Thriller featuring Augustus Pablo

The fact is: reggae visionary and pioneer Augustus Pablo was instrumental in the emergence of the burgeoning band with his unique sound Dub-Reggae scene involved. Augustus Pablo is said not to have been enthusiastic about an early album. It was released in England in 1975 on the Nationwide label and the cover read: “Thriller featuring Augustus Pablo“, produced by Enos McLeod. There have been several questionable releases of the album over the years. For all of them the “featuring” disappeared and it became “Augustus Pablo: Thriller” or “Augustus Pablo: Pablo Nuh Jester”, with a changed track order and five additional titles – which I will briefly discuss at the end. When re-released by Canadian label Abraham/Clocktower, both the album's original title and all tracks were renamed. So pay attention: “Augustus Pablo: Dubbing In A Africa” is “Thriller”.
The vinyl re-release on Black Friday (25.11.2022/1.400/25,99), made possible by ORG Music on Record Store Day (RSD), sold out XNUMX copies in the United States in a very short time, priced at $XNUMX each. With this long overdue new edition, Augustus Pablo posthumously made it into the Billboard Reggae Album Charts for the first time.

Even if Augustus Pablo had a different opinion: “Thriller” is an outstanding album that contains some of the best work by the exceptional musician and producer who died far too early outside of his joint projects with King Tubby. A work that Enos McLeod can be proud of as a producer. It is still unclear what he actually produced. In any case, he didn't produce “Last Of The Jestering”, which is clearly Leonard Chin's fault. The same goes for “Pablo Nuh Jester”, another piece with the same rhythm. Of the remaining eight tracks, “Fat Girl Jean” can definitely be marked off as Pablo’s work. The sound of the piano makes me think so, because only Pablo seems to be able to make a piano produce that sound. The melodica tracks leave no doubt about it anyway.

The A-side of the vinyl begins with the title track “Thriller,” which features a great trombone part while a super-slow bassline floats over cymbal-heavy drums.
On "Pablo in Red" Augustus' melodica takes center stage and a rock-solid bass makes its way through the speakers.
“Pablo Style” is a slow, melodica-led instrumental version of the Ken Boothe classic “Everything I Own.”
“Last of the Jestering” is a difficult one Dubversion with clanging drums, and Augustus plays the main melody just great on his melodica. Patti Smith liked to play a slightly stripped down version of the song at her concerts.
My personal favorite has always been the B-side of this collector's item. It begins with “Pablo Nuh Jester,” a much more straightforward version of “No Jestering,” a 1973 song by Carl Malcolm.
“Fat Girl Jean” follows, a booming bass and slow drums are caressed by a gentle melodica.
“Marcus Garvey” turns the old Burning Spear classic into a real treat with its much faster rhythm and Augustus Pablo inspires me every time I listen to this piano-led instrumental version.
In "Rocky Road" Augustus shows what wonderful sounds he can elicit from his melodica, while the guitar is occasionally used. Two other versions of the Burning Spear Studio One classic “Foggy Road” are called “Rocky Road” and “Skibo Rock”. In my opinion, both pieces can also be attributed to Pablo. This time due to the very pronounced clavinet/keyboard work in “Skibo Rock”. The faster, almost dancefloor-friendly “Skibo Rock” is the culmination of a long-forgotten killer album.
Like many albums from this time, the sound is a bit dull, but the bass booms and the drums rattle so incredibly beautifully. To my ears, the warm, almost gentle sound of the album creates an airy and at the same time hypnotic listening pleasure.

Note: The last five Dubs on the CD have nothing to do with “Thriller” and are credited to Lloyd Parks & We The People Band.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Brynovsky: Dub Section

Well, sometimes you have to have the courage to leave a gap, or rather, you really can't know and know everything. This is what happened to me for the second time in a very short time after Andru Branch with Brynovsky. The versatile music maker, independent artist, author and producer Tim Jones aka Brynovsky is, in addition to his alternative folk rock, especially for his Dub- and reggae skills are known. Born in London, he grew up in Derby in the East Midlands, England. Today he lives and works in Scotland.
Even legendary musician and DJ Tom Robinson (band) described Brynovsky as a “great discovery” and twice gave a platform to and introduced the “sweet, sweet sounds of Brynovsky” to his listeners on his BBC6 Music show. What I completely missed: Brynovsky has been used by music professionals for years for his Dub-Arts celebrated.

The latest work from the Scottish sound alchemist and multi-instrumentalist "Brynovsky: Dub Section“takes the listener on a subtle journey Dub-Trip made from the best Dub-Draws on tradition and at the same time looks to the future. In short, Tim Jones has “Dub Section” in the spirit of Dub-Pioneers produced. As an experienced producer and songwriter, Brynovsky has extracted twelve sound fragments from older material and B-takes and given them a rich sound Dub-Missed paint. The result is by no means disappointing, as the Scottish musician always finds the right balance between familiarity and artistic sharpness. A playful and hypnotizing mix of Afro influences, reggae rhythms and trip-hop elements. Brynovsky understood that a... Dub-Instrumental album is not for everyone. Not everyone is brave enough to lose themselves in a sea of ​​expansive, euphoric, expansive, euphoric sound material. Brynovsky is not afraid to delve into the dark, unknown and unconventional Dubuniverse. “Dub Section” is an album that is as eclectic as it is abstract, but still has power and sharpness. It presents 45 minutes of reimagined instrumentals that represent a return to reggae and reggae for indie artist Tim Jones, who has been releasing music under his pseudonym Brynovsky since 2010 Dub mean. In his studio in Scotland he single-handedly records tracks from his back catalog in classical form Dub-Style editing and releasing a track every week on Soundcloud and YouTube until he was able to put it together into a full album in January 2024.
His album »Hard Curves«, which was published back in 2010, I definitely have to mention here. Listen to it, in my ears it is in no way worse than the one discussed here.Dub Section”. For example, “Rumba Queen” is a Dub an outtake from the Hard Curves sessions. “Red Forest” is also from the “Hard Curves” album Dub the original “Into a Dream”, and “CMYK Culture”. Dub of the track “Mischief”.
Most tracks like “Power Vacuum”, “Dub Shining”, “Spycops”, “City of Bytes”, “Peace It Together” are Dub-Interpretations of the 2014 song album “Time Is Now“, which was originally sung with the Jamaican singer Leroy Jones*.

All in all, “Dub Section” is an unusual but very appealing album.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

*Leroy Jones (aka Jah Dave) is a singer, percussionist, producer and member of the Congos, with whom he still tours as a percussionist. He worked with, among others, Gregory Isaacs, Horace Andy, Sugar Minott, Johnny Clarke, Prince Far I and Dub Syndicate. Since 2012 he has been a member of the Scottish reggae hybrid band Brynovsky and also performs solo.
The Jamaican native was a famous jockey in his youth and even beat the great Lester Piggott. When Leroy grew too big to race, he started making music with Congo Ashanti Roy and became a Rasta. In the early 80s he played drums for many major reggae artists as “Jah Dave”. After moving to London he became a producer and singer. Together with Mad Professor he produced Johnny Clarke's "Do I Do I" for his first LP "Yard Style" on Ariwa, which reached number 1 in Jamaica and on the British reggae charts.


Augustus Pablo: Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House (Re-Release)

The visionary Jamaican musician Augustus Pablo is one of the most important people in reggae history. In the early 70s, Horace Swaby (bourgeois) attended Kingston College (KC) along with friends such as Clive Chin and Tyrone Downie. His and Tyrone's interest in music had already taken them to a local church, where they practiced diligently on the organ.
The rest of the story is said to have happened something like this: Sometime in 1971, Horace is said to have been on his way to Herman Chin Loy's Aquarius Record Shop in Half Way Tree to buy records for his brother's 'Rockers' sound system. There he received or borrowed a melodica from a girl. While still in the shop, Horace began playing the instrument. Impressed by the unique sound of the melodica, Herman Chin Loy took Horace to his Aquarius Studio the next day. It is also reported that Herman Chin Loy gave Horace Swaby the name Augustus Pablo during this first session. During the first sessions, classics like “Iggy Iggy”, “Invasion” and “East Of The River Nile” were created.
But it wasn't until 1972, when Augustus Pablo teamed up with his old school friend Clive Chin, that he achieved his breakthrough. Pablo enchanted everyone with the great “Java”. The story behind the creation of “Java” is no less exciting: Clive had brought Dennis Wright (another friend of KC) into the studio to record a song they were working on. The basic tracks were already finished, but even after many unsuccessful attempts, the vocal part just didn't work. As they were about to leave the studio disappointed, Pablo approached Clive and asked him to record a version of the song. While listening in the hallway, he had thought of a melodic line that he wanted to play on the melodica. Clive agreed, turned on the tape recorder and they recorded an instrumental version. “Yesssssss!"
This was a rough outline of the beginnings of the legendary Augustus Pablo, who was a significant part of the Dub-He helped write history. Just searching here Dubblog results in 58 entries.

Now we turn our attention to the actual object of the meeting: “Augustus Pablo: Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House", which was re-released by the French Only Roots label in December 2023. With his early recordings, the talented musician and innovative producer is one of the pioneers of the Dub. His recordings from this period are all considered classics today and were part of the remarkable creative boom that the Jamaican music scene experienced internationally. The Dub-Studio album by Augustus Pablo and King Tubby "Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House" was first released in 1980 and has been re-released several times since then. Firehouse is an ironic reference to the Waterhouse district of Kingston, where King Tubby's studio was located, or to King Tubby's Firehouse, Waterhouse, Taurus and Kingston 11 labels. The Rockers All Stars with Mickey 'Boo' Richards, Leroy 'Horsemouth' Wallace and Albert Malawi on drums, Robbie Shakespeare on bass and Earl 'Chinna' Smith on guitar created “Jah Say Dub” and “Zion Is A Home” Dubs that can still be heard today. The Dub-Mixes are remixes of the original singles by Pablo's protégés Hugh Mundell aka Jah Levi, Delroy Williams and others. In addition to King Tubby and Augustus Pablo, Prince Jammy also contributed some mixes, but his name does not appear anywhere on the cover. Pablo's sound dominates on "Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House", even if he has noticeably toned down his trademark melodica. Although the melodica is only used fragmentarily, Pablo's mystical melodies meander through the mix and the gentle but rich grooves that always characterize a Rockers production are present in full force. King Tubby controls the special element of the Dub-Alchemy by using echo and delay at appropriate intervals, keeping the overall atmosphere mysterious and seductive. Due to the nature of the music and its consistently high quality, it is somewhat difficult to pick out highlights. These undoubtedly include the melodica piece “Zion Is A Home” and the equally good, trombone-heavy “Dub in a Matthews Lane Area”, which serves as a lesson in matters Dubtechnology could serve. The Horns are all credited to Felix 'Deadley' Headley Bennet in the credits, which is certainly incorrect. I can only hear his unmistakable sax style in “Short Man Dub“listen out. I also find it worth mentioning the use of the string synth keyboard in “Selassi I Dub“, which Pablo heard for the first time on the “East Of The River NileThe album was used extensively. Pablo seemed to love the sound of this instrument. In contrast to the melodica or clavinet, which he mostly used as a lead instrument, he used the string synthesizer more as a harmony instrument.

Album release note: Interest in Augustus Pablo was at its peak in 1979. His “East Of The River Nile” set and the album “Africa Must Be Free By 1983” by his protégé Hugh Mundell the year before sparked an interest in all things Pablo. Especially in his early productions. The present Deep Roots Dub-Classic originally released in 1980 on Yard (J.A.) & Shanachie (U.S.A.) and Augustus Pablo, like Lee 'Scratch' Perry before him, was no longer in tune with current musical tastes in Jamaica. This may have come as a surprise to some, but with the release of a single record that can change overnight, and that sudden change can be heard on Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House. The dancehall revolution was ushered in by Henry 'Junjo' Lawes in the fall of 1979. The rebel rock sound of Pablo's Rockers All Stars couldn't be compared to the heavy, dense rhythms of the Roots Radics - there was a world of difference between them. Nevertheless, “Rockers Meets King Tubbys In A Fire House” is and remains for me one of the best Augustus Pablo albums ever, even 44 years after its release.
The re-release comes in the best quality yet. So if you want a beautiful, timeless classic in your record cabinet, you should grab it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Marcus I meets aDUBta: Cut A Wire Showcase

After 20 years of preparatory work, the first album from “aDUBta & The Black Oak Roots Allstars: Sounds From The Attic“completed. Here too, numerous illustrious guests such as Earl 16, Var, Ranking Joe, Cedric Myton, YT, Brother Culture, Vin Gordon & Stepper and Umberto Echo contributed their skills.
Just a look at the website of the multi-instrumentalist and producer Andreas “aDUBta” Bauer quickly makes it clear why the debut album is only being released now. There is an impressively long list of collaborations, including names like Headcornerstone and the Graz Roots Organization. In a nutshell: aDUDta from the south of Germany is a jack of all trades and dances at many weddings.

Almost half a year later, in October 2023, the mini-album “Marcus I meets aDUBta: Cut A Wire Showcase“ released on the Strasbourg Hornin’ Sounds label. The album's riddims have already been released in advance of aDUBta & The Black Oak Roots Allstars were recorded. In November 2022, Marc “Marcus I” Ibarz, who was born in Spain in 1984 and has lived in the south of France since 2020, came to the Attic Roots Studio in Utting am Ammersee to discuss the project with aDUBto complete. With the Sing-Jay Marcus I and aDUBta have found two musicians who obviously share a love of roots reggae and the analog sound of the 70s. Marcus I is no longer a blank slate: since 2011 he has participated in numerous productions, over 80 of which have been released on CD and/or vinyl. On this album there are (only) four heavyweight roots reggae tracks in the so-called showcase format, also known as a discomix. The song is immediately followed by the one Dubmix. A beautiful old tradition that has become increasingly important again in recent years.

Three of the four tracks are longer than seven minutes and aDUBTa's experience as a multi-instrumentalist and producer is clearly paying off. The rich sound can definitely be heard compared to other well-known and large studios. Plus, everything sounds so wonderfully round that you never get bored. The use of live instruments is organic and unmistakable. Of course, aDUBta not reinvent the wheel with these showcase tracks, but what's the point if I have a nice, solid one Dub get to hear? The main thing is that these percussive riddims come across as dynamic, authentic and credible - and they totally do. What excites me most about “Cut A Wire Showcase” is the sound, which in places is reminiscent of the typical and legendary Black Ark sound of Lee “Scratch” Perry. If you look at it Dub-Part of the title track “Cut A Wire” starting at 4:20 is perhaps the best way to understand what I mean. On the third song “Perfect Collie” the backing vocals remind me a lot of the Israel Vibrations.

Conclusion: To put the finishing touches on the whole thing, aDUBta the mixes and Dubs completely mixed live & analog on his TASCAM 388 mixing console. The album sounds classic and contemporary at the same time - I like that.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Andru Branch & Halfway Tree: Weather The Dub

Ashes on my head, sometimes musicians and artists manage to go unnoticed for decades under my reggae and Dub-Radar to sail. One such phenomenon is the award-winning Andru Branch with his seven-piece band Halfway Tree.
The Canadian keyboardist, singer and bandleader Andru Branch (born June 27, 1968) is the mastermind of the reggae band Andru Branch & Halfway Tree, which has existed for over 28 years. He grew up among a lively Rastafarian community in Toronto, where he learned the fine nuances of reggae from some Jamaican musicians who had settled in the Canadian metropolis. In 1995, Andru Branch formed his band Halfway Tree, naming it after the lively music district in Kingston, where he also had the good fortune to play and record with some of Jamaica's most famous musicians. Although the band members have changed over the years, he has always tried to maintain his distinctive band sound, which, according to the interview, is based on Peter Tosh's philosophy: "Reggae is spiritual music with spiritual ingredients for spiritual purposes."

The first album that ultimately caught my attention was the highly anticipated third DubAlbum "Andru Branch & Halfway Tree: Weather The Dub“, which was published in January 2023 and in Dubblog release radar unfortunately had no response. So my review initially remained on hold due to a lack of interest.
Already in 2021, Andru Branch & Halfway Tree released the accompanying song album “Weather The Storm“, which was created during the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects this bleak time both musically and lyrically. Andru Branch & Halfway Tree always manage to let a glimmer of hope shine through - the message of love. The critically acclaimed studio album was completely created by the American sound inventor and sound engineer Dartanyan 'GreenLion' Winston from Ohio Dub-subjected to processing. This collection of straightforward roots reggae with lush brass sections and silky vocal fragments was produced by Guillaume Bougard at TABOU1.

The first track on the album, “We Are Dub“, builds up slowly, rather sluggishly, with the initial sounds being excellently complemented by a rich brass section. The track was already on the second Dub-Band's album "We Are Dub" listen. “We Are Dub“ is a collection of Dubs from the then 25-year career of Andru Branch & Halfway Tree. Featuring three of the best Jamaican reggae bassists of all time: “Family Man” Barrett, Chris Meredith and Studio One legend Brian Atkinson, the original bassist and founding member of the world-famous Studio One band “The Soul Vendors”. This band of all-stars was formed as a result of the dissolution of the Skatalites in August 1965 and was successively called (Roland Alphonso &) The Soul Brothers (1965-67), The Soul Vendors (1967-68) or Sound Dimension.
“Dance hall Dub” is a beautiful version of the ska-kissed song “The Storm,” with each instrument taking a lead role one at a time.
The rich, forward reggae beat of “Dub Times” is accentuated by the use of a djembe and thus gains in exoticism.
In the following piece “Dubtima”, the chords and melodies convey a touch of the Orient.
The dark, almost dramatic piece, “The Dub Is Coming In” is a confrontation with our innermost demons, but also with the consequences of the impending man-made climate change.

All tracks were skillfully deconstructed and reassembled by Dartanyan 'GreenLion' Winston with a ton of energy, studio and mixing desk magic. GreenLion pulls out all the stops again and delivers a wonderfully effervescent sound bath of vocals, echo, reverb and delay. All in all, a real discovery of a very fine, relaxed album with rich brass sections and driving guitar riffs, where everything is in the right place.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I-Man Cruz: In A Mission (Showcase)

Ferrán Cocera Cruz, aka I-Man Cruz, loved singing as a child. In the late 1990s he sang in a reggae band called The Red Ones. The band mainly covered Studio One classics. When I-Man Cruz moved to Santander, he began working with Roberto Sánchez. In 2009 he recorded his first song “To The Light” at the A-Lone Ark Muzik studio, but it remained unreleased. Five years later he formed a new band called Rice & Peas. The song “Everything’s Possible” was created with the Rice & Peas, which is now in a slightly modified form on the showcase album “I-Man Cruz: Man In A Mission(A-Lone Ark) can be heard. Two songs have previously been released under the name Papa Cruz: “Crisis” from 2013 was sung with Linval Thompson and “Nuff A Dem” from 2017 was sung with the Viceroys. He recorded the song “We’re Going To Zion” with Roberto Sánchez and then released the solo single “Tek A Look”, which can also be heard on this beautiful album.

For I-Man Cruz, Roberto Sánchez also delivers crisp roots reggae riddims with exquisite old skool vibes, which are typical of many of his productions. I-Man Cruz's singing style is clearly inspired by Jamaican greats like Dennis Brown and Delroy Wilson. With a total of six showcase tracks, the album masterfully showcases the Spanish roots reggae singer's vocal and lyrical abilities. Everyone Dub blends seamlessly with the vocal part, effortlessly creating an appealing acoustic journey that is both reggae and Dub- will captivate lovers alike. The album begins with the title track “In A Mission”, with which I-Man Cruz presents an incredibly catchy and memorable opener with striking horn sections and varied instrumentation. The following “Inity” is the perfect sequel and one is really looking forward to it Dub-Version. Both musically and lyrically, the song easily maintains the tension. On “Tek A Look,” Cruz’s vocals harmonize perfectly with the driving riddims. Followed by “Follow Unfollow”, which gets more and more into your ear canals after listening to it several times. More or less the same can be said about “Joyful Song,” a piece that has the potential to give a depressed person new courage to live.

In short: Another debut album from the A-Lone Ark Studio, which with its six showcase tracks over seven minutes long offers a good introduction to the musical world of I-Man Cruz. Solid classic riddims and Dubs – what more could you want?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Dub Foundation: The Good The Bad & The Dubby

A few days ago when I wrote my review of the new Chuck Foster album "Dub Journey”, I wrote the following sentence: “With the guitar sound of “Riding In The Wind” we have arrived at western film music, which Lee “Scratch” Perry also liked to experiment with”. Appropriately, I came up with the album “Dub Foundation: The Good The Bad & The Dubby“ comes to mind. The album is a tribute to the Roman composer, conductor and Oscar winner Ennio Morricone, who died in July 2020.
Morricone has composed the music for more than 500 films. Since he wrote the music for numerous spaghetti westerns, his name is primarily associated with this film genre. His film music for the Spaghetti Western epic “Play Me the Song of Death” is particularly well known. Morricone was awarded an Oscar in 2007 for his life's work.

Captain Smooth & Dub Foundation are a group of artists/musicians from Madison, Wisconsin. Six years ago they had the idea of ​​recording classic spaghetti western melodies by Ennio Morricone in a reggae guise and turning them into a Dub/reggae album. When they started recording the tracks, they knew it would be epic and that the project would also need a film. So they headed to western Montana with high-quality film equipment and shot their own Spaghetti Western short film.

Captain Smooth, the Madison-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and music producer, produces music across many genres. From classical to funk/reggae and pop music to hip-hop, everything is represented. For many local bands like Dub Foundation, Captain Smooth, Space Jam Frontier, Red Rose, Two Tiny Dads and The Brothers Randall he is the Spiritus Rector. He laid the foundation for this album with the Randall brothers, Dave, Michael & Kelton.
Captain Smooth says that all the artists who worked on this project are both reggae & Dub as well as the Spaghetti Western genre. You wanted to share two of your preferences that are not yet very mainstream. “Most of the younger generation don’t know what a Spaghetti Western is,” says Captain Smooth, “and we wanted to change that musically.” With the thirteen tracks on the album they have unforgettable film music classics like “For a few Dollars more ", "Fistful of Dollars" and "The Good The Bad and The Ugly" were dug up and made current again. Simply cult music that younger generations may have missed is introduced to a younger, broader audience with this project. Most people probably even recognize the immortal, classic Western melodies, but cannot associate the compositions with the name Ennio Morricone. This is what Captain Smooth & Dub Foundation fundamentally changed with this album.

Did I mention that I really enjoyed listening to these tunes again? Logo, otherwise I wouldn't have written this in the first place.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Danakil: Dialogue de Dub

Hot, hotter, Danakil. The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is the hottest place on earth with an annual average temperature of 35,6 degrees Celsius; temperatures of up to 60 degrees Celsius have been recorded in isolated cases. Two plates have been drifting apart here for 30 million years. As a result of these tectonic movements, the earth's crust is becoming increasingly thinner and sinking, which means that the surface temperature is constantly rising - which is why the 10.000 square kilometer area is nicknamed "the most inhospitable place on our planet".

Now we also know where the French reggae band Danakil from Marly-le-Roi near Paris got their name from. The band was founded in 2000 on the desk of the “Louis de Broglie” high school in Marly-le-Roi (Yvelines), where a group of musician friends went to school at the time. From the beginning, their music moved between reggae and world music. In 2011, the group founded the independent label Baco Records, now Baco Music.

Ten years ago the band traveled to Bamako (Mali) for the first time to record and met the Malian-French artist Manjul in his studio. Manjul is known for his own works like “Dub to Mali” (see reviews) as well as numerous collaborations with other international bands and artists (Sugar Minott, The Skatalites, Cedric Myton, Clinton Fearon, Amadou et Mariam, Tiken Jah Fakol, etc.).
Danakil's encounter with the multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer Manjul almost naturally led to the beginning of joint projects. Since then has (the Breton) Julien Souletie alias Manjul contributed to all of the group's subsequent albums. He also mixed the previousDub-Albums “Echoes you Dub(2012) and “Entre Les Lignes Dub(2014). This is also where the artistic collaboration begins between the sound engineer Damien “Bobby” Coutrot and Manjul, two passionate reggae and music fans Dub-Musicians who have been working with Danakil in the studio and on stage for ten years now.

Now Bobby and Manjul present us with “Dialogue de Dub“(Baco Music) is, in my opinion, wonderful Dub-Remake of the Danakil classic and successful album from 2008. Even back then, Bobby was in charge at the mixing desk. The present eight Dub-Versions of the Danakil showcase album have the two protagonists entirely in the tradition of Dub mixed “four hands”. To be honest, the electro musicDub-Excursions from Danakil never reached. With “Vieillards Duband Marley Dub“, to name just two tracks from the current album as examples, they have finally done it. The band's two sound engineers, Damien "Bobby" Coutrot and the Franco-Malian Manjul, produced the album together and demonstrated all their talent at the mixing desk to create a little gem that is worth discovering. Why only eight of the original eleven tracks? Dubtreatment remains a mystery.

All in all I have to say that I was literally blown away by Danakil as I never expected such a traditional sound. “Dialogue de Dub“It really is a very fine album.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Chuck Foster: Dub Journey

American reggae pioneer Chuck Foster is an important figure in the American music scene. As the long-time host of the Reggae Central show on California radio station KPFK, he has made a significant contribution to spreading the reggae feeling in the Bay Area. He is also known as a successful musician and author.

His latest and eighth album “Dub Journey“ (Catch Me Time Records) is the one Dub-version of his song album from last year “Long Journey". "Dub Journey” is typical Foster Dub-Reggae album accompanied and recorded by experienced session musicians. What particularly excites me about Chuck Foster's albums is that his music always sounds authentic and is recorded "live". Seasoned musicians are also playing in his current band again: for example, Tony Chin, the guitarist from Soul Syndicate, is back in the game. Another band member, John Morran, sets interesting accents with his violin and harmonica, which is particularly beautiful and haunting in the track “Ghost Story”. As usual, the tracks were mixed at Rough Sounds Studio in Redondo Beach by Chuck and Mike Irwin, with Irwin also responsible for bass and melodica. Occasionally Chuck's vocals can be heard fragmentarily in the tracks. The Dubs are solidly embedded in the appealing mix, and the men don't skimp on sound effects. There is plenty of echo and reverb. But like the previous albums, “Dub Journey” avoids exaggerated effects and flourishes. Rather, the album once again perfectly captures the atmosphere of the pre-digital reggae era. A typical element of all Chuck Foster productions is the frequent use of beautiful guitar solos, which is not always for everyone in reggae, but it illustrates very well that Chuck Foster comes from the West Coast rock and blues corner. Another example of this is the “Shady Lady Dub“, which is reminiscent of the Shady Lady motif in many West Coast songs of the late 60s. With the guitar sound of “Riding In The Wind” we arrive at western film music, which Lee “Scratch” Perry also liked to experiment with. The unmistakable, significant guitar sound appears again and again and, together with the retro organ sound, has become Chuck Foster's trademark in almost all of his compositions. The album’s final chord, “Way Out Dub“, impresses with its Pablo-esque sound and gives the entire musical journey an atmosphere of calm and depth. The piece is a wonderful and successful conclusion to the album.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Prince Fatty meets The Gorgon in Dub

One could fill pages here just with the person of Edward O'Sullivan Lee, better known as Bunny “Striker” Lee or The Gorgon. Without Striker and of course Osbourne Ruddock aka King Tubby that would be the case Dub-Genre probably completely different. The collaboration between the two is and remains a milestone in the early development of the Dub. Bunny Lee was a ghetto great, you could almost say a kind of godfather, someone who could take care of almost everything. Until his death in October 2020, he was as popular and respected in Uptown Kingston as he was among the Sufferahs in Trenchtown. Bunny Lee often acted as an intermediary who also made loans, solved problems, and transacted deals. When Byron Lee modernized Dynamic Studios and threw out his old mixing board, Striker closed the deal so King Tubby could buy it. So King Tubby started with a proper multi-track studio. Bunny Lee was enthusiastic about King Tubby's way of working from the start and their productions are and remain unrivaled. Every King Tubby Dub is unique. Tubby didn't laboriously put the individual components together, but simply started the tape and started live. The results are widely known and are still very popular.

The British producer, sound engineer and DJ Prince Fatty has already introduced younger generations to reggae, soul and Latin grooves. With his own albums he has earned a reputation as one of the best modern artists Dub-producers and sound engineers in the world. With the first two Hollie Cook albums, which he produced in 2011 and 2014, he made a significant contribution to writing a new chapter in British lovers rock. In recent years, Prince Fatty has contributed through various singles to show veteran artists such as Little Roy, Winston Francis, Earl Sixteen and his collaborator Horseman, the drummer of the British group Reggae Regular, in a new light. After a long break, he returns with the album “Prince Fatty meets The Gorgon in Dub(VP Records / Greensleeves) returns to the craftsmanship created 50 years ago by King Tubby, Prince Philip, Prince Jammy and many unsung heroes. A carefully selected set of master recordings from the old Bunny “Striker” Lee / King Tubby era are transferred to the present by Fatty. Conceptually, the idea sees Prince Fatty reinterpreting the classic sounds of late Jamaican music legends Bunny “Striker” Lee and King Tubby. This album is 10 Dubs the sonic distillation of an interesting story. After Prince Fatty came across the collection of archived Striker Lee recordings, the young one took advantage Dub-Producer the opportunity to remix the versions to his own taste. The aim was once again to make the tracks accessible to younger listeners and to keep the fire going for Striker Lees Dub-To reignite the spirit of the times. For the real remixing, Prince Fatty transferred the audio material into the analogue domain: he sent the recordings through a carefully reconstructed analogue audio system similar to King Tubby's. The result is a crisp, modern Dubmasterpiece, with Fatty himself acknowledging the songs' status as classics.

A few more comments on the successful song selection: The riddims come from Linval Thompson's "Jah Jah A The Conqueror", which were processed with Tommy McCook's instrumental arrangements of the same track. Also included is Jackie Edwards' "The Invasion", originally known by Burning Spear. Followed by Cornel Campbell's "Press Along", Horace Andy's "Don't Try To Use Me" and Ronnie Davis' "Sun Is Shining", which we originally know from Bob Marley. Below we hear Barry Brown's "Give Thanks & Praise" and Rod Taylor's "Garden Of Eden". The riddims of Neville Brown's "Prophesy" are also known from Don Carlos' "Late Night Blues". With Leroy Smart's "No Love", the instrumental is also known as Horace Andy's "Zion Gate" and Don Carlos' "Ababajonoi" goes back to the instrumental "Real Rock" by Jackie Mittoo and Vin Gordon. Overall a newly edited one Dub-Album of classics for the modern era that may become a classic itself in a few decades.

Rating: 4 out of 5.