Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Evolution, July 2008

And again publishes the tireless Hamburger Dub-Label Echo Beach a new one Dub-Album from Germany: Sam Ragga Band, “In Dub" (Echo Beach / Indigo). Anyone who thinks the Sam Ragga Band is Jan Delay's backing band only knows half the job. Since Jan Eißfeld turned away from reggae and turned to funk, the Sam Ragga Band has been operating at its own expense and has in the meantime recorded three (!) Albums of its own. "In Dub“Is now the Dub-Synthesis from these three works, mixed, remixed and gedubbt by three friends of the band: QP Laboraties, Pensi and Martin Rothert. As a Mr. Delays backing band, Sam Ragga couldn't really convince me. Somehow the timing was wrong, the rhythms weren't tight and the basslines didn't have a groove. So I hadn't listened to the following Sam Ragga albums at all. Maybe a mistake, as I now think, because the DubThe s that can be heard on this album don't sound too bad at all. Especially those that come from the last album "Situations" like z. B. "Why Dub“- a nice deeper Dub-Tune with a richly played bassline, minimal effects and a very puristic mix. DubOn the other hand, those that go back to the first album “Loktown Hi-Life” suffer from the less powerfully recorded tracks and the lack of tension in the somewhat more poppy arrangements. From the second Sam Ragga album “The Sound Of Sam Ragga” only the track “Schade Dub". However, this is arranged in such a poppy way that the suspicion arises that the remixers did not find anything on the album, which is probably all too pop. No matter! Despite minor slip-ups, “Sam Ragga In Dub“A good album, not exactly avant-garde, but solid Dub- Food from Hamburg. Ahoy.

Let's listen to a second album from Echo Beach: "Dubstars - From Dub To Disco & From Disco To Dub" (Echo Beach / Indigo). Who here a classic Dub-Sampler expected will be amazed at the latest at the track listing. Instead of Tubby, Perry, Mad Prof & Co. he finds names like: Terence Trent D'Arby, Simply Red, Stereo MC's, Brian Eno & David Byrne, New Order or Cabaret Voltaire. What this compilation offers us is quite extraordinary, namely Dub-Mixes of disco pieces from the 1980s and 1990s, but almost all of which were created during the time of their original recording. For me, this CD reveals a previously unfathomable secret: Why didn't the Madonna, Grace Jones, Gloria Estefan (etc.) hits in the disco run in the version known from the radio? Quite simply: Because the disco producers reduced them to the rhythm - and thus more danceable and also easier to mix Dub-Versions had tinkered. Such disco versions are on "Dubstars ”- but no obscure snippets of disco producers at the time, but the works of remixers to be taken seriously (at the time) such as Chris Blackwell, Adrian Sheerwod or Dennis Bovell (among others, mixer virtuosos unknown to the reggae connoisseur). With reggaeDub Of course, the whole thing has little to do and a part of z. B. Getting through Terence Trent D'Arby takes some self-control. This is offset by really exciting discoveries such as the Chris Blackwell remix of the Grace Jones track "She's Lost Control" or Will Powers "Adventures In Success" from 1983, which sounds like it is the sequencer of a hip dancehall producer sprung from. Because the musical phenomenon is almost more interesting than the music, the CD offers detailed and very amusing liner notes.

It is long overdue that I am on this column "Lead With The Bass 3" (Universal Egg / Cargo) come to speak. After all, this sampler was made in Jamaica for Dub-Album of last year was chosen (and was also released in April). As with the two predecessors, label boss Neil Perch has taken stock of the UKDub put together and tunes from vibronics, Dubdadda, Abassi All Stars, Ital Horns, Dub Terror or Zion Train put together. Each track is available as an original recording and as a remix (Dubplate version or Dub) available a second time. This is how you make a whole album out of 8 pieces! Although the sound production is poor, the first two Vibronics tracks are already a blast. What a bassline! Add to that the powerfully syncopating percussions and there is already one of the strongest rhythms that the UK-Dub had to offer lately. It gets interesting again with track 11 by Prince David, who plays a nice melody here (which somehow reminds me of songs by anti-globalizationists). Unfortunately, the sampler cannot maintain the level of these tracks. The remaining pieces are not bad, but neither are they outstanding or even groundbreaking. UKDubhow to know him and how he is increasingly losing the interest of his listeners.

Much more interesting is the new album by Casualty: "Version 5.2" (Hammer bass / import). It is the second album by the French sound tinkerers and it leaves the narrow boundaries of the UKDub far behind. As if a breath of fresh air had blown through the beats, the album avoids (almost) all of the clichés Dub and convinces with new, exciting ideas. There are almost jazzy tunes with beautiful saxophone sounds that are sometimes fast Dub-House tracks and another time next to almost spiritual-Arabic ones Dub-Grooves stand. In two cases they even ventured to drum & bass and techno. No wonder, that Dub flourished in France, while in England it was losing supporters.

In England, however, is extremely popular Dubstep. Although the formal proximity to classic reggaeDub is not too pronounced so would be Dubstep without reggae and Dub unthinkable. The DNA of the Dub Of course, it shows in the uncompromising focus on the bassline. Also is Dubstep, as well as reggaeDub, relying on sound systems and DubPlates are an essential part of business. But that is where the similarities stop. One looks for onedrop, echoes and mixing desk magic in Dubstep in vain. Allegedly originated from a garage, sounds Dubstep in my ears much more like a derivative of jungle and drum & bass - but without the breakneck fast drum loops. Electronically creaky (by the way, like Scientist!), Subsonic basslines, cool and cold electronic beats: precise, rational, hard and sharp. In contrast, the sea of ​​bass. If you want to get to know this sound, which has now largely been defined, the double CD is for you "Steppas' Delight" (Souljazz / Indigo) recommended. The Souljazz compilers draw the (short) history of the in extensive liner notes Dubstep and bring together all the important protagonists with a total of 19 tunes.

Back to the classic one-drop. Paul Fox has a pretty nice one based on Michael Rose's “Great Expectations” Dub-Album mixed: "Michael Rose & Shades Of Black: Dub Expectations " (Nocturne / Rough Trade). It is not exactly a product of the drive for innovation and avant-gardeism. On the contrary: it's just a good, traditional one Dub-Album that you can just enjoy without any ambition or curiosity. The rhythms are powerful and full, the mixes on tubby level and Michael Rose's vocals a nice relaxing element. Fortunately, Fox does without the typical UKDub-Sound clichés and mixes a clean, neutral sound full of dynamics. The only irritating thing is that almost all tunes do not end, but are cut off in the middle of the beat. Given the meticulous production, this lapse is astonishing - unless Fox thinks the "band-to-end" effect is style.

The Berlin DJ Daniel W. Best runs a flourishing booking agency and also has a small label called “Best Seven”, which he gives to music “somewhere between reggae, soul and Dub“Dedicates. The pieces appearing on Best Seven usually see the light of day as vinyl singles, which the label boss takes as an opportunity to release them on CD from time to time. With "Best Seven Selections 3" (Best Seven / Sonar Kollektiv / Rough Trade) this is the third time. Apart from Black Seeds and Tosca, the names of the artists represented here (Sisters, Kabuki, Cat Rat, Ladi 6, Jah Seal and others) were absolutely unknown to me. Accordingly, I didn't expect much. But what a surprise when playing the first tracks! The pieces gathered here are beautiful. Wonderfully gentle, relaxed reggae with catchy melodies and really good singing. Sometimes it sounds a little like Lovers Rock, then again like Fat Freddie's Drop. Although all the pieces are with vocals, the record somehow fits into them Dub-Column. Maybe it's the warm, relaxed sound, the subdued Dub-Effects of some pieces - or it's simply because I like this compilation exceptionally well.

Recently I came across an idiosyncratic album: Tuff Lion, "Ten Strings" (I Grade / Import). You can hear instrumental reggae with the guitar as the lead instrument. Logical that such a record has to come from America. Label boss and producer Tippy I put together 14 rhythm tracks from the I Grade Back catalog and 4 new rhythms for the album and had guitarist Tuff Lion improvise on them. Instead of screeching rock solos, the lion plays soft, jazzy sounds that are often reminiscent of Ernest Ranglin. The whole thing is very relaxed - and unfortunately a bit boring in the long run. But perfect as background sound when reading or working!

We come to the revival selection. Roots Radics Meets King Tubbys, “More Dangerous Dub" (Greensleeves / Rough Trade) is the name of the successor album to the album originally released in 1981 and re-released in 1996, “Dangerous Dub". With the name "Roots Radics" it should be pretty clear which sound awaits the listener here: Ultra-slow rhythms mixed with a lot of "air", the focus of which is always a beautifully melodious bassline. Mixing engineers were Jah Screw (who also produced), Soldgie and King Tubby (the latter probably only "directed"). As with “Dangerous Dub“This is how the recordings on“ More Dangerous Dub“From 1981 and of course there are many Studio One interpretations to be heard, like z. B. “African Beat”, a fantastic one Dubwith which the album also begins. Allegedly, none of the recordings collected here were ever published - which is hard to believe given the quality of the material.

Not unpublished, but "rare" Dubit gives up "Scientist At The Controls Of Dub - Rare Dubs 1979-1980 " (Jamaican Recordings / Import). It was produced by Ossie Thomas and recorded at Tuff Gong and Channel 1 studios, mixed at Tubby's. Compared to the recordings of “Dangerous Dub“, The Scientist tunes sound rougher, more atmospheric, less clean and are definitely mixed more ambitiously. The original vocals also flash through here from time to time - especially at the beginning of each tune - so that you can always hear small fragments of melody by Dennis Brown, Tony Tuff, Tristan Palmer and others. A very nice album that easily goes with the enthusiasm for the good old Jamaican Dub to awaken again.

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