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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, July 2004

With Dub from the USA it's always a thing. Somehow the Americans (maybe because of their strong rock history) don't get really groovy Dub-Tunes down. This also applies to the debut album in a very weaker form "Knives to the Treble" (Mars Records / Import) by Slade Anderson aka Burning Babylon from Boston, Massachusetts, but it more than makes up for this deficiency with other qualities. Anderson was a punk guitarist and came to reggae through The Clash. When he switched to bass in the 90s, he came across the Glen Brown / King Tubby album “Termination Dub“- which makes him a purely instrumental one in a direct way Dub brought. Anderson has been fiddling with the tunes for his current album in his small home studio for ten years now and has let himself go Dub- Influence acts like Dry and Heavy or Twilight Circus. The latter model in particular can be clearly felt, because like Ryan Moore, Anderson prefers analog recording equipment and very down-to-earth production methods. Maybe it's because his sound is light, open and hand-played. A certain rock appeal cannot be ignored. But quite different from Moore, Anderson's pieces convince with wonderfully melodic basslines and very varied arrangements. Above all, his preference for world music samples and interspersed ethnic sounds enrich his compositions a lot. On top of that, unlike many of his UK colleagues, he pays a lot of care to the mixing and is really interesting, complex Dub-Songs produced. For him is Dub a large field of experimentation, a free musical form whose possibilities must be exhausted. We forgive him generously that his pieces sometimes lack the last bit of groove.

After Dry & Heavy and Audioactive it should be clear that Dub is a hot topic in Japan. Provides further evidence of this Fire Blenderwho have sold thirty thousand of each of their five albums to date. This makes the band, founded in 1992 by art students, one of Tokyo's most popular club acts - which is hard to believe, given their new album "Little Tempo" (M Records / Import). Mainstream undoubtedly sounds different than these sometimes rather eccentric, experimental tunes, which are sometimes reminiscent of early On-U-Sound recordings (Playgroup or Starship Africa). It is not uncommon for the boundary between orderly rhythm and sound chaos to be explored here. But just before the disharmony gets annoying, the warm beats roll in and soothe the ear canals. If you need music for the background, you should keep your hands off Little Tempo. But if you want to enjoy exciting music to listen to, this is a great, inspired album.

The catalog of BSI records be valid. The Americans have listed some rather straightforward UK acts like Jah Warrior or Henry & Louise or Alpha & Omega, but also weird birds like Tone Scientist, Systemwide or Muzlimgauze. The best tunes from this and other label artists of the last five years are now on the anniversary album "Dub After Time: A Look Back at BSI Records "(BSI / Import) presents. The sampler is much more than a small label show. While he was with straight UKDubs begins, it is increasingly transformed into a journey to the limits of the Dub-Universum: To weird, experimental tracks in the crossover area to crackle electronics. From the simple to the complex, from the stomach to the head - with which the two virtues of Dub would be beautifully united!

There are also progressives from Echo Beach again Dub-Hear sounds. The album is there right now "Heavy Heavy Monster Dub"(Echo Beach / Indigo) Dubble standard published. The title makes the claim of the album clear: it should be an ultra-fat thing. A huge amount of effort was put into this (with trips to Kingston, New York, London, Paris and Vienna) and countless collaborations were organized. Sly & Robbie recorded rhythms, mixed Mad Professor and Dreadzone, Manasseh, Sounds From The Ground and 7Dub remixed - not to mention the vocalists involved. It is hard to believe that there is still an orderly whole in the typical Dubblestandart sound came out - even if this sound is always a bit on Dub Syndicate remembers. However, measured against the monster claim, the album turned out to be surprisingly unspectacular. Perhaps this self-knowledge also contributed to one or the other slightly overproduced passage.

Finally we come to the Real Stuff: Up Augustus Pablos own label "Rockers Production" (whoever is running it now) is just a 3 CD box with the demanding title "The Definitive Augustus Pablo" (Rockers Production / Import) published. Even if one can argue about whether Pablo's work can be condensed onto 3 CDs, it cannot be denied that this box offers the best approximation. Every track here is a Pablo classic, in perfectly remastered quality. Not only the famous melodic instrumentals and -Dubs, but also some vocal recordings produced by Pablo with singers such as Jacob Miller, Hugh Mundell, Horace Andy and others. The collection mainly focuses on the 70s and only makes a trip to the 80s on the last CD. If you have Pablo's big albums like “King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown” or “East of River Nile” etc. in your collection, this box will not offer anything new - apart from a masterful compilation and a beautiful cover design. But if you still want to get to know the master of melodica, this is the portal to a universe of great music. 

It's hard to believe that unknown King Tubby recordings are still being discovered. With its first release, the Jamaican Recordings label has already committed itself to the “lost treasures” of the Dub-Master dedicated. Now there is a supply: "Dub Mix Up “(Jamaican Recordings / Import). Gathered here are also rare and previously believed lost Dubs from 1975 to 1979, all based on productions by Tappa Zukie. The pieces fit seamlessly into the Tubby oeuvre of the 70s - there are no spectacular discoveries to be made here. Instead there are nice, classical rhythms like “Declaration of Rights” or “Shank I Sheck” to be heard and some vocal scraps from the largely unknown band Knowledge. The last track is really exciting "Dub Faith ”recorded by Sly & Robbie in the Black Ark studio. That sounds - typical for Black Ark - as if the record was being played in the neighboring apartment - as Dub-Connoisseurs are basically positive about sound experiments.

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