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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, July 2006

Richard H. Kirk is probably best known as the founder of the punk band Cabaret Voltaire. Although punk and reggae were close in the 1970s, it took around three decades for the talented and adventurous Kirk to reggae and Dub discovered for himself. 2002 appeared under the name Sandoz breast Dub-Debut “Chant To Jah” on the label Soul Jazz - actually dedicated to rare grooves - which every Studio One lover should be familiar with as the most prominent reissue label at the moment. But “Chant To Jah” was - despite the prestigious label - not a good one Dub-Album. The tracks were too tricky, the bass kept stalling and the beats just didn't want to groove. Somehow there was still too much “industrial” in it (as is the case with some of Adrian Sherwood's productions) - probably the legacy of Kirk's earlier musical preferences. By now, Kirk had four long years to complete many classic DubRecords to be heard to the British Dub-Revival of the 1990s and not least to work on your own bass lines, to sample Rasta vocals and to tune the synths. Now his new one lies Dub-Album, "Live In The Earth" (Soul Jazz / Indigo) and it leaves no doubt that he has learned his lessons well. "Live In The Earth" is a fascinating one Dub-Album with strong, hypnotic tracks that literally soak up the listener. Endless loops of the same vocal sample, the stoic, strongly emphasized offbeat and the warm, pulsating bass frequencies increase the repetitive moment of the Dubs in dimensions previously only achieved by Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald. His sound is by no means sparse or cerebral. On the contrary: the beats are full of warmth and life. Every detail in them serves to absorb the listener, to synchronize his rhythm with that of the music, to vibrate with it and finally to lose himself in it. “Live In The Earth” is therefore undoubtedly to be classified as an acoustic drug and everyone who puts the record on should be aware of the danger, as Dub-Addict to end. A risk that one is happy to take.

Hopeless Dub-Adddicts are also the two Berlin producers Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald (aka Rhtyhm & Sound). So it was to be expected that she would play her one rhythm album “See Mi Yah” DubVersion would follow. This is now under the title "See Mi Yah Remixes" (Burial Mix / Indigo) published. Since a pure one-rhythmDUB(!) Album even the patience of the toughest minimalDubLover would be put to the test, the production team decided to largely select a crowd Dub-to ask foreign musicians for remix versions and thus tap into a nice spectrum of current club sounds. As a result, minimal electronics engineers, disco house representatives and techno producers such as Carl Craig, Villalobos, Vladislav Delay or Hallucinator used the keyboards and often created entirely new and very exciting pieces suitable for clubs. In addition to instrumentation and genre, the vocals were often left behind. This raises the legitimate (if not particularly meaningful) question of what the remixes actually have to do with the original? Strictly speaking, the connecting element is usually only the dark atmosphere and consistent minimalism - and of course the principle of Dub, which unites the different genres under the primacy of sound.

Let's stay a little longer in club climes, even if the sound changes radically now: "Nice that you are listening again" (Pingipung / Kompakt) is the name of the debut album by Peter Presto aka Nils Dittbrenner and offers the craziest sound mixture that has ever been mentioned in this column, which is not poor in the unusual. And all of this in a completely unspectacular and casual manner in the guise of a thoroughly relaxed summer soundtrack full of sympathetic synth hooklines and catchy tunes. It is an album full of the warmth of the sun, which innocently jumps back and forth between swaying mood and silliness. An album that is in equal parts club electronics, pop kitsch, and reggae Dub as well as unmistakably Schlager. It is undecidable whether this album is pure irony, reggae fooling around, an ultra-cool return to the values ​​of kitsch or simply a beautiful electronic album, in a way the consistent one Dub- Continuation of 2 room apartment. But who needs certainty when making music is simply real fun. Actually, we all want nice melodies and a groovy reggae soundtrack. When the sun is shining, like this summer, then the little arbor happiness is perfect.

Dennis Bovell is perhaps the most influential reggae great in England. In the early 1970s, he and his band Matumbi were among the pioneers of British reggae and began as the first British musician in the middle of the decade Dub to experiment. Later he single-handedly invented Lovers Rock and helped Dub-Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson to international notoriety. At the beginning of this year he released his - completely overlooked by us - vocal album "All Over The World" with Major EMI. EMI / Virgin-Recods took this as an opportunity to bring some of the master's old works from the 1970s and 1980s back to life. The choice fell on the following seven albums: "Strickty Dub Wize " from 1978, "Brain Damage" from 1981, "Audio Active" from 1986 as well as the four albums that Bovell recorded under the name "The 4th Street Orchester" in the 1970s: "Scientific, higher ranking Dubb ”,“ Yuh Learn! ”,“ Ah Who Seh? Go Deh! ", as "Leggo! Ah-Fi-We-Dis ". The latter two were actually recorded by Matumbi, which Bovell hid because he wanted to bring them to the market as “Jamaica imports”. Since British reggae was not considered very much at the time, this was a clever marketing strategy, the success of which also says a lot about the authentic quality of Bovell productions. It's still a lot of fun today to watch these classic old-schoolDubs that could easily pass as tubby mixes. Precisely played, arranged and mixed very inspired, these recordings are the highlights of the reissue series. But they are also very beautiful Dubs on “Scientific, Higher Ranking Dubb ”/“ Yuh Learn! ”, which are based on Bovell's Lovers Rock productions and were very popular with British sound systems at the time. Bovell's achievement was to coordinate the soft lovers rock arrangements with the roots backbone of reggae, which he did very well. "Strictly Dub Wize ”- which Bovell had published under the pseudonym“ Blackbeard ”- also featured Dub-Versions of Matumbi recordings. Here, however, they were mixed in a drier and more puristic manner. The remaining two albums, "Audio Active" and "Brain Damage", offer mostly vocal pieces. Real hits like "Dub Master ”or“ Pow Wow ”can be found on the former. Although “Brain Damage” is the better known album, it cannot convince in comparison. The concessions to the mainstream pop of the time are simply too great here, which is why the album offers not only reggae but also afro pop, rhythm & blues, jazz and soul. Unfortunately a bit too much of a good thing.

In line with the topic, we briefly hear in "King Tubby & Friends: Motion Dub Special " (Motion / Import) into it, a collection of 14 Dubs from the years 1974 to 1978. The strength of this sampler lies in the great diversity of the pieces compiled here, most of which come from the release catalog of the small Motion label. Anyone who knows Tubby mainly from the countless, stylistically very uniform Bunny Lee productions will get to know and love completely different sides of Tubby's work here.

Nucleus Roots have a new one, pretty impressive Dub-Album submitted: "Heart Of Dub" (Hammer bass / import). The sound fits the label name perfectly, because the French hurl the basslines at their listeners with all their might and hit them with the bass drum in the stomach. Uff, that is truly physically noticeable music. Steppers in its purest form - and yet not uninspired or boring, which is simply due to the good vocal melodies that fragmentarily penetrate the musical echo inferno. But also the basslines roll out of the box with a nice melody. Of course there won't be an innovation award for such a consistently classic Steppers album, but the album could certainly hope for the audience award.

The music on the new comes less harsh, downright forgiving and relaxed Alien dreadAlbum "Kortonic Dub - Remixed & Remastered " (www.acl2000ltd.co.uk) therefore. The gentle bass is accompanied by spherical flute sounds and synth star glitter. Which does not mean that we are dealing here with an ambientDub-Album to do. Not at all! The groove is absolutely grounded, extremely solid and tight. The strange dread undoubtedly knows his trade. 

Likewise the guys from Johnstone, With "Eyes Open - Dub"(John Stone / Import) the Americans deliver a notable one DubAlbum built on fast and light beats. As for American reggae, music is hand-played, which always has its own charm. The mix isn't that exciting, but the rhythms are very powerful and solid. The sound is much drier than in the two French and British productions (see above), but the arrangements - despite the minimal cast of the band - are more varied.

The two Englishmen Garry Hughes and Andrew T. MacKay have an interesting project under the pseudonym "Bombay Dub Orchestra " (Exile / indigo) realized. Hughes and MacKay had a 28-piece string orchestra play for them in India and then piled up the recordings in their British home studio in layers until they had the desired “cinematographic-symphonic panorama sound” of superlatives on tape. Add a few sitar, sarangi, tabla and bansuri soloists and the musical ambient triphop was readyDub-Curry. For us, the bonus CD with the Dub-Mixing interesting. But even though all the ingredients are actually just right, the curry does not develop the necessary heat. You manage to listen with concentration for a maximum of five minutes, then your thoughts are elsewhere and the music is just background music. Too bad.

An album that reconciles us is this "Showcase" (Wibbly Wobbly) by Abassi All Stars. There is actually only one person behind the All Stars, namely Neil Perch, label boss of Universal Egg, Deep Root and head of Zion Train. This exciting album shows that he has not forgotten how to produce powerful, inspired and beautifully melodic tracks since the early Zion Train masterpieces. Contrary to what the title suggests, only vocal tracks are presented here, mostly by unknown UK artists. Only Earl 16, Luciano and Dubdadda are known to a larger audience. All participating artists deliver extremely beautiful, concise and excellently sung tunes. Earl 16's opener “Stem the Tide” already sets the bar very high, but the highlight is probably Sis Sana's track “Suffering”, in which the singer confidently contrasts her soft but strong melody with the brutally driving beat. Luciano's tune “What We Gonna Do” is unusually dark and heavy, while Fitta Warri delivers his interpretation of Sizzla over a remarkable up-tempo stepper. Two tracks further he speaks up again with “Never Sell My Soul” and presents another outstanding track on the album. Here Perch has again created a small masterpiece. It is hard to believe that after around 15 years in business, he is still overflowing with ideas. On the other hand, it is all the more disappointing that there will only be one MP3 release (iTunes) of the album. Times are changing. 

Finally one more Dub-Album from local regions: The three Stuttgart musicians Wolfram Göz, Michael Friedler and Gabriel Schütz have under the band name Tokyo Tower her debut album "The Meaning" (www.mutan.de) submitted. It's a quiet, cautiously experimental one Dub-Album that is clearly based on the sound of Leftfield, Dreadzone and Terranova. It is full of interesting ideas such as the musical implementation of Charlie Chaplin's speech in “The Great Dictator”. But, although all songs are well developed and implemented with attention to detail, there may be a bit of timing missing at one point or another.

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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, May 2006

It's amazing that Dub Recently it has also aroused the interest of jazz musicians, one would think that they are reluctant to get involved in the Dub Have the typical tight rhythm corset pressed. On the other hand, offers Dub Opportunity for extravagant sound experiments and is also a largely unexplored area for jazz musicians. In any case, the jazz musicians are an enrichment for the genre, as they open up a completely new sphere of sound in which the Dub-typical, fat-stoic beats of hand-played instruments and experimental sounds are contrasted and thus develop a raw and lively-direct charm. The three Swiss Adrian Pflugshaupt, Christian Niederer and Marcel Stalder have mastered this sound perfectly. Under the name of Dub Spencer and Trance Hill deliver them with their debut album "Nitro" (Echo Beach / Indigo) an extremely successful example of the fusion of jazz and Dub. Your psychedelic Dub-Sound, which is often enriched by western guitar riffs or even rock solos, is exactly the balance between grooving belly music and head music created for conscious listening. Repetitive beats and mostly live “mix excursions” - which here take on the function of solos in jazz - alternate in perfect timing and ensure that the album remains interesting and exciting over its entire length. If you can't imagine much under this very theoretical description, think of a (purely hypothetical) collaboration between Adrian Sherwood and Bill Laswell for the Brooklyn-based Word Sound label; Now imagine the whole thing as a live concert recording - and the weird and yet catchy sound of Dub Spencer and Trance Hill rise before the inner ear. And probably also the desire to listen to real live there.

Pioneered the fusion of Dub and jazz - apart from a few Sherwood productions in the 1980s - is likely to be Burnt Friedman, who wrote several between 2000 and 2004 Dub-Albums released on his non-place label. The aim of his fully programmed sound was to come as close as possible to the sound of hand-played instruments. Now the jazz quartet has Root 70 (Nils Wogram, Jochen Rueckert, Matt Penman and Hayden Chrisholm) transformed this almost perfect fake into an actually hand-played "original" with the help of trombone, saxophone, drums and double bass, by creating seven new Friedman compositions and three pieces by Flanger - and completely acoustic - has set to music. The result is the album "Heaps Dub"(Nonplace / Groove Attack) - fascinating and very, very beautiful. Because although Root 70 supposedly specializes in free jazz, everything here sounds well-ordered and harmoniously arranged - yes, it is even less experimental than Dub Spencer and Trance Hill. At the same time, the proximity to jazz is greater due to the acoustic instrumentation. The brass section and the lack of a guitar result in a completely different, less rough, extremely harmonious sound. (The free jazz musicians will probably be horrified to read this ...)

Let's stay a little longer with hand-played music. From Dub trio was already mentioned two years ago when the minimal band had released their debut album "Exploring the Dangers Of". Now comes the new work "New Heavy" (Roir / Cargo) - and the name is pretty accurate, because while the debut album is a reggaeDubAlbum with certain rock influences, “New Heavy” takes a big step towards metal. Yes, you read that right: metal. But the crazy thing is: it works pretty well - and much better than the Bad Brains, because that Dub Trio has a pretty groovy reggae beat on it. As soon as the listener wants to let himself fall into this beat, wants to be carried by the deep bass and moderately advancing drums, a guitar thunderstorm breaks out, which suddenly pumps adrenaline into all corners of the body. Just before the stress level rises too high, the guitars fade away and the reggae groove takes over again. Between these two extremes, however, there is a wide field of sophisticated and cleverly arranged Dub-Effects that turn the album into a multi-layered musical experience.

The complete opposite is the project of the two Englishmen Garry Hughes and Andrew T. MacKay, which they run under the pseudonym "Bombay Dub Orchestra " (Exile / indigo) have realized. Instead of screeching guitars, there is peace and quiet here. In India, Hughes and MacKay had a 28-piece string orchestra play for them and then stacked the recordings in their British home studio in layers until they had the desired “cinematographic-symphonic panorama sound” of superlatives on tape. Add a few sitar, sarangi, tabla and bansuri soloists and the musical ambient triphop was done.Dub-Curry. For us, the bonus CD with the Dub-Mixing interesting. But even though all the ingredients are actually right, the curry does not develop the necessary heat. You manage to listen with concentration for a maximum of five minutes, then your thoughts are elsewhere and the music is just background music. Too bad.

Quite different with Stefan Schneider and Bernd Jestram, who deal with their project map station on a fine line between minimal techno a lá compact, minimal Dub a lá rhythm & sound and minimal serious music a lá Steve Reich move. Calm, short, repetitive beats, a warm, bass-driven, completely synthetic sound and hidden melodies characterize the multi-faceted productions of the two Berliners. Your new album "Distance Told Me Things to Be Said" (scape / indigo) is perhaps the most recommendable album in this column - even if it is not easy to find it in the category "Dub“To accommodate. Yet how it is for Dub is typical, this music has a strong hypnotic effect. The syncopated beats carry the consciousness, like the clacking of the sleepers on a night train ride. Noises from the real world mix in this twilight state: a child is playing somewhere, an open window, a car drives past. Then the listener is suddenly in Africa and is finally brought back to the here and now by the warm melodies of a trombone - only to start a new journey with the next track. Great!

Finally, two very tangible ones Dub-Albums: The three Stuttgart musicians Wolfram Göz, Michael Friedler and Gabriel Schütz put under the band name Tokyo Tower her debut album "The Meaning" (www.mutan.de) in front. It's a quiet, cautiously experimental one Dub-Album that is clearly based on the sound of Leftfield, Dreadzone and Terranova. It is full of interesting ideas such as the musical implementation of Charlie Chaplin's speech in “The Great Dictator”. But even though all songs are well developed and implemented with attention to detail, there is still a bit of timing missing at one point or another and the rhythms don't groove as they could. The undisputed master of the groove, Sly Dunbar, is up "Skin Flesh & Bones meet The Revolutionaries: Fighting Dub 1975-1979 " (Hot Pot / Indigo) can be heard with his "early work", because behind both names are roughly the same studio musicians, primarily Sly & Robbie, who recorded 18 tracks for Lloyd "Spiderman" Campbell. If you listen carefully, you can already hear the blueprint for Sly Dunbar's typical "Rockers Style" in these recordings, which he later brought to perfection in the Channel One Studio. Those gathered here DubIt's not one of the most exciting productions of the 1970s, but it's still nice to listen to - especially when you hear rhythms like “My Conversation” or “Be My Puppet”.

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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, March 2006

who of Dub-Samplern speaks, no doubt thinks of the 1990s, the heyday of the genre, when the music market came along Dubwas downright showered. EFA-Records (God have them seelig) imported what it took and brought hundreds of Dub-Compilations to German stores. But this wonderful time is unfortunately an irretrievable past, and after Echo Beach the appearance of the king size Dub-Sampler has stopped, this species is extinct. Completely extinct? No, a small, unwavering label in the UK is resisting and relentlessly publishing a traditional compilation series. We're talking about Tanty Records (www.tantyrecords.com) - or rather - by Kelvin Richards, the one-man show behind the label facade. Since the early 1990s, he has been wearing selected ones with a highly individual taste DubReleases together and publishes them under the misleading title “Roots Of Dub Wireless". His selection has little to do with funk, but all the more with heavy bass, sluggish beats and 100% one drop. So this is not about crossover, experiment or even avant-garde. No, this is about maintaining tradition in the best sense of the word, it is about what is commonly referred to as UKDub understood, whereby - and this is an extremely exciting development - from the 14 tracks of the new album "Roots Of Dub Radio 5 " (Tanty Records / Import) only 5 actually come from the UK. Dub is now a completely international music, whose protagonists by Kelvin rightly “today's global dub warriors ”. He gathered here, on the 5th edition of “Roots Of Dub Wireless", Dub- Warriors from Canada, the Netherlands, the USA (Groundation), Australia, Sweden, Brazil and France (Peter Broggs). The best-known names come from Great Britain: Vibronics, Alpha & Omega, Abassi All Stars and Mad Professor. What sounds disparate here merges acoustically into a wonderfully homogeneous one Dub-Album at the highest level - on which there is definitely not a single filler. An album that doesn't deserve an innovation award, but an order for maintaining tradition and unswervingly good taste - apart from the miserable cover design - but what about Dub unfortunately it is already a tradition.

An album that perfectly matches “Roots of Dub Funk 5 “(see box) fits, is that "Showcase" (Wibbly Wobbly) by Abassi All Stars. There is actually only one person behind the All Stars, namely Neil Perch, label boss of Universal Egg, Deep Root and head of Zion Train. This exciting album shows that he has not forgotten how to produce powerful, inspired and beautifully melodic tracks since the early Zion Train masterpieces. Contrary to what the title suggests, only vocal tracks are presented here, mostly by unknown UK artists. Only Earl 16, Luciano and Dubdadda are known to a larger audience. All participating artists deliver extremely beautiful, concise and excellently sung tunes. Earl 16's opener “Stem the Tide” already sets the bar very high, but the highlight is probably Sis Sana's track “Suffering”, in which the singer confidently contrasts her soft but strong melody with the brutally driving beat. Luciano's tune “What We Gonna Do” is unusually dark and heavy, while Fitta Warri delivers his interpretation of Sizzla over a remarkable up-tempo stepper. Two tracks further he speaks up again with “Never Sell My Soul” and presents another outstanding track on the album. Here Perch has created another small masterpiece. It is hard to believe that after around 15 years in business, he is still overflowing with ideas. On the other hand, it is all the more disappointing that there will only be one MP3 release (iTunes) of the album. Times are changing. 

Let's change the sound gradually and get a little more experimental: "Negril To Kingston City" (Nocture / Rough Trade) the album is called the Transdub Massivewhose most striking feature is the delightful contrast between the persistence of the beat and the dissonance of interspersed, bulky sound effects. Beat and mix seem to work against each other here. Whenever one of the two sides threatens to gain the upper hand, the tide turns. The scraps of voices and the playing of the melody wanted to take on a life of their own, the calm bass already kicks in and brings them back to the floor. It's very interesting - and also extremely beautiful. Of course, hardly suitable to chatter in the background and spread a warm atmosphere. But if you listen carefully, it offers a fantastic journey through the magical land of sound. Aside from the fact that these are French producers, there is little about trancedub Massively known. But after this album that will definitely change.

The manifest of the experimental Dub wrote the British artist and musician in 1978 (two years before Adrian Sherwood's "Starship Africa"!) David cunningham under the title "The Secret Dub Life Of The Flying Lizards "(Piano). That year he was given a mono-tape of Jah Lloyd's productions to remix it for Virgin Records. Cunningham - a friend of minimal sounds - was desperate because the copied mono material was practically "unremixable". So he went to work with the tools of the minimal musician, cutting, looping and filtering the tape according to all the rules of the art and chasing it through various effects devices. The result is a completely atypical, subtly cerebral, minimalist, but maximally fascinating Dub-Work that was around 30 years ahead of its time - which is why it is being rereleased at the right time.

Finally, a heavy dose of old school: "Soul Syndicate Dub Classics "(Jamaican Recordings). Niney the Observer is known for his heavy, massive and powerful rhythms, about which he produced singers such as Dennis Brown, Barry Brown, Max Romeo and Gregory Isaacs with flying colors. Wouldn't it be exciting to hear these rhythms pure, savor their sound and let yourself be carried away by the energy? Jah Floyd, from the reissue label Jamaican Recordings, now has 14, King Tubby'sdubB-sides of well-known Niney singles, put together into an album. These include some amazing cuts. It is unbelievable z. B. "Dub in Heaven “, the Dub-Version of Horace Andy's "You Are My Angel". This bone-dry, all-dominating bass is one of the most amazing things I've ever heard from the 70s. Stripped to the bone - in the truest sense. "Dub A Long “is similarly fundamental, only the rockers drums bring a certain lightness to the track. “Niney's Dub Crown “, a Dub, which later became world famous as Augustus Pablo's version "555 Crown Street" - the original can be heard here. Seldom have brilliantly played rhythms and highly inspired tubby mixes been so perfectly combined as here.

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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, January 2006

Actually, the Trojan-Back catalog of Perry recordings is well known. Therefore the 3-album double CD "Dub-Tryptich ”from last year actually doesn't pull anyone out from behind the stove. According to the same concept, so three Lee Perry-Albums on a double CD will now appear "Dubstrumentals " (Trojan / Rough Trade) and combines three albums that are much more interesting because they are seldom heard: 1. "Kung Fu Meets The Dragon", "Return Of The Wax" and "Musical Bones". At the end of 1973 Perry had completed his legendary Black Ark studio - albeit with minimal equipment - and began producing his first pieces there. 1973 was also the year in which Bruce Lee released his film "Enter The Dragon" and thus spread the Kung Fu pandemic in the West. Perry, who had a lot of fun with good films anyway - just think of his musical homage to the spaghetti westerns - had the chance to write an album with weird Kung Fu sounds, mystical Pablo Far East melodies and, of course, Bruce Lee's signature songs Do not let squeaks pass unused. And this is how instrumental pieces were created that, thanks to the sound effects and the inspired - albeit subdued - mix were definitely considered Dubs may be designated. Compared to later Black Ark productions, the beats are still relatively up-tempo with a strongly emphasized offbeat and peppered with Perry's Bruce Lee imitations. The way to new sounds can be clearly heard here, but Perry has not yet emancipated himself from his late 60s sound. The second album "The Return Of Wax", on the other hand, sounds much darker and deeper and was only released as a white label pressing in England in 1975. Here Perry worked with minimal instrumentation and radically slimmed down the mix. Often there is not much more to be heard than drum & bass, dry and puristic. Even if, as on “Big Boss”, the track begins cautiously melodic with offbeat and trumpet, Perry switches off all instruments after the fourth bar at the latest and lets the pure rhythm continue, only to experiment with the volume level later. In some ways, "Return" is reminiscent of the radical album "Dub Revolution". The third album, "Musical Bones" sounds completely different again. Like “Return…” it only came to England as a white label, but unlike its minimalist predecessor, “Musical Bones” is a true spawn of musicality and enthusiasm, because Perry didn't experiment here, but rather the trombonist Vin Gordon let's do it. He took the chance and delivered a beautiful, melodic instrumental album that uses many classic reggae riddims and does not shy away from interspersed jazz structures that like to transition into disco quotes after a hard break and then back to calm reggae -Beat to make room. Unfortunately, far too few copies of this album were pressed, so that it was quickly forgotten and later also overlooked by Perry in the flood of fresh Black Ark material. Now it can be heard again in brilliant quality - and there are two bonus albums on top of that.

Auralux has made an excellent name for itself among the reissue labels in the two years of its existence. It's also nice that the label's reggae historians also have a vein for Dub-Classics have, as they are now with the re-release of Fatman Dub Contest from 1979 prove again. The album is official "Fatman Presents Prince Jammy vs. Crucial Bunny: Dub Contest "(Auralux) titled and is one of my personal favorites from that golden one Dub-Era. Fatman was a British sound system operator who worked on Prince Jammy until the early 1980s.Dubs imported and distributed in the UK. In the case of "Dub Contest ”- which by the way has not been re-released since its appearance in 1979 - the then Prince mixed the first page of the album, while Channel One in-house engineer Crucial Bunny aka Bunny Tom Tom mixed the second page too much. Of course, the tracks on both sides come from different recording sessions, of which Jammy got the more exciting one. His tracks sound mystical and dark, which is enhanced by Jammy's echo-dominant mix. Jammy was able to draw on excellent material such as Johnnie Clarke's "Play Fool Fe Catch Wise", Black Uhuru's post-rockers version of the Wailers classic "Sun Is Shining" and Johnny Clarke's and I Roy's great re-working of "Satta". Bunny's side can't quite keep up with their lighter Revolutionaries-Rockers sound. By the way, both sides have been supplemented with two bonus tracks each for the CD release.

Most of the tracks are from the same era ScientistAlbums "Dubs From The Ghetto "(RAS / Roughtrade). Compiled by John Masouri, the album offers a small but very interesting look at Scientists' work. Scientists are gathered hereDubs for producers Jah Thomas, Bunny Lee, Linval Thompson and Barrington Levy. Masouri picked out the best productions here; each piece is a little masterpiece, both in terms of the rhythms and the mix. The music flows with calm serenity and the basslines unfold in all warmth. "Heavenless" and "Shank I Sheck" sound in wonderful versions and Scientists' restrained mix allows them to come into their own. With “Baltimore” there is even a production by Scientist from 2003 among the last tracks - astonishingly good by the way.

Now a little jump into New York in the 70s. Here originated "Bullwackiess All Stars: Dub Unlimited "(Wackies / Indigo) a classic one Dub-Album from the early days of Lloyd Bullwackie Barnes New York label. The Bronx studio was so new that Barnes, Prince Douglas and Jah Upton hadn't found time to record when they did a first Dub-Album released. They simply imported the recordings in Treasure Isle Studio and had King Tubby mix them - which explains why the typical Wackies sound cannot be heard here yet. However, Barnes had probably directed in Tubby's studio and was inspired by a variety of things Dubs that are clearly different from Tubby's mass production of this time.

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Charts Review

Dub Top 10 of 2005

1. Matthias Arfmann, ReComposed (Deutsche Grammophon)

2. Mad Professor, Method To The Madness (Trojan)

3. Dub Club, Picked from the Dancefloor (G-Stone)

4. Chinna Smith, Dub It (Nature Sounds)

5. Prince Douglas, Dub Roots (Wackies)

6. Bill Laswell, Dub Massive 1 & 2 (Trojan)

7. Kankal, Don't Stop Dub (Hammer bass)

8. King size Dub 11 (Echo Beach)

9. Fenin, Grounded (shit catapult)

10. Burning Babylon, Stereo Mash Up (I-Tones)

 

Mattias Arfmann's Karajan remixes are among the most exciting Dub-Experiments in recent years. Encore!

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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, November 2005

A few years ago St. Germain showed how house can be combined with jazz in an extremely elegant way. Patrick Bylebyl and Guillaume Metenier, also from Paris, applied his method of housing to reggae and suddenly created such an immensely soulful variant of houseDub (Not Dub-House!) That their project name is "Seven Dub" deep in memory more open-minded Dub-Enthusiasts anchored. Their tune "Rock it Tonight" was the initial spark, which was followed by two albums. Now lies with "Dub Club Edition: Rock With Me Sessions " (Echo Beach / Indigo) album No. 3 and fits perfectly into the series. Wonderfully grooving tunes, crowned by the warm voices of great vocalists like Angelique (she sang “Rock it Tonight”), Paul St. Hilaire, Zakeya and DJ veteran Lone Ranger. Beat-technically, Bylebyl and Metenier orientate themselves on the narrow border path between house and reggae, but allow themselves sometimes quite extensive excursions on both sides - without, however, the typical for them Dub-Groove, which runs through the whole album like a red thread, to tear. A good example of this technique is the congenial cover version of Gregory's “My Only Lover”: A very open and easily played one-drop rhythm forms the basis here. Soft synth chords, interspersed guitar picks and restrained jazzy piano sounds and, of course, Angelique's enchanting voice lay over them as if in transparent layers and thus create an extremely fascinating, multi-layered sound - at the same time full of dynamism and relaxed serenity. Very very nice. Here are seven Dub in their element. There is no need to squint for a follow-up hit "Rock Me Tonight", as the title track "Rock With Me" tries to be. This only creates latent déjà vu effects that give the impression that Bylebyl and Metenier are treading on the spot. So the supposedly strongest track on the album actually becomes its weakest. 

At the beginning of last year Ryan Moore surprised us with a vocal artist album from his for pure Dub-Workouts known house "Twilight Circus". This was followed by an excellent solo album by Michael Rose, to which Moore now - how could it be otherwise - under the title "African Dub"(M Records / Import) the fitting DubAlbum submitted. Yet the problem with the Twilight Circus has always been his Dubs lacked that certain flavor - which is why Moore's decision to choose his Dubs to let the lyrics of great foundation artists flourish was exactly the idea that was still missing for the big hit. Inevitably the opposite way leads, namely singing for them Dub-To delete version again, to the old problem: good hard work, but not really exciting in the result. On top of that, Moores Dubs are so present on Michael Rose's album that the Dub-Album is actually obsolete. Anyone who has heard the songs a few times will be on this one Dub-Album didn't discover much new - except for Manasseh's mix of “No Burial”, which has a nice synthetic sounding computer bass under it.

One more word about "computer bass": If you are into it, you will find the ultimate computer bass tune on the Kankal-Album "Don't stop Dub"(Hammer bass / import). After an exciting intro and the well-known Fuzzy Jones announcement, an unbelievable bassline pops out, which lives up to the label name. In general, Monsieur Kanka has an extremely remarkable one here Dub-Album that's so full of energy that you can almost burn your fingers on it. Here it says: "Four To The Floor" in for Dub maximum permitted speed. Like Kong Kong through the streets of New York, Kanka's drum machine stomps through the beats and lets it rattle and thunder all around. So that the bass has a chance, however, it piles up in a veritable thunderstorm of frequencies that effortlessly vibrates the neighbors from across the street to sleep. So, Dubheads, it's worth doing some import research here - this album is a killer!

Let's see if that Bush Chemists with her new work "Raw Raw Dub"(Roir / Import) can hold back. It starts at the very beginning with “New Beginning”. But what is so promising here turns out to be home-style as usual. neo-Dub, or UK-Dub, in its purest form, no more and no less. The next track “Speaker Rocker” builds up a bit more tempo and one more track, in the Love Grocer remix “East Of Jaro” there is a little melody added. No, they do against Kanka DubVeterans are not a very good figure, but the longer you listen to them, get involved with their music, the more the comparison fades and the album unfolds its qualities - and these consist in the fact that it meets the limited possibilities of neoDub (its rhythm, its arrangements and its instrumentation) somehow still finds mostly interesting tunes. 

Let's listen to the original, let's hear how it all began ... 1991 took place Zion Train the debut album "A Passage To Indica" on, a good, unspectacular album that is now together with its successor "Natural Wonders of the World in Dub"(Universal Egg / Import) - a neo-Dub-Milestone - freshly remastered is re-released. Especially “Natural Wonders” is still very worth listening to. The liaison typical of Zion Train between digitalDub and fast acid house rhythms. The album is full of groundbreaking ideas, each track is independent and rhythmic as well as melodious so concise that the Dubs can almost be called “songs”, like z. B. especially on the last track “Zion Canyon” with its gentle catchy piano melody over the inevitably hypnotizing bassline. In retrospect, the album shows itself to be a first manifesto of the new possibilities of the new Dub.

Finally, a historical look at the Jamaican Dub. The American label "Silver Kamel Audio" is dedicated to the oeuvre of Deejay and producers Yeah Thomas. The last releases are the sampler "Big Dance A Keep" and that Dub-pendant "Big Dance a Dub"(Silver Camel / Import). Recorded by the Roots Radics, Mafia and Fluxy as well as the Firehouse Crew at Tuff Gong and Black Scorpio studios, the album offers 14 freshly recorded tracks that sound like they came from the 80s and 90s. The album wouldn't be worth a special mention if it weren't for all the beautiful Studio One riddims that can be heard here in a crisp, pure version. A bow to Nkrumah Thomas' great legacy Studio Ones? Or sheer lack of imagination? Anyway, these riddims are fun and carry any album.

Categories
Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, September 2005

Steve Barrow - tireless reggae historian and reissue pope - is now responsible for a new label alongside Blood & Fire: “Hot Pot”, located in the house of Cooking Vinyl (how fitting!). After “Earthquake Dub“, Which was published in March, is now coming "Leggo Dub" (Hot Pot / Indigo), both works by the producer Oswald "Ossie" Hibbert. "Leggo Dub“Is a beautiful, rough and energetic one DubAlbum that is relentlessly whipped through 16 tracks by Sly Dunbar's drums. It is essentially based on Gregory Isaac's album “Mr. Isaacs ”and offers Dub-Versions of such glorious hits as "Smile", "Storm", Sacrifice "or" The Winner ". But Barrow wouldn't be Barrow if he had left it at that, and so he has added six bonus tracks from Ossie's archive: including "Lion Fence Version", a Ranking Trevor B-side or "Special Version" and "Loving Version" , both U. Brown B-sides. But the Gregory rhythms cannot be topped. Bone dry and powerful, the beats storm on, garnished by beautiful Gregory melodies played by the brass section and then fade away to let drum & bass take precedence. Occasionally Hibbert, who was also a sound engineer here, mixed in sound samples such as dog barking or telephone bells. He probably copied from Errol T., sounds like "Leggo Dub“But rather out of place. Otherwise, Hibbert can't deny his closeness to King Tubby - which is not least due to the sound of the backing band (Revolutionaries / Soul Syndicate / Aggrovators), who have recorded countless rhythm tracks for Bunny Lee. So whoever does the Blood & FireDub Rereleases will be sent to Leggo Dub have his pleasure.

My dear record dealer from Münster has an interesting French one Dub-Label with the grandiose name "Sounds Around" unearthed, which is somewhere in the spectrum between neo-Dub, Electronics, techno and drum 'n' bass. With "Dub Excursion "(Pias / Import) The label presented a sampler - as a founding manifesto, so to speak - with names like Manutension, Tomaski, Brain Damage, Hybrid Sound System, but also acts like Elastik, Uzina that were completely unknown to me Dub or Heckel & Jeckel are gathered. The basic tenor of the sampler is determined by massive neo Dubs with heavy bass lines and stoic tapping drum beats. But everything sounds a little more experimental, electronic and playful. What the laptop has to offer is played undogmatically here - and in the case of Rawa Dub it's a rumbling bassline that is second to none. A real one Dub-Thunderstorm! Heckel & Jeckel, who put a UB 40 sample through the meat grinder, are also fantastic. The listener is dismissed from Elastik, who apparently had a lack of trouble. Weird and beautiful.

Another album on Sounds Around is "Dub Strike "(Pias / Import) Sism-Xthat's kind of like a hardcore version of Seven Dub sound. Powerful RootsDub without frills. Powerful and uncompromising. Completely redundant, one title actually “Stepper Dub“- nothing else does the whole album with flying colors.

Hybrid sound system - already represented with a title on the sampler - is taking part "Synchronous" (Pias / Import) also present a full album on Sounds Around. It's more experimental here. Many of the massive ones Dubs are woven around oriental harmonies and Arabic vowel samples. The track L'Uzure begins like an Arabic folk song, then gradually turns into a powerful stepperDub to transform. “Nordick”, on the other hand, begins like a slow, sluggish one Dubto become a brutal drum 'n' bass piece over the course of the track. The ears are blown free for a long time!

On the other hand, it is comfortingly traditional on the vibronics-Album "Heavyweigt Scoops Selection" (Pias / Import) zu, which was also published on Sounds Around. Apparently vocal pieces are gathered here Dub-Versions of various Vibronics productions - a Vibronics label portrait, so to speak. According to the fresh French Dubthe typical UKDub-Synthetic sounds of the vibronics kind of stale, although the vocalists contribute some nice melodies. Above all, Madus' “Book Of Revelation” is a brilliant song, which is also supported by a beautifully powerful rhythm.

Let's stay a little longer in France and listen to an album whose title sounds very promising: "Night of the Living Dread". (Import) Originator of this horror Dub-Albums - on the cover of which there are dreadlocked giant robots fighting against zombies in blue banker suits Sonarcotic from Marseille. Dub-Avantgarde shouldn't be expected here, but a very nice, interesting and quite varied one Dub-Album that is by no means to be feared. On the contrary: calm, relaxed, but excitingly pulsating beats determine the sound. The arrangements are full of little ideas and ensure that every song has its own individuality and conciseness. Contrary to all expectations, the listener is not annoyed with stupid samples from horror films - the title seems (luckily) just a nice play on words. 

There is a new one Scientist-Plate! "Nightshade meets Scientist" (Organized Elements / Import) is the name of the part and offers 13 Dub-Mixes of a - not yet released - album by the American band Nightshades. It was mixed by Hopeton Brown aka Scientist in Hollywood. The tracks are all played by hand and sound like that - typical American reggae: traditional, rootsy, latently dry. Scientist does a solid job: traditional, rootsy, latently dry. More exciting rhythm tracks would probably have lured him a little more from his reserve. But an album without ups and downs also has strengths: It is ideally suited as background music in the office, as a kind of stress absorber.

After the big one last year Jah wobble-Werkschau has been released in the form of a 3-CD box, Wobble is now daring to present an album with current works. To give it an appropriate meaning, it has the title "Mu" (Trojan / Rough Trade) chosen what, according to his own statement, comes from Chinese and means nothing less than “God” or “origin”. So it should be clear that Mr. Wobble's esoteric trip is still going on. This time he takes us via India to the Far East, on a spherical one Dubs and warm bass runs paved path. His sound collages of Asian harmonies, breakbeats, samples, keyboard areas and, of course, subsonic bass frequencies have nothing to do with reggae, but all the more with it Dub, ZenDub, to be exact. Each track consists of a number of sound levels that cannot be precisely defined, which overlap transparently and from which individual instruments or voices emerge again and again and start a small melody or contribute syncopated beats. (By the way, Mark Lusardi is responsible for this fascinating sound, who has also made The Orb, Duran Duran and David Bowie sound good). Wobbles songs are full of ideas and do not allow an overly simple classification. So is "Kojak-Dub"For example a funky up-tempo track and" Love Comes / Love Goes "is flawless pop. But that's not a contradiction in terms, because everything comes from the great "Mu" as we know.

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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, August 2005

Mad Professor is one of my heroes. His "Dub Me Crazy ”albums came like a revelation to me in the early 1980s. As if I had suspected that there had to be a deeper dimension in reggae, I heard its metallic thunderous beats with open ears, head and mouth. His DubIt was exactly the right mix of powerful, deeply sounding beats and a highly creative mix. In contrast to his colleague Adrian Sherwood, he always succeeded in lending his musical experiments grounded and breathing soul into his pieces. In an interview he once told me that he was happy to be making music in England and not in Jamaica, because here he was exposed to more diverse influences that inspire and motivate him again and again. This speaks of a complete devotion to music. It is not the search for a commercially exploitable “style” that drives him, but the exploration of the still hidden possibilities of Dub. How far he has come with exploring this potential is documented by his double CD anniversary compilation "Method To The Madness" (Trojan / Sanctuary), which presents a cross-section of the professor's 25 years of production activity. While the second CD is mainly devoted to his remix work (for Massive Attack, Jamiroquai, etc.), the first CD shows the professor's real great deeds. Largely chronologically, the arc is spanned from 1979 (“Kunta Kinte Dub") To 2004 (" Ariwa Dub Rock “- with Sly & Robbie). It is downright terrifying how modern his productions from the early 80s sound. Such sophisticated, cleverly arranged and high-quality produced rhythms are still rare today. The professor used them for his great ones Dubs, but also as the basis for many vocal productions with British artists such as Pato Banton, Ranking Ann, Sandra Cross or of course Macka B, all of whom are represented here with their most important pieces. But venerable Foundation artists have always been interested in Mad Professor and so there are wonderful recordings with Johnny Clarke, Horace Andy and Max Romeo to be heard. All in all, a multi-layered and essential retrospective of the crazy professor - one that drives you crazy for more.

Since Trojan was swallowed by Sanctuary, the label's gigantic catalog has been evaluated again to the best of its ability. Any compilation idea is of course welcome. The latest idea from Trojan: the classic DJ compilation, in which a well-known record player can pack his favorite tracks from the pool onto a sampler. That worked out well with DJ Shortkut. Now it is the turn of the BBC radio DJ Chris Coco and presents his Dub Club: "Peace & Love & Dub"(Sanctuary). For this he made use of a number of tracks already on thousands of other samplers such as “King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown” or “Cocain In My Brain” (not only Dubs) but also real new discoveries like Dawn Penn's “Love Dub”, Gregory's“ African Woman Version ”, Bobby Ellis“ Shuntin ”or Lee Perry's self-sung (and slightly rewritten) version of Marley's“ One Drop ”packed onto the turntable. All of this is not really mandatory, but it is fun and especially good on Sunday mornings.

But that's not all, because with that "Trojan Dub Rarities Box Set "(Sanctuary), the Sanctury compilers added one more: fifty Dub-Tunes from the 1970s and early 1980s on three CDs. Fortunately, instead of the usual suspects, rarer pieces are gathered here. However, these are often only alternative mixes, which of course reduces the novelty value. But there are also small, sparkling ones Dub-Beads used in the historiography of Dub were overlooked like z. B. "Dub In Love "by The In Crowd with early synth melodies, or Niney's" Iron Fist "an earlier" computerized " Dub. But given the fact that there are seventiesDub-Samplers are not lacking at the moment, the question arises whether these "rarities" must be included in the DubCollection include.

In each DubCollection includes these two albums: "Dub Massive Chapter 1 " and "2" (Sanctuary). Two CDs with 18 tracks each, none less than Bill Laswell stole from the Trojan archives. But the master of the bass doesn't just have his favorites heredubs compiled the Seventies, but has also subjected them to a gentle remix that respects the original. "Placed By Bill Laswell" is therefore also the name of the cover (which, by the way, consists of a cardboard box and the interested listener owes further information), which Laswell obviously means mainly subtle changes to the sound (z. B. amplified bass lines, distortion, etc.), occasional sound samples and sophisticated transitions between the mixed pieces. Each album thus presents itself as a seventy-minute, continuous one Dub-Mix in which the beats of different producers and different epochs into one fascinating Dub- Merge all over. What purists see as sacrilege, Laswell understands as "interpretation". That actually hits the point quite well, because instead of making them sound new and different, he rather works out the strengths and characteristics of the originals and subjects them to a gentle sound-technical “rebrush”. Anyone who thinks this is sacrilege should definitely listen to the albums, because they will probably rediscover their favorite pieces here.

That's enough of Trojan releases. Let's move on to another favorite label of mine: Echo Beach. Always looking for interesting things DubManifestations, the label boss is now on DubAlbum by the American ska band The Slackers, with the title "An Afternoon In Dub"(Echo Beach / Indigo), bumped. Developed after rehearsal sessions in which the recording tape was played, the tunes sound very relaxed and inspired - and not at all like ska. Slow reggae one-drop beats dominate here - only occasionally a ska shuffle creeps in, which is then very refreshing. Of course, the typical Ska winds and the rough, hand-played sound are particularly beautiful. Less convincing, however, are the riddims and the sometimes somewhat pressureless way of playing. In general, the album sounds more like an instrumental than a thoroughbred DubAlbum, although the Dub-Mix is ​​unmistakable. 

This is a little bit with the new album by Burning Babylon, "Stereo Mash Up" (I-Tones / Import) the case. Again, the hand-played sound is sometimes a bit dry and the timing is not always perfect. On the other hand, there are also super tight pieces like “Midnight To Six” or “Heavy Dread (a Stalag version), which, when heard at full volume, are quite able to cover the roof. It is these surprises that make the album interesting. Instead of a monotonous standard sound, there are a lot of ideas in every piece - the joy of playing and mixing is unmistakable.

Let's stay in America and move from Massachusetts to Brooklyn, to the Trumystic sound system. They just have their double album "Dub Power" published that, contrary to the title, contains mostly vocal numbers. The DubVersions can then be found on CD 2. Also hand-played, these tunes also have a rather dry, analogue sound, above which the bright, powerful voice of the singer Kirsty Rock hovers. All songs were produced by Keith Clifton from the Wordsound environment, which initially set off all alarm bells, as well as the information that Trumystic was already on the Pink Floyd homage album “The Dub Side Of The Moon ”. And indeed: a certain intellectual closeness to rock can sometimes not be completely ignored. On the other hand, there are also very nice, powerful reggae rhythms - but the album doesn't really convince me. Dub is electronic music in the broadest sense. In order to be able to convince with a hand-played, rocking sound, you have to do your job really well (like z. B. the Dub Trio). But that doesn't really work out here yet. Trumystik's strengths, however, lie in the vocal pieces, where a coherent song structure is more important than sound and precision.

Sound completely different Dub Resistance on their album "World Receiver" (www.maxelect.com). This is about house, lounge and dope beats under the big principle Dub. The sounds are therefore more electronic, relaxed and flowing. Music that fits well into the background, it fills the room with atmosphere and warmth. It is hardly possible to listen carefully. Again and again the thoughts drift away - nothing keeps them with the pieces. There is a lack of rough edges, strength and energy. With the Cool Hipnoise album (on Echo Beach), Nick Manasseh showed how loungeDub can be implemented with character. Thereof Dub Resistance unfortunately still far away. A little less modesty and more self-confidence would certainly help.

Let us now come to a work that, for better or worse, belongs in this column: "The Dub Tribute To U2 "(www.vitaminrecords.com/Imp.) WideAwake. Maybe I've always been a despiser of rock music, but maybe you have to know the U2 originals to enjoy this album. In any case, I don't even begin to succeed. OK, what the producers did there is without a doubt DubThat means: there are a lot of sound effects here, many (too many!) breaks, reverb and echo and whatever else goes with it. But unfortunately the basslines were forgotten. Or is it part of the rock tribute that the bass cannot be heard? The fact that guitars are used instead of bass only makes matters worse. It remains to be noted: powerful rhythms, the conditio sine qua non of every ordinary one Dubs, does not exist! But I don't want to deny that the producers really go out of their way and incorporate many well-intentioned ideas into their arrangements. But if the bas (s) is not right, then unfortunately you can forget the rest. Incidentally, a visit to the Vitaminrecords website is quite enlightening, because the label has specialized entirely in tribute albums. There are tributes to Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein or Bon Jovi. However, they are not Dub- Remixes, but mostly classically orchestrated reinterpretations, some of which are really exciting (MP3s can be heard as a sample). For example, a classic string quartet interprets the music of Sonic Youth in the minimal style of Steve Reich or Philipp Glass. The same quartet has also undertaken a baroque reinterpretation of AC / DC !?

Let's conclude the dance with the new album by Gabriel Le Mar: “Le Mar In Dub". Gabriel Le Mar is in Dub-, ambient, downbeat, trance and techno realms have been a very present figure since the 1990s. Usually it is hidden behind project or label names such as Aural Float, Saafi Brothers or Banned X. I first noticed it around ten years ago with its Serious Dropout samplers, which with their technoDub-Crossovers were way ahead of their time. This was followed by the Auralux samplers, which increasingly left the reggae beat in the direction of ambient and electronics. With “Le Mar In Dub“He's back on the track again. Here again powerful offbeats pulsate with a clear shot of techno. The sound could be classified somewhere between Dreadzone and Compact - with a clear tendency towards the former. There's a lot of pressure and drive in the beats. The mixes are almost a minor matter, although they are very inspired and varied. The same applies to the track selection. So there are heavily grooving up-tempo pieces, but also slower, loungy ones Dubs with flowing basslines and smooth sounds. At the beginning of the album there are even two dancehall numbers, which are quite out of the ordinary and actually haven't lost much on the album. Le Mar has found a nice name for the last track, whose rhetorical question we are only too happy to answer in the affirmative: “All of them Dubbed? ".

I still have one: They come from Lyon high tones, With the "Wave Digger" (Jarring Effects / Pias) presented a rather experimental and equally dissonant and kicking album. Dub works here essentially in the form of deep, rolling basslines over which all sorts of chaos is played. Sometimes level-headed offbeats, sometimes hectic drumming & bass, sometimes hip hop and sometimes absurd samples. A comparison to the Asian Dub Foundation almost imposes itself, although the Hightones weave significantly less ethnic elements into their confused sound patterns. The whole thing is very, very exciting, even if you shouldn't necessarily use it as background music when working in the office - if you like peace with your colleagues.

Categories
Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, May 2005

Phenin

Grounded

Shit catapult / compact / alive

Dub is at home in many styles. After its resurrection as a Steppers variant in the 90s, the Dub-Virus underwent many mutations and infected the most diverse musical styles one after the other. Lately I especially like a typically German variant that nests itself in minimal techno and house pieces, whose shuffle rhythms, which are already very susceptible, add a few offbeats and occasionally switch on the echo chamber. One of the masters of these techno-affiliates Dubs is Lars Fenin. Inspired by Adrian Sherwood and Audio Active (but also Burning Spear) concerts, he turned to reggae in the mid-90s. His move from Hamburg to Berlin placed him in the middle of the electronic music capital, which was not without consequences. And so Fenin began in 1999 with the production of warm, groovy, clearly technoid tones Dub-Do it. In the years that followed, a whole series of 12 ”and EPs were released on labels such as Meteosound, Hör Zu and Shitkatapult - but he still owes his debut album. Here it is now: "Grounded" (Shitkatapult / Compact / Alive). It spans the whole spectrum of his art, from the techno hardliner “Konstrukt” to compact compatible ones like “Stony Road” to reggae songs like “No CIA” or “Thrill”. It all fits together wonderfully and there is not a weak piece among them. Subtle and intricate yet dynamically flowing rhythms shape every single tune. So Fenin offers exactly what I do Dub love: Music that withstands attentive and analytical listening and at the same time has a strong emotional and physical impact. In Fenins Dub- Understanding therefore has a lot of potential - which, by the way, also applies to other protagonists in this scene (z. B. for the label Meteosound). And of course I don't mean that just in terms of Dub and reggae, but above all with regard to electronic music Made in Germany.

The Canadian's new work belongs in the same area of ​​tension between reggae and techno Deadbeat (aka Scott Monteith): "New World Observer" (~ scape / Indigo). However, the offbeats and the repetitive minimal beats take a back seat to the broad ambient atmosphere. The rhythms are no less elegantly constructed than with Fenin, it is only the dynamics that largely give way to the surface and thus partly take away the groove from the pieces. Typical for Scape, not only the beats of Deadbeat's pieces are tricky, but the whole track. This of course offers more space for artistic expression, and so it is not surprising that the press release “New World Observer” assumes a political statement - which is made for you Dub-Album naturally only via the title (z. B. "Abu Ghraib" or "Texas Tea") and possibly vocal samples. The question that arises here is whether the symbolic power of reggae (and with it Dub) as resistance music can be so easily absorbed. I'm not sure because Dub is based on a very formalistic understanding of music. Dub was created by removing the text message from a piece of music on the mixer and replacing it with a purely aesthetic reinterpretation. More contemporary Dub As is well known, it even comes about without a preceding vocal version. Dub is abstract music, for the most part it doesn't even have a memorable, and thus “figurative” melody. And this is exactly where the sound cosmos of Deadbeat fits: into the great abstraction of synthetic beats and complex compositions.

Another crossover album deserves a brief mention here, but it sits between the chairs much more consistently than Fenin or Deadbeat: "Sports" (Stadler & Waldorf / Alive) by the two Danes Rasmus Möbius and Anders Christophersen aka Dairy. They split their album into Dub- and hip-hop pieces that take turns. It goes together amazingly well because they too Dubs are characterized by clear breakbeats - without losing their warmth. 

My secret favorite is a record from Poland, which I could hardly find out anything about, as both the booklet and the website were written exclusively in Polish. How good that music is a universal language, because what you can hear is easy to describe: Bhangra, Quawwala, Drum 'n' Bass, Arabesque and Asian Underground united under the all-encompassing principle of Dub. The title of the album is therefore logical "Masala" (Home Appliance / Import) - the name of an Indian mixture of spices. A rather sharp mixture of spices, which makes it clear that we are not dealing with spherical sitar sounds, but with a high-energy mix of exotic dance beats, with the reggae offbeat always calming the chaos in order. The comparison to Asian Dub Foundation urges itself, with ADF going more aggressively and in favor of Dub and Drum 'n' Bass further move away from the original ethnic sounds. The Masala sound system however, he recorded his pieces in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Poland and therefore places much more emphasis on the authentic music of these cultures. This is then by no means eclectic under-sampled and appropriated as a mere sound quotation, but it essentially carries the pieces and gives each one its unmistakable identity. Very fascinating! (The album can be obtained from Irie Records in Münster).

If you are interested in world music, you cannot ignore Phil Stanton's World Music Network label. The “Rough Guide” series in particular is very well known. After the "Rough Guide To Reggae" was published a few years ago, it is now fresh "Rough Guide To Dub" (World Music Network). Both samplers were put together by reggae historian and Blood & Fire co-operator Steve Barrow. However, this has to be with the guide Dub limited to titles from the Blood & Fire catalog with just one exception, which also explains why the guide does not get past the 1970s. King Tubby alone mixed 10 of the 20 tracks. The rest is shared by Prince Jammy, Errol Thompson, Lee Perry and Joe Joe Hookim. This would bring the most important Jamaican masters - with the exception of Scientist - all together, the Jamaican Dub So represented in the most excellent way and an aesthetically very satisfying album was created. But what use is a guide if he falls halfway?

The sampler comes from Echo Beach "King size Dub 11 "(Echo Beach / Indigo). For ten years now, Mr. Beverungen has been documenting with his King Size Dub-Series (the first sampler appeared in 1995) the “Logical Dubgression ”and as usual there are the finest again Dub- Delicacies gathered between reggae, soul, pop, dancehall, world, trip hop and dope beats. Anyone who - like me - is an avid collector of Echo Beach's artist albums will buy around a third of the pieces (Noiseshaper, Kalahari Surfers, Dubblestandart et al.) already know. But especially among the new material there are some extremely interesting ones Dubs. There is, for example, Math Doly, a singer and songwriter from the Ivory Coast, whose griot singing here by producer Simon Grab in a meditative way Dub-Piece was transformed. There would also be the Alpsdub to call a Dub-Mixer from Canada who loves Dubs to mix based on German alpine music. And finally I mentioned salt from Cologne, with one Dub-House remix of the label anthem "Echo Beach" by Martha & The Muffins.

One of the pieces on king size Dub 11 is from the album "Dub Guerilla "(Rent a Dog / Soulfood) Dub guerrilla, aka Tom Bennecke, the longtime guitarist of bands like Space Guerilla and Jazzkantine. It goes without saying that this has to be about jazz. And when it comes to reggae and jazz, ska is not far away - any more than the brass section. And in fact stand by Dub Guerrilla the three trombonists Nils Wogram (leading jazz trombonist), Uwe Granitza (Phil Collins, Tom Jones) and of course Dr. Ring thing in the center of the action. But the record would be wrong in my column if the three gentlemen only garnished ska pieces with their brass sections. What makes this project so unusual are the truly extraordinary DubPieces. Already the first track, “The Curse”, welcomes the listener as the reincarnation of a King Tubby Dub-Mix in the style of classic Flying Cymbal Bunny Lee productions. "Dub is the ideal form of expression for me, ”says Bennecke,“ it contains everything I love: powerful riddims, naive melodies and also space for spacey-jazzy descents, ”and thus aptly describes the sound cosmos of the album - apart from perhaps powerful ones Rhythms (which jazz musicians of the post-swing era have never really gotten to). In addition to the pieces based on drum loops, there are also real, hand-played band tracks that enrich the album with the sound of a large rhythm group.

Who today for Dub committed, be it as a musician / producer or label operator, he does this out of pure idealism, because money can hardly be earned with it. Ralf Wunderlich is both a musician and a label owner, Dub A wholehearted aficionado and an unconditional idealist. He runs the from his hometown Berlin Dub-Info website www.dubflash.com as well as the label of the same name, on which 12 "s appear in small editions and recently also albums in CD form. While he's only there so far Dub-Works befriended sound tinkerer and Dub-Musician introduced, he is now under the name Dub Arrogant with its own album, called "Dreams Of A Lost Soul" (Dubflash), at the beginning. Wunderlich produced it entirely on his home PC, "without any professional skills", as he apologetically writes, and completely without a budget. He can allow himself a little more self-confidence, because it is a very beautiful, calm and meditative one Dub-Become a work that is full of good ideas and beautiful melodies. Created as a concept album, it provides the soundtrack to a dream about a stolen melody and the question: "What is reality?" An interesting concept, because this topic in the back of the mind actually changes the perception of the music. When listening, images inevitably arise in the head, which combine in a chain of associations to form a story. Why aren't there others already? Dub-Producer figured it out?

What else on Dubflash can be heard, Wunderlich has now on the sampler "Dub Royal - Best Of Dub Flash "(Dubflash) gathered. Heavy steppers beats predominate here, occasionally garnished with vocals. Typical UKDub-Mid 90ies sound. Here, too, there are some nice ideas, but it will probably not get an innovation award. The arrangement and instrumentation of the individual tracks should also be a bit more inventive. 

Let us now come to a work that, for better or worse, belongs in this column: "The Dub Tribute To U2 "(www.vitaminrecords.com/Import) WideAwake. Maybe I've always been a contempt for rock music, but maybe you have to know the U2 originals to enjoy this album. In any case, I don't even begin to succeed. OK, what the producers did there is without a doubt DubThat means: there are a lot of sound effects here, many (too many!) breaks, reverb and echo and whatever else goes with it. But unfortunately the basslines were forgotten. Or is it part of the rock tribute that the bass cannot be heard? The fact that guitars are used instead of bass only makes matters worse. It remains to be noted: powerful rhythms, the conditio sine qua non of every ordinary one Dubs, does not exist! But I don't want to deny that the producers really try and put many well-intentioned ideas into their arrangements. But if the bas (s) is not right, then you can forget the rest. Incidentally, a visit to the Vitaminrecords website is quite enlightening, because the label has specialized entirely in tribute albums. There are tributes to Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Rammstein or Bon Jovi. However, they are not Dub- Remixes, but mostly classically orchestrated reinterpretations, some of which are really exciting (MP3s can be tried out). For example, a classic string quartet interprets the music of Sonic Youth in the minimal style of Steve Reich or Philipp Glass. The same quartet has also undertaken a baroque reinterpretation of AC / DC !?

That Poland is a country with liveliness DubScene is, due to the two PolandDub- Guess samplers that I discussed in the last issue. Now a couple of respectable solo albums have "come over", first and foremost Activator with "Mario Dziurex Remixy" (www.independent.pl/Import). You can hear it here Dub- Remixes of some tracks by Zion Train, Rootsman, Nucleus Roots, Maka B and various Polish acts. That worked out pretty well. The Maka B remix is ​​bursting with energy and is already tending towards techno-Dub. Other pieces sound no less progressive and also captivate with wonderfully catchy melodies and varied instrumentation. It's really fun to hear. If you want to get the album via import, you should ask here: www.irie-records.de.

Next comes 12rael (I don't know how to say that) with his simply titled album "In Dub"(Www.wmoichoczach.com.pl/Import). He offers us rock-solid steppersDub with an acceptable level of inspiration. The artist with the unpronounceable name has invested a lot of effort in his mixes. His basslines are rolling and the drum loops are partly like on “Freedomic Dub“, A little unusual. But to be honest, I still can't think of a real argument why one should invest in imports from Poland.

The new work of another artist with an unpronounceable name is very interesting: Wszystkie Wschody Slonca. The album is titled a little more simply: "Luv Etno Logic Dub"(Www.independent.pl/Import). Instead of stoic steppers beats, complex arrangements with breaks, samples and some folk-inspired harmony are served here. There are always small catchy tunes that lead like a red thread through the respective track. Occasionally, however, you have to endure a guitar solo or listen to someone speak Polish. In general, there is a certain proximity to the rougher Adrian Sherwood productions. This is at the expense of warm bass vibes, but you get head food - hot onions, as shown on the cover.

So much for the Poland selection. Now we come to a couple of rather obscure productions. First, there is Justin DeHart from Sacramento on the American West Coast, who goes by the name Doctor Echo since the early 90s Dub produced. The ones on his album "Steady Ups vs. Doctor Echo: Dub Disaster "(www.doctorecho.com/Import) The pieces presented were recorded live between 1995 and 2000 and are now closed Dubs mixed. That doesn't sound particularly exciting and it isn't. Unfortunately the Steady Ups had no idea how to get groovy rhythms. And no matter how hard the doctor tries with his mix, good guys Dubs sound different.

King earthquake sets with his album "Earthquake Dub-Plates "(King Earthquake / Import) other plans. Hard-hitting steppers beats in the purest UKDub-Style let the window panes rattle (with which the king of the earthquakes is probably trying to live up to his name). But apart from the fact that the King has nothing to add to the mid-90ies sound, he produced for his Dubplates the most boring basslines I've ever heard.

I-sticals from France are with their self-burned CD "Verse-Ital" (www.irie-records) slightly better. However, the singing, which fortunately only started sporadically, is so bad that everyone meant well Dubs down with it - so that they rest in peace.

After the pans, now a really nice revival album: Dub Roots (Wackies / Indigo) Prince Douglas. Originally released in the early 80s, the album was one of the ultra-rare Wackies collectibles (which recently sold for over $ 200 in an internet auction). It may be that the buyer will be really annoyed about the rerelease, all other lovers of good reggae music will undoubtedly be very happy, because Dub Roots is one of the most beautiful Dub-Albums of the label. Even if it is rather reserved in terms of the mix, the rhythms are simply breathtaking. The melodic basslines roll through wonderfully "warm" Wackies tunes full of atmosphere at a pleasantly relaxed pace. Allegedly the pieces are copies of rhythms that Sly and Robbie brought back from Jamaica. One of the nicest tunes, “March Down Babylon” is definitely a copy of Steel Pulse's “Handsworth Revolution”, with Bullwackie himself on the microphone.

Categories
Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, March 2005

Nikolai Beverungen, owner of the Hamburg Echo Beach label, is always looking for interesting ones DubManifestations. He is increasingly finding what he is looking for in the most remote corners of the world. Just in time for the last edition of Riddim, he presented his “South Africa in Dub“-Sampler, so he now serves us "The Sound Of Dub - New Zealand in Dub" (Echo Beach / Indigo) freshness Dub-Tunes from New Zealand. The crazy thing is that no matter where they are from Dubs come from, be it from France, Brazil, England, the USA, Germany or even from Kiwi country, they are always highly interesting music experiments that, surprisingly, hardly have any regional characteristics. It almost seems as if they would Dub-Plant, no matter where they sprout from the ground, always from the same one that pervades the entire globe, Dub-Rhizome nourished. Dub is not folk music, but studio music, so it is not surprising that the 15 tracks on “New Zealand in Dub“Don't sound like Shire or Mordor, but like London, Paris or Hamburg. It's “The Sound Of Dub“, As it logically emblazoned on the Echo Beach samplers. In New Zealand, this sound is in full bloom and is cherished by the local label "Loop". For three years, Mr. Beverungen viewed material and has now imported the 15 best tracks to Europe. Although the pieces of 12 different Dub-Producers, the sampler is very closed and stringent. All tracks are based on solid, warm reggae beats and from there explore the world of urban sounds such as drum 'n' bass, electronics, downbeat and melodic pop. The names of the artists include Confucius, The Black Seeds, 50Hz, Pitch Black or Rhombus - complete nobodies at international level Dub-Parquet, very wrongly, because hers Dub-Tunes undoubtedly belong in the first division. Especially the Black Seeds should have real hit potential in Europe with their pop melodies. Lee Tui is of a completely different caliber. In an angry rap - over a stoic, bass-driven beat - he demands social and ecological responsibility. The perfectly arranged one is also outstanding Dub “Winds” by Rhombus, crowned by the bewitching voice of Raashi Malik. Very, very nice, the whole thing. Let's hope that DubImporter from Hamburg still has many interesting flowers of the Dub-Rhizomes will be able to track down. Here's a first suggestion: How about Japan?

Poland is also an undiscovered one Dub-Country. The two samplers are currently available again "Dub Out Of Poland Part 1 " and "Part 2" (both import) from 2001 and 2002, on which the Polish DubScene presents. Even if some tracks are not yet properly modeled on the UKDub of the 90s, so is the quality of the one presented here Dubs extremely good. Especially on “Part 2” there are a few first-class productions, such as z. B. Dj Ridm feat. Roots Temper with “Zion”, a nice uptempo rockers track. Or even better: "ViolinDub“From the Crazy Sound System, on which a violin strikes melancholy Polish folk tunes. Memories of the Trebunja family are awakened!

Likewise Alpha & Omega speak up again, in the truest sense of the word, because their new album "Trample the Eagle and the Dragon and the Bear" (Greensleeves / Rough Trade) is a showcase album with guest vocalists. Probably inspired by Rootsman and Twilight Circus, who launched similar projects last year, Mrs. Woodbridge and Mr. Spronsen also felt like a little company in the studio. Among other things, they have invited a special star guest that nobody expected: Gregory Isaacs! A little desperate he sings against the A&O rhythm. The idea is good, but Gregory's voice needs space that this typically overcrowded rhythm doesn't give it. And so the master sounds pretty lost in the sound jungle from London. Even more striking is the disparity between voice and sound allover in the title track, on which Reuben Master desperately tries to be heard. Maybe Woodbridge and Spronsen didn't trust their concept for the final mix after all and turned the voices down to the level of the instruments. Only on the first track of the album is the ratio correct, and this was typically mixed by Mad Professor. With this vocalist in particular, it almost didn't matter whether you understood him or not, because nobody else produces as much verbal nonsense as he does: Lee Perry. The professor has succeeded in mixing the A&O rhythm in such a way that it sounds like an original Black-Ark-Ryhthm, to which Perry fits absolutely ingeniously with his minimal melody. Hands down the best tune on the album. In addition to Perry and Gregory, there are also Bunny Lie Lie, Horace Martin, Addis Youth and Reuben Master on the album, although the latter is absolutely not convincing. Unfortunately he just voiced three tracks ...

It is a very nice, experimental album "Conversations" (Suite Inc./Import) by Dubital. Behind this name are two Italians called Raffaele Ferro and Matteo Magni, who obviously love to play distorted voices and crazy sounds to solid, bass-grounded rhythms. That fits together wonderfully, because while the rhythm conveys security and structure, the effects constantly counteract this hold and thus create a very strange tension of concentration and confusion. Completely fascinating is the piece "Mama Don't Cry", which runs over a stoic-brazen computer bass and is accompanied by sugar-sweet, strange organ sounds and reverberating vocals.

“As a child, I was given cough syrup containing codeine and then watched the world around me in slow motion. I tried to convey this feeling in the sound of the Codeine tracks and songs, ”says Digital jockeywhat to him with his album “Codeine Dub" (Poets Club / Soul Seduction) succeeded in an excellent way. Especially “Opium Dub“, The album's 9-minute penultimate track is a study of slowness. Even Ernestus and von Oswald should take off their hats here. The fact that digital jockey, who is half of the computer jockeys from Cologne, has his roots in electronic music, can hardly be overheard. His tracks are extremely minimalistic and almost rationally constructed. Often it's just a jazzy piano solo that brings a certain unpredictability and organic movement to the tune, sometimes it's the voice of Terry Armstrong. Then the structures dissolve again in a complete noise all-over, only to be replaced by an old-fashioned song with piano accompaniment. Very fascinating.

Now we come to the revival selection. The two most important reissue labels, Pressure Sounds and Blood and Fire, have announced their new albums. The latter celebrates its tenth anniversary "Run It Red" (Blood And Fire / Indigo), a selection from their own pool, put together by Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall - which is also pretty obvious, since Hucknall is one of the founders of Blood And Fire alongside Steve Barrow and Bob Harding. Amazingly, Hucknall has predominantly for his birthday serenade Dub- Pieces selected by King Tubby and his protégé Prince Jammy. All pieces are from the 70s, most of them from the first half. A solid selection, the real one Dub-Friends won't be knocked off their feet either, because the Dubs of the classic Bunny Lee productions are well known. Actually, it's the mixture with the vocal pieces that makes the anniversary album interesting. Tunes by Gregory Isaacs, Big Youth, Prince Alla, the Congos and others are interspersed here with regularity - whenever it just starts to get a bit boring.

Stylistically, the Pressure Sounds album is not too far removed from this "Down Santic Way" (Pressure Sounds / Rough Trade) with productions by Leonard Chin from 1973 to 1975. There are also some vocal tracks here, z. B. by Freddie McKay, I Roy or by a certain William Shakespeare, who turns out to be Gregory Isaacs. The sound of the productions is - in keeping with the style of the time - bone dry, brittle and at the same time rough. Even when Tubby occasionally turns in a little reverb or Augustus Pablo thinks about his melodica, the groove doesn't want to flow. Rough and unpolished, the minimalist rhythms stumble on, driven by the dryly struck snarre and tight guitar riffs. Even if the Pressure Sounds people leave no doubt that they have unearthed a real treasure here, the keterrian remark that this treasure requires a certain capacity for suffering in the listener is allowed.

How much the sound has changed with the appearance of the Revolutionaries (with Sly & Robbie) can be seen "Earthquake Dub" (Hot Pot / Indigo) by Ossie Hibbert Listen. The beats roll like clockwork here, driven by Sly's unmistakable rockers drumming. Four to the floor it goes here with a dynamic through the rhythms that one can only be amazed. Hibbert, who mixed the album at record speed, may have benefited from this, because it sounds particularly exciting Dub-Mix not. But what the tracks lack in an interesting mix, the superbly rehearsed rhythms like "Pick Up The Pieces", "Declaration Of Right" or "So Jah Say" more than make up for it.

This is followed by the album "Leroy Smart In Dub" (Jamaican Recordings). Here the beats sound even rounder and the bass warmer. Tubby wasn't exactly exhausted with the mixes (how could he, with an average of 200 Bunny Lee rhythms per week) and delivered a routine minimal mix. Sly Dunbar also seems to have calmed down a little more here. He and Santa Davis hit the snarre more sparingly, but no less impulsively, while Robbie plays gently grooving basslines. Occasionally a well-known bassline like "My Conversation" or "Zion Gate" sounds. Everything was very relaxed and peppered with scattered Leroy Smart snippets. Not sensational, but very pleasant - ideal after a long day full of nerve-wracking experimentalDubs ...