Categories
Five Star Review

The Mikey Dread Show: African Anthem Dubwise

"Him don't steal, him don't gamble, talking 'bout man called Michael Campbell" it says at one point on the LP. Michael Campbell (1954 - 2008) alias Mikey Dread came to fame when he started a hugely successful radio show for the Jamaican Broadcasting Service (JBC) in 1976 after training as a radio and sound engineer, with which he spent four hours six days a week Midnight invented the reggae radio format. He was the first to go live on air in Sound System Style. After two years, Campbell fell out with JBC. He quit, founded the Dread At The Control (DATC) label, and began producing himself and others. The first LPs from 1979 copied both the principle and the title of his discontinued radio show: On the debut "Dread At The Controls" (aka "Evolutionary Rockers") Campbell presented himself as a mixture of MC and Deejay. Same with the successor "African Anthem Dubwise " then he not only succeeded in his best album ever, but also one of the most brilliant Dub LPs of all time. A monster of version culture that was essential to the European success story of the Dub contributed. The basis was two songs produced by Mikey Dread by Rod Taylor ("Behold Him" ​​+ "His Imperial Majesty") and Edi Fitzroy ("Country Man" + "Miss Molly") as well as five of his own tracks. The riddims were mixed by Prince Jammy in a night session at King Tubby and then shipped to London. There the Englishman Dave Hendley, who died in 2016 and who was close friends with Campbell and Jammy, dived on his short-lived cruise label “African Anthem Dubwise “appeared first, a truckload of jive talk, synth, sound and voice effects over the raw Dubs what gave them an archaic ferocity. In contrast to the over also made in Englanddubs with the Greensleeves albums by Scientist, the action was discussed with Mikey Dread or specifically ordered by him. He had given Hendley a prepared tape with Gimmix, all of which came from his radio show. Including many jingles such as “Oh my gosh, the music just turns me on”, “Riddim full of culture, ya” or “Brandnew - Good For You”, which became classics that were sampled a thousand times over. "African Anthem Dubwise “was last published 15 years ago in an extended deluxe version with a different - banal - cover. Music On Vinyl has re-released the LP in the original artwork, with a modern, bulbous and less shrill sound. It was first published in a limited edition of 1.000 numbered copies in blue vinyl, and on January 29.01.2020, 04 it will be available in black vinyl. Everything else there is to say about the record, Big Youth explains at the beginning of page two: “Who is the man who plays Roots Rock Reggae? Michael Campbell, the Dread at the control, to thrill your soul. Alright? Alright! "(The text first appeared in RIDDIM 20/XNUMX and has been updated.)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Categories
Five Star Review

Clive Hunt & The Hit Team: Blue Lizzard

Luckily it took ONLY 12 years for Clive Hunt to give us a new instrumental /DubAlbum submitted. In 2008 I was because of "Clive Hunt & The Dub Dancers“Completely excited and put the album at number three in my annual charts. Now his new work is here: "Blue Lizzard“(VP) - and I'm excited again. For those who don't know Clive Hunt: He was a studio musician on hundreds of tracks (mostly in the horn section, on bass or on keyboards) and has produced at least as many tracks. An important station in the 70s was his production work in the Wackies studio, where he worked for the legendary Dub-Album "African Roots Act 1" recorded. After 2000 he became the house producer of VP Records and was responsible for the beautiful "We Remember Dennis Brown" tribute album. So now "Blue Lizzard" - named after Hunt's nickname. What a great sound! Precise, crisp, tight, full-tone, warm and cozy. No wonder, if the wind players are Bobby Ellis, Nambo Robinson and Dean Fraser, the keyboardists Robbie Lyn and Bubbler Waul, the guitarist Wayne Armond and the drummers Squidley Cole and Kirk Bennet. A real hit team! They play beautiful evergreens alongside new compositions, all of which are ingeniously and variedly arranged - no comparison to some of the more smooth taxi gang productions. It is only in contrast to such perfect craft that it becomes apparent what poor production quality so many modern ones are Dub- offer albums (which often have different qualities). “Blue Lizzard” is old school in the best sense of the word. Since the winds are at the center of the action, VP tries to compare it to Rico Rodriguez's “Man From Wareika”. That is not absurd. If the perfectionist Rico had recorded his album today, it would probably sound like "Blue Lizzard". It is to be feared that there will no longer be reggae producers and musicians who can deliver this outstanding technical and artistic quality. One more reason to be excited now.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Categories
Five Star Review

Burning Spear: Living Dub Flight. 2

The next bad news: After Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, Corona unfortunately caught the next one and brought them to the grave much too early. The well-known sound engineer Barry O'Hare died at the end of September at the age of 56. He leaves behind his wife and two children. He reportedly died just days after testing positive for COVID-19 at the West Indies University Hospital in Kingston. Barry O'Hare might be relatively unknown to some, although he was also at the mixer for Burning Spears Grammy Award-winning 2000 album "Calling Rastafari". It was not until 2018 that he was honored by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) for his significant role in the development and continued existence of reggae.
The greatest work that Barry O'Hare leaves in my eyes for the fan base is the remix of "Burning Spear: Living Dub Flight. 2"From 1992." Living Dub Vol. 2 ”was originally published in 1980 as Dub-Version of Burning Spears epoch-making "Hail HIM" in a mix by Sylvan Morris released on LP. The present album is not a new edition of the originalDubAlbum but a completely new one Dub-Mix of Barry O'Hare and Nelson Miller (Burning Spear drummer). For me, “Hail HIM” is the last classic Burning Spear work, if not his definitive masterpiece. The backing band made up a large part of the “unemployed” Wailers. Bob Marley was just very seriously ill and was receiving medical treatment in Dr. Issel's clinic in Bad Wiessee. So Burning Spear took the opportunity and worked with Aston "Familyman" Barrett to produce this gem. The remix album doesn't have a single weak point either. The album starts with “Cry Africa” (Cry Blood Africans) and Burning Spears fading in and out, plaintive vocals knock me out again, as happened when I first came into contact with this album. Actually, “Living Dub Vol. 2 “so homogeneous that there is no track that is worth highlighting. Every title has the perfect flow. The Wailers deliver great music and Barry O'Hares congenial Dubs with lots of sound effects are fantastically beautiful. From the haze of echo and reverb, fantastic "blowers", flowing keyboards, rich bass lines, complex Nyahbinghi drumming and Burning Spears plaintive voice emerge again and again. Even if you might think I'm crazy, “Burning Spear: Living Dub Vol. 2 “is still one of the best classics Dub-Albums from the heyday. An absolute must for everyone Dub- / Reggae fan. Really well done, Barry! (RIP)

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Categories
Five Star Review

Dub Spencer & Trance Hill: Tumultus II

PINK FLOYD. An entire album screams Pink Floyd - and I love it from the first to the last track and back: "Tumult II“Is the name of the new release of Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, and I'm not so sure whether the categories "Dub"Or even" Reggae "are appropriate - both were always too narrow for the Swiss. The release info gives the predicate “more psychedelic Dub“- presumably for lack of better terminology, and the market is now asking for a drawer. One thing is certain: The gentlemen have mastered their instruments (I also include the "instrument" Dub) so good that you can use it to create not just simple music, but epic sound paintings. This requires the freedom not to adhere to the usual musical structures; not to rest in the eternal rhythmic repetition loop, to give the sound ideas time and space to breathe, to create or take up concepts at will and ultimately also the freedom not to give a thought to what is currently common on the market. The result was a number of great albums and an excellent reputation that even conceptual weirdnesses like "Riding strange horses"And"Christmas in Dub“Couldn't touch anything.

So here's another concept album that is more than ever beyond any Dub-Customs moved and perhaps precisely because of this a milestone in the previous oeuvre of Dub Spencer & Trance Hill is: Tumultus II, whose curious concept consists of nothing less than everyday life in an ancient Roman legionary camp. Troops march, armor and weapons clink and clatter, fanfares open the fight of the gladiators and we hear what other noise the ancient Romans were up to before they were allegedly beaten up by Asterix & Obelix. The Swiss Vindonissa Museum has reproduced and recorded all these ancient sounds as part of his sound workshop Tumultus and combines them with modern sounds - this time with that of Dub Spencer & Trance Hill.

House music: Dub Spencer & Trance Hill & the Romans (© Museum Aargau)

The concept could have gone really wrong - for example in the form of a flat musical Alberto Uderzo and René Goscinny comics. The above-mentioned fanfares come close to the dangerous, but the rest of the estimated hundred sound samples were alienated, placed in loops, with Dub-Effects edited and perfectly embedded in a musical journey flawlessly produced by the band's keyboardist Philipp Greter, which covers all Dub-Platitudes is sublime. Sometimes, however, the question arises to what extent the album concept has been taken into account - especially since the manipulated background noise works independently of it and could serve as a soundtrack for many stories. 

Musically, “Tumultus II” can be described as extravagant in the best sense of the word: Messrs. Trance & Hill take their time. You not only notice this in the duration of the tracks, where you develop a musical idea for almost 15 exciting minutes and present it in the most varied of timbres and rhythmic facets. The musical structures and arrangements are so finely interwoven that even after listening to it a hundred times I can't say for sure when one track ends and the other begins - apart from “Gladiator”, which is the exception with its flat fanfare intro. So if “Kopfkino” is mentioned in the accompanying text for the album, one can only agree with that: It is an adventurous, almost meticulously planned trip to a wide variety of musical destinations that I don't want to fix for myself. 

To come back to Pink Floyd: You have exemplified a lot of what has been described here - of course more epic and theatrical, but I certainly dare to compare: Excellent musicians, enormous inventiveness, great implementation and execution and excellent sound here and there; Also, both combos make only minor concessions to the market and radio listening habits at 03:30 minutes. All of this becomes all the more remarkable in view of the size of the production budget available. The latter could turn out to be unexpectedly positive if, in contrast to the state-of-the-art-high-tech glossy albums by Pink Floyd, the relatively dry and timeless sound of Dub Spencer & Trance Hill is aging much more gracefully.

So if “Tumultus II” isn't really as reggae or Dub-Release is tangible, what is it then? Simply an excellent musical work that - to calm everything Dubheads - of course with a lot Dub- Effects and laid-back rhythms á la One Drop await. At the same time, there is so much more to discover here - other artists would probably use all these ideas to fatten up several albums. Not so Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, and therefore two thumbs up for this impressive release. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Categories
Five Star Review

The Mighty Diamonds: Deeper Roots (Back to the Channel)

Nothing brand new but "Back to the Roots":
One of the nicest and best Dub-Albums from the heyday of reggae were added to the original vocal album as a bonus LP over 40 years ago - Roots Reggae and Dubs par excellence. To be heard on: The Mighty Diamonds: "Deeper Roots“[Back to the Channel] (Virgin Records). Why Back to the Channel? The Mighty Diamonds have been almost inextricably linked with Channel One and the four Hookim brothers since their brilliant 1976 “Right Time” (aka Need a Roof). After the death of Paul Hookim, who was victim of a robbery in 1977, the remaining three Hookims (Joseph "Jojo", Ernest and Kenneth) withdrew from the music business and moved to America. A few months later they returned to Jamaica, enlarged the studio on Maxfield Avenue and brought it up to date in terms of sound technology.
The bloodiest election campaign with over 800 dead was just over and slowly something like "normality" returned to Jamaica.
After they had recorded a few weaker albums elsewhere, the Mighty Diamonds were there again and delivered an album to the Channel One Studio with lyrics that were in part heartfelt. The Mighty Diamonds have never been more militant. The lyrics reflect everything that made good Suffarah Roots Reggae back then. For me “Deeper Roots” is still one of the most beautiful albums from this glorious era. The riddims are still a real revelation - rockers in full flight. Carlton "Santa" Davis' "cymbal-heavy" beats and George "Fully" Fullwood's pulsating bass lines lay the foundation for these ingenious riddims. Earl "Chinna" Smith shines with tight guitar riffs and Winston "Jelly Belly" Wright delivers funky piano and organ passages. Not to forget the horn section, which makes wonderfully rich contributions, as if it just wanted to blow away the walls of Jericho. No matter how tight the arrangements were, Jojo “The Genius” Hookim on the controls enriched them all with beautiful melodies that actually all come from the Rocksteady era.
In short: Everything fits on “Deeper Roots” from start to finish, the entire opus was and still is a masterpiece and a great moment of reggae. It has easily stood the test of time. Jojo "The Genius" Hookim at the controls, who unfortunately passed away, delivered an exceptionally warm, loosely fluffy one Dub-Mix that still gives me real enthusiasm every time. Deeper Roots (Back to the Channel) is one of the albums that finally my thing for reggae and Dub cemented.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Categories
Five Star Review

The Higher Notes: Double Salute

No, with the best will in the world that is not Dubalbum, but first and foremost one of the best instrumental albums I have heard recently. The Higher Notes album: "Double salute“(Roots Unity Music) grows with every listen and is literally a“ Double Salute ”, a very deep bow and tribute to the beginnings and the heroes of our favorite music. What The Higher Notes in the Earth Works Studio in Amsterdam, will delight both our deceased heroes Tommy McCook, Roland Alphonso, Jackie Mittoo and the producers of that era Coxsone Dodd, Duke Reid, Leslei Kong and Prince Buster in the afterlife - if possible is. Anyway, I like the idea. The total of eleven ska and rock steady tunes, of which only two are cover versions (Smoke Rings; Solitude), are bursting with musicality and hooklines that only a deaf person can actually escape. What the Earth Works Posse around Jan "King" Cooper, Ras P (Peter Klaasen), Uta J. Maruanaya with the help of Richard "High Notes" De Ruige and Milan Van Wingerden deliver here is worthy of all honor. In addition, “Double Salute” pays a wonderful homage to the wonderfully warm, carefully arranged and orchestrated big band sound of the 1950s, played by the likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Glen Miller and Eric Dean, to name but a few to name a few sizes. Jan “King” Cooper, Ras P (Peter Klaasen), Uta J. Maruanaya have put so much time, perfection and passion into the project “Double Salute” that it is a real pleasure to listen to the work. Nothing was left to chance, the band and producer carefully selected the right instruments, analog amplifiers and microphones. Great attention was paid to the placement of the microphone in order to create the most authentic sound possible. In my opinion, it worked perfectly. For me, every tiny note on this masterpiece fits.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Categories
Five Star Review Second opinion

Manasseh Meets Praise

The attempts at reggae - in particular Dub - Crossing classical "E-Music" is rare - but all the more exciting. In my opinion, the first person who mastered the challenge was Matthias Arfmann in 2006 when he remixed Herbert von Karajan's oeuvre for Deutsche Grammophon. Much has happened since then. I only remember the Op'ra albums of the opera singer Uli E. Neuens or Matos “Classical Dub“From last year. While these albums were always about the reinterpretation of classical works, there is also another form of crossover in which “classical” instruments such as the violin, flute or violin are integrated into them Dub-Soundsphere is in the foreground. Two years ago, Violinbwoy presented a dark work that lived more on the contrast between violin and bass than on their harmonic union. But now there's a new classicDub-Benchmark: "Manasseh Meets Praise" (Roots Garden). Incredibly smooth and yet powerful reggae beats, extremely harmonious, almost congenial, surrounded by the finest violin and viola sounds. Sometimes a flute and harmony singing join in. Sounds cheesy and sentimental? But only on paper. It's just beautiful in the ear. Yes, it is symphonic music in the original sense of the word - which, even with Arfmann, can only be said with reservations. I don't have to say a lot about Manasseh. The man is more legendary Dub-Veteran and producer par excellence. I've loved his music since I released his album "Dub the Millennium ”. Praise is a classically trained violinist with a strong weakness for reggae. For about ten years now, Nick Manasseh and Praise have been disappearing into the studio and recording these wonderful instrumentals. Now it was finally time to release the resulting material into the world and make people like me happy with it. I am sure that opinions about this work will differ widely. But whatever you might think of it, it's wonderful to see the stylistic extremes our favorite genre can accommodate.

Also read the review from gtkriz.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Categories
Five Star Review

Tubby Isiah: Rising High

As you know, I'm the one who holds the Steppers flag up - and I have a new favorite album: Tubby Isiah, "Rising high“(Moonshine Recordings). Tubby who? Cool name that immediately makes it clear what it's about - about Dub namely. But who is behind it? On the web you can find the info that it is about the new project of Javon Ives and his dad, Jason Ives. Javon Who? Such a narrow-minded one can do that Dubhead as I don't know, of course: Javon Ives is a soul R'n'B producer and singer. Maybe dad is into reggae and Dubwhat could be the reason for "Rising High". Be that as it may, they both have a really good one DubAlbum created. Apparently they know what they're doing. By the way, “Steppers” doesn't say everything about the tracks. There are nice, mellow one drop beats too. Even an easy one Dub-Techno-inspired piece can be heard. Overall, however, everything is maximally harmonious, soft, warm and bassy. Since the work also has a chic cover, I am giving it five stars with a clear conscience.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Categories
Five Star Review

Zenzile Remixed

Few succeed: Stylishly between rock and Dub to oscillate - and occasionally mix in electronics or hip hop. Normally, with such a concept, you land confidently between the chairs. That's why I never really took the French band Zenzile seriously and deliberately ignored rock albums like "Elements". Only the “5 + 1” EP series with its reggae focus was worth a look at times. But now the band has a real one between the chairs Dub-Masterpiece delivered: "Zenzile (Remixed)" (ODGProd). It is the remix of her life's work, which spans ten albums and six EPs. The thirteen best and Dub-compatible tracks of your oeuvre, to put them in the hands of an exciting selection of the latest Dub-Coryphae to give (e.g. to the Dub Shepherds, Mahom, Tetra Hydro K, Alpha Steppa, Panda Dub or full Dub). The result is terrific! What an impressive variety of styles. Here the concept "Dub“Really explored - without really going beyond the boundaries of the genre. There are more ideas in every single track than in some complete ones Dub-Album. Incredibly inspired arrangements, motley mix of various musical influences, fat basslines, massive beats, melodies and grooves. The album is the antithesis to hypnotic-minimalist tapas-Dub. I love both, but if I could only take one album with me to a lonely island, it would be “Zenzile Remixed”. You can listen to the album for a whole year without getting bored. Hard to believe that might be the best Dub-Album from last year (published in December and therefore not in mine Dub Top Ten 2019!) Is available for download free of charge from odgprod.com.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Categories
Five Star Review

Various Artists: !! Dub !! Dub !! Dub !! Vol. 2

Anyone looking for this album on a streaming service can despair. Entering the title brings everything to light - just not this sampler that is absolutely worth listening to: Various Artists, "!! Dub !! Dub !! Dub !! Vol. 2 " (Elastica). An exciting collection of Dub-Productions from around the world, curated by Elastica man TuzZy and Neil Perch from Zion Train / Universal Egg. What the two have brought together here can perhaps be described as a progressive sound systemDub describe. Huh? That means: sophisticated, modern Dub-Productions with stylistic closeness to steppers - but much more than kick drum and bass drum. In other words, sophisticated, cleverly composed productions that still make no compromises in terms of dynamics and drive. Intellectual sound system feed, so to speak. I like it exceptionally well. Although stylistically from one piece, the tracks turn out to be surprisingly varied. They all have distinctive melodies, inspired arrangements, great sound and always driving beats. Sometimes beautiful vocal interludes, sometimes instrumental solos, sometimes just a crazy mix: there is absolutely no boredom here. It would be my job to explain to someone ignorant what is more modern Dub ideally, I think I would play this album for him.

Rating: 5 out of 5.