Five Star Review

Ambient Warrior: Dub Journey's

Now we have further proof that our fine little sub-genre Dub is timeless and limitless. The Australian Isle of Jura label has proved this with the official new edition of an extremely unusual DubAlbums by Ambient Warrior: Dub Journey's, which was originally released in 1995 on the English label Lion Inc. The album is basically deep in the Dub rooted, but uses a much broader spectrum, which equally absorbs the most diverse musical influences and styles from all over the world and combines them into these wonderful soundscapes. The concept for Ambient Warrior was created as a side project for Ronnie Lion and Andreas Terrano. Ronnie Lion, who is not entirely unknown, noticed pretty quickly during the recording that Andreas Terrano is a very talented guitarist and keyboardist, and so the two quickly agreed to create an oeuvre that reflects the diverse musical influences of both protagonists. Andrew is z. B. Italian, Armenian and Russian descent what on Dub Journey's is unmistakably expressed. Insiders know Ronnie Lion from Brixton as the label owner from the beginnings of the British neo-Dub.

Since the earliest Dubtry from King Tubby, Lee Scratch Perry, Augustus Pablo, Prince Jammy and whatever their names are, we know that good one Dub must touch you deep down. That's why Ronnie Lion's slogan: "This is Ambient Warrior...coming to You from the Heart", presented in a distinctive voice (Dennis Rootical) reminiscent of Prince Far I, takes me from the start on (m)an unforgettable pilgrimage to Kailash. (Kailash: The Tibetans regard it as the holiest mountain, it is worshiped by Hindus, Buddhists and Bon, it is the headwaters of the four largest rivers of the Indian subcontinent.) Excuse me, Kailash? Yes, because these typical sounds of the Tibetan prayer bells are omnipresent and ring out again and again. The album is cast in one piece and gives me a pleasantly warm, meditative mood. Andreas Terrano weaves very soft guitar solos and synthesizer/keyboard sounds together into wonderful soundscapes. What was very good for the album's versatility is also due to the fact that many musicians of different genres and instruments were involved in the recordings. In addition to South American elements such as tango and bossa nova (Eastern Dub; cajun Dub); we also hear harp (Cajun Dub), Russian accordion (Bayan; Southern Dub), vibraphone and jaw harp (The Good, the Bad and the Dub).

My quintessence of the album is: Great Dub-Albums creep up on you very slowly. You can play them once and they're "quite nice". Play it umpteen times and very slowly a picture forms: small details emerge, the spirit of the Dub and the bliss of repetition make their way into your soul.

It's nice that there are still labels that make it their business to make such extremely rare, unique ones Dub-To save sounds from oblivion. Therefore, for the Ambient Warrior re-release, Isle of Jura gets: Dub Journey's albums six stars out of five from me.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Five Star Review

Root Makers: DubAbout EP

The Roots Makers got me before with their eponymous debut – an instrumental plus related Dub-Album - quite happy. Colleague Helmut Philipps even included the Roots Makers in his top 5 of 2021, which I can understand only too well. Everything was right there, and if the constantly nagging reviewer had anything to complain about, it would have been the lack of vocals or vocal snippets. So classic Dub stop, if you want to put it that way.

Now it is the case that we in the usually don't review EPs or singles and limit ourselves to albums. But here, as an exception, I would like to focus on an EP - if you don't take it so precisely, you could from the "Dubbers” EP (self-published) and the associated vocal counter part, the “Summer lovers“-EP, conjure up an 8 track album. Both releases are of the highest quality - and if you already have such a vocal template, you can use the Dub-Range actually nothing can go wrong:

And indeed, the Dubs are the best in the classic Roots area that I've heard in a long time. Everything is right there: nice mix, fine effects, bass lines that can be hummed along and the vocal sprinkles create the connection to the vocal versions. Do I hear someone say Roots Radics? But yes, the comparison is more than permissible, the vibe even reminds me slightly of Bunny Wailer's fine "Rock'n'Groove” album, I can also hear the classic 80's lovers rock and a little Aswad backing vocals.

So everything good? But yeah - an album... err... an EP that I can't refuse 5 stars for.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Dactah Chando meets RSD: Guardians of Dub Volume II

After Volume I, as is well known, Volume II follows and that is also the case with Dactah Chando. The former was mixed up by Umberto Echo quite nicely, but very well (to avoid the bad word "conservative"), like colleague Wynands in his review lets through a bit too subtle for my taste. At "Guardian of Dub Volume II“(Achinech Productions) should obviously have a different vibe - and lo and behold, Rob Smith aka RSD is setting the tone this time.

First of all: The Dubs are not new, but - as you can see from the information on this - were created during the recording of "Wisdom"And his counterpart"Sabiduria Roots". Roberto Sanchez had his fingers in the game as producer on both albums - which is surprising, because his typical, musical handwriting cannot be recognized. Rob Smith was also involved in the recordings at the time - his sound is mainly present on the more dancehall-heavy “Sabiduria” tracks; and it is he who is responsible for the Dub-Mixes of "Guardians of Dub Vol. II ”is responsible.

Well stands Rob Smith for its own world of sound, which comes across as rather sparse and monotonous in terms of instrumentation and variety of sounds. This is also confirmed on the new album - at least with the first three tracks, which you can safely skip. From number 4 the whole thing tilts in the direction of roots with live instrumentation and suddenly there is room for an imaginative sound journey using astonishing DubEffects. But not for Rob Smith; he does not use the opportunity and is more or less limited to a small dose of reverb and rather inconspicuous echoes here and there. The recordings themselves offer potential for an acoustic adventure - but if the mixer doesn't want it, then there's none.

What remains? 12 very cleanly produced, almost sterile sounding tracks Dub-Sounds that are quite usable from track 4, but ultimately sound flat even after frequent listening (despite a good punch on the drums) and do not reveal any new nuances. Too bad - there is still hope for a Vol. III, for which I Roberto Sanchez as Dub-Mixer nominate.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Zilla Dan meets Riwan Pruvot: Starlight Dub

After his 2020 debut “Twin Souls Dub"The French multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer Zilla Dan surprises with an album that"Starlight Dub“(Self-published), but is actually more of a collection of atmospheric instrumentals that he recorded with the alto saxophonist Riwan Pruvot.

“I was pretty musical even as a small child and later wanted to have a career as a musician with my best friend. But after he tragically died in French Guiana, I started developing my own musical projects, ”explains Zilla Dan. “I met Riwan Pruvot in Bordeaux. He is a professional alto saxophonist, of French-Algerian descent. I suggested an album in the style of Bunny Lee & King Tubby Present Tommy McCook: Brass Rockers to produce. Riwan was delighted. I played drums, bass, piano and percussions and Riwan conjured up his saxophone melodies. Then I mixed the tracks on analog equipment because I wanted to reproduce the sound of King Tubby, Scientist and Prince Jammy - my heroes of the golden era of Jamaica Dubs. "

What may sound daunting to anyone with a preventive saxophone phobia (Kenny G and Dean Fraser send their regards), reveals itself here as a musical benefit that can rarely be experienced in reggae: a saxophone has been so soft, full and soulful since Branford Marsalis' work for Sting no longer to be heard. This is partly due to Privot's wonderful playing technique - but also to Dan's excellent recording technique and mixing of the instrument. Conclusion: The album rightly has it just before the end in one of the 5 done: The rehabilitation of the saxophone, hurray! 

The fact that Zilla Dan's production seems a bit awkward and reminiscent of early I-grade recordings doesn't detract from the whole thing - on the contrary, it adds to the charm of “Starlight Dub" at. The album concept also fits there - a not-too-extravagant musical journey through our solar system, which graphic artist Matteo Anselmo implemented in one of the most beautiful cover artworks of the last year. Throwing everything into the pan, the overall result is an acoustic and optical gem that can win over the listener from the first contact. 

Text: gtk and René Wynands

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

El Natty Combo: Flores y Burbujas

At the moment, instrumentals seem that Dub to put the show - there have been some amazing works on the market in the last few months, some of them Dub-Release loosely overshadowed. Please refer Clive Hunt, Bost & Bim, Roots organization, Winds of Matterhorn, The Dub Chronicles - to just the im to mention reviewers.

New year, new luck, one would think: The El Natty Combo is snowing with their album “Flores y Burbujas“In. So almost: The album was released at the end of 2020 and simply slipped through my fingers. And because it's so beautiful and the holiday-related lull in the Dubcountry rules, I unpack the old part here.

You may well have heard of the El Natty Combo; their Discography can see each other, better still: let it stream. You will have read less from them - the gentlemen rarely parlate, but in well-groomed Spanish. Therefore in all necessary brevity:

The El Natty Combo is an Argentine roots reggae band founded in 2003, trademark: well-groomed brass sections, playful saxophone / trombone / trumpet solos on rich reggae, which can - no, - drift into Latin American. This can come from the melody or the rhythm and gives the whole thing a certain kick. Whereby memories of Rico and Chris Hinze (does someone still remember the "Bamboo Reggae" aka "Kings of Reggae“- album“?) Wake up.

So thumbs up for “Flores y Burbujas”, which Google translates sometimes as “flowers and bubbles”, sometimes as “flowers and bubbles”. Well ... that will probably come across better in Spanish. Ultimately, it's an album for fans of well-groomed roots brass music, and with a bit of luck it'll be one of them Dub- give album. It wouldn't be the first of the El Natty combo.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dubblog charts 2021

It's that time again: for Christmas we'll serve you ours Dub-Top 5 of the past year. As you can see, diversity counts for us. How could it be otherwise with such a multifaceted genre? We look forward to your selection. Write them to us in the comments. Happy Holiday!

Top 5 from René

Late Night Tales Presents Version Excursion Selected by Don Letts

A concept album with cross-over potential. Don Letts presents Dubs of non-reggae songs. Many remixed exclusively by the greats of the genre.

Aldubb & Mr. Glue: Man

I stand experiments. Dub meets German poetry! Weird and very successful.

sumac Dub: Ex-Home Session

Magical, overwhelming, deeply sad, gloomy, heavy and powerful.

Blundetto: Good Good Dub

Sound Almagan made from exotic ingredients with an intense, dense - sometimes quite melancholy - atmosphere.

Jallanzo: Dubam 'It & Luvin' It

One of the few Dub-Albums from Jamaica. But all the better: Crisp, powerful, dynamic and full of ideas.

Top 5 of Ras Vorbei

Lee Scratch Perry meets Daniel Boyle: To drive the Dub Starship through the Horror Zone

The final chord of a musical genius. RIP Rainford Hugh Perry aka Lee Scratch Perry, we will miss you!

Late Night Tales Presents Version Excursion Selected by Don Letts

The "Rebel Dread" gives me a cross-section of my musical socialization in Dub.

The Mikey Dread Show: African Anthem Dubwise (rerelease)

A huge monolith; the one-of-a-kind unmatched to this day.

Kutiman: Wachaga In Dub

"The whole World is Africa," mine Dubious music album for 2021.

New Age Steppers: Avant Gardening

More original, unused, limitless Dub from the ON .U sound archive.

Top 5 from Helmut

Out on the floor Dub

A homage to vinyl, stylistically somewhere between UK steppaz and traditional JamaicanDub. Surprised with a new one Dub an old wailers riddim.

Alborosie: Back-a-yard Dub

More virtuoso, more merciless Dub-Showdown. It was not until the last meter that the Tuff Scout Gorilla was pushed into second place.

Dennis Bovell: Y in Dub

In 1979 Dennis Bovell produced the UK Pop Group's debut. 40 years later he mixes them Dub-Version. Radical! Effectively! And guaranteed reggae-free!

Roots Makers - Karigan meets DM Kahn & Organiks

Online project of an Indonesian drummer living in France and one in Vancouver Dub-Wizzards. Passionate instrumental music with Dubsee subtitle: Rubadub - One drop rockers.

Aswad - A New Chapter Of Dub

On a sad occasion: The new edition with "African Children", "Natural Progression" and the killer bassline of "Dub Fire ". Mixed with Michael "Reuben" Campbell, who passed away at the beginning of December.

Top 5 from gtk

Mungo's Hi Fi - Antidote

Pure joy: Catchy, suspect vocal sprinkles meet ingenious basslines that boom from the speakers like a sound system.

The Dub Chronicles - Simba (Return to the Throne)

The album that deserves the award for the most differentiated and dynamic sound. Chapeau, sound engineer Casey Burnett! 

Papa Dee: Sir Pinkerton Investigates Another Murder in Red Hut Studio

Sneaky Dubs, roaring loudly mixed with a bit of dirt. Embedded in a murderous concept, this results in a… well, a killer album!

Zilla Dan Meets Riwan Pruvot: Starlight Dub

Fresh from France and already in the top 5: A wonderfully relaxed, charmingly awkward journey through the solar system - or: the rehabilitation of the saxophone.

BuffBaff meets Aldubb: Dubs from the BuffBaffTV Sessions

That could have been a lush album, but it comes as a single broadside: rock solid roots tracks in Aldubb accustomed-reliable-conservative Dub-Quality. 


Lee "Scratch" Perry meets Dubble standard: Dub Cuts from Planet Dub

This release only needs a few words: "Lee Scratch Perry meets Dubble standard: Dub Cuts from Planet Dub“(Echo Beach) is another reuse of the LSP tracks from the great Dubblestandart album "Return from Planet Dub“- appeared together Dubs 2009. The tracks were edited in 2014 Robo Bass HiFi, 2020 has Paolo Baldini a little hand made and now there's an album with alternatives DubVersions. Sometimes they are less, sometimes even less, and they are likely to have been created 12 years ago when the original tapes were mixed. At least this is the impression - because the time was not exactly gracious with the recordings: The sounds seem out of date; the dull mix is ​​reminiscent of the hip-hop and jeep beats from dunnemal. A fresh cell treatment looks different; regardless of this, the ones that have just appeared are Dub Cuts but like their originals milestones in the Oeuvre by Dubble standard

And again the question arises as to whether we really need this release, whose additional sound technical benefits are limited. The news value in and of itself is rather sparse and there are no moments of surprise - but here we have concentrated LSP's tracks on one album for the first time, i.e. freed them from the overflowing opulence of the original release. That results in only eight somewhat rougher ones Dubs (where "Blackboard Jungle - Dub Ruff Cut ”comes up as an exception with extra-violent fecal language), which are accompanied by a touchingly beautiful, black and white artwork. Undoubtedly a memento that hopefully will also be available as a physical sound carrier.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Lone Ark Riddim Force: Balance Dub

Jamaica, the golden era of reggae, approx. 1977 to 1982. Countless classics were created during this period; The world has finally perceived the island's modern music to the greatest possible extent, mainly thanks to the major European labels and their smooth, studio-technical translation work. This is represented by a sound that is still unique today, which apart from the Marley sounds was mainly shaped by the Revolutionaries and the Roots Radics.

Acts and producers like ensure that this sound, or rather this sound technology, has by no means been irretrievably lost and that today's enthusiasts no longer have to look back so wistfully on this time pachyman, Pure Life, Prince Fatty, Rootz Lions and what their names may be. They chase after the ideal quite successfully and today provide almost the soundtrack from back then. But one of them has mastered the art of the 40 year old original rockers and steppers sound: Roberto Sanchez with his Lone Ark Riddim Force - to be heard on the recently released album “Dub Balance“(A-Lone Productions), the Dub-Counterpart to Ras Tweed's "Balance“Release.

No question about it, Roberto Sanchez has again delivered a very nice work - almost everything fits, this is an almost perfect time travel to the 1970s and 80s, that could easily come from the Virgin Records catalog. Original drum tracks by Style Scott were used for four titles - that is not noticeable at all is a quality criterion: Sanchez imitates the arrangements, studio technology and ambience of the era so perfectly - and with the greatest possible respect, I think.

So the exercise is more than successful and the reviewer is consistently happy. At the same time, however, one question arises: Quo vadis, Roberto? We have known for some time that the good man can deliver astonishingly similar replicas (copies?) Of reggae milestones, i.e. many of his productions. I am celebrating the fact that I can hear more or less new “historical” music without the tonal limitations from back then - now I can still expect a little more. In other words: A few laps in the time loop are fine - especially when the reproductions feel as if the originals are in no way inferior. At some point, however, things can get a little more creative.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Obituary: Robbie Shakespeare

Robbie Shakespeare died on December 8th during kidney surgery. He was only 68 years old.

I didn't know Robbie personally and yet his bass playing has been with me for most of my life. When I discovered reggae around 1980, the music of Sly & Robbie was ubiquitous. It was the high point of her career. There was also a huge oeuvre of rhythm twins from the 1970s to discover for me.

At some point around this time I stopped listening to the radio Dub by Sly & Robbie. It was the first time that I noticed instrumental reggae. I was absolutely delighted and started everyone Dub-Buy albums from the duo that I could get hold of at the local record store. Then in 1981 “Nightclubbing” by Grace Jones was released - with rhythms recorded by Sly & Robbie. It was a sensation. In the same year I bought "The 60's, 70's Into The 80's = Taxi" and "Sly and Robbie Present Taxi". I played the two vinyl albums so often that in the end all that was left was a smoothly planed groove. The live album "Black Uhuru: Tear It Up" followed a year later. What a great time it was! I had discovered "my" music and was showered with masterpieces. Countless other Sly & Robbie albums have followed since then, which I gradually incorporated into my record collection. At some point I began to review reggae albums for various music magazines, unfortunately at a time when the golden era of the rhythm twins was drawing to a close. Unfortunately, in the last few years in particular, I had to hack a lot of tears into the keyboard. What hurt my soul, because Sly and his partner Robbie created the soundtrack of my reggae socialization and Robbie's bass in particular was one of the main reasons why I was so in love with Dub developed. Now Robbie Shakespeare is leaving one of my most important identifying figures in reggae. The Rhythm Twins are irretrievably history. It makes me sad. Rest in peace, Robbie.

Photo: Schorle, CC BY-SA 4.0


Indy Boca: Many Roads

Once across the reggae general store, accessed here and there and there, everything shaken roughly once and the debut "Many roads“(Sweet Waters Music) by Indy Boca. So actually from the French Indy Boca sound system, which produced the album here in cooperation with the SawaSound Studio. I'm not so into surprise bags that are supposed to make everyone happy - and in fact, there are fine roots riddims, rhythmically boring 4-on-the-floor sound system tracks, sometimes instrumental and then again with vocals, and last but not least, yes two more Dubs. A mixture that usually hits me, if not causes a gross musical disgruntlement. Fortunately, this is not quite the case here - because there is something that connects the tracks and makes them more or less like a family: An unbelievably beautiful, rich, deep, powerful and yet sophisticated sound. Whoever mixed the album - Chapeau, great, thanks for the ear orgasm.

In front of the curtain, please also the person responsible for the many beautiful samples, which I couldn't recognize as such at first - for example, the strings seem to have been recorded live for the tracks, so they fit into the arrangement and the mix so perfectly . The reality will of course be different, because very few acts from Reggaeland could afford a string orchestra in the studio - and if they did, then certainly not for the debut album. Whatever the case, the result alone counts - and of course it helps that the samples are never grafted onto the pieces as a gimmick, but rather as an integral part.

So how do you rate this musical hodgepodge, especially if the reviewer is known not to have a digital 120 bpm sound system / UK Dub Has? He closes both eyes, lets himself fall into the warm bass of the roots tracks and awards a whopping 4 stars - whereby I can understand that one or the other listener would have wished for one more.

Rating: 4 out of 5.