Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, July 2006

Richard H. Kirk is probably best known as the founder of the punk band Cabaret Voltaire. Although punk and reggae were close in the 1970s, it took around three decades for the talented and adventurous Kirk to reggae and Dub discovered for himself. 2002 appeared under the name Sandoz breast Dub-Debut “Chant To Jah” on the label Soul Jazz - actually dedicated to rare grooves - which every Studio One lover should be familiar with as the most prominent reissue label at the moment. But “Chant To Jah” was - despite the prestigious label - not a good one Dub-Album. The tracks were too tricky, the bass kept stalling and the beats just didn't want to groove. Somehow there was still too much “industrial” in it (as is the case with some of Adrian Sherwood's productions) - probably the legacy of Kirk's earlier musical preferences. By now, Kirk had four long years to complete many classic DubRecords to be heard to the British Dub-Revival of the 1990s and not least to work on your own bass lines, to sample Rasta vocals and to tune the synths. Now his new one lies Dub-Album, "Live In The Earth" (Soul Jazz / Indigo) and it leaves no doubt that he has learned his lessons well. "Live In The Earth" is a fascinating one Dub-Album with strong, hypnotic tracks that literally soak up the listener. Endless loops of the same vocal sample, the stoic, strongly emphasized offbeat and the warm, pulsating bass frequencies increase the repetitive moment of the Dubs in dimensions previously only achieved by Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald. His sound is by no means sparse or cerebral. On the contrary: the beats are full of warmth and life. Every detail in them serves to absorb the listener, to synchronize his rhythm with that of the music, to vibrate with it and finally to lose himself in it. “Live In The Earth” is therefore undoubtedly to be classified as an acoustic drug and everyone who puts the record on should be aware of the danger, as Dub-Addict to end. A risk that one is happy to take.

Hopeless Dub-Adddicts are also the two Berlin producers Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald (aka Rhtyhm & Sound). So it was to be expected that she would play her one rhythm album “See Mi Yah” DubVersion would follow. This is now under the title "See Mi Yah Remixes" (Burial Mix / Indigo) published. Since a pure one-rhythmDUB(!) Album even the patience of the toughest minimalDubLover would be put to the test, the production team decided to largely select a crowd Dub-to ask foreign musicians for remix versions and thus tap into a nice spectrum of current club sounds. As a result, minimal electronics engineers, disco house representatives and techno producers such as Carl Craig, Villalobos, Vladislav Delay or Hallucinator used the keyboards and often created entirely new and very exciting pieces suitable for clubs. In addition to instrumentation and genre, the vocals were often left behind. This raises the legitimate (if not particularly meaningful) question of what the remixes actually have to do with the original? Strictly speaking, the connecting element is usually only the dark atmosphere and consistent minimalism - and of course the principle of Dub, which unites the different genres under the primacy of sound.

Let's stay a little longer in club climes, even if the sound changes radically now: "Nice that you are listening again" (Pingipung / Kompakt) is the name of the debut album by Peter Presto aka Nils Dittbrenner and offers the craziest sound mixture that has ever been mentioned in this column, which is not poor in the unusual. And all of this in a completely unspectacular and casual manner in the guise of a thoroughly relaxed summer soundtrack full of sympathetic synth hooklines and catchy tunes. It is an album full of the warmth of the sun, which innocently jumps back and forth between swaying mood and silliness. An album that is in equal parts club electronics, pop kitsch, and reggae Dub as well as unmistakably Schlager. It is undecidable whether this album is pure irony, reggae fooling around, an ultra-cool return to the values ​​of kitsch or simply a beautiful electronic album, in a way the consistent one Dub- Continuation of 2 room apartment. But who needs certainty when making music is simply real fun. Actually, we all want nice melodies and a groovy reggae soundtrack. When the sun is shining, like this summer, then the little arbor happiness is perfect.

Dennis Bovell is perhaps the most influential reggae great in England. In the early 1970s, he and his band Matumbi were among the pioneers of British reggae and began as the first British musician in the middle of the decade Dub to experiment. Later he single-handedly invented Lovers Rock and helped Dub-Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson to international notoriety. At the beginning of this year he released his - completely overlooked by us - vocal album "All Over The World" with Major EMI. EMI / Virgin-Recods took this as an opportunity to bring some of the master's old works from the 1970s and 1980s back to life. The choice fell on the following seven albums: "Strickty Dub Wize " from 1978, "Brain Damage" from 1981, "Audio Active" from 1986 as well as the four albums that Bovell recorded under the name "The 4th Street Orchester" in the 1970s: "Scientific, higher ranking Dubb ”,“ Yuh Learn! ”,“ Ah Who Seh? Go Deh! ", as "Leggo! Ah-Fi-We-Dis ". The latter two were actually recorded by Matumbi, which Bovell hid because he wanted to bring them to the market as “Jamaica imports”. Since British reggae was not considered very much at the time, this was a clever marketing strategy, the success of which also says a lot about the authentic quality of Bovell productions. It's still a lot of fun today to watch these classic old-schoolDubs that could easily pass as tubby mixes. Precisely played, arranged and mixed very inspired, these recordings are the highlights of the reissue series. But they are also very beautiful Dubs on “Scientific, Higher Ranking Dubb ”/“ Yuh Learn! ”, which are based on Bovell's Lovers Rock productions and were very popular with British sound systems at the time. Bovell's achievement was to coordinate the soft lovers rock arrangements with the roots backbone of reggae, which he did very well. "Strictly Dub Wize ”- which Bovell had published under the pseudonym“ Blackbeard ”- also featured Dub-Versions of Matumbi recordings. Here, however, they were mixed in a drier and more puristic manner. The remaining two albums, "Audio Active" and "Brain Damage", offer mostly vocal pieces. Real hits like "Dub Master ”or“ Pow Wow ”can be found on the former. Although “Brain Damage” is the better known album, it cannot convince in comparison. The concessions to the mainstream pop of the time are simply too great here, which is why the album offers not only reggae but also afro pop, rhythm & blues, jazz and soul. Unfortunately a bit too much of a good thing.

In line with the topic, we briefly hear in "King Tubby & Friends: Motion Dub Special " (Motion / Import) into it, a collection of 14 Dubs from the years 1974 to 1978. The strength of this sampler lies in the great diversity of the pieces compiled here, most of which come from the release catalog of the small Motion label. Anyone who knows Tubby mainly from the countless, stylistically very uniform Bunny Lee productions will get to know and love completely different sides of Tubby's work here.

Nucleus Roots have a new one, pretty impressive Dub-Album submitted: "Heart Of Dub" (Hammer bass / import). The sound fits the label name perfectly, because the French hurl the basslines at their listeners with all their might and hit them with the bass drum in the stomach. Uff, that is truly physically noticeable music. Steppers in its purest form - and yet not uninspired or boring, which is simply due to the good vocal melodies that fragmentarily penetrate the musical echo inferno. But also the basslines roll out of the box with a nice melody. Of course there won't be an innovation award for such a consistently classic Steppers album, but the album could certainly hope for the audience award.

The music on the new comes less harsh, downright forgiving and relaxed Alien dreadAlbum "Kortonic Dub - Remixed & Remastered " ( therefore. The gentle bass is accompanied by spherical flute sounds and synth star glitter. Which does not mean that we are dealing here with an ambientDub-Album to do. Not at all! The groove is absolutely grounded, extremely solid and tight. The strange dread undoubtedly knows his trade. 

Likewise the guys from Johnstone, With "Eyes Open - Dub"(John Stone / Import) the Americans deliver a notable one DubAlbum built on fast and light beats. As for American reggae, music is hand-played, which always has its own charm. The mix isn't that exciting, but the rhythms are very powerful and solid. The sound is much drier than in the two French and British productions (see above), but the arrangements - despite the minimal cast of the band - are more varied.

The two Englishmen Garry Hughes and Andrew T. MacKay have an interesting project under the pseudonym "Bombay Dub Orchestra " (Exile / indigo) realized. Hughes and MacKay had a 28-piece string orchestra play for them in India and then piled up the recordings in their British home studio in layers until they had the desired “cinematographic-symphonic panorama sound” of superlatives on tape. Add a few sitar, sarangi, tabla and bansuri soloists and the musical ambient triphop was readyDub-Curry. For us, the bonus CD with the Dub-Mixing interesting. But even though all the ingredients are actually just right, the curry does not develop the necessary heat. You manage to listen with concentration for a maximum of five minutes, then your thoughts are elsewhere and the music is just background music. Too bad.

An album that reconciles us is this "Showcase" (Wibbly Wobbly) by Abassi All Stars. There is actually only one person behind the All Stars, namely Neil Perch, label boss of Universal Egg, Deep Root and head of Zion Train. This exciting album shows that he has not forgotten how to produce powerful, inspired and beautifully melodic tracks since the early Zion Train masterpieces. Contrary to what the title suggests, only vocal tracks are presented here, mostly by unknown UK artists. Only Earl 16, Luciano and Dubdadda are known to a larger audience. All participating artists deliver extremely beautiful, concise and excellently sung tunes. Earl 16's opener “Stem the Tide” already sets the bar very high, but the highlight is probably Sis Sana's track “Suffering”, in which the singer confidently contrasts her soft but strong melody with the brutally driving beat. Luciano's tune “What We Gonna Do” is unusually dark and heavy, while Fitta Warri delivers his interpretation of Sizzla over a remarkable up-tempo stepper. Two tracks further he speaks up again with “Never Sell My Soul” and presents another outstanding track on the album. Here Perch has again created a small masterpiece. It is hard to believe that after around 15 years in business, he is still overflowing with ideas. On the other hand, it is all the more disappointing that there will only be one MP3 release (iTunes) of the album. Times are changing. 

Finally one more Dub-Album from local regions: The three Stuttgart musicians Wolfram Göz, Michael Friedler and Gabriel Schütz have under the band name Tokyo Tower her debut album "The Meaning" ( submitted. It's a quiet, cautiously experimental one Dub-Album that is clearly based on the sound of Leftfield, Dreadzone and Terranova. It is full of interesting ideas such as the musical implementation of Charlie Chaplin's speech in “The Great Dictator”. But, although all songs are well developed and implemented with attention to detail, there may be a bit of timing missing at one point or another.

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