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Review

Lucky Salvadori and Chalart58: Chicha Dub

Here's a brand new album that brings back strong memories of a hit from the 1970s - a time when I remembered the Dubs wasn't aware of but loved this radio play single: "Egyptian reggae“ by Jonathan Richman & The Modern L0vers – who comes out in terms of age and still remembers it?

On their album "chicha Dub(La Panchita Records). Whereby I use the word "Dub' in the title a bit exaggerated - 'Chicha Instrumentals Dubwise" is more like it, but who likes such bulky titles...

Guitarist Salvadori and drummer/DJ/producer Chalart58 belong to the Manu Chaos sphere in the broadest sense; The former is touring with him, the latter is in the Dub-Scene no stranger and has recently entered with Chao reggae album published. Together they release “Chicha Dub“ now an album that lives from upbeat riddims and is probably supposed to spread a good mood. The whole is light, beautifully and cleanly produced; the percussionist is outstanding, who can express himself in the arrangements. And yet this release has a few glaring weaknesses - like: The bass is for a Dub-Album kept too quiet and almost drowns in the mix; and if we're from Dub speaking, the relevant effects are all there and well placed, but the spark only wants to jump over when the omnipresent whining guitars take a break:

The "Chicha Dub' could easily have been used as the soundtrack for the TV series 'The Munsters', some tracks are so strange. I, on the other hand, lack the sluggish, often mystical heaviness on which a Dub with the help of various studio effects. Here's the opposite of that - if you like it, you'll celebrate the album.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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Review

Dubby Stardust: Spaced Oddity

That could easily have caught the eye: Icon David Bowie "in Dub“. Also because the previous Dub-Tributes of the Echo Beach label most extreme between hit (Police in Dub) and Miss (Palmer in Dub) swayed. So here it is, something pseudo-witty named "Dubby Stardust: Spaced Oddity". You could have just called it "David Bowie: Spaced Oddity" or if that's not possible for copyright reasons, then for my sake "The Thin White Duke: Spaced Oddity". But the reviewer gets lost in the details again...

However, it is the album that should be discussed and not its name. Producer Lee Groves grabbed a few gems from Bowie's catalogue, re-recorded and that Dub-Subject to treatment. He also found some vocally fitting singers - with the emphasis on singers, because one track (and "Heroes" at that!!!) massacres an inconsequential-sounding female singer whose name I have wisely forgotten. But the rest of the tracks… yes, it's worth seeing (read: hearing).

As mentioned at the beginning, this could have been a musical suicide mission, but it actually works: the sounds and arrangements are melancholy, bass-heavy and provided with hypnotically slow one drops (only “Let's Dance” could have used a little more oomph); the Dub Mix successful and very close to the pulse of time. You can do that from the current competitor product, Easy Star All-Stars' "Ziggy stardub“ Don't claim, it comes across as quite conservative (if not to say: old-fashioned). Lee Groves, on the other hand, has managed the balancing act, much of the spirit of the originals in the new Dub-Transfer versions (particularly successful: "Black Star", "Space Oddity" or "Ashes to Ashes"); Bowie enthusiasts may see things differently.

All in all - despite a few points of criticism - a thoroughly successful album that the reviewer streams up and down on repeat. And frankly: A volume 2 is needed; Bowie has plenty of other masterpieces to offer and Lee Groves is obviously the man to a) do the tracks as Dubs and b) to interpret them in a contemporary way by means of sound and mix. Staging and zeitgeist... ultimately two qualities that David Bowie made good use of.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Dub Syndicate: Acres of Space

After more than 20 years of waiting, it can finally be heard again, at least in the streaming services: The new edition of what is probably the best Dub Syndicate albums where there - from "Acres of Space"There is talk that the Echo Beach label has thankfully brought it back "into the program". When I'm in things Dub something I've been hoping for, it's the re-release of this album. Chapeau, Echo Beach!

It won't surprise anyone that I call this album - the only one by the way - a masterpiece and the review will end with (at least) 5 stars. What Style Scott and Adrian Sherwood created here in 2001 is my personal ultimate Dub; everything is just right here: from the basslines, arrangements, production, sound, Dubmix to the cover artwork. Every track is "tight" and "crispy" - and what Adrian Sherwood has done with the instrumentals recorded in Jamaica is simply terrific: everything we know from him is there, including additional recorded instruments such as the violin or harmonica and of course the track by track bespoke SherwoodDubmix.

What is left to say? I could go into superlatives here and why I used the metaphor "Acres of Space" in the dubblog.de tried again and again. Ultimately, I just recommend the album to everyone and wish I could give six stars - it doesn't get any better than that.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Review

Dub Plantation: Beware of the Mega Magic Mushrooms!!

Today we take a look back at an album from 2022 – sort of an oldie if you want to look at it that way. And that in a blog that is actually dedicated to the new and fresh! Nevertheless, such a review occasionally pays off - all the more so when it comes to a fine work like the debut of Dub plantation trades. In good old age Dub-Tradition Loud"Beware of the Mega Magic Mushrooms!!“ (DPT), the brightly colored cover seems to demonstrate the worlds one enters – according to the advice of Dub plantation not followed.

Dub Plantage, a conglomerate of international musicians based in Regensburg, was able to come up with a few EPs and singles - they were well received, but can't keep up with the sound of the present album. And the reviewer likes it, bringing back memories of... yes, the RAS Records catalog of the late '80s and '90s. Doctor Dread waited, among other things, once upon a time Dub-Albums by Culture, Israel Vibration and Black Uhuru on; What they all had in common was a rather sparse instrumentation with (sometimes a bit too) much sound space for fine ones Dub-Vibes - see Culture's "Stoned", the Dub to the “One Stone” album, as an exemplary example. Here ties Dub Plantation with a little more verve: the production is clean, the arrangements are kept simple and the instrumentation is beautiful, even if the repeated use of a sound system siren seems a bit too much of a good thing. The reverberation on the crisp bass drum is very pleasing - you almost want to hear Paul Smykle out of it... wonderful. I also think that the total of "only" eight tracks on the album is completely sufficient - beneficial in a time when releases contain 15 or more tracks, regardless of their quality, stuffed in without meaning. Small, fine portions are better than stale-tasting XXL food.

All in all, this makes "Beware of the Mega Magic Mushrooms!!" a recommendation - especially for those who appreciate 80's and 90's productions. It was about time that after the 70's revival, homage was finally paid to the decades that followed!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Second opinion

The Co-Operators: Vibrations from the Bionic Tabernacle

An album title that promises good things: The words "bionic" and "tabernacle" alone probably don't just produce pleasant shivers for me; Memories of a supposedly better time - the 70s - are spreading. Where vinyl was still vinyl, where there was banging and banging, where the bass was pounding out of the giant speakers from what felt like no less heavy Jamaican-style pressings. In my case it was a relevant record store… that was a long time ago. Simple vibe, implemented with the technical possibilities that were emerging at the time: "Bionic Dread", if one may mention Dillinger in this context.

Fast forward to the year 2023, where the Co-Operators with their new release "Vibrations from the Bionic Tabernacle(Waggle Dance Records) nonchalantly turning back time. Still simple 70's vibe, but technically up to date in terms of sound - whereby the latter can be seen both positively and negatively: "heavy tons" has in any case disappeared from the sound vocabulary... tears in the buttonhole!

The co-operators are not a new invention; the band from Bristol around producer and musician Eeyun Purkins can come up with several singles and two albums. You are also responsible for joe yorke's rapid rise in the reggae world and were among the first to co-operate with him on a regular basis. The collaboration is far from over; in a few weeks the joint album "A Distant Beat" will be released.

Back to what to discuss Dub-Album. Here tracks from the two albums "Beating the Doldrums" and "Rhythms from the Kitchen Sink" to the Dub-Treated; thankfully these are *not* the ska and rocksteady tunes, but the fine roots pearls. At the Dub-You can't complain about Mr. Purkins' mix, it goes down like oil; otherwise the reviewer complains (as almost always): Too little bass, too much treble as a sign of current listening habits. If you really want to find something negative on "Vibrations from the Bionic Tabernacle", I recommend paying attention to the basslines: They are wonderfully simple, but also played in a strangely choppy way - the flow is missing a bit, the seemingly endless, repetitive thumping along without interruption. That could be a stylistic device, but then it gets annoying over the length of the album. As I said: If you really want to find something.

All in all, a recommendation for The Co-Operator's Dubdebut and recognition for upholding the 70's sound.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Dubmasters Meet Shashamane

Not just reggae, tooDub gone international" - this is shown again by a current, consistently successful release: "Dubmasters meet Shashamane“ (ZIMA). Although it is Dubversion of the self-titled (and recommendable) album by the Polish band Shashamane, the title already contains the "Dubmasters” is the focus. The squad including Umberto Echo and Dubmatix can be seen and heard; they all deliver first class Dub-Mixes that capture the essence of the vocal versions - a comparison confirms this impressively. “No filler, all killer” as they used to say so aptly elsewhere.

It recommends in any case, also in that vocal album listen to it - fine, old-school instrumented roots reggae, performed by a classic BMW line-up including focused, I-Threes-inspired vocals. The Shashamane band not only manage to conjure up the musical vibes of the past, they also optimize them with arrangements that give the vocals and instruments enough space and the best possible impact. The Dubmasters adopt this concept almost selflessly: The Dubs are devoid of any self-portrayal and cannot – at least according to the reviewer – be assigned to the respective mix masters. A round thing, so to speak.

And so it is no longer surprising that such (BMW-)inspired, almost historical-sounding music comes from Poland with a playful naturalness. It just shows once more where the Roots Reggae flag is being held up. And finally: Where the source material is good, it can also be used Dub-Mix nothing can go wrong. Two thumbs up for them Dubmasters and the Shashamane band!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Review

Roots Inspiration meets Breadwinner: By the Rivers of Water

Roots Inspiration - a UK sound system/studio or a loose collection of musicians around Hughie Izzachar - create a new one Dub-Album before: "By the Rivers of Water" (Self-published) is the name of the piece, mixed by Al Breadwinner from, how could it be otherwise, Manchester, one of the UK hotspots for "all things Reggae".

I still have Roots Inspiration's 2020s"Organic Roots Vol 1"-Album in good memory: It keeps what the title promises: Wonderful Roots-Dub in sometimes beautiful, rough sound robes, for which Dougie Wardrop is responsible. the Dub-Effects aren't bad either: Mr. Wardrop sometimes lets it rip that the wall shakes. Taking that album as a reference, "By the Rivers of Water" doesn't come off quite as well, primarily due to Al Breadwinner's sound (rather than the Dub-Effects!) seems to lie.

Accordingly, the video track above comes across better than the final version on the album. Apart from that: Is it just me or are the live video recordings from the studios often the better versions? The comparison seems to confirm that with this track as well: The effects are much more beautiful and placed more prominently.

Which brings us to the last topic: the album sound par excellence. Breawinner's Mix is ​​often reminiscent of Mafia & Fluxy albums, which consistently (exceptions prove the rule) throb along in the lower Hz ranges: A super-soft kick drum merges with a no less soft synth bass, so that a bubbling-soft one Sound mass is created. It's hard to identify a bassline here... and it sounds like this:

So long live the rimshot that rips the whole thing out after all. Similarly, albeit to a lesser extent, the tracks on "By the Rivers of Water" fare. Maybe one or the other will Dubhead appreciate this sound - I, on the other hand, prefer a kick drum with punch and a clearly defined bass line.

The reader has no choice but to form his own opinion; for this there are the two Roots Inspiration albums mentioned above as streams on the various platforms, Bandcamp while offering far more material from Roots Inspiration and Al Breadwinner. May it be a listening pleasure!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Review

Drop Collective meets Chalart58 in Dub

jazz or reggae? reggae or jazz? Almost everything is there - one drop, key and guitar skank, only the bass is a bit lacking: played virtuously, but the hypnotic repetition just doesn't seem to be there for long. That and the wind section(s) are the massive jazz part of the Drop Collective's new EP; simple "Drop Collective meets Chalart58 in Dubshe calls herself, released on the well-known Brixton Records label. The title couldn't be more meaningful - what's on it is in there: With the for DubAll in all, the producer Chalart58, who is responsible for the mix, gives you a small (4 tracks) portion of Catalan sound art from Barcelona.

10 men/women high - the thought of a band, if not a big band - that's what it sounds like in places. Admittedly, the heavy jazz part isn't for everyone, and the vocal shreds of a rather trivial-sounding voice don't inspire either; but the tracks undoubtedly grow the more you listen to them. Blame it on Chalart58, who with his mix is ​​the finest, albeit classic Dub-Effects from the somewhat boring vocal counterpart "come shine“ tickles out.

I recommend this EP to anyone who Groundation appreciate and are willing to take a few more big steps towards jazz; to others the whole thing might sound a little too intellectual. Give the part a chance.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Five Star Review

Joe Yorke: Noise and Emptiness

Of course, falsetto isn't for everyone. That's why there isn't a single Cedric Myton track in my playlists, let alone one of his albums. The situation is different with falsetto backing vocals in the style of the early Aswad, Steel Pulse or Tamlins recordings - it just fits there, harmonic and tonally reliable head voice singing was delivered. See "Baltimore" - what would the track be without those harmonies?

Also Joe Yorke's debut "Noise and Emptiness' (Rhythm Steady) delivers flawless, accurate falsetto at times - both on lead and wonderfully accomplished backing vocals. But now that's us dubblog.de and voices interest us only peripherally; therefore it should be pointed out that the album with dubis interspersed with big instrumentals. It's all in the mix; it frees the release prophylactically from the dreaded falsetto overdose. Undoubtedly, Yorke's diverse responsibilities as singer, producer and composer contribute to the production's success; one or the other collaboration with mid-range vocalists will also play their part.

So there is a fresh wind blowing from England towards the international reggae community, which is particularly evident in the excellent production - everything is clean and, above all, not excessively arranged. This gives the sometimes almost sparse instrumentation room to breathe - similar to what we saw in the bone-dry Rub-a-Dub of the early 1980s. And yes, you can hear some fat bass here too:

Of course, “Noise and Emptiness” is an offer that values Dub-Connoisseur has to let in first - it wasn't love at first sight for me either. But: The tunes have enormous potential for growth and have clung to the reviewer's ear canal. And so it is that the album is one of my personal favorites of the year and deserves a big recommendation.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Review

Emmanuel Anebsa: Dub Ina Sun

Emmanuel Anebsa, a native Brit with Jamaican ancestors on his father's side, was an unknown quantity to me. According to Spotify, the man has released 2000 (!!!) albums and even more singles since 48 – including collaborations with Junior Kelly, Turbulence, Anthony B and others. However, reggae alone is not enough for the man: He also tries his hand at being a bluesy folk singer-songwriter (meaning: Anebsa accompanies himself on the guitar) and as a rapper, producer and mixer; he doesn't seem to leave out any genre that could be skewed towards indie. And indeed, all of his releases have appeared on his own Wontstop Record label - which may explain the sheer volume of output.

So now is his latest Dub-Album before (there are several): "Dub Ina Sun(Wontstop Records). It leaves the reviewer ambivalent - on the one hand the dull mix and the grotty recorded drums, on the other hand the nicely dominating, stomach-massaging basslines that you rarely or never hear in current productions. The absence of any keyboard instruments is also beneficial; no obtrusively loud skanking on the piano, but many guitars played with and without effects. The result is an earthy, pure, almost rudimentary sound that gives the recordings a certain rehearsal room basement flair.

Great Dub- There are no effects to be heard - a little reverberation here and there, one or the other instrumental track fades in and out. Maybe the release would even pass as an instrumental album; Ultimately, however, the simply knitted, memorable bass lines are convincing with their tonal dominance and the sometimes excellent guitar work. Clear recommendation for guitar junkies!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.