Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, March 2003

1969, the year King Tubby denied Dub invented, a keyboard player named Horace Swaby walked into a studio for the first time. When "Augustus Pablo“He made his debut there for producer Herman Chin Loy. Just three years later, Pablo was a producer himself and owned his own Rockers label. Here he established his "Far East Style", so called because Pablo built his melodies essentially from minor chords, which made them sound "oriental". He preferred to play these melodies on the melodica, an instrument that was considered a better toy for children. As an instrumentalist, Pablo was very enthusiastic about the work of King Tubby and had almost all of his pieces remixed in the master's studio (by Tubby himself, Prince Jammy or Phillip Smart). A showcase of the collaboration between the instrumentalist / producer and Dub-Mixer offers the album "In Fine Style 1973-1979" (Pressure Sounds / Zomba). In the best showcase tradition, several mixes of different Pablo instrumentals from 1973 to 1979 are gathered here. It starts with four cuts from "Far East" from 1975. The sound is unmistakable: heavy, drum & bass driven rhythms - dry mixed and sparingly instrumented. Above that, the cutting, melancholy sound of the melodica. There is no doubt that one instrumental is followed by three DubVersions of the same rhythm is a real reggae hardcore pack. But it is precisely this minimalism that enables an experience that has become rare in pop music: to really experience music through pure, concentrated listening. The three versions of “Cool Shade Dub“Offer the best opportunity for this; or the three versions of "Up Warika Hill" from 1974. The album also features more playful tracks like the three Pablo versions of "Real Rock" with a toasting Hugh Mundell as Jah Levi. Augustus Pablo in fine style - says it all!

Also on the Blood And Fire label is a nice one Dub-Retrospective published: Ja-Man All Stars, “In The Dub Zone" (Indigo). Although almost from the same time as Augustus Pablo's tracks (see above), there is a completely different sound to be heard here. The producer is the little-known Dudley "Manzie" Swaby, who in 1977 and 1980 had two Dub-Albums released ("Ja-Man Dub"And" King's Dub"), Which are summarized here on one CD. Both albums were recorded in the Channel One studio, which is the reason for their distinctive sound. Compared to Pablo's dry minimal sound, we are dealing here with rolling basslines, fluid arrangements - and last but not least with Sly Dunbar's concise drum style. This is where Dancehall cast its shadow as early as 1977. As you are used to from Channel One, you will also be with these Dubs plentifully supplied with recuts from Studio One-Rhythms, mixed slickly by Crucial Bunny, Maxie, Soljie, Ernest Hookim or Swaby himself. In 1980, Dancehall had finally fully arrived and the unmistakable Channel One sound dominated reggae. Tracks 14-23 of the CD are from this time; they ideally embody this era - and the final bloom of the Jamaican Dub before its decline in the mid-80s. Many of these tracks could already be heard on General Echo's debut album “Rocking & Swing” from the same year. Dancehall Lives!

Let's take a leap into the present: "Roots of Dub Funk 3 - The Dub Adventure " (Tanty /?) - and again we hear a completely different sound. It's the sound of the newDub as shaped by Jah Shaka, Alpha & Omega, The Disciples and many others in England in the 90s. "Melody lines and harmonies combined with warm horns sounds, vocal echoes, heavyweight kick drums and dirty basslines by the truckload," is how the album compiler Kelvin R. describes this sound very aptly. The biggest difference to the classic tubby mix is ​​that the rhythm is usually much slower, the bass drum, on the other hand, “marches” with four beats through the 4/4 time and the sound is more important than the mix. In addition, the Dub completely digital today. Anyone who would like to review this statement will find in “Roots of Dub Funk 3 “ideal study material: 12 superb Dub-Tracks by producers from England, France, Germany and the USA. Also included are Alpha & Omega, Jah Warrior and Vibronics.

While “Roots Of…” is more of a classic form of Dub presented, we have it at Cool Hipnoise, "Showcase & More" (Select Cuts / Indigo) to do with an excellently successful crossover experiment. Dub forms the basis for a fascinating musical mix, in which sounds from Brazil, Cuba and Portugal, under the direction of Nick Manasseh, combine to create fresh, unheard grooves. Cool hip noises are Joao Gomes, Francisco Rebelo and Tiago Santos from Lisbon, who combined hip hop with jazz, soul, reggae and Brazilian beats in the 90s. Dub- Producer Nicholas Raphael aka Nick Manasseh, who produced the band's last two albums, has consistently got their sound on Dub polarized. The result is great proof of the universality of Dub. He succeeded perfectly in using the stylistic devices of the Dub to merge inseparably with those of other musical genres. The Dub gets something of the lightness and elegance of Brazilian music while the Latin American sounds come through Dub Gaining groundedness and dynamism.

Also with his new "own" album, Manasseh Meets The Equalizer, "Step Like Pepper" (Select Cuts / Indigo) Nick Raphael treads crossover paths. Here he consistently builds on the first Manasseh Meets The Equalizer album from 1994 and mixes heavy ones Dub-Sounds with cool jazz flavors. If St. Germain hadn't existed in the meantime, “Step Like Pepper” would be called a sensation. So you have to try not to constantly compare the album with St. Germain. Once this step is done, you will hear some very beautiful, excitingly arranged tracks with a variety of samples, ranging from old Lee Perry productions to Blue Note. As usual with Manasseh, everything is based on solid beats that are always varied and interesting. With him you can really speak of "composition" (while others Dub-Producers are only too happy to “save as…” their tracks).

Let's stay with the Select Cuts label and focus our interest on an unusual sampler: "Babylon Is Ours - The USA In Dub" (Select Cuts / Indigo). The really wonderfully self-deprecating title makes the concept clear: the compilation throws a spotlight on the criminally underexposed from a European perspective DubScene of North America. A few names from this scene are of course known in this country: Systemwide, Dr. Israel, Avatars Of Dub and maybe one or the other Act from the Guidance-Dub-Samplers. Otherwise we know little. But when you listen to “Babylon Is Ours”, you get the impression that there is a good reason for this! Real discoveries cannot be made here. OK, the US combos can keep up with average European productions - but is this statement worth a sampler called “Babylon Is Ours”? One would have expected a little more innovative power here.

In Riddim # 2, Loud & Lone, one of them, was mentioned for the first time Dub-Duo from Spain. The two, Borja Juanco and Roberto Sanchez, have now dealt with the musicians of the Basque Dub Foundation teamed up and released a showcase album entitled "BDF Meets Loud & Lone" (A-Lone / Import) added. 18 tracks can be found here, with vocal track and Dub- Alternate version. All instruments are hand played, which fits the overall very classic impression of the album. The album could easily have come from Jamaica in the 70s (apart from the better sound) - it is mixed here in the old masterly manner. So it's all the more astonishing that the album actually comes from Spain. Maybe a couple of American ones should Dubjust go on vacation there ...

Let's get to the final highlight: "Richard Dorfmeister Presents A Different Drummer Selection" (Different Drummer / EFA). The two boys from Birmingham, Glynn Bush and Richard Wittingham, who operated as “Rockers HiFi” until the second half of the 90s, founded the “Different Drummer” label in 1992 as the home of their own as well as those of like-minded people Dubmore creative. From the beginning, the name of the label stood for innovative music, the various musical influences under the umbrella of Dub united. None of the innumerable Dub-Acts of the 90s has expanded the spectrum as sustainably as Rockers HiFi and their label. Last year, Different Drummer turned ten - an occasion for Richard Dorfmeister to combine the best tracks of different drumbeat on one album. Also part of the party are Noiseshaper with heavy reggae beats, G-Corp with two grandiose heavyweight steppers, Phase 5 and International Observer with rather trippy groves, Rockers HiFi with a nice, house-influenced one Dub and of course the in-house overproof sound system with their unbelievable "Watch What You Put Inna". Let's hope that the “Different Drumbeat” continues - in all directions, because the label is as open minded as the genre it stands for.

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