Dennis Bovell meets Dubblestandart: @ Repulse "Reggae Classics"

About Paul Zasky's under the Dubblestandart label released "reggae classics“-Album I already tore my mouth wide and wide at this point. The qualitative difference to the predecessor was too big "Dub Realistic"; incomprehensible the decision to work with the experienced, but musically unsophisticated Firehouse crew. Fortunately, the item appeared on Echo Beach - probably the most recyclable label anywhere. And indeed: The first tracks from "Reggae Classics" celebrated their rebirth on "Dub Me crazy" (see also René Wynand's review) - a compilation for which Paolo Baldini dismantled, dusted and polished the recordings. The result was Dub-Remixes that bar everyone Dubblestandart sterility roar fresh and cheeky through the speakers. The next trick of the label was simply the tapes / files Dubto give up visionists and hope for the best. The man delivered: One wonderful, radical reinterpretation the "reggae classics" in the melancholy direction. Barring any original vocals, instead padded with vocoder effects and elegiac carpets of sound, it leaves the original album far behind.

Can you top that? It is worth a try; So off with the recordings of Dennis Bovell - keyword Matumbi, keyword LKJ. He has now given us something like a third incarnation of the album: "Dennis Bovell meets Dubblestandart @ Repulse Reggae Classics“(Echo Beach), as the bulky title is called, knows how to surprise. Instead of an official one Dub-Version (!) Bovell first sings the tracks in again before he gets to it Dub-Mixing makes. Now, it's really not that Bovell is stepping to the microphone for the first time, but the reviewer's expectations were completely different. And so it happens that the cold, awkward-angular, "Denglish" sounding vocals of Paul Zasky are replaced by the no less strange voice of Bovell. It is raw, downright coarse, brings in a shot of dirty soul, appears awkward in its own way: the ethereal “Fly Me to the Moon” cannot overcome gravity and crashes mercilessly; The revised version of “I'm no Robot” with its new backing vocals also seems strangely out of place and at times almost operetta-like due to Bovell's drifting vibrato baritone. A downgrade to the wood class, so to speak, which doesn’t look good on every track, but gives some street credibility: Culture’s “Jah Jah See dem a Come” or Steel Pulse’s “Babylon the Bandit” undoubtedly win.

The vocal tracks are more of a general store or - if you will - a € 1 shop: not everything is of the same quality, not everything keeps what it promises, some things are overpaid even with one euro. Of course, this does not apply to them Dub-Mixes that still need to be discussed, but do not require many words: They are quite successful to excellent; here Dennis Bovell is beyond any doubt, here he can Dub-Master seem: nice earthy, old-school and calm, that's exactly what you expect from the man. That's why there's an unreserved purchase recommendation. What you do with the sung addition is up to you - I put it under "musical joke", which I dig out every now and then for my pleasure. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

2 responses to “Dennis Bovell meets Dubblestandart: @ Repulse "Reggae Classics" "

I keep realizing that I'm just a fan. Of course you are also fans, but you have also developed into special experts or it was simply more innate to you than to me. In any case, your description of Dennis Bovell's voice alone convinces me, gtkriz.
"It's raw, downright coarse, brings in a shot of dirty soul, looks awkward in its own way." I think that's very well described, especially since - to me - it doesn't sound like it
would be completely wrong. I like “of course” especially “the dirty soul” in the voice and since Dennis Bovell was always primarily responsible for the basslines, I take it for granted that he doesn't have the vocal virtuosity of Frederick “Toots” Hibbert. I mean, I already made the comment on the "original" that Paul Zaski's voice didn't bother me either. Of course, they sometimes differed greatly from the originals and made it clear that Paul Zaski by no means has the charisma of a Joseph Hill or a David Hind. I think he can live with that. Because also Jamaica and their "ambassadors" or their descendants, now scattered around the world,
could no longer achieve this charisma - from my point of view - by a long way.
Of course, a Buju Banton also has a certain charisma, but that only convinces me occasionally. Just his last album, what is that supposed to be? Is like ackee and salt fish without spices! Boring! (! My opinion! Does not necessarily have to be correct). And even before that, I always found the Buju to be very "mixed".
Why am I writing so much about the vocals here?!? This is mainly due to the fact that the vocals here are the really innovative thing about the now 3rd Aufguss. And as a fan, not as an expert beyond doubt, I have to say that I like the vocals (or should I rather write the vocals) of Dennis Bovell for the most part very much.

(Small objection to prevent misunderstandings: I don't mean you gtkriz when I write “expert beyond doubt”. Even if it is of course so ;-) I only mean that in general and hidden, the wish is there, that I myself would like to be above all doubt / It should in any case, in no way be taken as bitchy irony ...... .. greetings).

This is mainly due to the frequency with which he sings. The volume doesn't seem excessive either, as with VPrecords. His voice is rather deep and does not remind you in the least of blaring, spoiled toddlers at the supermarket checkout. There are so many - from Chezidek to Queen Ifrika - who seem to think that humanity is set to "blur" from head to toe. The balance needs to be worked on urgently. Not between right and left but rather the balance between music and blaring.
So let me talk about that again Dubwrite s. And that's exactly where I realize that I'm nowhere near that DubI am an expert like you here. I'm really just a fan there.

And that's why I have to say that I neither do the Dubs from Paolo Baldini nor the one from Dubvisionists and also not necessarily needed by Dennis Bovell. These are all just files for me. (Although I ordered the vinyl from Paolo, but it just doesn't come ashore). And also from DubI would have ordered visionists if they had been easy to buy. Files are still of less importance to me and that is why I am best served with the "double LP" + CD supplied.
I distance myself from the real experts here because I don't have the leisure to look at the different DubTo listen to versions again so meticulously and with full concentration, there too DubMusic for me primarily differs through the riddim and the effect machinery doesn't necessarily create a completely new musical experience.
And why did I get the extended version of "Horror Zone"?!? First, VINYL! Secondly, I'm even more of a fan and thirdly, I might occasionally have something like a …… .. expert ;-)

When I came from reggae and Dub I didn't know anything yet, I was always annoyed about "stolen" music. Especially when I was little, I was already annoyed by the German versions, which were simply "remixed" from the English-language hits. The exception “Ein Bett im Kornfeld” by Jürgen Drews was also acceptable to me. Original, I think, from the Bellamy Brothers or something like that. The longer I moved in the reggae cosmos, I realized that there were and are not as many versions (including cover versions) in any music as in reggae and Dub. A blatant rethinking process was necessary, as I am still partly in the process.
And so I ask myself about this "Dubblestandart project “again and again, why do you make so many infusions of it ?! Are you happy to be able to mix and remix such tight riddims from such an accomplished ReggaeBackGroundBand as the FireHouse Crew? Even if this seems to be “musically lacking”. That sounds harder than it is, I think, because even if the Fire House Crew itself - for me too - does not have such distinctive characteristics as the Taxi Gang or the Roots Radics, they play all of a piece and are “made of one very special wood carved ”. When they play, it grooves and nothing sticks.

Ok, I hope I haven't made too much “smoke about nothing” here. I always try to describe my impressions and certain side effects. In the end everything stays the same. I also like this version by and with Dennis Bovell very much from start to finish. But in contrast to gtkriz and possibly many others, I found the "originals" of DubbleStandart with the Fire House Crew is really good and all the additional files are not "filed" under "musical joke" ;-), but under "Magic Internet Records" and occasionally, most likely for my pleasure, pulled out or simply just clicked.

By the way: (we are not here at Lech's Kosmus) The originals! (without quotes) were and are always the best ;-) …………………………… lemmi

PS: Unfortunately they didn't have SO (!) A good sound (you have to admit).

now bye bye …………………… lemmi

At best, a review tries to take a closer look, turn stones around, dig deeper, reveal connections, make references and make comparisons, or simply feel and react. In the end, despite all efforts, it is just another subjective opinion that is presented as attractively as possible. So much for expertise :-)

To the incarnations / new editions / cover versions / remixes / re-Dubs - the sense of which can of course be questioned. I myself am grateful to labels like Echo Beach that they confront us with a wealth of different musical approaches and that we can experience several artistic dimensions for a single release. That is also the essence of the Dubs: The original is expanded by one dimension. Wonderful!


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