Categories
Five Star Reggae Review

Joe Yorke: Noise and Emptiness

Of course, falsetto isn't for everyone. That's why there isn't a single Cedric Myton track in my playlists, let alone one of his albums. The situation is different with falsetto backing vocals in the style of the early Aswad, Steel Pulse or Tamlins recordings - it just fits there, harmonic and tonally reliable head voice singing was delivered. See "Baltimore" - what would the track be without those harmonies?

Also Joe Yorke's debut "Noise and Emptiness' (Rhythm Steady) delivers flawless, accurate falsetto at times - both on lead and wonderfully accomplished backing vocals. But now that's us dubblog.de and voices interest us only peripherally; therefore it should be pointed out that this album with dubis interspersed with big instrumentals. That makes it interesting and saves the release from putting it aside in frustration. The reason for this may be Yorke's wide-ranging activities as a singer, producer and composer; one or the other guest singer will also have his part in it.

So there's a fresh wind blowing from England towards the international reggae community, which is particularly evident in the excellent production - everything is clean and, above all, not excessively arranged. This gives the sometimes fart already sparse instrumentation room to breathe - similar to what we saw in the bone-dry Rub-a-Dub of the early 1980s. And yes, you can hear some fat bass here too:

Of course, “Noise and Emptiness” is an offer that values Dub-Connoisseur has to let in first - it wasn't love at first sight for me either. But: The tunes have enormous potential for growth and have clung to the reviewer's ear canal. And so it is that the album is one of my personal favorites of the year and deserves a big recommendation.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Categories
Review

Gaudi + Savona: Havana Meets Kingston in Dub

"Havana Meets Kingston" was a big deal in 2017. Following the example of Buena Vista Social Club, Jake Savona aka Mista Savona - reputedly Australia's "leading reggae producer" - invited veteran Cuban musicians to veteran Cuban and Jamaican studios, where they met veteran reggae musicians such as Sly & Robbie , Ernest Ranglin, Bongo Herman and others met to record music together – and of course to make a documentary (which apparently never came to fruition). A huge effort that paid off with the (relative) success of the album. But it would be a shame not to use the recordings further - and that's a good idea Dub-Album on! Anyone who thinks so big cannot hire just any remixer, which is why Savona turned to Gaudi, who also enjoys fame and respect outside the reggae cosmos. Gaudi took five years, around nine Dubs to mix that up now "Havana Meets Kingston in Dub" (Mista Savona) find. Maybe he has thought through every turn of the knob intensively and weighed it up against alternatives, in order to actually make one after months of planning Dub record. But maybe he was just in a severe corona lethargy. Anyway, it's finally here, that Dub-The album is out and it turned out really well. Gaudi's meticulousness pays off, because the sound and mix are simply superb. However, a lot would have had to go wrong in order not to turn the brilliant templates into brilliant ones as well Dubs to peen. The arrangements are simply great and the perfect craftsmanship of the musicians leaves nothing to be desired. So: Gaudi gives us a wonderful Dub-Album that would have been worth waiting for had you known it was planned to exist. I'm even of the opinion (no wonder) that the Dub-Version of the album is better than the original. The sound is tighter and the overstuffed arrangements have been reduced to a level that really allows each individual instrument to come into its own. Gaudi is pretty reluctant to use reverb and echo, because enough is already happening without them. Perfectly dosed, I would say. It is also noticeable that the organic live sound produced by Savona is a very appealing contrast to Gaudi's more electronic tracks Dub-Mixing stands. Altogether certainly one of the notable ones Dub-Highlights 2022.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Categories
Review

Blue & Red: Hidden Dubs

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

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Categories
Review

Vibronics Meets Mafia & Fluxy in Brixton

Two worlds come together in a wonderfully harmonious way: Steve Vibronics, veteran of the UKDub and Mafia & Fluxy, British rhythm twins and hit producers. While the former stands for classic UK sound system culture, the latter are more protagonists of classic reggae and lovers rock. In any case, they are both classics. But Mafia & Fluxy can also be different. on "Vibronics Meets Mafia & Fluxy in Brixton" (Scoops Records) they play really hard steppers. The perfect basis for Steve Vibronics to produce exceptionally high-quality Dubs to forge (allegedly he "composed" the rhythms and just let them record them). Compared to Mr. Vibronic's recent collaborations, this album really stands out. The Rhythmstwins' sound is simply better and their arrangements more exciting. It's often the details that make a huge difference in the overall result. And here it can be stated that three perfectionists and masters of their subjects found together and together a really nice Dub- created an album.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Categories
Review

Augustus Pablo & Rockers All Stars: Lightning & Thunder

Horace Swaby, better known as Augustus Pablo, who died in May 1999, is here at Dubblog really no stranger. I have to admit that his premature death at the age of just 44 touched me deeply. The somewhat jazzy Far East sound of the exceptional musician and producer Augustus Pablo has always struck a chord with me. The first Augustus Pablo album to add to my collection was Tommy Cowan produced and mixed by the immortal King TubbyItal Dub“. Published by Trojan in 1974, Ital Dub“ is an ingenious snapshot and shows Augustus Pablo on his way to becoming a producer of his own works. Whether Peter Tosh or Augustus Pablo was the first to make the children's instrument melodica socially acceptable in reggae will most likely no longer be clarified.

A few days ago the album “Augustus Pablo & Rockers All Stars: Lightning & Thunder“ (Onlyroots) appeared. An incredible collection of previously unreleased and Dubplate mixes of the legendary Jah Shaka, heard here under the title "Gates of Zion" and a completely different mix to the original. The vocals come from the then very young George Nooks aka Prince Mohammed. The original reads "Yeah Dub' and is on the 'Chanting Dub With The Help Of The Father" by the Rockers All Stars. Surely other riddims will look familiar to you. So the King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown's "Stop Them Jah" became "Leave The Dreadlocks" and "Omo Valley." Dub“. Another Jah Shaka favorite is the title track "Lightning & Thunder", here the mix was titled "Sons of Negus". And now comes my absolute highlight and the grandiose conclusion of the album: "All Nations" & "All Nations Dub“. Originally found on the 1975 Upsetters album: Return Of Wax entitled "One-Armed Boxer". So folks, there is actually a lot to discover on the "Lightning & Thunder" and as long as such delicacies are still slumbering in the archives, I am worried about the continued existence of the Dub/Reggae don't worry.

Even if you already know or even own countless Augustus Pablo albums, I can still strongly recommend listening to this release. In my opinion even an absolute must.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Categories
Review

Al Brown & Inner Force: Dub Cuts

Paolo'Dubfiles' Baldini has been a valued and style-defining figure in the flourishing Italian reggae scene for over 20 years.Dub-Scene. He was a founding member of the BR Stylers and The Dub sync He also played bass for a few years for the Africa Unite, which I value very much. During his creative phase to date, Baldini has worked countless times with a wide variety of artists. The last few years in particular have been extremely fruitful. His collaborations with Dubblestandart from Austria and currently the English label Pressure Sounds made an extremely positive impression on me. His current work on Pressure Sounds, "Al Brown & Inner Force: Dub Cutsmixed by PaoloDubI particularly like files' Baldini.
Born in 1934 in Kingston, Jamaica, Al Brown is a relatively unknown reggae artist and much information about him is hard to find even on the web. How could it be otherwise, he also made his first recordings for Coxsone Dodd. A little later he teamed up with the Volcanoes, which then formed the Skin Flesh & Bones, of which Brown also became a member. The Revolutionaries then recruited their cast from the Skin Flesh And Bones. Al Brown released a single album in 1974 entitled Here I Am Baby, a version of Al Green's song of the same name. The title song "Here I Am Baby" was also successful in England and became a minor hit. After that, things got very quiet around Al Brown for many years. A few later singles were "Caribbean Queen" and "No Soul Today", which, however, could not build on the success of the debut album.
It wasn't until 1991 that Al Brown reappeared with his new band, Inner Force. The five musicians and one singer played only one album together with Al Brown: "Al Brown & Inner Force: Be El Ze Bub" a. To date, this album is only available on cassette. Paolo Baldini chose these recordings for his Pressure Sounds project Dubs selected. Seven of the original ten songs – one of them twice – were re-transformed into a psychoactive sound experience. As we did from Paolo'Dubfiles' Baldini are used to, everyone became Dub live at Alambic Studio, no overdubs or post-processing created. Inspired by the analogue techniques of the "Godfathers" of the Dub, King Tubby, Lee Perry, King Jammy and Scientist, Baldini goes to work with great empathy. Fortunately, he builds enough vocal fragments into his remixes, which gives the tracks that certain extra and also ensures the recognition of the soul-heavy original songs. As Paolo Baldini aptly put it himself in the interview: “The main ingredient for a good Dub-Album is, long before Dub-Master, the right songwriting.”

real Dub-Reggae fans will do very well with this album. Paolo Baldini knows how to masterfully edit the tracks artistically without falling into artificial mannerisms. The sound is crisp and clear, exploring dark lows and delicate highs, and refined with echo and reverb where necessary.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Categories
Review

LAB: In Dub

Ever since Fat Freddie's Drop we've known that reggae is BIG in New Zealand. A Bob Marley concert in 1979 is said to have been the catalyst for this development. In addition, the Rastafari culture is quite widespread, especially among the Maori - and marijuana is also known to be consumed very generously Down Under. Be that as it may: Reggae is chart-ready in NZ. Interestingly, this is by no means reggae based on the Jamaican model, but rather a very special, typical NZ reggae sound. It's difficult to analyze exactly, but one thing is clear: he's incredibly relaxed. So relaxed that it's sometimes derided on the island as "BBQ reggae" (we would call it "elevator music").
With LAB there is now a new star in the sky of the southern hemisphere. A band whose origins lie in reggae, but which – much like Fat Freddie's Drop – now tend to serve the pop market. But there are enough reggae songs in the oeuvre of five albums to keep the watchful eye of our Hamburger Dub-Label's Echo Beach draw attention. This decided without further ado: Let's put the best songs in Dubs transform, Paolo! What is meant is Paolo Baldini, who carried out a nice commissioned job here. The result is now called "LAB in Dub(Echo Beach). Luckily the tracks are more original than the title. Even if Paolo prefers to produce steppers, he has managed to create an extremely beautiful, gentle and harmonious work here. Perfect sound (the sound of the originals is already beyond any doubt) and above all great mixes! Here you will find the classic Dub-Principle in its purest form and demonstrates its full potential.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Categories
Review

Emmanuel Anebsa: Dub Ina Sun

Emmanuel Anebsa, a native Brit with Jamaican ancestors on his father's side, was an unknown quantity to me. According to Spotify, the man has released 2000 (!!!) albums and even more singles since 48 – including collaborations with Junior Kelly, Turbulence, Anthony B and others. However, reggae alone is not enough for the man: He also tries his hand at being a bluesy folk singer-songwriter (meaning: Anebsa accompanies himself on the guitar) and as a rapper, producer and mixer; he doesn't seem to leave out any genre that could be skewed towards indie. And indeed, all of his releases have appeared on his own Wontstop Record label - which may explain the sheer volume of output.

So now is his latest Dub-Album before (there are several): "Dub Ina Sun(Wontstop Records). It leaves the reviewer ambivalent - on the one hand the dull mix and the grotty recorded drums, on the other hand the nicely dominating, stomach-massaging basslines that you rarely or never hear in current productions. The absence of any keyboard instruments is also beneficial; no obtrusively loud skanking on the piano, but many guitars played with and without effects. The result is an earthy, pure, almost rudimentary sound that gives the recordings a certain rehearsal room basement flair.

Great Dub- There are no effects to be heard - a little reverberation here and there, one or the other instrumental track fades in and out. Maybe the release would even pass as an instrumental album; Ultimately, however, the simply knitted, memorable bass lines are convincing with their tonal dominance and the sometimes excellent guitar work. Clear recommendation for guitar junkies!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Categories
Five Star Review

Horace Andy: Midnight Scorchers

Adrian Sherwood.

…and done! Sometimes it really only takes two words and a meaningful review has practically written itself - at least for the well-informed dubblog.de community. About Mr. Sherwood, his On-U Sound label and the oeuvre he produces - from Creation Rebel, New Age Steppers to African Headcharge, Singers & Players to the Dub syndicates; to Lee Perry, Bim Sherman and many others – there is probably no longer any need to waste big words. It's On-U Sound, man!

Doyen Sherwood himself has never lost relevance in his more than 30-year history as a producer - well, sometimes he has ventured into somewhat more obscure areas (such as his Collaboration with Pinch), but alone his productions with the Dub Syndicate and/or Lee Perry showed how much he works on the cutting edge and beyond. Who doesn't remember Perry's epochal "Rainford"-Release and its no less valuable counterpart "Heavy Rain"?

Now we have another fine double pack in front of us: The Horace Andy album "Midnight rockers' and its just-released counterpart 'Midnight Scorchers". The former surprises with a fairly classic sound by Sherwood standards, with Horace Andy at his best; the latter with, well, reinterpretations. A real Sherwood treatment goes far beyond that Dub-Borders, turns the innermost outside, lets shine in the vocal mix that has been buried, adds instruments and vocals (Daddy Freddy, Lone Ranger), fades out tracks in return and fattens up the whole sound compared to the original. All reasons why the term "Dub Album" doesn't go far enough and I think the more comprehensive "Counterpart" is more appropriate.

Finally, just the hard facts: "Midnight Scorchers" contains seven alternative versions of "Midnight Rocker" tracks plus three new tracks, all bearing the multi-ton On-U Sound seal of approval. Adrian Sherwood just... and done!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Categories
Review

Mato: jazz funk Dub Tribute

Thomas Blanchot aka mato is almost a guarantee for excellent analogue productions made in France - just remember his interpretation of Daft Punk's "Homework", the film music tribute "Holywoo Dub", the excursion into e-music "Classical Dub' and finally his nod to the horror genre 'Scary Dub". So far there has been dubblog.de good to very good reviews, although we are more concerned with instrumental than Dub-Albums have to do. Not that Mato is stingy with effects - on the contrary: Echo, Hall & Co. fit so well into the overall picture that the focus is more on musical excellence and fine arrangements.

Part of the success of the Mato works is certainly their recognition value: the originals are well known; their reggae or Dub-Surprise interpretations. So far at least, because this recognition effect is missing in Mato's new release "jazz funk Dub Tribute" fully. This is of course a very subjective statement; Listeners who are at home in the jazz-funk genre - particularly the recordings of the 1070s - will probably celebrate the new reggae interpretations. The reviewer, on the other hand, completely lacks this connection, even though the originals come from funk greats like Kool & The Gang, War, Grover Washington Jr. and jazz greats like Lonnie Liston Smith or Weather Report.

The bottom line is that Mato delivers on his not exactly original but aptly titled “Jazz-Funk Dub Tribute" from first-class craftsmanship again, no question. Everything is where it belongs, you can't complain - the will for perfection is there, the will for musical development is not. Similar instruments and arrangements, no matter how perfect they may be, could already be heard on earlier albums - but this time the spark is missing, the desire for something new, for experimentation and the courage to leave the beaten path. The reviewer would like more artistic risk, more surprises, less fabric softener. And he doesn't wish for any more fade-outs either - they could be seen as a reference to the 70s, but in 2022 they seem like a work avoidance characterized by a lack of imagination... doesn't have to be, Mato.

Rating: 4 out of 5.