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Review

Acoustic Vibes: Dub The Palace Prince Back Home

Today I will prove that Reggae/Dub has covered all the continents of the earth and has a firm grip on them. From the South Pacific it goes directly to Sweden, in the far north of the northern hemisphere.

A few years ago, Ras Teo, a native Swede of Armenian descent, turned to Magnus "Daddy Natural" Hjalmarsson with the question: "Why don't we work together?" The reason was that Ras Teo, who lives in California, wanted to come home and make an album with Swedish musicians from his hometown of Uppsala. The bassist, producer and man behind the label King Solomon Productions is Magnus "Daddy Natural" Hjalmarsson. He is one of the founding members of the Swedish reggae pioneers Natural Way, who released a 1995-track album entitled "17" in 1924. So "Daddy Natural" used his connections, got a few musicians together and the "Coming Home" project with Teodik Hartoonian alias Ras Teo was able to start. Speaking of drums: "Daddy Natural's" son Teodor Lindström alias "Junior Natural" is on the drums. The core of The Naturals consists of musicians from Uppsala. The backing vocals are provided by some Swedish reggae acts such as Papa Dee and others. International vocal support comes from Ashanti Selah and Roberto Sanchez, through whose label A Lone-Ark the album is distributed. The same applies to the brass section, which is supported by Zoe Brown, Patrick "Aba Ariginal" Tenyue and Trevor Edwards.

After "Ras Teo & The Naturals: Coming Home“ now follows the Dub- counterpart "Acoustic Vibes: Dub The Palace Prince Back Home“ (King Solomon Records). The first track “Dubkind" starts with a beautiful Nyahbinghi drumming, accompanied by some very beautiful flute passages that meander through the whole track. The real magic of the second track "Dub Timer" comes from the echoes of other genres, such as the blue notes known from jazz, which are brought into play by the brass. Of course I could continue in this style, but I want you to have something else to discover. The album contains an incredible number of soft, warm, soulful or simply beautiful sounds. The rhythm section is always pointed, the entire instrumentation is fantastic. Buttery smooth lead guitar runs, stoic bass lines, well-tempered brass and a slightly off-key sounding electric organ round off this wonderful sound perfectly.

All in all, an album that I have listened to many times with growing enthusiasm."Dub The Palace Prince Back Home" is a great achievement by all involved. It is a musically stirring project that ranges from roots to Dub to jazz, soul and Nyabinghi and back again. Not an easy task, but one that has been mastered here with flying colors. The album was mastered by Tomas Boden, who shows off his full skills and gives us this breathtaking, Nordic, cool record. I like this sound - just let it sink in.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Trivia: Until now, I did not know that Ras Teo's family had direct connections to Haile Selassie I. According to Ras Teo, his family was taken in and cared for by Haile Selassie after the Armenian genocide in 1915/16.

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Review

Christoph El'Truento: Dubs From The Neighbourhood

After "Dubbin' Darryl: Textures" is followed seamlessly by another album from the South Pacific, more precisely from Aotearoa, the most widely used and accepted Maori name for New Zealand today. Christopher Martin James alias Christoph El' Truento is for us in Dubblog since his album “Peace Maker Dub“ is no longer a blank slate. Christoph El' Truento has now blossomed into one of the best producers in Aotearoa. No matter what genre – his extraordinary style encompasses many – El' Truento proves again and again that it is second nature to him, as he wanders unerringly through the genres and makes them his own as if he were sleepwalking. With his new album “Christoph El'Truento: Dubs From The Neighbourhood“ (Haymaker Records) he continues where he left off in 2019 with the Aotearoa Dub-Classic “Peace Maker Dub“ and pays tribute to the inventors of the Dub through his unique South Pacific lens. The highly anticipated new album “DubLike its predecessor, "S From The Neighbourhood" takes us on a musical journey inspired by road trips through small towns, sunshine, deserted beaches and deep green primeval landscapes. Listeners can expect a sound that has matured in complexity. What you hear is the sonic reflection of an artist who has become a little older, more mature and wiser. While the idyllic landscape on the cover is typically associated with carefree joy, the album adds details and textures that point to the inevitable downside of grief and loss that befall us on the journeys and impasses of life.

Overall, the album's tracks are strongly influenced by the sound of the 70s, but at the same time have the artist's unique psychedelic lo-fi touch in a modern 2024 style. Local influences and the pleasantly warm sound of the Dub-Maestros expand the sound palette. For example, the penultimate track on the album, "Things Done Changed," features a lap steel guitar, better known as a Hawaiian guitar. The title track is reminiscent of Perry's working methods in the Black Ark Studio, and "Pep The Conqueror" is a remake of the Cornell Campbell classic "The Gorgon," which was once released on Bunny 'Striker' Lee's Attack label. As on the previous album, El' Truento's son Pep can also lend his voice to this classic. With "Dubs From The Neighbourhood“ El' Truento lets the listener dream of relaxed summer days, hanging out with friends and a good doobie on the beach or the river bank and letting God be a good man. Even lovers of classic Jamaican Dub get their money's worth.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Dubam' Darryl: Textures (EP)

Reggae and its subgenre Dub have spread all over the globe and so it is not surprising that from “Down Under” there are also highly interesting Reggae & Dub albums are released (see review “Nachur”). After the Springtones had already released the reggae version of the Kings Go Forth cult hit “High On Your Love” as a one-drop and Dubversion, the Dad Bod followed Dubs interpretation of “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. The whole thing was presented by the Australian Dub-Label Cry No More Recordings, which now releases the debut album of “Dubam' Darryl: Textures" released.
Inspired by the funkier side of instrumental reggae, Dubbin' Darryl adds his own unique touch to keyboards, organ and melodica, creating a captivating musical experience.
The EP “Textures” is a psychedelic journey through just four songs Dub-Rhythms with super cool jazz vibes. Dubbin' Darryl convincingly shows us that he can effortlessly delve deep into a world of echoes. Straight from a shed in Witchcliffe, South West Australia, he comes with a haunting barrage of reverberating echoes over sparkling percussion and grooving guiro beats. Darryl, who also plays drums for the improvisationalDubband Dad Bod Dub is inspired by the funkier soul side of instrumental reggae and adds his own musical touch with distorted keyboards, organ and melodica. Today just one example: “Muckaround Dub“ sounds as if the legendary Lee 'Scratch' Perry had his magic fingers in the game. Or is it just a siren-likedubrooster echoing from the fields?


“Textures” is the third release from the new Australian Dub-Label Cry No More Recordings, which was founded by life partners Kellie Bennett (Bass, Guitar, Horn Samples & Production) and Clay Chipper (Beats, Guitar, Keys, Horn Samples & Production). Here they can pursue their love for reggae and Dub-inspired sounds with a pinch of soul and funk.
What also commands my greatest respect is the fact that everything is produced sustainably. Kellie and Clay believe that good music doesn't have to cost the earth, which is why they press on 100% recycled vinyl, use recycled packaging and run their small business on solar energy. They also respect and support the Whadjuk elders and the First Nations communities. Respect!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Bazille Noir: Goes Dub

On my occasional forays into new music, I came across the album “Bazille Noir Goes Dub“ encountered.

The project consists primarily of the Hamburg-based producer and musician Jens Paulsen, who has released music under the name “Bazille Noir” since 2001 and in recent years increasingly under the name “Paulsen & Stryczek”. For this Dub-album he has teamed up with bassist and keyboardist Matthias Zoeller. Both are unknown names to me and I did not look for any further information. The music should speak for itself. The album was released digitally on the Lemongrassmusic label, which for me has previously stood for ambient, downtempo, electronic or chillout releases. "Goes Dub“ is very convincing, but the nine tracks unfortunately also contain music that I like to switch away, but more on that later. It is more of an experimental approach to the topic of reggae and Dub, what the two do and that is exactly what produces successful and charming musical results.

The opener “Mutualism” begins with a relaxed, deep reggae groove bass, with bass drum accents on 2 and 4, where I particularly like the hi-hat work. The bass line is also good, but I don’t really need the recorded vocal samples. The wind arrangements dominated by the baritone saxophone, which are added discreetly but delicately from the middle of the song, are top notch. And my heart is happy because the song has an end and no fadeout. It continues with “Rainmaker”, which continues in a similar style, deep bass at its finest. I have to say that the mix and the effects used are very skillful, unobtrusive and serve the song. The wind instrument here is a flute, which is used rather sparingly – just the right amount. The third track is also good. However, the sound design is a bit more electronic and keyboard arpeggios and delays stand out, but a fat Hammond organ, an almost minimalist trumpet and a shy electric guitar also make an appearance. So far I'm impressed and can already sense a candidate for album of the year at the end of May.

"Blues Skank" comes after a minute-long intro, with a house beat that is too clumsy for my ears, otherwise it's still okay, the guitar is quite inspiring, but this beat just doesn't work for me. I know that it's a matter of taste and there will certainly be listeners who like it, maybe even prefer it, whatever. It continues like this (unfortunately) for the next two songs.

The three final tracks are again exactly what I like. Overall, the aesthetics of the work are very well balanced and compact. Everything fits together, I notice a concept, a real album from a single mold, which I have listened to quite often, apart from the three middle songs mentioned. In two or three places I even imagine borrowings from the sound universe of Dub Spencer & Trance Hill. A remarkably well-made work throughout, but one that doesn't get the highest marks from me - but that's purely a matter of taste. In any case, the two creators have my respect and goodwill to a great extent.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

Alborosia: Dub Pirate

The Dub-Alborosie's albums have rarely convinced me. Of course I admire his technical skills and his fixation on analogue equipment also earns me recognition. But his previous Dub-Albums seemed too textbook to me. They lacked creativity, excitement and, above all, the intention to override the rules of good taste. Perhaps the Dubs underlying productions are not strong enough. That is exactly what Alborosie avoids with his latest Dub-Plant: "Dub Pirate” (Evolution Media), because it is based on the outstanding album “Soul Pirate” from 2008, with which he made his breakthrough as a reggae artist. And rightly so, because it is still a brilliant album, but to this day there is no Dubversion. Crazy, since Alborosie is a big fan of Dub and studio work. We don’t know what prompted him now, 18 years later, to grab the old tracks and Dubs from it - of course with his historic studio equipment, which previously belonged to King Tubby or Coxsone Dodd. Alborosie not only uses the equipment of these legends, but also cultivates the aesthetics of his great role models. Therefore, it is not surprising that "Dub Pirate” was mixed in the style of King Tubby. Generous use of echo effects, masterful manipulation of high and low pass filters, virtuoso switching on and off of various instrumental tracks as well as some heavy sound manipulation. On “Dub In his new album “Pirate”, Alborosie is much more aggressive, even radical, with the original recordings. There is no comparison to his later Dub-albums. Perhaps the historical distance to the material was needed to deal with it “destructively”. Dubs of "Dub Pirate” are all remarkable, all killer, no filler. Nevertheless, some stand out in particular. Z. B. "Quiet Dub Blazing”, with the strong echo effects on the guitar that create a surreal and gripping atmosphere. Or “Precious Dub“, a piece that cleverly focuses on the wind section and its powerful, extremely creatively manipulated sounds are fascinating. A particular strength of “Dub Pirate” is undoubtedly the creative deconstruction of Alborosie’s greatest hits. Always nice to recognize echoes of well-known songs and their Dubreconstruction. Fortunately, Alborosie largely avoids the use of vocal snippets. The album particularly shines with “Natural Dub Mystic”, the Dub-Reinterpretation of his collaboration with Kymani Marley. This strong riddim was predestined for a Dub-Treatment, and Alborosie executes it absolutely masterfully. The heart of the track lies in the driving bass line and the recurring brass sections, which are enveloped by crazy swirling, spatial sound effects. A fascinating Dubexperience – like the album as a whole.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Review

The Loving Paupers & Victor Rice: The Ghost of Ladders

A year after their acclaimed album “Ladders”, the Loving Paupers from Washington DC release an extremely beautiful one Dub-version of the same: “The Ghost of Ladders” (Easy Star Records) - a title that all too obviously refers to the legendary Burning Spear album "Garvey's Ghost" and thus inevitably raises the level of expectation to the maximum. But with none other than Victor Rice handling the remix duties here (he also engineered “Ladders”), there's a strong chance that expectations will be met. Sure, his music isn't what you would play on a sound system. Somehow his sound - especially in contrast to Burning Spear - always sounds a little too light, too poppy, too much like ska. But for the sofa at home, or as a headphones accompaniment on your daily journey through the city, they are his Dubs wonderful music. Legendary British DJ Don Letts described the Loving Paupers' original sound as being influenced by 40s pop and XNUMXs reggae - a mix that made their music uniquely resonant. Which he is absolutely right about. I definitely had to think of UBXNUMX or Hollie Cook while listening to it. The sound is of course miles away from the repetitive, sappy Lovers Rock. It's pop reggae in the best sense. The question now is: what will happen? Dub-Mix of it? Known to be a treatment that generally gives pieces more gravity and grounding. What will be left of the light pop appeal? The answer is: exactly the right dose! “The Ghost of Ladders” is simply a super pleasant one Dubalbum that reveals the complex arrangements of the recordings and reveals the true quality of the music, which in the original could hide all too well behind Kelly Di Filippo's bright vocals. And as the singing disappears, the pop flair is significantly reduced. The allusion to "Garvey's Ghost" is perhaps a bit too exaggerated, but an analogy becomes clear: while "Ladders" is a nice pop-reggae album, "The Ghost of Ladders" really unfolds Dub-Magic - exactly that indescribable quality that Burning Spears also has Dubalbum elevated to the status of a cult work. Rice's masterful Dub-Mix uses the familiar ingredients of reverb and delay to transform the familiar into something completely new and otherworldly. “The Ghost of Ladders” once again impressively proves how Dub can effortlessly get to the core of the music and transcend it into a magical-abstract experience of pure sound. Now, I don't want to give the impression that Rice is somehow producing cerebral art music. On the contrary: thanks to the poppy basic nature of the music, it stays there Dubversion accessible and inevitably creates a good mood when listening. For me one of the most beautiful Dub-Albums from the last few months.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
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Five Star Review

Message: Showcase 1

The A-Lone Ark Muzik Studio in Santander has developed into one of the most interesting production facilities for modern roots reggae. Superb productions, perfectly crafted riddims, brilliant sound quality and simply great compositions are the hallmark of the studio. Behind this studio in Santander, Spain is Roberto Sánchez, a multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer and producer who has gathered a group of highly gifted Spanish reggae musicians around him. He and his crew are responsible for some of the most exciting albums of recent times. Z. B. Inés Pardo's "My Time", Ras Teo's "Ion Man" and I Man Cruz's "In A Mission" to name just a few of the most recent. But now Sánchez and his colleagues have outdone themselves and produced an absolutely outstanding instrumental and Dub-Album submitted: “Showcase 1” by Message (A-Lone Reggae). It was recorded in just one weekend in the Ark studio, live, pure and direct - and of course on magnetic tape, just like the musicians in Jamaica used to do. It is precisely to them, and to the reggae sound of the 1970s, that Sánchez & Co. pay tribute with their showcase album. “The soundtrack of our lives,” as Sánchez says. Their tribute contains 7 instrumentals and 7 Dub-versions. Lead instruments include melodica, trombone and sometimes a keyboard. All pieces are the band's own compositions. What excites me most is the tight production of the pieces. What a brilliant, energetic game, what precision and what perfect timing! I am convinced that handmade reggae cannot be recorded better today. The “song quality” of the pieces is equally convincing, as are the arrangements. So the only question that remains is: Dub-versions. Since not much can actually go wrong with the source material, it almost answers itself. Roberto Sánchez has the beats firmly under control: The Dubs are exciting and varied – and of course strictly old school. As expected, the lead instruments were robbed of their dominance here, but this only made the quality of the rest of the music stand out even more clearly. Anyone who buys the album in physical form will also be gifted with detailed liner notes on the production process and will see a few black and white photos of the musicians - also in the style of seventies vinyl.

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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Review

Roman Stewart: Give Thanks 'Showcase'

Although he more than deserved it, he was never in the forefront of successful Jamaican singers. For this reason, information about him is very sparse. Nevertheless, I venture a thesis: Without Roman Stewart there would have been no Dennis Brown. As you can read in the relevant literature, Roman taught Dennis how to sing. The vocal similarities are indeed striking, close your eyes and listen. Who do you hear? No, not the young Dennis Brown, but Roman Stewart with a “lost” album. Quite apart from the fact that “Roman Stewart: Give Thanks 'Showcase' “ (Thompson Sound) was never conceived as an album. Some titles were released as singles or maxi singles by Linval Thompson on his Thompson Sound label in 1979 and have never been available again since then. There are also three unreleased and completely new tracks and their Dub-Versions to be heard: Give Thanks, Give Thanks Dub, I'm In A Bad Mood, I'm In A Bad Mood Dub, Hello Baby and Hello Baby Dub.

Roman Stewart, born in 1957, started his career as a small boy on the street and at the pier where the cruise ships docked. There he sang for the tourists, and his friend Freddie McGregor collected the money that people were willing to give. Roman was just 1968 years old in 11 when he recorded his first recording, While I Was Walking, as Romeo Stewart And The Tennors With Tommy McCook And The Supersonics. In 1974, Roman had his first hit “Hooray Festival”. A song written by his older brother Neville aka Tinga Stewart and Willie Lindo. After his first breakthrough, he achieved another success in 1976 with “Hit Song,” produced by Tommy Cowan.
On the whole, the early 1970s were a successful time for Roman. He began recording new songs for well-known producers such as Glen Brown (Never Too Young), Derrick Harriott (Changing Times), Everton Da Silva (Rice & Peas), Phil Pratt (Fire At Your Heel) and Linval Thompson. Although he emigrated to the USA in 1976, he always maintained close contact with his home country and continued to make numerous recordings there. It is said that “Rice and Peas” is his best-known song, which he also recorded for Linval Thompson in 1979. In total, he recorded more than 70 singles and a good handful of albums and was able to look back on a career that spanned more than 30 years. On January 25, 2004, Roman aka Romeo or Romie Stewart died of a heart attack at the age of just 46. The previous evening he had attended a concert by his good old friend Freddie McGregor. Afterwards, Roman went to a birthday party, where he sang two more songs. When Roman wanted to sing his third song, he reportedly turned off the microphone and complained of chest pain. He later collapsed and was taken to hospital, where he remained in a coma and died the next day.

Over twenty years after this tragic event, Linval Thompson comes around the corner with the tapes that were believed to be lost. Roman Stewart's vocals and the Roots Radics Band's powerful riddims were recorded at the Hookim Brothers' Channel One Recording Studio on Maxfield Avenue in West Kingston, Jamaica. As mentioned, Linval Thompson found the original tapes and commissioned Roberto Sánchez to remix them at his A-Lone Ark Muzik Studio in Santander, Spain. Thanks to the expert preservation of the vintage analog sound, the listener feels transported back to the early dancehall era. The powerful title track “Give Thanks” is a classic roots song that has never been released before. The track and his Dub-Pendant offer a fantastic, bass-heavy riddim. With “Baby Come Back,” Roman Stewart turns to a love song. The song was originally recorded in England as 12? Vinyl released by Cool Rockers, a short-lived offshoot of Greensleeves Records that focused on lovers rock. The Revolutionaires were named as the accompanying band. He clearly shows that Roman is at home in both the roots and lovers sections of reggae. “Mr. Officer” is a play about the problems that come with possessing the green herb (Herb, Lambsbread, Ganja, Kaya, Collie). The remaining tracks on this LP deal more with matters of the heart, particularly issues that lead to complications in relationships. Each track has its own merits and is worth listening to more than once. Roman Stewart shines vocally on every piece, including the heavy ones Dubs by Roberto Sánchez are a real pleasure to listen to. Once again he has Dubmaster from northern Spain demonstrates that he is experienced enough to create a contemporary album from historical recordings with the classic sound of the golden age of reggae.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Review

OBF & Iration Steppers: Revelation Time

The Iration Steppers are currently the most famous sound system in the world. The sessions by Mark Iration and Dennis Rootical are among the highlights of the major sound system festivals. Their almost brutalist sound at deafening volume is indeed an intense experience. An experience that can hardly be reproduced at home on the sofa at moderate volume. The productions are a bit too under-complex for that. For some time now the Steppers have been touring the world with the Frenchman Rico and his sound system OBF and mixing various things together Dub-Events. Rico and Mark first met in 2004, became friends and decided to start a long-term collaboration. The result of this collaboration, which has become an album, is now available: “Revelation Time” (Dubquack). “We locked ourselves in the studio, writing lyrics, cooking up riddims, perfecting our production recipes, secret techniques and octopus mixes,” is how Rico describes the creation of the album. The result is 16 impressive tracks, intense, monstrous and brutal. Interestingly, none of the tracks do without vocals - what a Dub-Sound system is extremely unusual. Maybe they themselves noticed that the riddims are hardly instrumental Dubalbum is good. However, one has to object that the vocals are not always able to compensate for this deficiency. Apart from the anthem “Love Sound System”, which combines beautiful lyrics with a really catchy melody, the rest of the “songs” remain pretty bland. Even though Mark, Dennis and Rico say they are already in... Dub-Year 4000, the album sounds a bit yesterday. Instead of relying on massiveness and bass impact on every track, careful songwriting and/or differentiated production and inspired mixing would have been advisable. So the only option left is to play the tracks in a sound system in order to “feel” their actual quality. But who has that at home?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
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Review

Linval Thompson Meets Roberto Sanchez At The Ark: Marijuana Sessions In Dub

The album released in 1978 “I love marijuana“ was Linval Thompson’s first self-produced album. Vocally, Linval Thompson was at the peak of his abilities in 1978. His vocal range and self-confident demeanor – not unlike that of Ken Boothe – made him as engaging as the American soul singers who inspired quite a few young Jamaican singers in the 60s and 70s. The success of his hit single “I Love Marijuana” was followed by the LP of the same name and with it some of the best songs of his career. There are mutliple reasons for this. On the one hand, Thompson brought some extremely strong pieces with him to the Hookim brothers' Channel One studio, and on the other hand, he had one of Jamaica's best bands, The Revolutionaries, at his side. We hear Aston Barrett or Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Horsemouth Wallace or Sly Dunbar on drums, Ossie Hibbert on organ, followed by Ansel Collins on piano. The guitar was plucked by Earl Stanley Smith, better known as “Chinna” Smith. The end result was an extremely sophisticated LP of late 'XNUMXs reggae. On the album, the warmth and romance of Rock Steady meets the hard-hitting sound of the then-burgeoning Natty Roots scene. The original LP only had the last track as a treat Dub, “Jamaican Colley (Version)”, a Dub-version of the title track. Although the engineer was not named, there are indications that either Tubby himself, Philip Smart or Prince Jammy were at the controls. In addition to the title track, the album's highlights include the funky "Dread are the Controller" and Ken Boothe's enigmatically contradictory 1969 Studio 1 classic "Just Another Girl." U-Roy's Tony Robinson-produced 1975 album "Dread in a Babylon” also features a fantastic toast from “Just Another Girl” called “Runaway Girl”.
Since then, Linval Thompson has also made a name for himself as a producer, releasing work with and by Dennis Brown, Barrington Levy, The Viceroys, Revolutionaries, Scientist and countless other artists.

Now let’s get to “Linval Thompson meets Roberto Sanchez At The Ark: Marijuana Sessions In Dub(A-LONE PRODUCTIONS). Linval Thompson, who has repeatedly worked with the Spanish musician, sound engineer and producer Roberto Sanchez in recent years, provided Roberto Sanchez with the original tapes to create an equally brilliant album Dub-Make an album. And what the two of them put together in the A-Lone Ark Studio in Santander, northern Spain, is worth listening to. We know of many examples in which such an undertaking went brutally wrong, to say the least. But far from it, Roberto Sanchez and Linval Thompson have effortlessly managed to transfer a classic into the present day. The result is a timeless one Dub-Album with wonderful basslines à la Aston 'Familyman' Barrett, fat riddims and free-floating song fragments by Linval Thompson, which actually sounds as if it was created in the heyday of reggae. What else is there to complain about? Given the fact that the demand for reggae classics continues to rise steadily, Sanchez and Thompson can only be congratulated on this result and exclaim: “Well done men, I like it very much!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The album will also be released as a record on May 24.05.2024th, XNUMX.