Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, November 2007

Reggae now thrives quite well in the public eye. The delicate ones Dub-Plants, however, grow largely unnoticed in the shade. If you want to find it, you have to go looking for it with a trained expert eye. Then it can happen that you discover a rare, beautiful flower in a hollow in the ground or in a hidden crevice that pays off all your efforts. So it happened to me "Ticklah Vs. Axelrod " (Easy Star Records / Import), a true one Dub- Revelation that recently crossed my click path in the iTunes store. What at first sounded so strikingly like classic Tubby or Perry recordings from the 70s, turned out to be cutting-edge productions on closer listening, which put the Tubby sound at the service of meticulously composed and complexly arranged pieces. The result of this fusion are catchy, surprising and downright exciting tracks that work like a Tarrantino film: formally a post-modern game with historical quotations, but in terms of content completely, fascinating new creations. Behind this virtuoso game is a person who competes against himself: Ticklah and Victor Axelrod are both names of the same young musician (he plays almost all the instruments on the album) and producer from Brooklyn, whose musical work highlights such as the production from “High Fidelity Dub Sessions Presents: Roots Combination ", but also lows such as the co-production of"Dub Side Of The Moon “(with DubCovers versions of Pink Floyd songs). "Ticklah Vs. Axelrod “is his solo debut album on which, besides pure Dub- Recordings, even a few vocalists can be heard like z. B. Mikey General or Mayra Vega. The latter sings on two cover versions of Eddie Palmieri salsa classics, for which Axelrod is a real one Dub-Treatment has let become part. Just cool.

Another discovery that almost passed me by is the “new” album by Dreadzone: "Once Upon A Time" (functional breaks / import). Already released in 2005, I've only just noticed it - even though I'm a big fan of Dreadzone! For everyone who also missed the album, which is only available in England: everything sounds as usual: fast beats, leftfield sound, strong house and techno mixes, Earl 16 singing and merciless catchy melodies. The live album was also released last year "Dreadzone Live At Sunrise" (functional breaks / import) and this year: "Dreadzone: The Remixes" (Virgin UK / iTunes - since "digital release only"). It features 22 remixes of Dreadzone tracks from the early Virgin years. Only 6 songs were remixed, but they were remixed several times. The party includes More Rockers, Underworld, Black Star Liner and Asian Dub Foundation - yes, those were the days!

Speaking of discoveries, one of my all-time favoritesDub-Albums can actually be bought as a remastered download: "Jah Shaka Meets Aswad in Addis Ababa Studio" (Greensleeves / iTunes).

And another discovery: "New (dub"Excursion" (Sounds Around / Import), a double CDDub-Sampler between steppers and electronics. He keeps a perfect balance between the two genres: just the right dose of experiment Dub needs to be exciting. A little bit Dubstep, a bit of Orient, a bit of atonal crackling electronics, and on the other hand the beautifully structured reggae offbeats - and of course: lots and lots of bass. The better known names represented here would be: Fedayi Pacha, Improvisators Dub, Manutension, Vibronic and Disciples. It's amazing that the great, France-based label Sounds Around doesn't have a German distributor. Since his releases are apparently not available for download anywhere, fans of experimental sounds are dependent on one (of the few surviving) well-stocked reggae importers.

Up, Bustle & Out are known to be welcome guests in this column. And the question always arises whether they are at all right here, because what the two Brits intone is not really Dub and often not even reggae. In the case of the present album "Istanbul's Secrets" (Collision / Groove Attack) Various ethnic music styles work together: Flamenco, Latin, North African sounds, a lot of trip hop and of course Turkish music. The latter is obvious, as the first half of the double CD will be played by the Turkish singer Sevval Sam - but with the active support of various male colleagues such as Rob Garza, Benjamin Escoriza or Kalaf. The second CD - and now we're back to the topic - offers the Dub-Versions of the 15 songs from CD1. Steppers and one-drop shouldn't be expected here, but fascinating, sophisticated and complex sound journeys for conscious listening are certain.

Good news comes from VP-Records. A new sub-label called “17 North Parade” was recently founded there, a homage to Vincent Chin's legendary record store “Randy's Record Mart” in Kingston. The label is intended as a platform for the republication of important historical reggae productions such as the groundbreaking ones Dub-Albums "African Dub All Mighty - Chapter 1 - 4 “(VP / Groove Attack) by Joe Gibbs & The Professionals. This little series of albums from the 1970s, produced by Joe Gibbs and mixed by Errol Thompson, is one of the great classics of the Dub-Story. Actually astonishing, as musicians like Sly Dunbar, Lloyd Parks, Bobby Ellis and Tommy McCook only re-enact the well-known Studio One riddims. But the way they do it was unique: Full of pressure and energy in the new Rockers-Style - garnished by the congenial mix of Errol Thompson, who was in no way inferior to Lee Perry when using crazy samples. Compared to previous CD releases by African Dub-Albums, the sound quality is good (given the circumstances). Supplemented by informative liner notes and the reprint of the original cover artwork, the rereleases are highly recommended.

Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, September 2007

Although Dub is only a small genre in the large “Reggae” genre, it divides itself into various varieties, which are sometimes nationally influenced, but sometimes limit themselves to a much smaller radius and in extreme cases attach themselves to individual labels. Birmingham is such a radius and the associated label is called “Different Drummer”. A developed here since the early 90s Dub-Sound, whose sonic proximity to house music was formative for an entire school. It all started with the Original Rockers, who renamed themselves "Rockers HiFi" after the first release and founded the Different Drummer label. Even then, Roberto Cimarosti and Brian Nordhoff were in the label's circle. A producer duo that still took care of house in the 80s and under the name at the beginning of the new decade "Groove Corporation" the sound & key of Dub discovered. At the latest with the production of the legendary rocker hi-fi tune "Push Push", they turned to Dub and they knew how to cleverly integrate their affinity for house into the new sound. The result was a new, fresh and very contemporary interpretation of Dubwhose tonal richness far exceeded what the average UKDubsqueezed out of their sythies. And so it is hardly surprising that the Groove Corporation is still at the start with new productions during the Dub-Traditionalists have long since run out of ideas. 

After the successful "Dub Plates From The Elephant House Volume 1 & 2 ”should "Dub Plates From The Elephant House Volume 3 " (Endulge / Rough Trade) Tread new, previously unexplored paths. And so the two electronic tinkerers brought three live musicians into the studio, the "Mighty Tree", led by drummer Conrad Kelly, who already played for Steele Pulse and UB40. He was joined by bassist Jeffrey Wright and guitarist Robert Mullins. The creative potential of the top-class musicians paired with the talent of the gifted producers led to fantastic rhythm tracks that had so much song potential that people quickly found themselves who said: “Hey, I have something that is great about this rhythm would fit". And so the planned changed Dub-Album soon to be a showcase album with eight vocal tunes. The sound of the pieces is less deep, less electronic than on the previous albums. The live recordings make the music sound a little airier and more open, which gives it a special liveliness. There are also catchy tunes, very inspired mixes and a very varied, detailed arrangement. In other words: a perfect one Dub-Album that bridges the gap to a very, very good vocal reggae album - and undoubtedly deserves to be seen by the more mainstream-oriented reggae community. Incidentally, the CD contains the cookbook "Dub Food ”with 24 Jamaican recipes!

Late summer seems to be the season of the year Dub-Releases to be. Seldom has there been so much new to hear - and to buy, which is why, instead of the usual meetings, this time one Dub-Shopping list can be found - sorted by: "Best rating first"!

"Roots Of Dub Radio 6 " (Tanty records / import). Still one of the best Dub-Sampler series in general and one of the very few that has survived since the 90s. Compiler Kevin R. always succeeds in creating the Dub- To filter out pearls from one (or more) years and put them together into a wonderfully closed album.

"Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, "Return Of The Supercops" (Echo Beach). The second album of the Swiss spaghettiDubabout - half of which are now filled. The line-up change doesn't detract from the usual sound: deep, hand-played, sometimes psychedelic grooves with lots of gimmicks, such as rock guitar solos or country & western intros. Well mixed!

Ashtech, "Walking Target" (Subsignal / Interchill). A previously completely unknown to me Dub-Artist from London who has a superb here DubAlbum submitted. A modern take on Dub with various musical influences from London's club scene, but consistently with a reggae beat as the foundation. Unusual, inspired and therefore very exciting. A special recommendation.

Vibronics, "Heavyweight Scoops Selection - Chapter 2" (Soundsaround / Import). A Vibronics showcase album with solid steppers rhythms and various vocalists such as Lutan Fyah or Ranking Joe. Neither of the pieces is a great discovery in itself, but the composition and beautiful rhythm of vocal and Dub make the album a very pleasant overall experience.

Michael Rose, “Warrior Dub" (M-Records / Import). Ryan Moore is a Dub-Freak, which is why one can assume that each of the albums he produces will also be labeled as Dub is published. So also the rather disappointing new album by Michael Rose, which was only released as DubVersion can convince. Since Rose's melodies are based on a minimum of inspiration anyway, it is downright ingenious to extract this and with it the Dubs to pepper. This is how it works very well: Solid beats and short pieces of melody: A new one is ready Dub-Album from the Twilight Circus.

Tommy McCook & The Agrovators, "King Tubby Meets The Agrovators At Dub Station "(Trojan / Rough Trade). The rerelease of the LP released in 1975 with a few bonus tracks. Bunny Lee acted as producer, which can be clearly heard in the dry offbeats. If you don't have enough Lee productions refined by Tubby in your record cabinet, you can access it here.

Prince Jammy Destroys The Space Invaders (Greensleeves / Rough Trade). Rerelease of the original without overdubs with game sounds.

Bullwackies All Stars, "Free For All" (Wackies / Basic Channel). Very early Bullwackie production with damn poor sound quality. Comparable to Perry productions from the early 70s. A must for collectors, everyone else should choose later productions by Wackies.

"Essential Dub" (Roir / Rattay Music). A rather obscure and by no means understandable as "essential" selection of Dubs. Here Oku Onuora stands next to Bad Brains and Niney next to Alpha & Omega. Better to go to the “Roots Of Dub Funk “(see above) invest!

Dubnight compilation Vol. 1 (Free download). Besides competition, the one runs here Dub-Sampler by Phil Harmony, which doesn't really belong on a shopping list because it is available for free: The album can be downloaded from The download is worth it, because although there are no well-known artists represented here (which should change in Vol. 2), the selection of pieces is absolutely convincing. It's hard to believe that this quality is available as “freeware”. I am curious whether the "open source" idea in the Dub-Community has a chance. It would be very desirable if the abandonment of commercial considerations offered many opportunities to the development of truly innovative music.

Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, July 2007

I can already hear the accusation: “Another Channel One compilation on Pressure Sounds!” That's right, it's the fourth now. But apparently it took chief compiler Pete Holdsworth three albums to practice before he started with "The Revolutionaries: Drum Sound - More Gems From The Channel One Dub Room - 1974 To 1980 " (Pressure Sounds / Rough Trade) succeeded in creating this masterpiece that sums up the Chanel One sound and style more precisely than any of its predecessors. Founded in the early 1970s by four Chinese-born Hookim brothers, Jo Jo, Paulie, Ernest and Kenneth, the studio may not have been a haven for the reggae avant-garde (Lee Perry's Black Ark studio may have led the way), but it was the most popular and by far the most successful reggae studio of the decade. With the best studio equipment and infinite meticulousness in puzzling out the sound, Sly Dunbar and Ernest Hookim developed the richest, deepest and most precise reggae sound of the entire decade. He shaped the reggae of the late 1970s as lastingly as Coxson's Studio One had done a decade earlier - which was only logical, because Coxson's studio on Brendford Road was the great role model of the Hookims - which is why she boldly based her own studio on Channel One ”. When they started to act out Coxsone's riddims and storm the charts, Mr. Dodd's collar burst and he hit Jo Jo on the nose. But since this expression of displeasure did not prevent the Hookims from eagerly earning money with their remakes, Coxsone finally returned the favor with remakes of the remakes by overwriting his old productions with Sly Dunbar's double drum styledubbte.

This compilation now presents some of the most exciting productions of Channel One, all produced by Jo Jo and mixed by Ernest and Barnabas. Most of them had Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespear on bass. Sly's light-footed up-tempo drums accompany the listener beautifully through the DubIt's some very, very big Channel One hits. The selection opens up a very special highlight: “Kunta Kinte Version One” is perhaps the one that has been withheld from record buyers the longest Dub Plate special at all. It is now celebrating its official release here - and it is truly awesome (Mad Professors version of the piece aroused my love for Dub-Music). It continues with that Dub to “Them Never Love Poor Marcus” from the Mighty Diamonds and then to “A Who Say Part Two” from the well-known Althea & Donna piece about the “I Know Myself” rhythm. Then comes the Channel One version of “Fade Away,” stripped to the bone in the style of King Tubby. The list could be continued including the crush for each track (like z. B. for "War Version", Sly Dunbar's militant frontal attack on the snarred drum or how z. B. "Back ...:" That's it!). Channel One rules!

The summer brought a real trailer load of Dub. There have seldom been so many releases. Here are the most interesting ones: Let's start with "Studio One Dub Vol. 2 "(Soul Jazz). The soul jazz researchers obviously found a few B-sides in the Studio One archives. Good thing, because it's always nice to hear the beautiful rhythms from Brendford Road pure and clean. Deprived of their singing, the music swings under the sign of the bassline, the rhythm grooves and everything is good. As with Vol. 1, there are very nice versions that surprisingly often already have the name "Dub“Allowed to wear. 

The astonishment that Soul Jazz has two Studio OneDub-Sampler released - and then so quickly in a row - when you get your hands on the following release of the label: "Box Of Dub - Dubstep and future Dub"(Souljazz). That's right: Dub is pretty hip again in England right now - even if Dubstep doesn't have much in common with reggae. The “Box of Dub“But beats out the Dubstep clubs a very elegant arc to the classic Dub, because here, in addition to spherical bass orgies, pieces related to the reggae groove are presented, which create an exciting, post-modern mix z. B. Channel One samples, subsonic drum & bass grumbling and breakbeats. Who as Dub-Friend with the topic "Dubstep ”, you will find a good introduction here with names like Digital Mystikz, Kode 9, Burial and King Midas Sound.

After a five-year hiatus, a new album has just been released Zion Train: "Live As One" (Universal Egg). The once five-man formation that emerged in the 1990s with their highly innovative mix Dub and Dance even got a major deal, has now "shrunk to health" on founder Neil Perch. But he got a lot of support into the studio: Dubdadda, Earl 16, Tippa Irie and a few other vocalists garnish the straight steppers beats from Perch's computer. Solid rhythms, inspired vocalists and - for Dub not self-evident - concise melodies - actually everything is there, what the Dub-Friend likes. But “Live As One” is still not really fun. Just why? Because the sound got a little too stuck in the 1990s? Because the album simply lacks ideas? Or because it sounds too traditional for a Zion Train album? It's a shame - Neil Perch can do other things too ...

Definitely different Fedayi Pachia, which begins with "The 99 Names Of Dub"(Hammer bass / import) presents a truly extraordinary album. His style consists of the mixture of traditional oriental harmonies, sounds and arrangements with the sound instruments of the Dub. While his album "Dub Works ", which appeared two years ago, Dub still gave priority, the 99 names of the go Dub much more economical with the Dub-Ingredients around. In this way, Pachia succeeds in balancing the two elements against each other. The sounds of India, Arabia and the Balkans grab your attention while the Dub-Bassline and occasionally struck offbeats form the foundation for this. Why aren't there more such exciting crossover experiments?

Finally, an album that surprised me and fascinated me for a long time: Dub Rascals, "Volume 2" (Little Rascals Records / Import). Are presented here exclusively Dub-Artists from Australia and New Zealand - and at the latest since Fat Freddie's Drop, these two regions of the globe have been enjoying the special attention of the Dub-Friends. As usual with samplers, the offer is not one hundred percent homogeneous, but what remains, minus two three weaker tracks, is fantastic. The first track alone, "Proicuous" by Dubbo would outweigh 14 following total failures. Anyone who plays "Proicuous" on a home sound system with a strong bass should definitely warn the neighbors beforehand. It doesn't get any deeper, more powerful or tougher. The absolute definition of Dub. Two tracks further on you can hear the song by Jerry Mane, which turns into a furious jungle track in the middle, while two tracks further, Pickle one Dub who also delivers Mark Ernestus and Moritz demanded respect from Oswald. The list is more qualitative DubThis could be continued up to track 15, but the message should already be clear: A clear investment recommendation.

The astonishment that Soul Jazz has two Studio OneDub-Sampler released - and then so quickly in a row - when you get your hands on the following release of the label: "Box Of Dub - Dubstep and future Dub"(Souljazz). That's right: Dub is pretty hip again in England right now - even if Dubstep doesn't have much in common with reggae. The “Box of Dub“But beats out the Dubstep clubs a very elegant arc to the classic Dub, because here, in addition to spherical bass orgies, pieces related to the reggae groove are presented, which create an exciting, post-modern mix z. B. Channel One samples, subsonic drum & bass grumbling and breakbeats. Who as Dub-Friend with the topic "Dubstep ”, you will find a good introduction here with names like Digital Mystikz, Kode 9, Burial and King Midas Sound.

After a five-year hiatus, a new album has just been released Zion Train: "Live As One" (Universal Egg). The once five-man formation that emerged in the 1990s with their highly innovative mix Dub and Dance even got a major deal, has now "shrunk to health" on founder Neil Perch. But he got a lot of support into the studio: Dubdadda, Earl 16, Tippa Irie and a few other vocalists garnish the straight steppers beats from Perch's computer. Solid rhythms, inspired vocalists and - for Dub not self-evident - concise melodies - actually everything is there, what the Dub-Friend likes. But “Live As One” is still not really fun. Just why? Because the sound got a little too stuck in the 1990s? Because the album simply lacks ideas? Or because it sounds too traditional for a Zion Train album? It's a shame - Neil Perch can do other things too ...

Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, May 2007

"Comfy Dub"(Tricornmusic / Mconnexion) - You inevitably think of cuddles heredub and cozy sounds, softened and mainstream compatible. But far from it! Comfy Dub is called a new one Dub-Sampler with extremely exciting tunes that belong to the best that the genre has produced in the last few months. The name says it all, of course, because it is actually rather relaxed, soft, chilled tunes that are gathered here. Warm, casually rolling beats, heavy with bass and echoes and despite their deceleration full of drive and tension. So something more to listen to and nod your head to than to cuddle. This is partly due to good craftsmanship, but partly to the consistent reggae groove that runs through all tracks like a red thread. The DJ, music journalist and producer Georg Solar, who lives in Cologne and is responsible for the compilation, presents us with his very personal collection dub-infiltrated favorite songs: 14 Comfy-Dubs from 12 countries, all of them fairly up-to-date productions - in a way the spearhead of the international one Dub-Progression. Also in the party are Waldeck from Vienna, Rubbasol, behind which the Münster-based producer Fe Wolter (Pre Fade Listenig) hides, Federico Aubele from Buenos Aires with a tango-inspired song Dub, Cottonbelly, the producer of Sade who Dubhouse minimalists Salt, Fat Freddy's Drop from New Zealand, Seven Dub in the Noiseshaper remix, Up Bustle & Out with a track from their new album, Zilverzurf and last but not least George Solar himself. All held together by the beautiful dubbig reverb distorted, gentle voice of the Dub-Poetin JEN who at this Dub-Flight over the different continents of the earth acting as our stewardess. Such loving production details as well as the informative liner notes written in a very personal tone underline the high quality of the production. But: As brilliant as the sampler is, its best quality is without a doubt that it is the first in a (hopefully) long series.

There is news from Echo Beach: "Immigration Dub"(Echo Beach / Groove Attack) from Dubblestandart. After the Viennese guys experimented with vocals on their last album, they are now - on their 10th album, by the way - back to the pure, typically hard, always a little bit like on-U-sound and industrial sounding Dub returned. In addition to the fast beats, it is above all the mixture of dry drums, electric guitar and various speech samples that ensures the On-U similarity. But there are also some completely different pieces to be heard on which well-known vintage riddims sound and flatter themselves with their warm, soft flow into the ear canals. A couple of vocal pieces finally smuggled their way onto the album, such as Ari Ups “Island Girl”, a track that is also on the sampler "King size Dub Vol. 12 "(Echo Beach / Indigo) from the same house. Although Vol. 11 should end, the really last episode has now been released - on popular demand - with the “best of” of the more recent Echo Beach releases such as Tunes by Seven Dub, Dub Syndicate, Wet Cookies, Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, to name a few.

The third Echo Beach release: "Earthling" (Colision / Groove Attack) by Wet cookies is pretty special. One of jazz like Dub equally shaped album, whereby jazz often leaves the spheres of cozy, relaxed bebop lounges and descends into the depths of various free jazz cellars, which is the regular one Dub-Beats used to demand a lot. But when Dub-Connaisseurs are known to be open to every experiment and whoever listens for a longer period of time will get to know a very varied, albeit weird album, which, however, progressively evolves as the tracks progress Dub away.

The now well-known New Yorker Dub Trio submits his new live album "Cool Out and Coexists" (Roir / Cargo) which the label claims is the "hardest hitting to date". You immediately believe that this corresponds to the facts when the brutal, distorted punk / hard rock electric guitar riffs by DP Holmes knock you out of the sofa. Recorded at a concert in Brooklyn, remember that Dub Trio increasingly to the Bad Brains - only the vocals are missing. Your minimally occupied music (bass, drums, guitar) is getting rougher, more uncomfortable and harder - actually exactly the right thing to do to that of ComfyDub To blow spoiled ears really free and bring your head back to the here and now. 

Another album from Roir comes from 10th Ft. Ganja Plant. It has the simple title "Presents" (Roir / Cargo) and is a rerelease of the combo's debut album from 2000. If someone had written "from 1978" in the press release, you would probably believe it too, because the 70s Dub-Sound is 10th Ft. Ganja Plants specialty. It should therefore be clear what to expect on the album: hand-played rhythms, classic arrangement with the occasional brass section, the occasional flying cymbals and also occasional vocal fragments. Not exciting, but very pleasant and relaxed. So it wasn't a bad idea to reanimate this album.

And since we are thematically already in the 70s, we come to the revival selection very quickly. First of all, here is the album Carlton Patterson & King Tubby, “Black & White In Dub"(Hot Pot / Cooking Vinyl) to mention, on the 21 single B-sides are combined into one album, which producer Patterson recorded in the 70s and mixed by Tubby. Who on the dry mid-70ies tubbyDubsound stands, gets its money's worth here. The productions are minimalist, straight and are often introduced by beautiful melodic melodies, which unfortunately lose themselves in echo nirvana after a few bars. What remains is drum & bass at its best - managed by Tubby with virtuosity. 

The grandmaster is also on the album "King Tubby Meets The Agrovators At Dub Station "(Trojan / Rough Trade) from Tommy McCook & The Agrovators to listen. This is the rerelease of the LP released in 1975 with a few bonus tracks. Bunny Lee acted as producer, which can be clearly heard in the dry offbeats - even if the overall sound is a bit fluffier than Patterson's. As we are talking about rereleases, it should not go unmentioned that Pressure Sounds has also unpacked a rerelease: Keith's Hudsons Dub-Album "Brand" (Pressure Sounds / Rough Trade). How innovative this work for the Dub The 70s can be seen in direct comparison with the two more ordinary albums mentioned above. A good reason to take another look at “Brand”.

Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, March 2007

After the Dub-Album by Jan Delay (review in the last column) is now available again Dub-Work from Germany. Obviously, the reggae scene in this country is now so well developed that special interest sounds now find their place alongside dancehall and gentleman. The 26 year old producer and multi-instrumentalist Phillip Winter, who, despite his young age, has already worked on over 50 albums, grew up in this scene (z. B. Jamaram, Jahcousticx, Headcornerstone). He has often looked outside the box of reggae and dealt with jazz, punk pop or hip hop. However, with the album, he proves that his love belongs to reggae and that he has a lot to do as a sensitive sound mixer "Dubtrain " (19 / Enja). Under the beautiful name Umberto Echo Here he has gathered 12 highly exciting tracks that not only sound fantastic, but are also produced and mixed so diversely that you can run this album in replay mode for hours without getting bored. Each track consists of a firework of ideas: rhythm changes, arrangement changes, style changes and vocal fragments from great singers such as Earl 16, Luciano and Paul St. Hilair - other producers turn the material into five albums. However, Echo's great achievement is not only to have implemented these ideas, but also to have made sure that everything fits together so beautifully - instead of imploding in production overkill. The listener goes to the Dubtrain on a journey through the wide worlds of the Dub, glides through space and time, along boldly curved chains of associations in the gentle ups and downs of the warm waves of the bass. It's a shame that the train arrives at its destination after an hour. I could ride with him forever.

Not long ago, this column was the review of the Showcase album Abassi All Stars to read. Despite the showcase, there weren't any Dubs to hear. However, the sound of the album was so clear Dubthat it rightly found its place in this column. But Zion Train boss Neil Perch, producer of the album, is not a friend of halves, which is why he now, a year later, the pure, unadulterated Dub- presents versions of the showcase. The title of the album is logical - if a bit tautological: "Dub Showcase " (Universal Egg). Yet whoever proves to be hard-nosed Dub-Friend is now looking forward to another increase in enjoyment, let me tell you that the vocal versions of the pieces collected here were definitely more exciting. What might that be? The obvious explanation would be that the Dubs cannot compensate for the lack of consistently strong vocals with good mixes, since the vocals are already over good Dubs ran. Might be. But there is a second explanation for the poor performance of the Dubs: Without vocals, the listener can concentrate solely on the sound - and here he has Dub Showcase its weaknesses: Despite good rhythms and tough basslines, the tracks fail to break away from the steppers sound of the 90s. The entire album sounds like one big dejà vu. In particular, the Love Grocer-like wind sections cause a leap in time into the last century. It's a shame, maybe a little more courage when turning the controls would have been enough to bring the sound closer to the state of the art.

Here there is a transition to other major ones Dub-Protagonists of the 90s. In the limited 4 x 10 “vinyl singles series "Scoops - Rewind & Remixed" make them directed by the Vibronics common cause: Alpha & Omega, Bush Chemists, The Disciples and Twiglight Circus. The concept is a bit complicated: there are four tracks of one on every single Dub-Artists, two vocal pieces each followed by Dub-Mix, whereby the A-side was remixed by the Vibronics and the B-side by the respective artist. All right? Actually, it is only important to know that we are dealing with recycling again - and that in a double sense, because we are talking about Dub-Mixing of Dub-Mix. And to whom the names of those united here DubAbout are still familiar from the 90s, he also knows what to expect: steppers, steppers, steppers. Another deja vu - especially the committed one Dub- Collector already knows all the pieces from the original albums.

As is well known, for some time now all Wackie's albums have been rereleased under the skillful hands of Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald in Berlin - and exclusively. The bigger the surprise when I got the album "Wackies in Dub: Partfounder-Dubstation" (Wackie's / Import) saw. The subline: “A Bullwackies Production” led to the purchase of the album - of course only for purely selfless research reasons, because my skepticism was great. Rightly so, as it turned out. Apparently, Mr. Barnes actually reached into the controls himself, but the material he remixed consists of mostly boring downplayed rhythms of unknown origin. In any case, no trace of the magic of the Wackie's sound. One inevitably feels reminded of the loveless productions with which Scientist, also an old warrior of the Dub, has recently gone public. Probably nothing more than awkward attempts to squeeze a few more dollars out of the familiar name - and I fell for it.

Better to use the originalDubs of veterans like z. B. to those from the 70s who recently wrote King Jammy for the album "Dub Explosion" (Jamaican Recordings / Import). All tracks are Jammy's own productions that he had recorded in the Channel One studio. The album's liner notes rightly point to the precise production and superior sound quality that entices today's listeners to date the tracks to the early 80s. Nice, classic Dubs with nice, classic basslines. Not exciting, but rock solid and perfect background stuff for the office.

Finally, another one Dub-Album from Germany, by a Bedroom producer with the funny, ingenious name Sir Larsie I. (Probably derived from Lars ?!). On the album "Dub Buds Vol. 1 " ( he presents 17 steppersDubs that are strongly reminiscent of the synthetic sound of the Disciples. He will certainly not get an innovation award for this, but he will get the respect of the bass junkies, because "Earthshaking" (as the cover promises) are indeed his basslines. My tip: Replace the Atari sounds with good quality samples and the thing is scratched.

Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, January 2007

Hard to believe, the tireless, flimsy Hamburg rap and babble mouth Jan Delay  finally shut up on his new album. Stammheim's sons, the Flashgott and the Ragga Styler have to stay outside because on the new album "Searching ... - The Dubs "(Echo Beach / Indigo) Music alone has the say. While Mr. Delay has already moved on, has left reggae behind and is currently in his funk phase, the estate administrators have set to work and a stylish one Dub-Version of the 2001 hit album "Searching for the Jan Soul Rebels" produced. And since the Hamburg reggae mixed poke likes to stay among themselves, the big one has become Dub-Master Matthias Arfmann accepted the work, chased it through the echo chambers of his Hamburg Turtle Bay Country Club studio and published it on the Hamburg-based label Echo Beach. Anyone who knows Arfmann as the initiator of the Castrated Philosophers and as the producer of Patrice, Onejiru and the Absolute Beginners - and who has heard his remixes of old Karajan recordings two years ago - should have no doubt that Arfmann at the controls the delay -Tracks vigorously revamped. While the voice, lyrics and marketing image of Jan Delay were so much in the foreground on the original album from 2001 that hardly anyone paid any attention to the music, it finally comes into its own under Arfmann's leadership. Although the Sam Ragga Band didn't eat the groove, Matthias Arfmann managed to create a beautiful, solid and very melodic one Dub-Mixing album together. He proceeded quite classically: the well-considered dramaturgy, the virtuoso handling of melody fragments and the precise timing alone are enough to create exciting instrumental pieces that are consciously and gladly listened to over the entire length. It helped a lot that - unlike in Jamaican reggae, where the riddims are created independently of the vocal version - Jan Delay composed simply good melodies for his album, which are now also those Dubs shape. 

A very interesting one comes from Canada Dub-Compilation: Sub Signals Vol. I (Interchill / iTunes). The label assigns the tracks presented here to the (probably self-created) genres “Psy Dub"," Psy Dancehall "and"Dubby Breaks ”. We prefer to call it "Dub with attitude ”, because although all tracks are based on reggae beats, the sound moves in Bill Laswellian spheres, that is to say: heavy bass lines, very slow rhythm, sensitive electronic sounds and a relatively complex, demanding mix. Or, to put it more simply: the exact opposite of steppers. An album to listen to rather than nod your head. Well-known names such as Sub Oslo, Zion Train, Noiseshaper, Creation Rebel, Dubadelic or Manasseh, as well as unknown (perhaps Canadian acts): Mauxuam, Dub Alchemist, High Tone, Almamegretta or Ashtech. Behind the latter is the compiler of the Sub Signals himself, Mr. Gaudi, a white dread from London, who has so far mainly stood out by remixing pop pieces. With his remix of Cool Jack's “Jus' come” he even had a No. 1 hit in the British charts in his vita. In any case, he proves good selector competence with the Sub Signals, because the album not only gathers good music, but also flows homogeneously and closed without becoming boring. Since it is not sold in Germany, it can be downloaded from the iTunes Music Store - where it is known to be available for test listening.

There is also news from Universal Egg. "Bass Matters" (Universal Egg / Cargo) is called the first pure DubAlbum of the Radical Dub Kolektiv, for which the musicians from Zagreb brought Neil Perch, Mr. Zion Train himself, on board as producer. That was a very good idea because that Dub-Thousandsassa has a remarkable result from the live recordings Dub-Album mixed. What takes a long time is finally good, because Perch took over a year for the mix. In terms of sound, he has arranged the tracks on powerful steppers beats, whereby the hand-played character of the tunes pleasantly weaken the 90s steppers appeal. The smoothness of the synth production is replaced here by a certain roughness and directness, which gives the pieces additional energy. In addition, the band and producer tried very hard to diversify and, in addition to a good mix and beautiful arrangements, also repeatedly incorporated small, surprising ideas, such as a choir that can be heard for exactly four bars, or small dialogues or soundscapes that function as an intro . Two pieces have also been provided with vocals. One of the vocalists is Lee Perry's alleged nephew, Omar Perry.

Gussie P has always been out for his minimal Dub-Sound known. With the remix of old Negus Roots recordings from the early 1980s, he has now outdone himself. “Firehouse Dub Volume 1 "(Gussie P / Import) is the name of the Mixwerk and is listed under the artist name Sip A Cup Meets Negus Roots. You can hear bass, bass and more bass here. The drums, occasional keyboard sprinkles and guitar licks ranks under distant Liefen. If you listen carefully, you can still see the early 80s, the typical house sounds of Channel One and Aquarius studios and also Sly Dunbar's militant drumming. But Gussie P has done a solid job: At first glance, the album could pass as a current production. Maybe because the mix wasn't as minimalist as Gussie's way, even in the early 80s. In addition, the good guy must have tinkered with the bass sound quite intensively, because it has an almost eerie presence. Interesting minimalism is - contrary to the ostensible assumption - extremely difficult to achieve. Because if it is not perfectly worked out, it will quickly get boring and will lose all potential that is in it. A trap that Gussie P unfortunately fell into - even if only with one leg. As overwhelming as his sound is on the first few tracks of the album, Gussie doesn't manage to keep the tension over the entire length. By the middle of the album at the latest, you want something more than just bass, bass and more bass.

Charts Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Top 10 of 2006

1. Root 70, heaps Dub, Nonplace

2. Sandoz, Live In The Earth, Soul Jazz

3. Rhythm & Sound, See Mi Yah Remixes, Burial Mix

4. Noiseshaper, Real To Reel, Echo Beach

5. Mapstation, Distance Told Me Things To Be Said, scape

6. Daniel Meteo, Perfuments, Compact

7. Nucleus Roots, Heart Of Dub, Hammer bass

8. Roots Tonic Meets Bill Laswell, Roir

9. Alpha & Omega, City Of Dub, Alpha & Omega

10. Peter Presto, nice that you are listening again ..., compact

Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, November 2006

Matisyahu, ultra-Orthodox Jew from New York, was absolutely hype in the USA with his new album "Youth" at the beginning of the year. A Jew with a long beard and a black hat who plays reggae and cites Bob Marley as a great role model is indeed always worth a story. So it is not surprising that his person is at the center of media interest and not his songs. With the best will in the world, they would not have deserved it either. Because, although the album by Bill Laswell was produced, it did not stand out musically from the average of American pop music. To call it a reggae album at all would be daring, the songs get lost too much in uninspired guitar playing and moderately interesting beats - which could still be lived with if it weren't for Matisyahu's completely awkward vocals, which mercilessly dealt the album its death blow. But that Matisyahu's band, Roots tonicthat she can be really good without her boss, she proves on her "own" album "Roots Tonic Meets Bill Laswell" (ROIR / Cargo Records), that (thank goodness) none Dub-Version of "Youth" is. On the contrary: After "Youth" climbed to number 4 on the Billboard charts and everyone was concentrating on Matisyahu, producer Bill Laswell and the three Roots Tonics Josh Werner (bass), Aaron Dugan (guitar) and Jonah David (drums) the calm and retired to Laswell's Orange Studios in Brooklyn and took a thoroughbred there DubAlbum on. And what one! It's hard to believe that these are the same musicians as on "Youth", because on "Roots Tonic Meets Bill Laswell" there is really good, powerful music to be heard. Instead of Matisyahu's little voice, the bass sets the tone here. The heavy and at the same time melodiously swinging bass lines roll wonderfully powerfully out of the speakers and lay the strong foundation for guitar and mix, while the drums set precise beats either in a slow one-drop or in a tight stepper march. As tight as these rhythms may be, the joy of playing of the three musicians is unmistakable - the momentum of their groove must have inspired them too. Bill Laswell is also showing his best side. His mix is ​​perfectly dosed and sets well-considered accents instead of randomly applying effects to all instruments. Apparently he knew that he could trust the playing of the three instrumentalists. Laswell therefore relied on a classic old-schoolDub-Mix that sometimes sounds a bit like early Adrian Sherwood productions. He doesn't even touch the bassline. It runs through from the first to the last track without interruption. The drums were mixed extremely dry by the master - just as the Americans love it (which, by the way, occasionally gives the sound of the Dub Trios comes very close), while guitar and keyboard mostly swim in a lake of reverb and echoes. Laswell - clearly satisfied with his production - summarized the result of his work with Roots Tonic as follows: “A futurist space /dub transmission in which the spirit of Roots Radics, Sly & Robbie and Scientist gets re-electrified and blown to new proportions. “What else can you add to that?

At the same time last year, the furious album “Don't Stop Dub" from Dude presented. He presented himself as a representative of the hardcore variant of the classic 90s UKDub in front. Brute, electronic basslines, stoic drum machines and reverb-soaked synthie offbeats characterize his sound. Kanka also uses this style on his new album "Alert" (hammer bass / nocturne) consistently continue. In straight "Four To The Floor" - and for Dub maximum permissible top speed - he stomps through his tunes and lets it rattle and thunder all around. Kanka is tough: Warrior Style! And it's fun to see the good old 90s sound so consistently saved into the present day. Despite the photo on the Hammerbass website - judging by the fact that children's songs were sung to Monsieur Kanka in the 90s - his biography claims that he played in a reggae band in 1997 and had around 200 concerts. That should have been enough to familiarize him with the sound. He retired to his living room studio and tinkered his first solo in 2003DubAlbum together. Solo in the truest sense, because Kanka played all the instruments (drum machine, keyboards, bass, brass) himself (although - actually these are all just one instrument: the computer ?!). In 2005 the already mentioned “Don't Stop Dub"And now" Alert ", on which he works for the first time (on three tracks) with a vocalist: Brother Culture from Brixton. By the way, he does his job very well, because his three songs are really good. His “Town Get Vile” in particular is a real catchy tune - a song in which he tells of parts of the city that tourists (better) don't dare to venture into. In addition, a distorted bass hammers notes into the ear canals, which emphatically underlines Cultures' warning. To be on the safe side, this album should only be put on after the first coffee.

Now for the revival selection, back to 1977 as Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes the Dub-Album "Reckless Roots Rockers" (Wackies / Indigo) published. He had only recently moved from Jamaica to New York in the Bronx and had these recordings in his luggage. They were from 1974-75 and were recorded by the Soul Syndicate band in King Tubby's studio. So they don't sound like the typical bullwackie productions, even though Barnes mixed them in New York. Compared to the warm, mystical Wackies sound, they are far too dry and spartan - but no less interesting. Surprisingly, the ten tracks also include a vocal tune by Jah Carlos (Don Carlos of course), who was also recorded and voiced in Jamaica. "Prepare Jah Man" is a strong song about an almost even stronger rhythm that later became famous in the showcase version of the song "Moses" on Wayne Jarret's legendary "Bubble Up" album. There are also other rhythms that the Wackies collector should be familiar with as vocal versions, such as Joe Morgan's "Basement Session" or "I Belong To You" by Love Joys. So all in all a nice, if not very typical Wackies album

Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, September 2006

Noise shaper they are here again! And exactly where we want them. After their last album, "Rough Out There", which was very much oriented towards reggae mainstream, they take care of the new one "Real To Reel" (Echo Beach / Indigo) again with sophisticated “housey downbeats with a fat reggae flavor”. Despite the numerous vocal tunes included, the focus is again on the sound. The voices are added attributively, like another instrument, instead of dominating the whole track. Besides, there are just as many Dubs represent vocals, which make Real to Reel an album that is as varied as it is interesting. Some of the pieces gathered here like “Rise”, “You Take Control”, “Jah Dub"," Moving Together "," All A Dem A Do "," Dunk "and of course" The Only Redeemer "are already from older Noiseshaper albums (z. B. the great “Prelaunch Sequence” published on Different Drummer) and are now rerecorded and remixed here. In doing so, they even gained in drive and dynamism and increased in complexity - perhaps because the great Adrian Sherwood is responsible for the mix. But the album also offers brand new tunes such as the great "The Creator", a bombastic, ultra-separate roots stepper, garnished with the occasional lyrics by Juggla. Completely different tones sound on "Wake Up". This tune flows warm and infinitely relaxed, accompanied by Jahcoustix's singing, from the speakers. Most typical, however, is the Grace Jones tribute "Love To The Rhythm". The early influence of Rockers HiFi can be clearly felt here, under whose wing Noiseshaper released the first two albums. In general, the two boys from Vienna, Axel Hirn and Florian Fleischmann, have already had a remarkable musical journey into the epicentres of Dub-Music that currently took her to London. The highlight of their career was undoubtedly the use of their song "The Only Redeemer" in the US television series CSI: Miami, which earned them a mainstream single release on Palm Pictures and catapulted their music onto the dance floors around the world. "The Only Redeemer" can also be heard on "Real To Reel" in a newly recorded version, the mix of which is a lot dubis bigger and at the same time clearer and more present. This shows, in direct comparison, the championship of Adrian Sherwood. How good that he and Noiseshaper found each other! Their work together has produced the best fruit in recent months on the Dub-Market to buy goods.

Alpha & Omega have new ones Dubs recorded - although that can't really be said, because the sound of the British couple is so constant that every tune is a single - but very welcome - deja vu. Heavy beats and endless sluggish beats that drag themselves from measure to measure, garnished with bizarre jungle sounds as well as the massive use of reverb and echo are their trademark. As with Lee Perry's Black Ark sound, every clear sound is blurred in a great primordial soup of eruptive beats. Hence her new album "City Of Dub"(Alpha & Omega / Import) do not measure according to conventional quality standards such as production quality or songwriting. What counts here is atmosphere and uncompromising attitude. The City of Dub which was built on 13 tracks, with - with three exceptions - each track appears twice: as a vocal and as a Dub-Version. When it comes to production economics, Alpha & Omega have never given up on issues. The round of vocalists consists of the usual suspects: Jonah Dan, Nishka, Jah Zebbi, Coz Tafari and others. It should be noted on a positive note that they occasionally contribute very beautiful, concise melodies, such as z. B. Coz Tafari on the track “Marching Warriors”, or - really great - the Portuguese singing Valnei Aine on “Massacre In The Ghetto”. And this shows that Alpha & Omega productions can also benefit from good vocals - which was recently clearly heard on the albums by Ryan Moore (Twilight Circus). With “City Of Dub“Maybe the best A&O album of the last few years is available - which, however, does not apply to the cover. Here the old Ethiopian illustrations were much better. It's hard to understand why A&O abandoned their “corporate design”.

Let's stay a little longer in England and turn to the new one Dub- Mad Professor's album too: "Mad Professor Meets Mafia & Fluxy - A New Galaxy Of dub Sci Fi 2 " (Ariwa / Rough Trade). The professor undoubtedly deserves credit for his indefatigable Dub-Albums released. For over 20 years he has been the great constant in the British Dub - yes that Dub at all. Apart from him there is hardly anyone who has stuck to this genre so steadfastly and consistently. While Mad Professor used to have his house band, the Robotics, record all the tracks, in recent years he has brought various guest musicians into the house to bring in new material. Mafia & Fluxy have often connected their computers in the Ariwa Studio and relentlessly copied new rhythms onto the professor's tapes. Maybe a little too often, because the new galaxy of the Dubs does not hold any new discoveries or surprises. The rhythms are unwound here too routinely and although Neil Frazer intensively turns the controls, you can clearly hear that he has simply run out of ideas. But maybe the rhythms were too uninspired for him, too. Mad Prof. last showed that he still has it with his great Sly & Robby album - the second part of which he announced a long time ago. Hopefully it will come soon, because an exciting new one Dub-Album from the house of Ariwa is necessary!

The Mad Prof. album is surpassed in terms of boredom by the new work of Tassili Players, “Ages Of The Earth In Dub"(Wibbly Wobbly / Download) which - probably due to the poor quality - has not brought it to a regular CD release and is only available as a download (iTunes Store). The tunes sound like very early Zion Train recordings and belong to the 90s. If Neil Perch doesn't want to sell us old material here, then the question remains, why does he enjoy still producing this outmoded sound.

The new album by sounds much more interesting Love Grocer "Across The Valley" (Wibbly Wobbly / Import), also from Zion Train. It owes its quality above all to the use of the horn section - typical for Love Grocer. The wind melodies float wonderfully lightly over the gentle and relaxed backings, lose themselves in the tightly woven sound atmosphere, only to be in the foreground again with full presence. So it's understandable that many of the tracks have more of an instrumental character than Dubs have - if it weren't for the typical Wibbly Wobbly sound, which inevitably has the stamp "Dub“Impresses. Although the tunes are extremely melodious thanks to the brass section, singers such as Earl 16, MC Spee and Jonah Dan were invited occasionally, of which the former in particular delivers a very strong tune. So all in all a nice, if not earth-shattering album. 

Comes from France Miniman, aka Roland Rougé, who let us know on his last album that he is now trading under the name Seven Seals. To make the confusion complete, his new album was released "Opus In Dub Minor "( again under the name Miniman. So let's stick with it - although I liked him a little better as Seven Seals. His album Stars wasn't exciting, but the quality was good enough to import into my iTunes library. The opus in Dub-Moll this luck will not happen. It's just too boring. Similar to the Tassilli Players, it sounds like it has Dub made no progress since the 1990s. The synth sounds used here are definitely used up. Occasional, somewhat embarrassing samples of classical music and a thoroughly ambitious mix don't help either. If the body, i.e. the rhythm and the sound, are not good, then there is no point in screwing on ornaments. On the contrary, it makes matters even worse since the work cannot deliver what it first appears to be promising.

Burning Babylon should be familiar to the readers of this column. Behind this is Slade Anderson, whose last two albums "Knives To The Treble" and "Stereo Mash Up" were extensively praised at this point. Especially the latter, with its rough, hand-played sound, could convince in full length. Now Anderson lays "Garden Of Dub"(Mars Records / Import) in front. In a sense, it is episode 1 of the trilogy, because the recordings were made in 2001 in Anderson's living room studio and document his first steps in the realm of Dub. Recorded with the most primitive instruments and mastered on compact cassette, the sound does not come close to the quality of the two later albums. Musically it can't quite keep up either, although there are a lot of really good ideas, beautiful melodies and a dark atmosphere in the album. Andersons Dub-Talent sparkles here from every note, even if it was not polished to a high gloss.

Now we come to the revival selection. Take part in the beginning "Roots Radics Meets Scientist And King Tubby In A Dub Explosion "(roots / import?) a brilliant one Dub-Album from the famous Channel One studio, recorded by its house band with Style Scott on drums and Flabba Holt on bass. A typically minimalist work by the Roots Radics. Sparingly orchestrated with seemingly endless pauses between two notes - only the sluggish bass and the rhythmic hitting of hi hats can be heard over and over again - the reggae rhythm has never been more puristic and slower. Scientist and Tubby also took their time and moved the controls rather sparingly, which gives the tracks an extremely hypnotizing effect. If you listen to it quickly, the album may seem boring and unimaginative, but once you have let yourself into the flow of slowness, you can make new discoveries in every corner of the Echo Chamber. As an added bonus, the basslines are often nice classics like “Rougher Yet”, “Mama Used To Say” or “Things A Come Up To Bump”.

The latter is also on the album, by the way "Version Dead" (Studio One / Heartbeat) to hear - in the original, because this is where the men and women of the popular Studio One reissue label “Heartbeat” have put together the “most coveted” B-sides of classic Studio One singles. All (not) mixed from Dub specialist, as Coxsone called himself, because apart from occasionally turning on the vocal track, this can be from Dub out of the question. But who cares with rhythms like “Mr. Fire Coal Man ”,“ Real Rock ”(as a real one, by the way Dub!), “Pick Up The Pieces”, “Declaration Of Rights” and of course “Things A Come Up To Bump”. As usual from Heartbeat, the tunes sound in a beautifully restored version, so that the bass of the Soul Vendors, Soul Dimension and Soul Defenders thunders powerfully from the speakers and can unfold all the charm of these so often copied mini melodies. Here you can hear it, the soul of reggae, pure and direct.

Now for an album that has a very strange story. We're talking about "King Tubby Meets Jacob Miller In A Tenement Yard" (Motionrecords /?). You can hear the rhythms of the famous Jacob Miller album "Tenement Yard" played by Inner Circle. But with rather idiosyncratic synth overdubs and the occasional bell-like sound of a xylophone. While the band's keyboardist, Bernhard “Touter” Harvey, is responsible for the former, the xylophone was in all probability played by Augustus Pablo. They owe their creation Dub-Tracks the Fatman Riddim Section's wish for usable B-sides for the hit tunes of the Tenement album. Although the tracks were never intended for an album, they were brought to Tubby - who mixed them routinely - and then, in 1976, published in tiny numbers and with the wrong label as a long player. No wonder that hardly anyone knew about the album and that Motionrecords now consider it the “rarest Dub Album ever released in Jamaica ”. The album undoubtedly possesses its qualities through the technical mastery of the Inner Circle band and the rhythms undoubtedly belong in the ranks of the best mid-70ties roots productions. Whether the overdubBut s now represent an enrichment is questionable. Quirkiness is not necessarily a quality feature - not even in the Dub.

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 " ( 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" ( 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.