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Blue & Red: Hidden Dubs

The 1990s were an exciting decade musically. It was the time of the UKDub and the hour of birth of Dub-Sound systems as we know them today (okay, Jah Shaka, originator and forefather of the modern Dub, was active many years earlier). Dub was big and even spilled vaguely into the mainstream. It was one's fault Dubstyle that developed a distinct affinity with house. Let's think of Dreadzone, Zion Train, Groove Corporation or Rockers Hi-Fi. What was happening in the UK at the same time was the emergence of Jungle. Fresh and unheard, absolutely insane music heavily influenced by reggae. More Rockers and Smith & Mighty produced jungle tracks that were very, very close to Dub were built. There are only a few albums I have put on more often than "Selection 2" by More Rockers. Why am I telling this? Because behind More Rockers, just like behind Smith & Mighty, there was a man who we still often meet today: Rob Smith aka RSD aka Blue&Red. We know him mainly as a remixer who is often booked by Echo Beach, but also because of his own, quite special ones Dubproductions – which, by the way, regularly divide opinions. Because what makes Smith's productions so special is his rigorous minimalism, his stoic repetitiveness and the naked roughness of his Dubs. All three characteristics that I value very much in their consequence, but there are many Dubheads who see Smith's music as a betrayal of the genre. Now his album "Hidden Dubs Vol. 1" appeared and I have grave doubts as to its suitability for converting the Rob Smith-despisers. As in defense, Rob Smith quotes Style Scott as saying: “Dub is really what you would call a deconstruct, you strip it down, you strip it right down to bone!”. From that point of view, must Dub be minimalist and raw. And that's exactly what he delivers to us with his “Hidden Dubs" - tracks spanning the past 25 years, some of them remastered, some of them unchanged. All hard Dubs, pure, rough with partly overdriven bass and minimal instrumentation. The Junge/Drum&Bass school sounds through here very clearly. A classic reggae producer would Dub never implement it in such a seemingly "soulless" way. But the hardness has its appeal and the renunciation of beauty is radical, but also liberating.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

4 Responses to “Blue & Red: Hidden Dubs “

I like this disc very much... likes this minimalistic, electronic "coldness" that comes up in between... but then I have to go back to more rootsy stuff; in the long run it's just not satisfying...

I once spent half an hour on my hated Spotify page and tried to create a playlist that satisfies me to some extent... and found out again that at least half of the desired songs and Dubs are not available… anyway, I found a few things…
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3a9ftPfwWnfPh29AExWxgd?si=d118476222804a11
Maybe even one Dublisten to head… of course also has one or the other “single” with it, which unfortunately isn’t mentioned here… and mostly in showcase style, song and then version!

"Beauty only goes under the skin" or "Beauty is only skindeep". Therefore have to Dubs also by no means beautiful for me. But they can!
I too often have my little problems with the sound of Rob Smith. Actually, the sound is always really fat, but I find the way he "treats" the drums and the sound of the drums a bit too angular. Although we also like rough edges. If I now try to describe why Rob Smith's sharp corners in particular seem a bit too angular to me, I have to consult a little MaterialKunde. It depends on whether the corners are on a wooden table or whether they are on a heavy, square-edged stainless steel plate. Of course, it also hurts if you hit your head on a wooden plate, but with a stainless steel plate that has probably not even been deburred - as with Rob Smith - to ensure maximum "roughness", then it can really hurt and the injury certainly needs more time to heal than on a square but skilfully deburred wooden edge.
In short, the drums are served too "nasty" by Rob Smith for me. But it often happens that I don't care, even if the bass line is grooving and enough "instrumental shreds" for one Dubtreatment, even a Rob Smith can occasionally knock me out of my seat. At least he can grab me by my roots......um, I mean he can grab me by my roots and give me a rough underground Dubconvey feelings. In any case, I really like his way of setting effects.
And all of this also applies to his “Hidden Dubs” so that I am very impressed with the album overall. Only when he joins the metallic drums
I'm out if I also "grab" a PVC bass (e.g. with "Arena Pocket Money Version"). Since then, the Bass>Line is as good as, for example, "Stalag" or "CussCuss", then I have to go through it.
Otherwise, I would also like to give a little feedback for Philipp's playlist. There's not the slightest thing to complain about for me either. I can find a lot of things in my playlists and I even discovered something that I had previously completely missed.”Chan Chan in Dub' by Gaudi and Mr Savona had escaped me until now. I took the liberty of including it in one of my playlists ;-)

Speaking of playlists! What about the Deep In Dub playlist by gtk !?! Normally it shows up immediately on my Spotify homepage and all I have to do is click on the image and off we go. At the moment (for at least about a month), Spotify is just squirming until it gives up and “tells” me…. "We're sorry, the page was not found." Up until now I always thought it would be fine again, but I dare to doubt my theory so slowly.

Ok, I like the "Hidden Dubs" and think it's good that Rob Smith has brought her out of hiding.

As long as ……………. lemmi

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