What's wrong with the professor? Every good friend asked himself this question Dubs in view of the fairly uninspired recent Ariwa publications. What happened to Neil Fraser's superb mixing and production skills? Given the new album "Mad Professor & Mafia & Fluxy: From Mars With Dub" (Ariwa / Zomba) an answer seems to force itself: The professor had not forgotten his skills - all he lacked were good musicians who provided him with the “raw material” for his creations. But the problem has now been solved: With Mafia and Fluxy, the rhythm twins of British reggae, he has found two true rhythm artists who flew with him to Mars and a fantastic one there Dub- Recorded album; the best in many years. As if the old days had returned, the rhythms crash with tremendous pressure from the speakers and the Mad Professor turns controls, heads, sounds and effects like a crazy professor. He seems his DubCelebrate style in a state of complete ecstasy: much is not enough for him, more is better! No tack remains without effect, there is hissing, chirping and buzzing in every nook and cranny of its three-dimensional sound structure, the bass drum detonates in four-to-the-floor staccato, the bassline winds its way through the octaves and echoes ceaselessly oscillate between the channels you lose your balance. There is no doubt about any Dub-I've had more fun with the album in the last few months than with this gem, which is much less science fiction than Ariwa-old-school-at-it's-best. But even better: it is the first part of what will hopefully be a long series.
The British too Dub-Collective Zion Train has ground under his feet again. As is well known, they crashed bitterly in the second half of the 90s after your great crossover success “Homegrown Fantasy” in 1995. Your self-confident mix of (acid) house elements and rootsDub got more and more into the wake of pop and finally lost all independence. But with their new album "Original Sounds Of The Zion" (Universal Egg / EFA) - the title suggests - they found their way back to their "original" sound, which can best be compared with that of Dreadzone: high-speed stepper rhythms, beautiful, melodic (brass) synths -Sentences and a lot of electronic chirping. Occasionally a pure house track mixes in, or a beautiful song by vocalist Molara - variety, but by no means arbitrariness. Everything unites into an intoxicating, trance-like flow, the Dub Defined as dance music without ifs and buts.
We can see that there is another way of doing things Dubital with the compilation "Suitable # 2" (Suiteque), which focuses on slower and often more complex rhythms. The roadstead cannot be “straight forward” here, each track is singular and demands attention. Dubital took the chance to put together the most outstanding and idiosyncratic tracks of its colleagues (including Mad Professor, Twighlight Circus and Zion Train) on one long player. Unlike Zion Train, this one is required Dub more of an analytical reception in order to be able to develop its effect.
The bassist goes one step further Yeah Wobble (formerly bass player for PIL) on his album "Shout At The Devil" (30 hearts). Similar to Bill Laswell, he experiments intensively with world music and, having devoted himself extensively to Celtic music, has now turned to oriental sounds and reggae. It's hard to believe, but the music of North Africa and Arabia fits perfectly with the beats from Jamaica (Big Man - Rai meets Reggae and Bhangra dancehall had already suggested it). Jah Wobbel and Dubulah (Transglobal Underground), who is responsible for the beats, have created a fascinating sound universe from these two worlds, into which you can immerse yourself in order to explore the dimensions of the sound on the waves of the deep, flowing bassline. Tablas fade away in echoes, strings cut through the room, scraps of voices sound out of nowhere and sink into dark depths. A magical atmosphere pervades the album, fascinating and eerie at the same time. Only the voices of guest vocalists Natasha Atlas, Shahin Badar and Nina Miranda offer orientation and support. Their voices float weightlessly over the beats singing about the mountains of the moon or the winds of Africa.
Ok, let's get back to the bottom. The right plate for it is "Dub Inna De Cave Vol.1 " (Jet Star / Import) the Cave crew. All tracks were recorded in Jet Stars Cave studios and served as backings for various Jet Star artists (e.g. Rasites, Daweh Congo, Glen Washington). Produced by Danny Ray and mixed by Fitz Blake, they represent solid Dub-Crafts. Here it goes straight ahead, there you know what you have. Which is not to say that there are no beautiful ones Dub-Mixes, or that the rhythms were boring. On the contrary: both are exemplary. Experimentation is simply avoided - and that is a good thing (to use the Chancellor's words), because Dub occasionally wants to be heard with the belly instead of the head.
It's always amazing to see old productions of the Dub-Foundation compared to the current recordings. King Tubby, Errol T., Lee Perry… it's hard to believe what quality the old masters achieved with their simple equipment more than 20 years ago. Sometimes I wonder (a little heretically) if Dub-Music has ever made progress. One cause of such doubt is King Tubby and Prince Jammy mixed Yabby You-Album "Dub It To The Top "which has just been re-released on the Blood and Fire (Indigo) label. The tracks collected there are from the years 1976-79 and are on the album "Yabby You Meets Michael Prophet: Vocal & Dub“And several single B-sides appeared. Recorded in the Channel One Studio, they clearly point towards dancehall. Powerful, energetic rhythms, great brass sections and the incomparable mixing skills of the king and his prince have produced an album that is undoubtedly one of the great classics of the genre. The beginning already sets standards: three versions of the Shank Kai Shek riddim get the album rolling. Other classics follow: Michael Prophets Dub-Version of "Heptones Gonna Fight", or "Rock With Me Baby", also in a Michael Prophet Dub-Version. You can't praise the album enough: buy it!
Only a little later, the recordings were on the album "Sly & Robbie Meet Bunny Lee At Dub Station" (Jamaican Recordings / Import) recorded in the Channel One studio. Bunny Lee produced and Sly and Robbie played the Rhtyhms. Most of them previously served as backings for Johnny Clarke and present Sly Dunbar's "Rockers-Style" to perfection. For the Dub-Mix has no credit on the record, but I wouldn't be surprised if Prince Jammy had been at work here.
Also a great album by Dub-Foundation: "Dennis Brown In Dub" (Heartbeat / EFA), produced by Niney The Observer. Militant observer rhythms, chased through the echo chamber by King Tubby and garnished with Dennis' vocals ... What can I say about that?
Finally, I would like to briefly mention four nice compilations with tracks from theDub point out: "Roots Of Dub Radio 2 " (Tanty Records) "A News Breed Of Dub - Issue Three " (Dubhead / EFA), "Nu Shoots Inna Roots - Dub Version Style " (Free Radical Sound / EFA) and "King size Dub - Chapter Eight " (Echo Beach / Indigo). With the exception of the last one, all albums are from England and offer exactly what you would expect from Nu Dub expected. I especially liked “Roots Of Dub Funk 2 ”, which offers more interesting tracks than“ A New Breed… ”and sounds less consumed than the“ Nu Shoots… ”, which as a vocal version has turned on my turntable so many times. King size Dub from Hamburg's Echo Beach label sets - as usual - its own standards: “File Under Logical Dubgression ”is on the cover, making it clear that innovation and openness point the way. This often leads to related genres such as triphop, world music or pop. Also part of the party are Groove Armada, Rhythm & Sound, Noiseshaper, Tackhead - not always fresh, but happy. Happy end.