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Review

King Jammy: Destroys The Virus With Dub

A new one will be released today via Greensleeves / VP Records Dub King Jammy album. No, not a re-issue, but actually a new, real, haptic album. Would the senior – he is now 74 years old – don't sift through his holdings from time to time and go back to the lectern, Jamaicas Dub-Scene would be completely fallow. The high publication frequency of Alborosie falls out of the rating, he is a special case as a newcomer. A local next Dub generation does not exist. Although 2018 Teflon Zincfence with the promising sound-creative statement album "Dub Policy“ surprised and with numerous reminiscences to the golden era of the Dub showed historical awareness. In the end, it was just a brief gasp that didn't lead to a haptic release. the Dubtonic Kru guitarist Jallanzo tries neo-Dub ina UK style and so far has one digital album put on the way. Rory Stonelove's militantly dark Dubs are the positive exception, but only know insiders who are willing to invest a lot of money in showcase vinyl for LPs like Samory I's "Black Gold" (which definitely pays off!). And the Jamaican Nu Roots singer Micah Shemaiah's “Still”, rightly celebrated as last year's album, is ambitious dubwize mixed and has four Dubs on board, but originated in the hands of an American in Florida. The last Dub- Only Lloyd James holds shares in Jamaica. After his rather low-tension “Waterhouse Dub“ from 2017 he now puts “Destroys The Virus With Dub' and demonstrates attitude. While Jamaica is also struggling between thinking and thinking differently, he votes Dub-Virologist for injection, lockdown, social distance, quarantine, tracking... Every single track is a beacon against those who are roaming the streets with Bob Marley's "Get Up Stand Up" because of the corona measures. The mixes are based on songs by Barry Brown, Sugar Minott, Patrick Andy's "Every Tongue Shall Tell" or Hugh Mundell's "Jah Fire Will Be Burning" from 1980, which in the short form "Jah Fire" became the title track of the LP with Lacksley Castell. Ironically, Jammy's 1981 horn-enhanced remix of Black Uhuru's "Time To Unite" becomes "Closed Border Dub“. All tracks are staged with age-appropriate ease. Jammy had started to completely digitize its productions early on. now dubhe practices with digital equipment from digital sources. what his Dubsound inevitably changed. He no longer screwed the tunes through endless echo loops, but designed them with clear bass tones as grooving instrumentals. The reverb rumbles in muffled basements and is often clipped by a gate, while horns boost injections of sharp brass above it. The new sound design manages even digital riddims that caused the crash of the Jamaican in the mid-1980s Dub caused to integrate organically. Tracks by Junior Delgado or Frankie Paul's "Peel Off A Mask" from the 1987 LP "Sara" as well as Gregory Isaac's Thinking Riddim from his 1988 LP "Come Along" are only out of the ordinary because of their mechanical drum sound. They do not form any disruptive factors between the analogue playbacks. All mixes live from the hooklines of well-known tunes from the successful producer. "Destroys The Virus With Dub' comes on vinyl with 10 tracks, the CD version has two more.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Review

Ras Red I: Gweithredu Dub

Should someone tell me that you shouldn't be influenced by packaging. If there had been a comic (Wimmel) picture by Tony McDermott on the album, I would have noticed this oeuvre much earlier. Unfortunately, on the present album, only a "Monchhichi"-like being with very red eyes is emblazoned in front of a sound system. I was way too old for Monchhichis in the early 80s. Today I stumbled across this completely overlooked album again because of the Welsh word 'Gweithredu' (action). As you can easily see above, we are talking about Ras Red I: Gweithredu Dub. If the creature depicted is to stylize Ras Red I (read "Red Eye"), then he obviously consumed finest sativa landrace that gave his creativity a real kick-start. Russell Squire, that's the name of the multi-instrumentalist, producer and Dubmaster from Taunton, a town in the county of Somerset in south-west England. With "Gweithredu Dub“ he has put together a retrospective that can undoubtedly be seen as a homage to the heyday of reggae in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Ras Red I is no stranger to England and his Dub-Workshops are no longer a secret in the county of Somerset. He is also committed to the survival of the oldest language spoken on the island, Welsh (Cymru > English Wales).
The present album is a mixture of own compositions that were recorded almost alone and remixed and some Ras Red I favorites that were created with other artists in their own studio over the past four years. I really like "Swine", a reference to George Orwell's Animal Farm, by One Style MDV (MDV = Many Different Variations). One Style MDV is a band of African origins from London with over 30 years of British Reggae roots and always reminds me slightly of Misty in Roots. At least in terms of their output, they are very similar to Misty in Roots.

With his own Dub-Tracks and the Dub-Remixes by some guest artists, this album shows Ras Red I as a promising grassroots-Dub Artist. For the very relaxed mix, the master preferred to have a bit of an indica variation, because "Gweithredu Dub' instead of 'action' exudes a cosily warm laid back feeling. Exactly what makes a relaxed evening.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Ras Sparrow: Dub in Stone

In view of the currently meager supply of fresh Dub-Adventures are happy when a new, good album - or rather a 5 track EP - is released. Ras Sparrow, a Venezuelan who is not particularly well-known in this country, has dedicated himself to Roots Reggae as a singer/producer/engineer and brings with him "Dub in Stone“ (Ras Sparrow Records) his first full-fledged Dub-Release out. The promotion is done without further ado by an animated video for “Atlantis Rising Dub"

Multi-instrumentalist Ras Sparrow, torn between digital and analog sounds on previous releases, features "Dub in Stone” with fine, hand-made roots riddims, mostly recorded live by himself. The result can be heard: bass drum and rimshot harmonize perfectly in the mix and are the basis for four wonderfully dynamically mixed one drops - and a successful stepper for the friends of the 4-on-the-floor:

The classic arrangements of the 5 tracks are consistently successful: boredom or the in Dubs occasionally feared emptiness don't stand a chance here - the use of lead instruments like a (not annoying) melodica or a guitar makes sure of that. A solid one does the rest Dub-Mix – which isn't the greatest artistic hit, but also doesn't – as we've unfortunately heard more often lately – compulsively make you look like King Tubby or Scientist. The brevity of the release was also a surprisingly pleasant experience: Compared to the glutted sales monsters, which are equipped with sagging, slow-moving goods and a certain yawning factor, the "Dub in Stone" EP is refreshingly entertaining and makes you want more - just like in the good old vinyl days. So off to the playlist!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Sylvan Morris & Harry J: Cultural Dub

I've been looking for almost an eternity to find a pretty rare album, which also navigates under false flags.
When we here in Dubblog of sound engineers, basically the same names always come up. One person who is always – and quite wrongly – forgotten in this happy dance is Sylvan Morris. He was at home in almost every studio in Jamaica. Morris began his work as a mixing/sound engineer at the tender age of 17 in the Dynamics Studio, where he stayed for about two years. After a short interlude in Duke Reid's Treasure Isle Studio, he hired Clement Dodd for six years in Studio One. where Sylvan Morris put his unmistakable stamp on the typical Studio One sound. He is still considered the best engineer to ever sit at the mixing desk at 13 Brentford Road (Studio One). According to his own statement, Sylvan Morris was all in one person during his time at CS Dodd: electrical engineer, consultant, arranger, sound engineer and mixer. CS Dodd was only personally responsible for the payment and it was precisely for this reason that Sylvan Morris left Studio One to take up his new workplace at Harry J on Roosevelt Avenue in Kingston. It was the mid 1970's and Harry J Studio was one of the main hubs for the best Jamaican artists around at the time. Well over a thousand songs, some of them incomparable, were created during Sylvan Morris' 16-year tenure at Harry J Studio. Just a few classics to remember: Bob Marley: "Natty Dread" and "Rastaman Vibration", The Heptones: "Cool Rasta", Augustus Pablo: "Ital Dub' and 'Earth Rightful Ruler', The Royal Rasses: 'Vortex Dub', Burning Spear: 'Dry & Heavy', 'Marcus' Children' and 'Man In The Hills'. Oh yes, while we're on the subject of Burning Spear, the original Living Dub Vol. 1 and Vol. 2" - two of my undisputed favorite records - and also "Dub D'sco Vol. 1 and Vol. 2" by Bunny Wailer were also gilded by Sylvan Morris and thus unforgettable.
Back to my opening sentence: When Sylvan Morris opened up at Harry J Studio in 1974, the "Dubthing" just really going on. Ergo, there are also a few lesser-known ones by Sylvan Morris Dub- Albums under his own name: "Morris On Dub"(1975),"reggae workshop' (1977) and 'Consulting Dub" published. Published in 1978, “Cultural DubI find the most varied of all three. It starts with the eight-minute “Neighbour Dub' with toastings from the uncredited Big Youth & Ras Midas. After the Big Youth Toast, the album transitions into a showcase mix, before ending with a Ras Midas toast. "Hearts Of Dub“ features the unforgettable and also unmentioned I Roy and the Harry J Allstars sound like the revolutionaries here. For the third track, the rocksteady evergreen "Rivers Of Babylon" was re-recorded with the melodians, which was again converted into a classic Dubpart to end with a delightful toast of the "mighty poet I Roy" (quote: LKJ). Showcase albums were really hot in the making of this album. Back in the early '70s, Harry J produced a version of Breakfast In Bed starring Sheila Hilton. Sylvan Morris quickly turned it into the “Breakdown Dub“. And the journey of discovery continues: “World Of Dub“ is originally called “What Kind Of World” and comes from the Cables from the old Studio One days. In "Undermind Dub' comes the voice of John Holt. Originally by Alton Ellis, Can I Change My Mind was produced by CS Dodd in 1968. The crowning, unfortunately far too brief conclusion of this retrospective is a Perryesque “Cultural Dub“ with Joe White on the melodica, fat fan and unusually many sound effects.

My conclusion: Whenever I listen to such albums again after many years, I realize that it is still this warm, organic music that always captivates and enchants me. There they are, those immortal basslines that are far too often missing from today's recordings and so sorely missed by us old hands. In retrospect, with “Cultural Dub" a creative cross section through the creative phases of Sylvan "The Genius" Morris. The deeper I dig into Sylvan Morris' work, the more obvious it becomes how immensely important this man behind the mixing desk was for the entire development of reggae and Dub was/is.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Gregory IsaacsNight Nurse Dub

Spoilers: "Night Nurse Dub“ (TABOU1) is not that Dub-Counterpart to Gregory Isaacs' already 40 (!) year old masterpiece „Night Nurse“ – even if the cover of the new release would have us believe that at first glance. Would have been a medium sensation in Reggaeland, if suddenly one Dubversion of the 1982 album would have surfaced. Today we can only guess how it would sound, but probably something like Godwin Lodge's extended mix of Material Man (B-side of the Night Nurse 10"):

Back to the new “Night Nurse Dub“: As in the original, the (today's remnants of) the Roots Radics recorded all the riddims here as well – namely a second time in the year 2000, together with other tracks from Isaacs' extensive catalogue. The intention was a tribute album, which, however, should not manifest itself until a few years later. Style Scott was quicker, grabbing the tapes of the instrumentals and releasing them on his own Lion & Roots label in 2001 as Style Scott & Flabba Holt: Nurse in Dub" brought out. I remember that there was a lot of fuss about this and there was even talk of theft. However, these tapes were recorded at On-U Sound Studios by Dub Syndicate's live keyboardist and sample launcher Alon Adiri mixed it - and it was shockingly lame. With Dub Syndicate recordings had precious little to do with these tracks; Adrian Sherwood himself was audibly not involved. The result was a boring, sparsely instrumented, and somewhat empty-sounding “Dub-Album" with few effective effects or samples - but with a disturbingly dominant bass drum: 

Fast forward to 2003: the tribute album is finished and will be released under the title "We Sing Gregory“. Singers like Luciano, Don Carlos, Max Romeo, Sugar Minott, Bunny Rugs and last but not least Gregory Isaacs himself interpret the Cool Ruler classics, including the entire Night Nurse album. The result is a somewhat dull-sounding album mixed by Gaylord Bravo that doesn't want to ignite - by no means surprising, as Isaac's singing style and diction are unique and defy any new interpretation. 

In 2018 there was an attempt to digitally distribute this album as "We Sing Gregory (Deluxe Remix Edition)": The 34-track mega pack includes numerous disco mixes mixed by Dartanyan Winston plus the previously released Gaylord Bravo mixes. This could have been a full album - both in terms of sound and playing time. In the end it was the dull sound again and the unexciting new mixes that weren't mastered in line with the older mixes. The part can be included in your audio library, but there is no good reason for it.

Which brings us finally to the year 2022 and the actual subject of this review. They are still the instrumental recordings from 2000 and the 2003 versions with vocals, here by Dartanyan Winston as a pure Dubs mixed. Has anything improved? No, it's still those sluggish, muffled-sounding recordings* – probably better than Alon Adiri's dreary 2001 mixes and certainly have more effects, but if it doesn't groove, then it doesn't groove. Of course, the album doesn't have it easy either, because it will always be compared with the 1982 original - and on this Rubadub / Lovers Rock milestone is hard to beat: Gregory Isaacs and the Roots Radics are unbeatable at their best.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

*This review is based on the stream from bandcamp.com, which - even if you listen to it through a good sound system - leaves a lot to be desired in terms of sound.

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Review

African Dub & Wallar Beats: Natural Whispers

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

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Soul Sugar: Excursions in Dub

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

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Review

Indicates Dubs Meets Vibronics: Principles of Dubplate

After Indica Dubs and Steve Vibronics published the “Highest Principles of Dub' proclaimed, push them now Indicates Dubs Meets Vibronics: “Principles of Dubplate" (Indica Dubs) after. It is about the "six most popular tracks" from the Highest Principles album compressed onto three 10" vinyl singles - as a "deluxe version", supplemented by an alternative mix (such as z. B. instrumental or vocal mixes). In other words: every track is available as a double pack – in the most beautiful Sound System style. And as befits Dubplates, the sound sounds nice and offensive and direct - no wonder, since everything was also mixed louder. But I also really like the unreleased mixes and versions. Even Danny Red's vocal track has its appeal. But in the end one has to state that the USP of these releases is the form of the 10" vinyl singles. Interestingly, the tracks of the singles are also available in the stream - as an album! Then the home sound system feeling is lost, but the double packs are still nice.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Review

Mystic Fyah: Dynamite EP Remixes

Mystic Fyah is a sound system from Lisbon, consisting of three types (Baresi, Dubio, Tito) and some impressive speaker towers. The Sound System has existed since 2007, but the trio seems to have entered the production business only in 2015. Since then it has had a controlled, well-measured output - as befits a sound system - in Steppers style. But then last year the "Dynamite EP" came out with seven tracks that suddenly sounded deeper and darker and openly played with borrowings from minimal techno. Now the reworking of the EP with the unimaginative title "Dynamite EP Remixes' and goes one step further. Frank DubLin, Smalltondubz, skruff, Dub Troubles and Stillhead laid hands on four of the titles, pushing them even further towards darkness. I was inevitably reminded of Rhythm and Sound as I listened - those two Dub-Techno pioneers from Basic Channel whose music I highly celebrated 20 years ago. But compared to their rigorous minimalism, Mystic Fyah's music is a cornucopia of ideas, sounds and melodies. Who the rich uptempo Dub-like the sound of historical, hand-played analogue recordings, Mystic Fyah will probably insinuate stupid repetition anyway. But I love this magical, minimal, hypnotic Mystic Fyah sound, which acts like a meditation mantra on the eardrums and brain and in which every note, every echo and, above all, every pause between the slow beats counts. The listening experience is like diving into a slow-motion underwater world, weightless and (deep) intoxicating.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Review

City Squad: Marseilles + Aix

The French have it good. As well as delicious food, good wine, Paris, Alsace and a really nice helping of Alps, they also have a vibrant and extremely prolific Sound System scene. There are even 14 sound systems in towns like Grenoble! The Subsquad Prod label has set itself the task of making the most important Dub-Hotspots of the beautiful country to introduce successively. In addition to Bordeaux and Grenoble this time the spotlight falls on Marseille and its small neighboring town of Aix-en-Provence - both located in the sunny climes of Provence. There are 13 sound systems in Marseille alone. In Aix and surroundings more. The subsquad team has 14 tracks for "City Squad: Marseilles + Aix" collected. Another impressive collection. Steppers clearly sets the tone here. But it is not so much the - quite different - musical quality that makes this series so interesting, but much more the ingenious and yet so simple concept of presenting the sound system scene in France in the form of a - also free - sampler series. On a tour de Dub, sort of. I would like something like that for Germany too – in the hope that we wouldn't do much worse than our dear neighbors (which I actually doubt).

Similar to Grenoble, in the south of the republic the Dub-Culture to depend directly on a vibrant festival landscape. The initial spark was the "Musical Riot Association", which was founded in 2002 and under its own name Dub- hosted festivals. From 2010 the well-known followed a few kilometers outside of Marseille Dub Station Festival - Incubator of many local sound systems. Because the subsquad crew takes their business seriously, you can read a summary of their meticulous research into the subsquad website

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.