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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, January 2006

Actually, the Trojan-Back catalog of Perry recordings is well known. Therefore the 3-album double CD "Dub-Tryptich ”from last year actually doesn't pull anyone out from behind the stove. According to the same concept, so three Lee Perry-Albums on a double CD will now appear "Dubstrumentals " (Trojan / Rough Trade) and combines three albums that are much more interesting because they are seldom heard: 1. "Kung Fu Meets The Dragon", "Return Of The Wax" and "Musical Bones". At the end of 1973 Perry had completed his legendary Black Ark studio - albeit with minimal equipment - and began producing his first pieces there. 1973 was also the year in which Bruce Lee released his film "Enter The Dragon" and thus spread the Kung Fu pandemic in the West. Perry, who had a lot of fun with good films anyway - just think of his musical homage to the spaghetti westerns - had the chance to write an album with weird Kung Fu sounds, mystical Pablo Far East melodies and, of course, Bruce Lee's signature songs Do not let squeaks pass unused. And this is how instrumental pieces were created that, thanks to the sound effects and the inspired - albeit subdued - mix were definitely considered Dubs may be designated. Compared to later Black Ark productions, the beats are still relatively up-tempo with a strongly emphasized offbeat and peppered with Perry's Bruce Lee imitations. The way to new sounds can be clearly heard here, but Perry has not yet emancipated himself from his late 60s sound. The second album "The Return Of Wax", on the other hand, sounds much darker and deeper and was only released as a white label pressing in England in 1975. Here Perry worked with minimal instrumentation and radically slimmed down the mix. Often there is not much more to be heard than drum & bass, dry and puristic. Even if, as on “Big Boss”, the track begins cautiously melodic with offbeat and trumpet, Perry switches off all instruments after the fourth bar at the latest and lets the pure rhythm continue, only to experiment with the volume level later. In some ways, "Return" is reminiscent of the radical album "Dub Revolution". The third album, "Musical Bones" sounds completely different again. Like “Return…” it only came to England as a white label, but unlike its minimalist predecessor, “Musical Bones” is a true spawn of musicality and enthusiasm, because Perry didn't experiment here, but rather the trombonist Vin Gordon let's do it. He took the chance and delivered a beautiful, melodic instrumental album that uses many classic reggae riddims and does not shy away from interspersed jazz structures that like to transition into disco quotes after a hard break and then back to calm reggae -Beat to make room. Unfortunately, far too few copies of this album were pressed, so that it was quickly forgotten and later also overlooked by Perry in the flood of fresh Black Ark material. Now it can be heard again in brilliant quality - and there are two bonus albums on top of that.

Auralux has made an excellent name for itself among the reissue labels in the two years of its existence. It's also nice that the label's reggae historians also have a vein for Dub-Classics have, as they are now with the re-release of Fatman Dub Contest from 1979 prove again. The album is official "Fatman Presents Prince Jammy vs. Crucial Bunny: Dub Contest "(Auralux) titled and is one of my personal favorites from that golden one Dub-Era. Fatman was a British sound system operator who worked on Prince Jammy until the early 1980s.Dubs imported and distributed in the UK. In the case of "Dub Contest ”- which by the way has not been re-released since its appearance in 1979 - the then Prince mixed the first page of the album, while Channel One in-house engineer Crucial Bunny aka Bunny Tom Tom mixed the second page too much. Of course, the tracks on both sides come from different recording sessions, of which Jammy got the more exciting one. His tracks sound mystical and dark, which is enhanced by Jammy's echo-dominant mix. Jammy was able to draw on excellent material such as Johnnie Clarke's "Play Fool Fe Catch Wise", Black Uhuru's post-rockers version of the Wailers classic "Sun Is Shining" and Johnny Clarke's and I Roy's great re-working of "Satta". Bunny's side can't quite keep up with their lighter Revolutionaries-Rockers sound. By the way, both sides have been supplemented with two bonus tracks each for the CD release.

Most of the tracks are from the same era ScientistAlbums "Dubs From The Ghetto "(RAS / Roughtrade). Compiled by John Masouri, the album offers a small but very interesting look at Scientists' work. Scientists are gathered hereDubs for producers Jah Thomas, Bunny Lee, Linval Thompson and Barrington Levy. Masouri picked out the best productions here; each piece is a little masterpiece, both in terms of the rhythms and the mix. The music flows with calm serenity and the basslines unfold in all warmth. "Heavenless" and "Shank I Sheck" sound in wonderful versions and Scientists' restrained mix allows them to come into their own. With “Baltimore” there is even a production by Scientist from 2003 among the last tracks - astonishingly good by the way.

Now a little jump into New York in the 70s. Here originated "Bullwackiess All Stars: Dub Unlimited "(Wackies / Indigo) a classic one Dub-Album from the early days of Lloyd Bullwackie Barnes New York label. The Bronx studio was so new that Barnes, Prince Douglas and Jah Upton hadn't found time to record when they did a first Dub-Album released. They simply imported the recordings in Treasure Isle Studio and had King Tubby mix them - which explains why the typical Wackies sound cannot be heard here yet. However, Barnes had probably directed in Tubby's studio and was inspired by a variety of things Dubs that are clearly different from Tubby's mass production of this time.

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