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Review

Ksanti & Owl Trackers: Time Lapse

Most Dub-Albums obey a consistent style - from the first to the last track. Once the Logic Pro setting has been found, it can be copied from track to track. The collaboration project of the two producers Ksanti & Owl Trackers: "Time Lapse“Breaks with this pattern and rather resembles a journey through different styles, musical influences, moods and tempos. The spectrum ranges from gentle steppers to Indian influences to lo-fi and electro-Dub. And that in just four tracks (and an interlude)!

Ksanti & Owl Trackers are two French producers. Ksanti is a Dubmaker from Bordeaux, with a preference for progressive steppers and musical experiments in the direction of electro, chill and sometimes lo-fi sounds. Owl Trackers, on the other hand, is a Dubmaker from the Paris region, the Dub connects with electro, trip-hop or techno influences and weaves them into fascinating soundscapes.

“Time Lapse” leads us through these landscapes in slow motion. the Dubs radiate an uncommonly contemplative calm while at the same time a feeling of sublimity arises with which we look at the beauty of the imaginary musical landscape. Sounds a bit pompous, but - if you get involved - is what makes these four tracks so attractive. Have a listen. Of the Download is free.

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Review

Lone Ark Meets The 18th Parallel: Showcase Vol. 1

For some time now it seems to have been an international trend to give current productions a clear timestamp - in the sense of "back to the past": the item may sound like it was from the 1970s or 1980s, but it is brand new. Sometimes you get the impression that you are dealing with music that sounds more original than the original. All the ingredients that once accompanied reggae on its way to its zenith are called up to offer the listeners a very special kind of déjà vu experience: vintage instruments and studio equipment, classic arrangements and songwriting as you would expect no longer knows in the genre today. Voilá: Everything like the good old days, only much better.

Anyone doing such a production must have done their homework and dealt intensively with the historical recordings; has to know how to get that special sound out of instruments and mixer; must have immersed himself in the classical genre-specific voice guidance or its arrangements - reggae compulsory subjects, so to speak. That is roughly equivalent to a university degree in "Vintage Reggae 101", and I take my hat off to anyone who deals so thoroughly with the subject.

Chapeau in front of Roberto Sanchez aka Lone Ark, who mastered this task perfectly and internalized it as a producer - as one can find on Earl Sixteen's "Natty Farming"Or Ras Teo's"Ten Thousand Lions“Can listen, including wonderfully earthy Dub Versions. Now Sanchez is not only an instrumentalist and sound engineer with his own studio, he also stands in front of the microphone as a singer - just remember his somewhat stiff vocals, which he fronted his Basque Dub Foundation has sung. He has since remedied this shortcoming, as can be seen on his new release "Lone Ark Meets The 18th Parallel: Showcase Vol. 1"Can listen to:

Wonderful, the reviewer couldn't be happier: Superb production; clear, down-to-earth and powerful mixing; Echo & Hall fly wonderfully low and last but not least: Beautiful, soft vocals transport harmonies in the typical vocal trio style. And yet, especially with the above "Build an Ark (Extended Mix)" a strange feeling arises. Haven't I heard that before? The chorus seems to be from the Wailing Souls, the verses from Black Uhuru ... isn't that the vocal line of "Shine Eye Gal"? The text even begins similarly: "I rise early looking some tea ..." (Michael Rose) vs. "Early in the morning while I make i-self a cup of tea ..." (Roberto Sanchez). Hmmm ... frowning is the order of the day - is anyone else like that?

Intentional or not, repetitions or similarities arguably inevitable in the historically accurate evocation of the glorious old days. Ultimately, however, it can never be too much of a good thing, and with the Lone Ark / The 18th Parallel Showcase Vol. 1 we have a very successful release in front of us, which can be recommended without reservation - especially what the Dubs concerns: Sanchez lets the snare roll through the soundscape, the singing spits out staccato-like echoes - KingTubby would probably not have done it differently. It dawns on me: You don't have to keep reinventing the world; Sometimes it is also beneficial to process the old qualities and thus celebrate a piece of history in the here and now. That means: After Vol. 1 comes Vol. 2, and I'm already looking forward to it.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Late Night Tales Presents Version Excursion Selected by Don Letts

We Dubheads live in our little, hermetic Dub-Bubble and celebrate our very, very special interest sub-genre as the center of the world. A navel whose existence 99,999999 percent of humanity do not even suspect. Compared to rock, pop and hip hop, the music we revolve around lives absolutely hidden. This obscurity is downright cynical in view of the fact that the descendants of Dubas z. B. Discomixes, remixes or bass music have long since become part of the mainstream. But whatever? As long as there are still musicians and producers who provide our bladder with fresh supplies, we don't care if the world out there takes notice of us. And yet ... Somehow the missionary in me stirs: “Hey guys, listen to this. It will change your life! ”. Well, yes, you will be allowed to dream. But in fact, a fantastic opportunity is opening up, not for the mainstream, but for people interested in music outside our bubble to glimpse the beauty of Dub to grant: "Late Night Tales Presents Version Excursion Selected by Don Letts". Late Night Tales is a compilation series that has been inviting artists and DJs since 2001 to delve deep into their personal collections and curate the “ultimate late night mix”. Twenty years ago it was a completely new and hugely popular concept. We remember z. B. to the extremely popular KJ Kicks series, or to the legendary Fabric compilations. What made these CD series so interesting at the time: With extensive marketing, they were aimed at an open-minded music audience and gave the collected genre productions an incomparable reach. In the Spotify age, this may not be that important anymore - but it still works. That's why it's something very special when a series like “Late Night Tales” (according to GQ the “Rolls Royce among the series”) invites DJ, radio DJ and filmmaker Don Letts to invite them Dub- Curate album.

Who, if not Don Letts, would be the perfect man to lead this missionary crossover, since he has always stood for the mixture of diverse musical cultures and Dub. “A disciple of sound system, raised on reggae n 'bass culture my go to sound was dub. Besides being spacious and sonically adventurous at the same time, its most appealing aspect was the space it left to put yourself 'in the mix' underpinned by Jamaica's gift to the world - bass. But that's only half the story as the duality of my existence meant I was also checking what the Caucasian crew were up to not to mention the explosion of black music coming in from the States. ”Don Letts explains his musical background and continues:“ That's why "Late Night Tales Presents Version Excursion" crosses time, space and genre, from The Beach Boys to The Beatles, Nina Simone to Marvin Gaye, The Bee Gees to Kool & The Gang, The Clash to Joy Division and beyond. You'd think it impossible to draw a line between 'em? But not in my world. Fortunately, the 'cover version' has played an integral part in the evolution of Jamaican music and dub covers were just a natural extension. "

What a cool idea! There Dub - at least in Lat's view - remix means that he only offers versions of songs that were created outside of reggae. A strong concept that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also ideally suited to addressing a mainstream audience outside of reggae.

Yes, Don Letts is the missionary I would like to be. Aware of his chance, he was by no means satisfied with submitting a disdainful list of titles to Late Night Tales, but made his little one out of it Dub-Exhibiting a real masterpiece by following the principle of remixing Dub made not only the principle of his selection of cover versions, but also the principle of his presentation. That is why 13 of his 21 tracks are “Exclusives”, i.e. remixes or remixes.Dubs historical productions created by the likes of Mad Professor, Scientist or Dennis Bovell.

Well, the man is in love with concepts - but so am I and can therefore only praise his Late Night Tales Version Excursions in the highest tones. Since the whole thing is done with a decent budget and a lot of marketing, there is also an entertaining video in which Letts explains the criteria of his selection and gives a few anecdotes about the individual titles. Cool guy and very eloquent. A born ambassador of Dub.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Review

Sly & Robbie vs. Roots Radics: The Dub Battle

When in 2019 a new album with the martial title "Sly & Robbie vs. Roots Radics: The Final Battle“Was announced, the expectation was high: Should the more or less aged, male vocalist who's who of the golden reggae era be captured again on freshly recorded riddims, which are 50/50 from Sly & Robbie and the Roots Radics. For this, producer Hernan Sforzini gathered pretty much everyone who could still stand in front of a microphone in 2019; the potential for a monumental album was definitely there. But as it is with great expectations: They are seldom met. In this case mediocre vocal performances reproduced clichéd texts that rarely go beyond the wisdom of sayings. But that's only half the drama, because there is also Sforzini's exuberant production according to the motto "more is more": here a few keys, there still absolutely brass samples and above all more percussion, percussion, percussion! There is hardly any room to breathe in the middle mixdown - this is probably the album's biggest flaw, as you can see on the track "This Morning" by Michael Rose:

Two years and a few lockdowns later, however, we should no longer be concerned, because the ones that have just appeared apply Dub-Counterpart to discuss: "Sly & Robbie vs. Roots Radics: The Dub Battle“ (Dubshot Records) keeps what the vocal album promised. Here, too, a Who's Who is represented, albeit that of the golden one Dub-Era: King Jammy, Scientist, Bunny "Striker" Lee, Mad Professor, Dennis Bovell and Lee Scratch Perry rigorously edit the tracks, clear them out properly and ensure that those buried are resuscitated. This is where the miracle of the Dubs celebrates - which is very good in "Dub Morning, "the Scientist-edited track of the Michael Rose title above:

The comparison shows: The scientist has done a great job and thrown out everything that was Dub-Vibe is not serving. The essence remains: A killer bassline that - accompanied by sometimes exploding one drop beats - makes its way through echo and reverb. Wonderful ... Scientist can still do it, and his colleagues are not much inferior to him: Every track wins in the Dub- Enormous revision; the comparison with the vocal versions is as illuminating as possible and you can hear producer Hernan Sforzini, who is here as Don Camel, also for three Dubs is responsible, congratulations on the consistently successful release.

I don't quite understand why there are two additional tracks by King Tubby from the early 80s on the release. They have absolutely nothing to do with the original vocal album and in their simplicity, devoid of any dramaturgy, are completely untypical for Tubby. The motto “more is more” does not seem to be completely off the table for producer Sforzini.

Ultimately, it should be noted that we are in a phase in which we have to say goodbye to many of the greats of the genre - the last few months have shown this painfully. Also “Sly & Robbie vs. Roots Radics: The Dub Battle “reminds us of this: Contributors like Bunny Lee, Toots Hibbert, Lee Perry are no longer. Style Scott is no longer either, but as a Roots Radics veteran it should have been there. A generation change is in progress, which it feels like the next generation is missing. But who would come close to a borderline genius Lee "Scratch" Perry ...

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Dennis Bovell meets Dubblestandart: @ Repulse "Reggae Classics"

About Paul Zasky's under the Dubblestandart label released "Reggae Classics“-Album I already tore my mouth wide and wide at this point. The qualitative difference to the predecessor was too big "Dub Realistic"; incomprehensible the decision to work with the experienced, but musically unsophisticated Firehouse crew. Fortunately, the item appeared on Echo Beach - probably the most recyclable label anywhere. And indeed: The first tracks from "Reggae Classics" celebrated their rebirth on "Dub Me crazy" (see also René Wynand's review) - a compilation for which Paolo Baldini dismantled, dusted and polished the recordings. The result was Dub-Remixes that bar everyone Dubblestandart sterility roar fresh and cheeky through the speakers. The next trick of the label was simply the tapes / files Dubto give up visionists and hope for the best. The man delivered: One wonderful, radical reinterpretation the "reggae classics" in the melancholy direction. Barring any original vocals, instead padded with vocoder effects and elegiac carpets of sound, it leaves the original album far behind.

Can you top that? It is worth a try; So off with the recordings of Dennis Bovell - keyword Matumbi, keyword LKJ. He has now given us something like a third incarnation of the album: "Dennis Bovell meets Dubblestandart @ Repulse Reggae Classics“(Echo Beach), as the bulky title is called, knows how to surprise. Instead of an official one Dub-Version (!) Bovell first sings the tracks in again before he gets to it Dub-Mixing makes. Now, it's really not that Bovell is stepping to the microphone for the first time, but the reviewer's expectations were completely different. And so it happens that the cold, awkward-angular, "Denglish" sounding vocals of Paul Zasky are replaced by the no less strange voice of Bovell. It is raw, downright coarse, brings in a shot of dirty soul, appears awkward in its own way: the ethereal “Fly Me to the Moon” cannot overcome gravity and crashes mercilessly; The revised version of “I'm no Robot” with its new backing vocals also seems strangely out of place and at times almost operetta-like due to Bovell's drifting vibrato baritone. A downgrade to the wood class, so to speak, which doesn’t look good on every track, but gives some street credibility: Culture’s “Jah Jah See dem a Come” or Steel Pulse’s “Babylon the Bandit” undoubtedly win.

The vocal tracks are more of a general store or - if you will - a € 1 shop: not everything is of the same quality, not everything keeps what it promises, some things are overpaid even with one euro. Of course, this does not apply to them Dub-Mixes that still need to be discussed, but do not require many words: They are quite successful to excellent; here Dennis Bovell is beyond any doubt, here he can Dub-Master seem: nice earthy, old-school and calm, that's exactly what you expect from the man. That's why there's an unreserved purchase recommendation. What you do with the sung addition is up to you - I put it under "musical joke", which I dig out every now and then for my pleasure. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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Review

Dubvisionist: Treasures from the Harddrives

For new work from Dubvisionist I get reflexively curious because Dubs from Felix Wolter would suggest the Netflix algorithm with at least “98% agreement”. The hit rate is therefore that of Biontech. Fortunately, the Hanoverian DubProducer a constant output level of high quality Dubs - and has done so since the 1980s. He and ThaiGrr founded The Vision, a pioneering German reggae band, whose recordings are the basis of some fantastic ones Dub-Albums that Felix created over the years. In recent times he has delivered many compelling ones Dub-Mixes on behalf of Echo-Beach.

Now he has Dub-Wizzard rummaged in his archives and marked "Treasures from the hard drives“Ten exciting but still unpublished ones Dubs promoted to days. Why they had to eke out a purely virtual existence up to now seems completely incomprehensible when listening, because they are presentable in every respect. I am enthusiastic about the sound (the master understands his mastering), the arrangements and of course the mixes. But above all the variety of the track selection. Maybe that's a bonus that comes with it automatically when recordings are compiled from different contexts. The achievement then undoubtedly consists of sucking in to ensure that everything still sounds like one piece. Of the Dubvisionist completed this challenge with flying colors.

Long recipes, in a nutshell: I like the album exceptionally well. While some albums are particularly convincing due to their atmosphere and sound and are predestined to exist in the background, Felix's “Treasures” are ideal for conscious listening. Highly entertaining - 98% guaranteed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Review

Indicates Dubs Meets Vibronics: Highest Principles of Dub

"The Highest Principles of Dub“- I have to admit that this title absolutely catches me. An album with this title has to be heard! This is about the principle - about it Dub-Principle. So not just a few nice ones Dubs, but something fundamental. About something that Dub at the core. And let's be honest: don't we all want to know? Of course we know the ingredients of Dub great and we can usually say exactly which one Dub we like it and which one doesn't. We can even justify it - mostly with taste judgments like “I don't like slack basslines”. But we know why Dub fascinated us so much? Why do we listen to it so much? Why do we fill up record shelves and virtual media libraries with it? Yes, why have we invested a lot, a lot of money in it in our lifespan? No, we don't know. The origin of our passion remains unknown to us, remains a mystery. Can we tell us “Highest Principles of Dub“By Indica Dubs Meets Vibronics Enlighten? Can this work make us the principle of Dub lead that finally lets us see what Dub and where does our passion originate? Well, whoever is on solid sound systemDub stands, he could come to a knowledge here, because the ones presented here14 Dub- Principles show where the hammer hangs in the sound system. Sukh - former protégé of Dougie Conscious - got together with him and formulated the principles. It is logical that it is not about variations and current fashions, but about the fundamentals. This is why we are dealing with ultra-orthodox UKDub to do - not to say: with steppers! I know that im here steppers dubblog is sometimes a catchy word. Sorry! But STEPPERS has to be like here with Sukh and Dougie: hard, straight, uncompromising, deep and fast. But with a sense of proportion! The two don't overdo it. The structure remains clearly recognizable, there are melodies and arrangements - and yes, even the mix has a certain dramaturgy inherent in it. I still don't know why I am Dub love - but i know i love this Dubs love.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Interview

Interview with the International Observer

Your artist name: International Observer
Your real name: Tom Bailey
You live in: Aotearoa New Zealand
Title of your last album: Bat

What is your personal definition of dub?
Dub has become a broad field of activity, which is only right for an experimental form, but I do value a connection to the early
old school attitudes and ideas.

What makes a good dub?
Deconstruction and subversion. The radical element must be present with the narcotic / soporific.

Which aspects of dub music fascinate you the most?
The rebellious spirit which refuses to accept the mainstream version of song / reality. There's also something shamanistic about the mind altering aspects.

How did you discover your passion for dub and how did you develop yourself and your music since then?
My first experience of dub what "Garvey's Ghost". By chance I got to know it before encountering the original "Marcus Garvey" album, so my mind was blown twice in reverse order!

What or who had the biggest influence on you?
In the late seventies I followed a London sound system called The Mighty Observer who demonstrated the radical use of the bottom end in a live situation. That began a love affair with a large surface area of ​​bass bins and the right music coming out of them.

How would you describe your style of dub?
That's for others to say, but I don't feel confined to any one approach.

What does your process of creating a dub track look like?
Generally I pick an arbitrary starting point and improvise until something interesting arises, then I pursue it to see if something can be grown out of that idea. That can take minutes, hours or days. There's no fixed pattern.

When you are satisfied with a dub track you produced?
Sometimes never, but you have to move on before overworking a good idea.

Dub doesn't need a vocal original.

What is most essential when producing dub music?
Love of dub.

Does a Dub need a vocal original to be a good dub?
No

Which one of your albums do you consider your best work up until now?
Not for me to say.

What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
Everything.

What annoys you in the studio?
Timewasting

When you're not working on dubs, what is your favorite thing to do?
Meditation.

What do you listen to besides dub music?
Everything I hear. From inane pop to classical masterworks to birdsongs.

My greatest musical role model? JS Bach!

If money and time didn't matter: Which music project would you like to realize?
Money and time don't matter.

What do you prefer: Studio work or sound system performance?
I love the occasional sound system gig, but it's really the days
spent in the studio which are most interesting and rewarding. Something compels me to go in and do it.

What is your greatest musical role model and why?
JS Bach, for the contrapuntal basslines

Is there a sound system that you particularly appreciate?
Memories of the Mighty Observer are strong.

What are your personal top 5 dub albums?
I'm writing to you on the day that Lee Perry has died so I'd like to say something about him. I was lucky to cross paths with him on a couple of occasions. Once, playing keyboards on his History, Mystery and Prophesy album. That was an intense session at Compass Point studio in Nassau. The legend is that he had fallen
out with Chris Blackwell, but the fact that he was happily working in Blackwell's studio doesn't support that. Perry was aa flamboyantly eccentric artist, so it was all to easy to misunderstand him, but his track record and influence are remarkable. I think one of his main motivations was simply to bring reggae music to the world.

Much later, I toured with him and Mad Professor in Australasia. His eccentricity had reached spectacular heights by then and some of my strongest memories are of mundane things like going through airport security with him. He seemed to love setting off alarms - and that's a great metaphor for his work in general. So, although I love so many of the early dub artists, today I would choose any five albums by Lee Scratch Perry, the upsetter.

Categories
Five Star Review

KMFDM: In Dub

There is music that literally makes you sit up and take notice. A few weeks ago my daughter asked whether I "KMFDM: In Dub“(Metropolis Records) would know; I absolutely have to listen to the album once - after tons of heavy sounds from early childhood, she knows her "old man" too well. And what shall I tell you? The “In Dub“Is one of those again Dub- Curiosities that have always cast a spell on me.

KMFDM was founded in 1984 by Sascha "Käpt'n K" Konietzko as a performance art project in Hamburg, moved its headquarters to Chicago in 1991 and has been successful in industrial metal / industrial rock for over 36 years. None other than the ON .U sound mastermind Adrian Sherwood, who has been exploring the endless possibilities of the Dub-Musik, produced the KMFDM album "Don't Blow Your Top" in 1988 and continued with its mixture of industrial, rock, Dub creative standards again.

About the album itself, “Käpt'n K” said in an interview: “The idea of ​​a Dub-Making a plate had been brewing for a number of years. I just never found the time to sit down and tackle the project. Some of my earliest musical influences were Dub and reggae and I did the project really old school. The dismantling of the original tracks and the brass arrangements were a lot of fun for me. In doing so, I found out that songs are at 125 BPM too dubben is not so ideal. It worked best with the slow and really fast tracks. ”That sounds very interesting. So I got down to the album and delved into the matter. “Käpt'n K” has reinterpreted twelve songs that span their entire career. Already after the first full rimshot on the snare at "Dub Light “I knew that this was an album to my liking. I would never have dreamed that this groovy and rocking source material would be so skillfully integrated Dubcostume transfer. Lucia Cifarelli sings “Everything Old Is New Again” on “Real Dub Thing ”and thus perfectly defines the power of“ In Dub". KMFDM hymns are reinterpreted and garnished with a hodgepodge of meditative grooves with groovy guitar passages, high-pitched horns, intense organ sounds and heavy bass lines, as on “A Dub Against War "," Hau Dub"," Bumaye "presented. With “Bumaye” I mean to hear a sequence with Nina Hagen's voice.
All in all, an album that is bursting with ideas and yet Dubheads will polarize. Quote from a fan: “My girlfriend likes reggae, but KMFDM not so much. Now she likes KMFDM too ”. For ON .U Sound Addicts from the very beginning, “KMFDM: In Dub“An easy exercise and access to those seldom heard sounds may be a little easier.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Review

The Archives: Carry Me Home Dub

A year ago the highly acclaimed original "Carry Me Home: A Reggae Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson" from The Archives was released. A big budget production by Eric Hilton (one half of Thievery Corporation) and Darryl “Trane” Burke. Superbly rehearsed, recorded and marketed reggae retro sound. the Dub-Version was only a matter of time. Now it is available: "Carry Me Home Dub“By The Archives (Montserrat House). The big budget can be heard with every note. Everything is just right in terms of sound. And yes, of course it is more real Dub, although it is not uncommon for vocals to be heard. But the music has nothing to do with sound system nights. It wants to be played on Sunday mornings at breakfast or at a neat - but cool - dinner. It is about "sophisticated" Dub, tasteful and stylish. But all too often there is also a bit of boredom inherent in “high-quality” works. Everything is calculated, appropriate and balanced, reflective and intellectual. There is simply a lack of what is fun: hard contrasts, surprising, sometimes disruptive ideas, courage and daring. So I'm not sure how to rate the album. It is undoubtedly of absolutely high quality, but I don't have much fun listening to it. Phew! Maybe I just lack the level.

Rating: 3 out of 5.