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Reggae

Freddie McGregor: Di Captain

Di Captain

Freddie McGregor's musical career began 50 years ago. At the age of seven he recorded his first pieces in Studio One - initially as a background singer, later under his own name. Now, after eight years of waiting, he is presenting a new album, largely produced by C. & R. McLeod and his son Stephen "Di Genius" McGregor. The result is a mixture of not so moderate new songs and a lot of very nice cover versions (George Benson, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Mighty Diamonds, Heptones and himself: F. McGregor). Overall a nice album. You just have to ignore the few snotters.
Audio sample on iTunes

Categories
Reggae

Horace Andy: Broken Beats

Normally it works like this: someone records an album, publishes it, then sends the tracks to musician friends who produce remixes, which are then released about six months after the album is released. It's the same sequence as the classic one Dub-Album: first the vocal version, then the DubVersions. But just like the modern one Dub has put an end to being the derivative of a vocal album, the remix has now evidently also emancipated itself from an "original" that was previously assumed to be mandatory. The Horace Andy album "Broken Beats" (Echo Beach) was created directly as a remix. A brilliant idea that was implemented consistently and brilliantly: The Hamburg label Echo Beach was in the mood for a new Horace Andy album with some of its classic hits such as Skylarking, Money Money, Cuss Cuss and new material and thus invited friends without further ado Dub-Acts and Remix producers like Rob Smith, Dubblestandart, fenin, Dub Spencer & Trance Hill, Felix Wolter and others to contribute the music. But instead of using old Horace Andy recordings, the entire album was created from scratch. The highlight: even Horace Andy sang his songs anew. What could easily have gone in the pants as a brain experiment is now available as an exciting and beguiling album that is conceptually and musically absolutely state of the art. Although the individual style of the musicians involved remains unmistakable, all tracks, the vocal versions and the Dubs in the second part of the album, to a cohesive whole that extends beyond the narrow stylistic boundaries of reggae and Dub emotional. At first sight, the album doesn't make it easy for its listeners. If you listen briefly, the beats often seem a bit bulky, cannot be assigned to any known categories and instead of powerful thump offer rather reserved understatement. The real treasure of this music is only revealed when you listen carefully. Then when the calm power of the beats and the beauty hidden in their complexity become apparent. And that's exactly when the listener is infinitely grateful, instead of ticking off well-known styles, to experience new surprises in each of the 15 tracks, to make new acoustic discoveries and finally to find (again) what for Dub actually stands: innovation.

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Reggae Review

Resonators: The Constant, Dub Collection

Before I start writing this article and face the challenge of an initially shockingly empty document page, I should take a quick look at the Internet. A quick trip to the iTunes store, then a detour to Amazon and finally to my favorite site: junodownload.com. And what do I meet there? An album that I, without hesitation, immediately became the hero of this edition of the Dub Evolution course: Resonators, "The Constant" (Wah Wah). What a find! In the strict sense it is a vocal album, but the instrumental passages are almost more extensive than the vocal part and the band delivers that too DubAlbum "Dub Collection ”to“ The Constant ”for free Download equal to. But vocals or not: the sound behind the vocals is clear Dub - without but with the classic UKDub to be. On the contrary: The music of the nine-piece band from Brighton and London is one hundred percent analogue and hand-played - which is actually not the right material for typical Dub-Sound is - but works absolutely perfectly here. The guys behind the two women at the front just play incredibly inspired music, full of energy and variety. Anyone expecting a typical festival live band a là Jamaram or Irie Révoltés is wrong. The Resonators are miles away from the simple song and music conception of such bands. Instead of shouting along, the trend here is more connoisseur-like leaning back and enjoying, and instead of a one-dimensional orientation towards the singing of the Rampensau, a song by the Resonators is an organic whole, in which song, music and Dub- Effects play equal roles, permeate each other and together result in fascinatingly complex and yet catchy pieces of music. The free one is also fascinating Dub-Version of the album, which only has five tracks. The band's unbelievably present live sound comes into its own here and contrasts excitingly with the typical studioDub-Effects, which sometimes removes me from the old one Dub Syndicate album "Pounding System" remembers. On the other hand, while listening to it, Prince Fatty comes to mind, whose playful, relaxed music, brimming with inventiveness and impetuous love of play, is inspired by the same spirit. Nice! So, now I have to click on “I like” at facebook.com/Resonators.

Categories
Reggae Review

Salmonella Dub: For The Love Of It

New Zealand has been on the reggae world map at least since the great success of Fat Freddy's Drop. But who would have thought that Fat Freddy's Drop, Trinity Roots, The Black Seeds and all the other reggae-inspired bands on the island have a common ancestor: Salmonella Dub. Founded in Christchurch in 1992, the now five-piece band paved the way for reggae from Kiwi country. Despite their name (which they got because of their weird “Bad Taste” covers), Salmonella is Dub none Dub-Tape. The opposite is true: most of their pieces include vocals. But not only that: Salmonella Dub actually isn't even a real reggae band. iTunes lists them under the label "Alternative" - ​​which already shows that the music is not quite easy to grasp stylistically. If you listen to her oeuvre, you also know why reggae fans haven't had her on their radar so far. Our man in Hamburg, however, the label boss of Echo Beach, had of course long since noticed that among the proud 22 albums / EPs in the discography, one or the other reggaeDub kept hidden and that widely appreciated remixers like Groove Corporation, Dreadzone or Adrian Sherwood simply turned some songs into reggaeDub had converted. As with the truffle harvest, he picked out these highly aromatic tracks and compiled them - the target group more incorruptible Dubheads in mind - to a real, real one Dub-Album: "For The Love Of It (Echo Beach). You won't find hardcore steppers here. The spectrum is more in the range between songs that tend to be poppy, very rootsy numbers and wonderfully hypnotic, artfully played and mixed Dubs. Occasionally a little ambient comes in and in one case there is even a cool mix of drum & bass and Dubstep. All very nice. For us friends of Dub it is undoubtedly a “Best Of Salmonella” Dub"-Album.

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Reggae Review

Roots Tribe Showcase Vol. 2

I am always excited about wherever, around the globe, it is great Dub is produced. It is only noticeable that Jamaica hardly plays a role, while Europe is disproportionately represented: England (of course), France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Poland - there are everywhere Dubheads who hold high the flag of instrumental roots music. And of course - after the Twilight Circus was quiet - now the Netherlands again! Tim Baumgarten is the bustling one here Dub-Producer of the hour, better known as Slimmah Sound - or better known by the name of his label: Roots Tribe. In 2009 he drew attention to himself with his “Roots Tribe Showcase Vol. 1 - Love Jah More”. Then there were isolated 10 "and 12" until now - up to: "Roots Tribe Showcase Vol. 2" (Roots tribe). Baumgarten again presents a showcase album that will cause a sensation. The vocalists are: Fitta Warri, Jah Melodie, Lyrical Benjie, Teddy Dan, Zed I and Kyle Sicarius. They all offer good, inspired songs, but the real highlight of the album are - how could it be otherwise - the Dubs. Obviously Baumgarten not only knows where things are going as a graphic designer (his cover for Vol. 2 is great!), But also as a producer and musician. Together with guitarist Robby Sens, he recorded all-round successful rhythms for the showcase. Deep, deep, deep, melodious, hypnotic and with a tiny but crucial trace of live sound. Instead of monotonous steppers, rather filigree, completely arranged tracks have emerged here, which one also likes to listen to consciously as one would like to experience them loudly and "physically" in the sound system (if there was the opportunity!).

Categories
Reggae

Overproof sound system: Pull It Up

Incredible, but the hit tune "Watch What You Put Inna" by the Overproof sound system from Birmingham is now ten (!) Years old. The corresponding first album nine years! In this sense, it was time to add a new work. Despite the long time lag, “Pull It Up” follows on from the debut - it was done again in the Elephant House Studio under the watchful eye of Groove Corporation produced. A colorful mixture of 16 pieces has emerged from it, most of which are normal songs, among which there are a few Dubs or instrumentals. It may be a matter of taste, but I am of the opinion that the singers Messenger Douglas and Juggla just don't have it right, at least the singing of the two reminds me too much of soccer choirs (now a little exaggerated) and the Melodies of their songs are too simple for me. That's even more annoying as I do DubI think s and instrumentals (fantastic: “War Must Cease”) are really good. Okay, especially in the second half of the album the songs get better, like z. B. "Unity" or "No Matter". But since I basically don't listen to individual songs, but rather understand each album (even sampler) as an indivisible unit, songs like "Jump Up" or "Fire" that are called rather than sung destroy the overall experience too much.

Categories
Reggae

10 Ft. Ganja Plant: 10 Deadly Shots Vol. 2

Strictly speaking, the 10 Deadly Shots don't even belong on this page, because what the band from New York brings to our ears here are pure old-school instrumentals that come with them Dub have as much to do as my good old Olympia with the MacBook Pro on which this text is being written. If you didn't know better, a short listening session could give you the impression of hearing a Studio One tape with Jackie Mittoo that was believed to be lost - something for the guys from that Ganja plantation would probably be a huge compliment. Because they really did everything they could to fool the listener. On their website, they meticulously describe which analog recording equipment was used and when, how the recording device was calibrated and probably also which brand of tape they used and what was previously stored on the tape (if the latter was not for the benefit of the reader would have deleted). But listening is more than reading, and as far as that is concerned, no further explanation is required: The ten fatal shots (which are more like ten happy rubber balls) are just as much fun as the lovingly mimetic retro productions of Prince Fatty. Anyone who hears them simply gets a good idea: life is beautiful and everything is good. If you would like to read a critical reflection here, you should try to write one yourself in a state of blissful rapture. It is impossible.

Categories
Reggae

"Do The Reggae" in the iBook store

My old book “Do The Reggae” (1995) has just been published in Apple's iBook store. If you want to read the history of reggae on the iPad, you can free download.

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Reggae Review

Ital Horns Meets Bush Chemists Featuring Rico: History, Mystery, Destiny

Rico Rodriguez was one of the first reggae artists I lent my ears to in the 1980s. I played his album “Man From Wareika” without a break. "That Man Is Forward" followed later - then I lost sight of my hero. I was all the more amazed when I rediscovered him when I was younger on an inconspicuous album from the Conscious Sounds Studio: Ital Horns Meets Bush Chemists Featuring Rico, "History, Mystery, Destiny" (Roots Temple). I wouldn't rate this album as a world-shattering event like “Man From Wareika” once did, but it's a solid and beautiful album that is really fun to listen to. An extraordinary concept is offered, namely an instrumental Shwocase, in which each instrumental is from one Dub accompanied - a total of 19 tracks! The typical UK-Dub-Sound of the Bush Chemists, which is also the only weakness of the album. Above that, the Ital Horns (saxophone, trombone, trumpet) shine in wonderful reggae horn section fashion, namely in unison, playing nice little melody phrases. There are also solos, of course, but they are always perfectly embedded in the harmony of the music. So worrying about eccentric jazz escapades is completely unfounded. In general, “Harmony” could be the motto of this album - if, yes, if the rhythms weren't quite as stereotypical Steppers bolides. Not only is the sound getting a bit dated, the digital beats are just a bit too powerful, almost brutal, in relation to the fine brass section. Hand-played rhythms would undoubtedly be more adequate here. But let's not complain. The joy of an album with such excellent brass music prevails.

Categories
Reggae

Ray Darwin: "People's Choice"

Here we have a pure vocal album: “People's Choice” (Irievibrations) - so it doesn't really fit into this blog at all. But I just have to make an exception for this beautiful work. Occasionally they cross my path: albums that are completely supported by their wonderful songs. A Dub-Treatment would deprive her of most of her beauty. Ray Darwin's debut work is such an album. 15 great songs, brilliantly composed and fantastically produced. Let's be honest, the majority of the melodies that reggae has to offer (although only a fraction of all songs can rightly claim the term “melody”) are very simple. Not so with Ray Darwin's songs. They present wonderfully catchy and thoroughly complex melodies that are composed down to the last detail. It is beautiful, gentle songs that by no means only have love stories to offer, but also take a critical stance on the reality of our lives. In addition, they are - and it should be mentioned by the way - performed brilliantly by Mr. Darwin in a pleasantly voluminous voice. But the songs are only half the fun. The other half consists of the great productions. The rhythms are perfectly produced. Everything is right here: sound, timing, arrangement, groove. Instead of following a consistent arrangement pattern, each backing is based on an independent, adequately implemented idea. Some Studio One classics are reinterpreted and freshly voiced with a lot of love for the original, while other compositions are originals - with the potential to become classics. But what I am most excited about is that this beautiful album was produced in Germany, in Hamburg as a collaboration between Ray Darwin and Piet Abele. Since Jamaica has increasingly disappointed me in recent years, I am now also scooping for reggae (at Dub it goes without saying) with a view to Europe new hope.