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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, January 2003

Up, Bustle & Out - an unknown name for reggae fans - and yet the name stands for one of the most interesting reggae /Dub-Albums from the past year. In the past, Rudi & Ein, the two makers of Up, Bustle & Out, alternately devoted themselves to different ethno sounds, which they imported into the trip hop universe and processed there into fascinating downtempo grooves. After an Indian and a Cuban album, they now took off with their new work "Urban Evacuation" (Unique / Indigo) of Reggae of the 70s. The album, which was created entirely in the spirit of King Tubby, pays homage to this sound. But it wouldn't be worthy of this review if it had been content with it. On the contrary: Rudi & Ein go far beyond the Tubby model. Perhaps it is her non-reggae background that allows her to mix styles in such an undogmatic manner and create sounds so adventurous: Ska, Flamenco, Breakbeats, Trip Hop, Latin, Arabic, Indian ... everything plays along during Reggae and Dub form the solid basis. The stylistic diversity is also evident in the names of the guests: Ras Jabulani, from the Black Roots, who voiced two tracks in the unmistakable Linton Kwesi Johnson style, or MC Nicky Blaze, singer with Roni Size, or Nitin Sawhney and Jim Barr ( Portishead), who play the double bass here, or Andy Hague with some very nice trumpet solos, or Senora Eugenia Ledesma on the percussions, or…. The list of contributors is long. It is therefore all the more astonishing that the album sounds like a piece and the pieces follow one another in perfect flow. The result is an almost cinematic atmosphere that seems to carry the listener through different worlds and repeatedly creates new images in front of his inner eye.

Let's jump right into the center of Dub: Jah Works, "Messages From The Seventh Sense" (Jah Works / Import) ideally embodies what is known today in the reggae community as New Dub What is understood is: powerful roots rhythms, massive basslines, loads of reverb and echo and, last but not least, a warm, relaxed and latently mystical atmosphere. Jah Rej invites us to a nice label tour, where we meet a lot of completely unknown artists and we meet some great ones Dub-Tracks will be heard. No experiments await us here, and once or twice we have to press the skip button, but overall it's one Dub-Journey, which hardly any other label can offer at this level at the moment. Producer (and esoteric) Jah Rej was probably inspired by the Zion Train dedication of his label in the form of the sampler "The Inspirational Sounds Of ...", released a few months ago, and unpacked even more treasures. He only doubled the “Quick March” of the Roots Crusaders - which he would gladly forgive on such a perfect track.

Likewise Ryan Moore retrieves treasures from his archive: Twilight circuit Dub Sound system: "The Essential Collection" (M-Records / Import) gathers - as the title undoubtedly makes clear - the best tracks of its previous Dub-Creation (which includes 9 albums since 1995). At a Dub-Artist of as unbelievably consistent continuity as Moore, it goes without saying that the Essential Collection cannot come up with surprises. It is not even possible to hear a stylistic development of Moore over the past 7 years. Experiments? No thanks! Dub is best pure, thought the master and fabricated some of the deepest reggae grooves that the Dub-The world ever vibrated. Recorded live by the master himself and then chased through all the echo chambers that the studio provided. Can be more essential Dub not be: The Essential Collection Of Essential Dub!

There have been many re-releases of King Tubby-Tracks from the 70s and 80s are given - which is no wonder, because in the age of the total remix you inevitably remember its inventor and creator. Since Tubby chased gigantic amounts of tracks through his echo chamber, every reissue could draw on the full potential and select tracks at will. It is all the more astonishing that reggae fans had to wait until the end of 2002 to hear about it "100% of Dub" (Select Cuts / Indigo) to receive such a broad collection of masterpieces by the King. The spectrum ranges from uptempo Bunny Lee productions of the mid-70s (Johnny Clarke, Horace Andy etc.) to the gloomy soundscapes of a Fatman from the late 70s and early 80s. While Tubby mixed the early pieces with unbelievable virtuosity and completely rearranged them with the help of his mixer, the late tracks are dominated by the pure sound in all its sluggish heaviness and dark depth. Of course he has Dub-Enthusiast all recordings already scattered in his collection - there is news on "100% Dub“Not to be discovered. But rediscovering the old in this beautiful combination is a lot of fun.

How one hundred percent Dub today sounds, however, let on "Dub Clash " (Dubhead / EFA). Much doesn’t seem to have changed since Tubby’s Fatman Mixes, but on the other hand it’s amazing how powerful this minimalist genre is, because, despite all its limitations, it can be more pure Dub still be exciting and sound good. As in this case: Dub Clash delivers the typical Dub-Minimalism: deep rumbling bass lines, sparse instrumentation, rolling beats and tons of reverb and echo. And still, somehow it's good: warm bass sound that you can feel in the pit of your stomach! No more and no less.

The fourth episode of the "Hi-Fidelity Dub Sessions " (Guidance / EFA) to work. It starts with a Japanese one Dub the Reggae Disco Rockers with vocal by Horace Andy, followed by the incredible track “Why Not Tonight” by See-I, which was recorded by Desmond Williams. Further tracks by Ticklah, Roots Combination, Richard Dorfmeister, Groove Armada and Smith & Mighty keep the level at the highest level. Only the last two pieces by Tosca fall off a bit. Thanks to Guidance for regularly bringing out such outstanding state of the art samplers without blinkers.

That too Dub-Syndicate has with "Murder Tone " (On-U-Sound / EFA) put together a sampler - but only with their own material from the "Dub Syndicate-Classic Collection ". Especially in comparison with the others discussed here Dub-Albums, it becomes abundantly clear again how independent and concise the music produced by Adrian Sherwood is. Its sounds, its arrangements, its melodies are unique. With “Murder Tone” he is delivering something like a retrospective of the last twenty years, and at the same time relaunching his somewhat neglected On-U-Sound label.

But there is also new material from Adrian Sherwood to listen: "Never Trust A Hippy" (Realworld / Virgin). Officially his first album under his own name, if you will, his "Debut". In view of its gigantic back catalog, a more than ironic phrase that the Virgin marketing team uses. It also seems ironic that his “debut album” does NOT appear on his own label. This is due to the fact that Peter Gabriel, label boss of Realworld, asked him to make a pure remix album from the label's back catalog. But Sherwood wanted to record new pieces rather than just recycle old ones and so went into the studio with musicians like Sly & Robby or Lenky (creators of the Diwali rhythm) and recorded new backings, over which he then played various realworld samples. The result is a very atypical Sherwood album that leaves the limits of reggae far behind. Whether it always succeeded is another question. Some songs sound a little uninspired, others not consistent enough. Often one gets the impression that Sherwood wanted too much: Dancehall, Dub, World music and sample experiments - compressed together in one song it often borders on overproduction. Sometimes this diversity is combined in a congenial way. No profit without risk.

On the French hammer bassDub-Label (which should get a proper German distribution soon) is an album by Paris Yard, with the title "Dubvisions " (Hammerbass / Import) released, which is not unlike the Sherwood work. Here, too, there are many world music samples and a clear affinity for dancehall. But unlike Sherwood, the construction of the pieces here is much simpler, but also more powerful. Here you can find z. B. also uncompromising electricalDub-Tracks whose massive steppers rhythms do not allow experiments. Then again there is traditional African music that comes with Dub-Sounds is fused, followed by an up-tempo dancehall-Dub. Confusing conceptless, but precisely because of that exciting and entertaining.

The album, also released on Hammerbass, is in a dance context - if not pop "Peace, Unity, Love, Having Fun And Computers" (Hammerbass / Import) by Batam batam anchored. The sound can best be compared to Dreadzone, even if Batam Batam still uses carefree pop melodies and doesn't care in the least about reggae credibility. The “Having Fun” in the title hits the core of the album concept: Everything that is fun - be it 60s pop or disco choirs - becomes alcohol-free here Dub-Cocktail mixed. The reggae beat remains a solid base, but with the lush pop arrangement above it, it is hardly perceived as such. This is not a criticism! What should be wrong with “Having Fun”? Dub doesn't have to be head music, even if many think so.

They seem a little different Trance Vision Steppers with her new album, "Tvs.2" (Forty-five / Indigo) to see. Minimalistic electronic sounds à la “Space Night meets Dub, weightlessly flowing, meditative. The addressee here is more the head than the stomach. There is no stranger behind this sound: Felix Wolter, mastermind of the reggae band “Visions” and various other projects such as “Pre Fade Listening” - and more avant-garde Dub-Producer from Hanover. To what extent the sound of TVS still has something to do with reggae cannot be clearly determined. Proven reggae beats can hardly be heard, and yet the reggae vibe resonates in every note. Dub is universal.

It drives even more minimalist Mapstation (featuring Ras Donovan) with "Version Train" (Dusty Gold / Indigo). Stefan Schneider remixes the tracks from his previous electronic album "A Way To Find The Day" in reggae style. Nobody should expect to find fat one-drop rhythms here. On the contrary, the tracks are pure minimal electro-plucker-click-Dub-Soundscapes whose sound and instrumentation have absolutely nothing to do with reggae. But there is this strange syncopation of the beats that has something to do with reggae in a very associative way. If the reggae vocals by Ras Donovan, which are strongly reminiscent of Tikiman, are added, then the album has undoubtedly earned its place in this column. I find this approach to reggae absolutely refreshing, exciting and also really beautiful. Of course, the tracks are often brittle and a little “cerebral” - but it doesn't always have to be “Jump & Shout”. Here, at the boundaries of the genre, more interesting things often happen than in its center. Unfortunately, Stefan Schneider takes his minimalism principle too literally: just under 30 minutes for the price of a "normal" album is simply too short (and by no means manifests an alleged "artistic claim").

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