Showcase" is a bit of an exaggeration here, as the vocal versions are pretty close too Dub built. The - mostly female - vocals sound rather sporadic and hardly manage to assert themselves against the backing. Nevertheless, some beautiful melodies ring out here in the form of Christian-inspired Polish sung lyrics. All very relaxed, harmonious, warm and uplifting with pulsating bass lines, classic ones Dub-Effects and a maximally clean production.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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Review

King Size Dub 25

She is still alive, perhaps the oldest Dubcompilation series in the world: “King Size Dub' by Echo Beach. In 1994 King Size was released Dub 1" - at that time at the height of Dub-Hypes published in cooperation with the music magazine Spex. But while Spex and hype died out in the meantime, Echo Beach is the topic Dub remained true and has risen to become the most important label of this genre (at least) in the German-speaking world. Now Echo Beach is releasing “King Size Dub 25“. Anniversary! Congratulations. The label itself celebrates the 25th edition and looks inward, at its own artists, some of whom remix each other here. That's why Vol. 25 contains the Who's Who of the Echo Beach companions, like Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, Dubvisionist, Dubblestandard, Dubmatix, Seeed and many others. It's also nice to hear how diverse the spectrum of Dub-Artists and their music and how harmoniously everything fits together perfectly. Truly an epoch-making series that is celebrating a milestone birthday here. Let's hope that someday we'll be king size Dub 50 will hear.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Ras I Mothep: Reconciliation

Thanks to the "City Squad" samplers, we know that almost every French town has at least one brilliant sound system. That's why I wasn't at all surprised when I looked at the impressive album "Reconciliation’ (Subsquad) by Ras I Mothep – the work of a sound system from Aix-en-Provence, a town steeped in history smaller than Herne. After all, around a third of Aix's residents are students (which perhaps helps explain why Herne doesn't have a sound system). Doesn't matter. In any case, “Reconciliation” is worth recommending here. Even the track after the intro has it all. He starts out cautiously, almost shy. A nanosecond before you think nothing is going to happen here, then such a fat bassline kicks in that a nanosecond later it's already unequivocally clear that this is a great album. I also don't know why some Steppers productions flash me so much. Although I'm such a fine-spirited art connoisseur. Maybe I'm schizophrenic, but "Reconciliation" really picks me up. I love the dynamics, the brutal kick, the simple - mostly oriental sounding - melodies, the super deep bass and I'm really into the virtuoso percussions. What should I do? When I listen carefully to the music (like now) I realize that there isn't much artistry to it, that there's not the slightest bit of intellectual justification for my enjoyment of the album. But I stand by it! "Reconciliation" kicks ass!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

New Blade Runners of Dub

Here we have a promising collaboration between Paul Zasky and Jed Smith. The names mean nothing to you? Paul Zasky is the mastermind of Dubble standard. He lives in Vienna and Los Angeles. In the latter city he apparently met Jed Smith, who has been working as a film musician and composer since 1999. He wrote the music for the films, among other things Alita: Battle Angel, Terminator: Redemption, Deadpool and Knives Out. The two now have the album "New Blade Runners of Dub(Echo Beach) released — though just now Blade Runner is not on Smith's list. Okay, you guessed it, right? The Blade Runners aren't giving us one Dub! Instead we hear unclassifiable compositions that sometimes sound like ambient, sometimes like industrial, but always like film scores. An interesting listening experience, complex and multi-layered - an acoustic journey through space and time. A bit dark and occasionally a bit cerebral. Who with the expectation "Dub' encounters the album will inevitably be disappointed, although the music is by no means bad. But I'm curious how Echo Beach will succeed, the work outside of the Dub-Community to market.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Review

JonQuan & Associates

Who is JonQuan? I had never heard of him, and then the man bangs out this album: "JonQuan & Associates" (Easy Star) – one of the most beautiful reggae and Dub-Albums of the entire corona pandemic.

JonQuan's love of Jamaican music began with collecting records. Then he went from a collector to a DJ and then even a musician and composer. His new album came into being during the lockdown, as he explains: "I was inspired by the pandemic to create my own riddims to kill boredom and heal the ailments of being locked in rather than on a stage to be able to stand. Once I got into the studio and could unleash my creative energy, it became easier for me to deal with the crap.” Once JonQuan had the riddims for an album ready, he would enlist musicians and singers from and beyond reggae to help complete the album . Victor Rice ended up mixing the tracks at his studio in São Paulo, Brazil - which brings us to the point, because we're mostly interested in those here Dub-Versions - and these were of course created by Victor Rice. Actually I think that a good one Dub by no means needs a vocal original. There is ample evidence for this thesis. But with this album it has to be said that the songs that make up the first half of the album are just terrific. A pure Dub-Album would only be worth half as much. The songs bring the wonderful atmosphere of classic rocksteady and early reggae to life again. Here you indulge in the most beautiful soulful reggae vibes. This intense atmosphere occurs in the Dub-Versions naturally somewhat in the background. Instead, the rich, analogue, even "breathing" sound of the productions comes into its own. The authentic sound of real instruments is refreshing and the artistry of the musicians is impressive. It's only logical that Mr. Rice's mix is ​​kept absolutely classic. Tubby & Co would have sounded similar. JonQuan and Victor Rice don't just stick to the imitative reproduction of old riddims and sounds. They may stand on the shoulders of the great reggae artists and musicians of decades past, but there, at great (qualitative) heights, they develop completely new and unheard songs and compositions.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Review

Dubvisionist Meets Dr. Markuse: In Studio M7

They still exist, the good, classic ones Dub- quality work. Hand-played, melodic basslines, cleanly produced, inspired mixed - no experiments, no steppers, no "bass farts". Just neater Dub according to the gold standard. Felix Wolter makes it possible: ”Dubvisionist Meets Dr. Markuse in Studio M7“ (TimeTools). "We had recorded a few backings for my label 11-7 Records," explains Felix, "we added new keyboard melodies and Dubs mixed from it". So very simple. Felix is ​​known to be a purist of the old school. Sound wizard, which he (also) is, he dispenses with technical frills, grand gestures and spectacular effects. He prefers to stick with the old school Dub Faithful to craftsmanship based on good sound and classic mixing. That could also be boring if it weren't for these superb recordings that he, Markus Dassmann (Dr. Markuse) and Marco Baresi made so lovingly and masterfully by hand. Felix points to the originals that it natural also there. Where would we be if just here Dubs would arise without the original version! Finally needs a good Dub always a good original! You'll have to search the 11-7 catalog to find them, though. Clever Marketing!

By the way, the cover and title are obvious references to “Jah Shaka Meets Aswad in Addis Ababa Studio” – one of the best (in my opinion). Dub-Albums of all time. Clever Marketing! But even if the comparison is perhaps a bit exaggerated: I like ”Dubvisionist Meets Dr. Markuse in Studio M7” exceptionally well. Dub, as it says in the textbook. Nice to hear that there is still such beautiful music to be elicited from this classic concept.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Review

Mad Professor: covidub Illusion

As if the professor was just waiting for King Jammy to deliver his "Destroys the Virus With." Dub' album out! Just a week after its release, Mad Professor responds with "Covidub Illusion' (Ariva). Here you will find such illustrious titles as “Fake News Dub' or 'Herd Immunity'. But the Prof. doesn't follow the concept as consistently as the King, because unlike on his album, the other titles don't pay into the Corona account. But the cover makes up for it all the more! Here the professor appears – at least in the mirror image – as a green alien with a corona of spike proteins. He stands in the middle of a world that has gone mad, in which a Boris Johnson is partying, Abba of Waterloo is singing and Vladimir Putin is riding on a bomb. That's nice old "Dub Me Crazy” cover tradition. I feel beamed straight into the 1980s. Also musically - which is actually usual with Mad Professor. Because he has – at least felt – always remained true to his style. Wild polyrhythms, hard, sharp sound, exuberantly virtuoso mixing and a cornucopia of effects. I still like that. However, he does not always have his Dubbase material that does justice to mixing qualities. Some productions are simply too boring for him. Great art doesn't make good art out of that Dub distill. Not so on the Coviddub-Illusion! Perhaps the psychedelic-looking cover cast a spell over me, perhaps the dry spell was remarkably new Dub-Albums too long since the end of the year, or I'm listening carefully to Mad Professor for the first time in a long time, but on "Covidub Illusion" I can't see any failures. Boredom does not arise. On the contrary: I really enjoy the album. Unlike Jammy's Virus work, by the way, which leaves me strangely cold.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

African Dub & Wallar Beats: Natural Whispers

Steppers is known to be characterized by the kick drum kick on each note of the 4/4 time signature. Characteristic of (almost) all produced for a sound system Dubs. The effect consists of a very energetic, "marching" and aggressive rhythm. However, many classic reggae lovers have reservations, as it sounds too much like stupid techno stomping. Afrikan prove that this rhythm can also be used in a very imaginative and original way Dub - a young producer from Mexico - and Wallar Beats - an equally young producer from Spain - with their album released on Wami - an equally young label from Argentina African Dub & Wallar Beats: "Natural Whispers" (self-publishing). The bass drum does in fact stoically stoic through every track at most. The rhythm network around it, however, makes trouble. Sometimes virtuoso percussion sounds, sometimes string instruments, sometimes nothing at all. Breaks are part of the concept. Likewise minimalism. And yet the album has a certain flow, remains musical and harmonious. The bass drum beat is the backbone of the music, the constant in the chaos, the pole star when riding the soundwaves. What we're hearing here is postmodern steppers, Dub on the verge of falling apart into its eclectic individual parts. I really enjoy the conscious and concentrated listening, including decoding the quotes. But I am sure that the tracks also work perfectly in the sound system, where they do the opposite, namely to drive unconscious dancing bodies. A classic win-win situation.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Soul Sugar: Excursions in Dub

When the “Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk & Dub' by Soul Sugar, it was love at first sight. I was enthusiastic about the velvety retro sound, the sounds of the Hammond organ reminiscent of Jackie Mittoo and the very unorthodox arrangements for reggae - and of course the sounds from the other genres mentioned in the title. However, I refrained from writing a review at the time. But now it is mandatory, because (since December) there is an official one Dub-version of the great album before, Soul Sugar: "Excursions in Dub" (Gee Recordings).

I have to backtrack a little. Behind Soul Sugar is a "collaborative collective" at the center of which is the Frenchman Guillaume Metenier. He studied with jazz organ legend Dr. Lonny Smith and dedicated his first steps entirely to the Hammond funk of the 1960s and 70s. In the meantime he has drifted more and more towards reggae and now produces a mix & match sound between Studio One and Jackie Mittoo on the one hand and Jimmy Smith and Jimmy McGriff, i.e. jazz, funk and soul, on the other. Just how close Guillaume Metenier is to reggae can be seen from the cast list for the two albums mentioned. There Sly & Robbie, Blundetto and Roberto Sanchez are part of the party - and in addition to Slikk Tim and Thomas Naim, of course, Metenier himself, who is responsible for the organ solos under his now familiar alias Booker Gee. A fantastic album, now in its reincarnation as Dubversion is increased again. And that even in a very tangible sense, because it contains two more titles than the original. One of them is Jahno's "Peace Treaty", a brilliant reworking of the Jackie Mittoo version he recorded for Bunny Lee in the mid-1970s. the DubBy the way, s were mixed by the musicians themselves - which is obvious, because Sanchez, Blundetto and Janho are experienced Dub-Producers. In terms of sound, the original and Dubversion, by the way, close to each other. the Dub-Masters didn't reinvent their own templates at all. The mixes are more classically restrained. Usually only the solos are a bit shortened. Only the "Matumbee" remix by Blundetto differs significantly from the original due to its reduction. For me that's absolutely okay, since the original can hardly be topped anyway.

Rating: 5 out of 5.