Behind the beautiful name Jahtari is a small label from Leipzig that started a few years ago as an experiment and, as the name suggests, is initially dedicated to the 8-bit sound of early computers like Atari and the C64 with its famous three-part SID sound chip would have. The experiment consisted in playing music as soulful as reggae with the help of mathematical algorithms. By the way, an experiment that King Jammy and Steely & Cleevie had already succeeded in the mid-1980s. But while Jammy's “Computerized Reggae” sounded retort-like “digital” due to the inability of the computer technology at the time and this stage was soon overcome with the availability of better sound chips, for Jan Gleichmar, the founder and boss of Jahtari, this sound is the goal of all efforts. He tailored the Jahtari label to his body and collects his own productions here as well as the like-minded laptop fricklers. The “Jahtarian Dubbers ”albums, the second chapter of which has just been released, are something like the manifestos of this sound. “Jahtarian Dubbers, Vol. 2 " (jahtari.org/) presents us now 13 tracks of fully synthetic "digital laptop reggaes", chased through several software echo chambers and enriched with space invaders sounds. Some pieces also offer rock-solid vocals such as z. B. “Puff That Weed”, on whose chattering bit sequences the virtuoso Soom T rides like on a speeding bobby car. In the mind's eye you can see cheap netbooks overheating and China iPhone clones vibrate. And this is exactly where the charm of this weird music lies: The (intentionally) primitive instruments really secrete genuine, real and true reggae tunes. Fat bass, stiff offbeat, solid drums and a groovy beat. The whole sound cosmos “Reggae” shrinks to its minimal, constructive elements - and sounds really good at the same time. Super Mario meets Basic Channel, reggaewise. Just an interesting experiment or good music that can survive even without the included theory? The answer is: 42!
Dub-Reworkings of popular pop songs are obviously in vogue. Easy Star Records has already taken on Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Radiohead, and Echo Beach has subjected The Police to a thorough reviewdubexercise and now it hits the former clash singer Joe Strummer with “Shatter The Hotel”. This wave was triggered by "Dub Side Of The Moon ”, an album that has sold an incredible 2003 copies since 90.000. The more stupid the concept, the more successful it seems. And since concepts of this kind are easy to think of, everyone tries their luck. These were roughly my thoughts when I was "Shatter The Hotel" (www.strummerville.com) got my hands on it. Almost reluctantly, I listened. OK, that was passable. After the second listening it was okay. When I heard it for the third time, I found myself singing along. Now - I have to admit - I'm very fond of Joe Strummers posthumously Dub-Tribute. The big plus of the album is, quite simply, the solid song base. These are real catchy tunes! Converted into clean, functional and calm Dub-Versions can't be said against it. Driven by the catchy melodies and more frequent vocal accompaniment, there is something like good popDub-Reggae originated. In contrast to the albums mentioned above, the pieces on “Shatter The Hotel” were not all recorded by a band, but were contributed by well-known and unknown producers from the international reggae scene. So does the infallible Dubmatix from Canada starts with “London Calling”, then from Dub Antenna, the Creation Rockers and the Dub Cats as well as a number of other unknown producers / bands followed. Sound and style are so similar, however, that everything merges into a homogeneous album - to put it positively. Incidentally, the sales proceeds go to the Joe Strummer Foundation, which supports young musicians.
At the beginning of the new millennium, Mafia and Fluxy released a series of albums under the title “Reggae Heights”, in which they copied old vocals onto newly recorded backings. One album in the series was dedicated to Barry Brown's oeuvre and featured seven Dubs as bonus material. If that wasn't enough for you, you now have the opportunity with the album "Barry Brown In Dub"which is only available as a digital release, another six Dubs to acquire. And since the two British Rhythm Brothers have really done rock-solid instrumental and mixing work, this acquisition is highly recommended. And who then even more Dub- You need fabric, he can come with it "Dub Anthems " grab the full boom right away. Mafia & Fluxy are offering 15 of their best Dubs from that time. Fat, fat, fat tracks whose massive basslines vibrate the plates off the table. There is no innovation award, but there is DubChamber of Crafts awards an award for outstanding workmanship (sponsored by the porcelain industry). Many an old, well-known and beloved riddim is brought to the fore here (“anthems”) like z. B. "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown", Marley's "Forever Loving Jah", "Open The Gate", "Warriors Charge" and of course "Realrock".
Before our enjoyable Dub-Hour comes to an end, we take another look at the revival selection and find here once again an ultra-rare album that (how could it be otherwise) the Pressure Sounds label dug up for us: "Prince Jammy Presents Strictly Dub" (www.pressure.co.uk). Recorded in the late 1970s and small editions published in New York in the early 1980s, it offers us a glimpse of Jammy's early work, which was created at Tubby's mixer on Dromilly Avenue. It was produced, arranged, mixed and remixed by the Prince himself, recorded by Jamaica's Cream, the session musicians of the time: Sly & Robbie, Ansel Collins, Gladstone Anderson, Bobby Ellis, Deadly Hedley, Sticky Thompson (among others). An illustrious combo that perform beautiful versions of classic rhythms such as "Baba Boom", Ali Baba "or" Shenk I Sheck ". The titles of the pieces are interesting: “Brookly Dub"," Bronx Fashion Dub", "Immigrant Dub"Or" 42nd Street Dub". Marketing jamaica-wise, because the album was finally planned for New York. And how does it sound? Well! Not spectacular, but very beautiful. Thanks to the classics, the basis is right and thanks to the brilliant musicians, the implementation is also right. Relaxed, uptempo played, airy sound, full arrangements with very, very nice percussion. Jammy's mix is nice and appropriate. It gets really exciting with the two bonus tracks, which - according to press information - come from a "somewhat later period". They sound downright experimental compared to the rest. Heavier sound, a lot of pressure and a charming distortion effect that drives between the beats. Jammy has obviously learned a lot in a short time.