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Five Star Review

Paul Fox: Dub B

Winchester UK based singer and producer Paul Fox is here at Dubblog a wrongly almost blank slate. The Roots, Reggae and Dub Artist has been releasing music under his own name since 1992 and has worked with many well-known artists and producers. The list of artists who have been in the studio with Paul Fox includes such illustrious names as: Nick Manasseh, Robert Tribulation, Michael Rose, Rod Taylor, Fullness, Dubheart, Jonah Dan, Brother Culture and Alpha & Omega, with whom Paul Fox also toured Europe in 2008. His sound was heavily influenced by Jah Shaka, Nick Manasseh, Jah Observer and Aba Shanti. He was so impressed by their music and vibes that in the late 1980s he began experimenting with a four-track recorder at home in private. It was with Julian Ryan, a friend and musician who introduced him to Jonah Dan, that he first tried his hand at reggae and Dub. Percussionist Jonah Dan had a small studio in west London and the three met regularly every week to record roots reggae and related Dubs from it. After releasing recordings together under the project name "Shades of Black" for a few years, they parted ways in the early 2000s and each went into business for himself by founding his own studio. In the meantime, more than 50 albums have been released on which Paul Fox appeared, be it as a producer, sound engineer or singer.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but I've been paying more attention to Paul Fox for a long time - also because of his immensely pleasant voice. I was all the more amazed that I was able to see the release of his two current albums "SameBlood"And"Dub B“ I literally overslept from last December. From everything I've heard from Paul Fox so far, "Dub Blood" can undoubtedly be counted among his best recordings. Paul's soft voice floats again and again through the room and evaporates in melodic, dubbig soundscapes. The sound is vaguely reminiscent of Jah Shaka, but also Mad Professor - so more English Dub par excellence. I don't want to mention every track explicitly, because each one has its own special appeal. I would just like to highlight my very personal favorite as Primus inter Pares. "Living in a Dub Zone", the counterpart to "Warzone Part Two Refugees" from the song album "Same Blood". Starting with the fine sound of an Arabic oud or Turkish saz and really rich binghi drums, the lyric leads us throughout the song: "Still wondering if all of these wars gonna cease - still wondering if I'm ever gonna live to see peace". and explosive sounds of war in the middle of the current situation in Eastern Europe, ie Ukraine. Of course, the theater of war could rather reflect the fatal situation in Syria, because arabesque sounds can be found at several points on the album. It doesn't matter, the song grabs me with full force every time.
I would like to mention one more thing, the attentive listener will also appreciate the wonderful binghi drumming on “Burning Dub' and 'Soon is the Dub“ not to be missed. In general, I really like the percussions on all the tracks on the album. "Dub Blood" takes a musical turning point in the middle of the album, because the rest of the tracks sound slightly symphonic from there.

Conclusion: It has been a long time since such a nice, up-to-date “RootsDub-Album". In my opinion the best album of 2022 so far.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Soul Sugar: Excursions in Dub

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

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Ambient Warrior: Dub Journey's

Now we have further proof that our fine little sub-genre Dub is timeless and limitless. The Australian Isle of Jura label has proved this with the official new edition of an extremely unusual DubAlbums by Ambient Warrior: Dub Journey's, which was originally released in 1995 on the English label Lion Inc. The album is basically deep in the Dub rooted, but uses a much broader spectrum, which equally absorbs the most diverse musical influences and styles from all over the world and combines them into these wonderful soundscapes. The concept for Ambient Warrior was created as a side project for Ronnie Lion and Andreas Terrano. Ronnie Lion, who is not entirely unknown, noticed pretty quickly during the recording that Andreas Terrano is a very talented guitarist and keyboardist, and so the two quickly agreed to create an oeuvre that reflects the diverse musical influences of both protagonists. Andrew is z. B. Italian, Armenian and Russian descent what on Dub Journey's is unmistakably expressed. Insiders know Ronnie Lion from Brixton as the label owner from the beginnings of the British neo-Dub.

Since the earliest Dubtry from King Tubby, Lee Scratch Perry, Augustus Pablo, Prince Jammy and whatever their names are, we know that good one Dub must touch you deep down. That's why Ronnie Lion's slogan: "This is Ambient Warrior...coming to You from the Heart", presented in a distinctive voice (Dennis Rootical) reminiscent of Prince Far I, takes me from the start on (m)an unforgettable pilgrimage to Kailash. (Kailash: The Tibetans regard it as the holiest mountain, it is worshiped by Hindus, Buddhists and Bon, it is the headwaters of the four largest rivers of the Indian subcontinent.) Excuse me, Kailash? Yes, because these typical sounds of the Tibetan prayer bells are omnipresent and ring out again and again. The album is cast in one piece and gives me a pleasantly warm, meditative mood. Andreas Terrano weaves very soft guitar solos and synthesizer/keyboard sounds together into wonderful soundscapes. What was very good for the album's versatility is also due to the fact that many musicians of different genres and instruments were involved in the recordings. In addition to South American elements such as tango and bossa nova (Eastern Dub; cajun Dub); we also hear harp (Cajun Dub), Russian accordion (Bayan; Southern Dub), vibraphone and jaw harp (The Good, the Bad and the Dub).

My quintessence of the album is: Great Dub-Albums creep up on you very slowly. You can play them once and they're "quite nice". Play it umpteen times and very slowly a picture forms: small details emerge, the spirit of the Dub and the bliss of repetition make their way into your soul.

It's nice that there are still labels that make it their business to make such extremely rare, unique ones Dub-To save sounds from oblivion. Therefore, for the Ambient Warrior re-release, Isle of Jura gets: Dub Journey's albums six stars out of five from me.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Root Makers: DubAbout EP

The Roots Makers got me before with their eponymous debut – an instrumental plus related Dub-Album - quite happy. Colleague Helmut Philipps even included the Roots Makers in his top 5 of 2021, which I can understand only too well. Everything was right there, and if the constantly nagging reviewer had anything to complain about, it would have been the lack of vocals or vocal snippets. So classic Dub stop, if you want to put it that way.

Now it is the case that we in the dubblog.de usually don't review EPs or singles and limit ourselves to albums. But here, as an exception, I would like to focus on an EP - if you don't take it so precisely, you could from the "Dubbers” EP (self-published) and the associated vocal counter part, the “Summer lovers“-EP, conjure up an 8 track album. Both releases are of the highest quality - and if you already have such a vocal template, you can use the Dub-Range actually nothing can go wrong:

And indeed, the Dubs are the best in the classic Roots area that I've heard in a long time. Everything is right there: nice mix, fine effects, bass lines that can be hummed along and the vocal sprinkles create the connection to the vocal versions. Do I hear someone say Roots Radics? But yes, the comparison is more than permissible, the vibe even reminds me slightly of Bunny Wailer's fine "Rock'n'Groove” album, I can also hear the classic 80's lovers rock and a little Aswad backing vocals.

So everything good? But yeah - an album... err... an EP that I can't refuse 5 stars for.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

High Tone Meets Zenzile: Zentone, Chapter 2

One has to state: Corona also has its good! These two (!) Albums, namely: High Tone Meets Zenzile - Zentone, Chapter 2 (Jarring Effects). What a brilliant one Dub-Plant! Emerging from the most depressing of all pandemics, fifteen years after "Chapter 1". Apparently the nine musicians have the two most prominent ones Dub-Bands of France could not stand it any longer in the loneliness of their home offices and locked themselves in a studio in Lyon for a week, unbelievably, to make music with each other face to face. Without a lot of studio rocket science (in contrast to "Chapter 1"). Instead with a simple sound system setting, spontaneous, direct and improvised. All that mattered was the interpersonal vibe. The result is breathtaking. Two albums full of fantastic, inspired compositions with a total of 22 tracks that are bursting with warmth, intensity and real beauty. The catalyst of this quality was apparently the pure pleasure in personal encounters - perhaps paired with a few musical ideas from everyone involved during the lockdowns. Substance instead of effect was the motto. All tracks were produced live and then mixed on analog consoles. The sound is warm, complex and full of dynamics. Everything is just right here. And of course the inclusion of singers fits in with such an approach. Yes indeed! I am actually Dub-Purist, but here Nai-Jah, Nazamba, Jolly Joseph and Rod Taylor make an absolutely essential contribution to the musical diversity, without sacrificing the Dub-Vibe to belittle even the slightest. Her performances - especially nai-jahs and nazambas - are simply terrific.

Okay, but now I have to deal with the two Albums are cleared up: Zenzile and High Tone recorded a total of ten rhythms during their week in Lyon. Zenzile then pre-decapitated all ten pieces, mixed them and put them together into an album, which can be bought as a CD or download. High Tone, on the other hand, only took on the four rhythms for which a singer was recorded and presented them in showcase style: vocal version, instrumental version, DubVersion - and thus comes to twelve tracks, which are offered as double vinyl (but they can also be purchased as a download). But to complicate things nicely, there is one more thing Streaming variant. This consists of the ten Zenzile mixes and the four vocal versions of High Tone. Understood?

real Dub-Nerds will of course compare the mixes with each other and find that High Tone goes to work more traditionally and aims at the use of sound systems with its mixes, while Zenzile tends to take a more playful, sofa-compatible approach. But I can't decide which one I like better - that's why I always listen to both albums one after the other.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Late Night Tales Presents Version Excursion Selected by Don Letts

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

KMFDM: In Dub

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

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

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Gladiators: The Time Is Now Discomixes

The Gladiators are undoubtedly a veteran of reggae history and their musical roots can be traced back to Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd's Studio One. My first encounter with their music was only in the mid-1970s. Their then producer Tony Robinson had made a deal in Europe and so the first (regular) albums of the Gladiators appeared on Virgin Records. Albert Griffiths died on December 15.12.2020, 74 at the age of XNUMX after a long illness of Parkinson's. The head of the trio with classic harmony vocals à la Wailers, Culture, Abyssinians, Israel Vibration, Meditations, Mighty Diamands etc. has the appearance of the "Gladiators: The Time Is Now Discomixes“(Tabou1) and I can imagine that he was very happy with the end result. Dartanyan "GreenLion" Winston, a young American sound tinkerer in his early 30s from Ohio, has chosen a few tracks from the almost inexhaustible repertoire of the Gladiators and created wonderfully classic discomixes. Eight original songs are skilfully deconstructed and reconstructed with a ton of energy, studio and mixer magic. Dartanyan "GreenLion" Winston pulls out all the stops and delivers a wonderfully sparkling sound bath of vocals, echo, reverb and delay. My highlights, the eight-minute title, are: "Fussing and Fighting" - a Marley song that most clearly shows how much Albert Griffiths' voice resembled Bob Marley's - and "Dreadlocks your Time is now" of course. The album cover gives the impression that it was created under the influence of psychoactive or even more hallucinogenic substances in the hippie era. Even if I had made a slightly different selection of songs, “The Time Is Now Discomixes” is, in retrospect, a wonderful homage to the wonderful gladiators who, undeservedly, were always a bit off the side of the really big vocal trios.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Jallanzo: Dubam 'It & Luvin' It

It always says that it is in Jamaica Dub just about to die. But then the intensive care patient still twitches every now and then and makes everyone present in a state of excitement. Most recently on Teflon Zincfence's album "Dub Policy ". Now another shock wave is going through the intensive care unit: Jallanzo publishes with "Dubam 'It & Luvin' It“A great one Dub-Album made in Jamaica. Jallanzo ?? I didn't know his name yet, but I did know his music, because the multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer and Dub-Producer played for the a few years ago Dubtonic Kru, whose music I really appreciated. So now a solo project - in the form of one Dub-Albums! I have no idea who recorded the tracks here, whether they are secondary use or from the outset as Dubs were planned. I only know: you sound breathtaking. So crisp, powerful and dynamic that they would be a pleasure, even if it weren't for the perfect timing, the beautiful melodies, the ingenious arrangements and the inspired mix. Everything is just right here - except for the ugly cover. One reason to forego vinyl. The title of the album comes from a quote from Jallanzo: “Music is my life, my life is my music and I am dubbing it and loving it ”. Jallanzo has dedicated himself to music since he was 13 years old. He mainly works as a studio musician and can be heard on the productions of many well-known artists. Let's hope that we will be able to enjoy his music in the future even without vocals in the foreground.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Dub Spencer & Trance Hill: Black Album

The Zurich Dub-Combo Dub Spencer & Trance Hill is in dubblog a regular guest. Their albums usually get 5 out of 5 stars, which is the highest rating. If a friend points out a “previously officially unpublished, only known to a small circle” work that has appeared on YouTube via Twitter, then of course you will listen carefully. Since September 2020 the "Black album“Apparently online there and has so far reached a good 800 listeners. So it remained an insider tip and raised even more questions for it. Indeed: What is this “Black Album” about?

Band bassist and manager Marcel “Masi” Stalder sheds light on the matter on request. Around the time of “Riding Strange Horses” (2010) Nicolai Beverungen worked for his record label Echo Beach - wherever Dub Spencer & Trance Hill publish their stuff - the idea of ​​an Echo Beach anniversary album had with verdubGood versions of well-known songs, to which the people of Zurich should also make a contribution. Because at that time Stalder and colleagues had so much fun recording strange songs dubTo put on a nice dress, they suddenly recorded around a dozen tracks with the idea of ​​releasing them as a separate album. The problem: The rights were not available for all songs. Therefore, the album disappeared in the drawer - with the exception of one song that made it onto the aforementioned "Riding Strange Horses", which was only equipped with cover versions: "Enter Sandman" by Metallica.

The rest of the "Black Album" found the light of the public in a different way. For one thing, it offered Dub Spencer & Trance Hill to their fans after concerts on self-burned CDs; However, it was a very small edition of only around 100 pieces. On the other hand, Echo Beach brought out a best of the Zurich band in 2017 with “Return Of The Supervinyl”. As the name suggests, only on vinyl, but with a treat - a link to the "Black Album", which was never officially released. Because the activation of the link was only possible in a roundabout way and required a lot of nerve, the vinyl edition was quickly sold out, the ominous work was still reserved for a small group of interested people. Until it was uploaded to Youtube almost a year ago. Presumably from a fan.

Now that the winding paths of the “Black Album” have been clarified, the most important question still arises: Is it worth listening to the ten songs on it? Absolutely - if you are on verdubbte cover versions are available! Marcel Stalder explains with a laugh that every member of the band has brought in his “youthful sins”, his “musical hateful love”. What Dub Spencer & Trance Hill made it out of it is - once again - simply great. Even “The Final Countdown” by Europe (the original causes me physical pain personally) is an experience. In contrast to “Riding Strange Horses”, the original voices are missing on the “Black Album”. But it doesn't matter. That was the only way James Brown's “I Feel Good” could turn out so spooky and gloomy. Nothing more is revealed, except that one likes to put up with such youthful sins. The album fits in seamlessly with the early work of Dub Spencer & Trance Hill one. It is not difficult to read from the previous lines that the writer would like an official publication at a later date.

Tracklist:

1. "Enter Dubman "(" Enter Sandman "by Metallica)

2. "The Final Dub Down "(" The Final Countdown "from Europe)

3. "Eye Of The Lion" ("Eye Of The Tiger" by Survivor from the "Rocky IV" soundtrack)

4. "Bomb Back" feat. Nya ("Bomb Track" by Rage Against The Machine)

5. "Chilly Jean" ("Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson)

6. "Tire" ("Fire" by Jimi Hendrix)

7. "I Feel Stoned" ("I Feel Good" by James Brown)

8. "Owner Of A Dub Heart “feat. The Homestories ("Owner Of A Lonely Heart" by Yes)

9. "The Sea" ("The Ocean" by Led Zeppelin)

10. "Until The End Of The Disc" ("Until The End Of The World" by U2)

Rating: 5 out of 5.