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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, July 2002

It is well known that you should stop when it's best - and so the Blood & Fire Remix series ends with a climax: "Select Cuts from Blood & Fire - Chapter 3" (Select Cuts / Indigo). Nicolai Beverungen, the Dub-Masterchief from Hamburg, has the almost complete Who's Who of the British for the big farewell party DubScene invited to remix reggae classics from the Blood & Fire catalog. In response, he's terrific with Dub-Tracks have been given away that make it clear where the Dub today it stands: under the sign of club culture. Groove Corporation, Dreadzone, Smith & Mighty, Different Drummer and the others leave no doubt that modern Dub has long been fused in the most excellent way with the sound of techno, house, drum & bass, garage, electro etc. and has thus paved its way into the future. But it is crucial that this Dub the reggae roots have not been lost that its beats and Dub-FX rest on the warm, soft bed of rolling basslines: eg “Rockfort Rock” from Groove Corporation, “Stalag” from Smith & Mighty, or “Greedy Girl” from Pressure Drop. It's nice to see how the constants of reggae evolution have now arrived in the 21st century - and can still sound surprisingly new. Smith & Mighty's version of Stalag is by far the best thing Dub has been produced recently. The same applies to the Dreadzone remix of two Prince Allah classics, which is carried over to garage pop realms by a bouncing syncopated uptempo beat, or, also outstanding: Don Lett's remix of the Prince Allah / Pablo Moses tracks “Great Stone / One People ". A heavyweight stomper without equal who will cause a sensation in many clubs and dancehalls. Interestingly, Letts is the director of the film "Dancehall Queen" (and over 300 music videos) - a true all-rounder. Conclusion: a superb remix record with only one problem: that it is the last one.

Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald (Rhythm & Sound, Basic Channel), the two Berlin-based minimal techno producers, owe the reggae community more than many a pure-blooded reggae label boss, because these two recently opened the dusty archives of oldest American reggae label Wackies open. They have freed true pearls of reggae history from their obscure, long-lost crackling vinyl pressings, lovingly dressed in reproductions of the old cover artwork and re-released in a beautiful edition. After some great vocal albums (be sure to listen to: The Love Joys) there is now "African Roots Act 2" and "Act 3" (EFA) the first Dub- To hear albums from Wackies. Both were produced in the early 1980s by Lloyd "Bullwackie" Barnes in the small studio behind the Wackies record store in the heart of the Bronx. In addition to beautiful versions of old Studio One riddims such as “Fight it to the Top”, “Love Won't Come Easy”, “Real Rock”, “Love Me Always” and other in-house compositions, the recordings are particularly impressive due to their peculiar sound who made Bullwackie productions so famous (and infamous). It's somewhere between Black Ark, Studio One and Channel One. No wonder that he has drawn the audiophile minimal enthusiasts from Berlin under his spell. "Act 3" is the way Dub-Version of Sugar Minott's "Wicked Ago Feel It" album.

After so much adulation, we are now getting closer to the norm again DubAlbums. Comes from France Dub-Producer Manutension, whose album produced in 2001 "Stricktly for Sound System Dub (Dub Attacks the Tech Vol. 1) " (Import) is now to be published in Germany. Although Manutension mainly relies on heavy steppers rhythms, his minimalist arranged album has become extraordinarily experimental. He proves once again that Dub is music for the stomach and the head at the same time: attentive, conscious listening is just as exciting here as the thumping of the bass in the pit of the stomach is pleasant. Hopefully the album will find a good distribution in this country.

Multi-instrumentalist and has a similar sound DubMixer Ryan Moore, who uses analog tube amplifiers to produce heavyweight floorshakers in his Amsterdam studio whose sound couldn't be fatter. Under the name of Twilight circuit Dub Sound System he now brings the third episode of his "Dub Plates "Series (Cargo) out. All eleven tracks were manually recorded and mixed by him. You can hardly produce music more consistently and you can be more uncompromising Dub actually doesn't sound either. Admirable in its formal purity, but at the same time perhaps a little too uniform, too uneventful. A danger that many at New Dub oriented towards the 1990s Dub-Productions succumb. Even the steppers master himself, Jah Shaka, was able to get her with his new album "Authentic Dubwise - Jah Shaka Meets Fire House Crew " (Blow) do not withdraw. An album without ups and downs “happened” to him, whose sound cannot decide between London and Jamaica. Too bad. They are more skilful Love grocers on their new album "Fresh Produce" (Dubhead / Indigo) to work. The pieces by the “love grocer” Chris Petter and David Fulwood live from the charming, soft wind melodies that the two played on their own. They have also invited guest vocalists like Earl 16 or Cheshire Cat, who help to make the album varied and interesting. The Love Gocers are topped by Tom Tattersall aka Mungo's HiFi from Glasgow, whose debut album "Mungo's HiFi Meets Brother Culture " (Dubhead / Indigo) an unreservedly beautiful Dub-Album with succinct melodies, warm beats and interesting arrangements. Tattersall gets support from Jah Shaka Sound-Mike-Man Brother Culture, old-school microphone chanter, who gives around half of the tracks dancehall flair and thus sends a clear signal: Dub to skanken. 

Instead of purism, daring to do a little crossover again: Coming from Vienna Dubblestandart and her new album "Streets of Dub" (Indigo), which combines remixes of older recordings with new tracks and is technically sound between trip hop, Dub and sometimes even (you hardly dare to pronounce it) ROCK moves. The Mad Professor Steppers remix and Rootsman's Dillinger remix are nice, the other tracks vary more or less strongly between uninspired beats and really exciting style experiments, such as the Fatsquad D'n'B remix.

There are even more crossovers, however Lightning Heads debut "Studio Don" (Sonar collective). “Debut” is a little out of place when you know that the pseudonym “Lightning Head” (the name comes from a Lee Perry interview!) Hides Glyn “Bigga” Bush, the former half of Rockers HiFi. Then at the latest you have an idea of ​​the direction in which the sound of the album is pointing: Intelligent Dub Grooves (nice label, right?), Enriched with Batucada rhythms (Samba), Latin piano riffs and funk beats - all right? Well, you could also say that the album is a musical journey from Kingston to Havana, the Bronx, Brixton and the Stax sound from Memphis to Dorset (the English nest where Bush has his studio). On this trip, Bigga Bush met four excellent vocalists: Farda P (known from Rockers HiFi), Colliston White (from Vienna), Monterria (a soul singer from Atlanta) and Patrice. Needless to say, we are dealing with an extraordinarily versatile album here, which you need to have open ears and an open mind to enjoy. But that distinguishes us Dub-Friends of course!

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