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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, March 2004

After busy rerelease labels like Pressure Sounds, Blood and Fire or Heartbeat have been pressing Jamaica's musical heritage onto CD for over a decade, it is astonishing that there are still unknown treasures to be found. Moll-Selekta has found one: Dub- Recordings by producer Roguel "Blackbeard" Sinclair and his studio tape "The Ringkraft Posse" and this now under the title "St. Catherine In Dub 1972 - 1984 " (Moll-Selekta / Indigo) republished. Sinclair, brother of Tappa Zukie, was Bunny Lee's right-hand man for many years and currently owns King Tubby's old studio. In the 70s he began producing his own tracks with a studio band that he put together from the usual suspects for this purpose: Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespear, Ansel Collins, Lloyd Parks, Tommy McCook, Dean Frazer, Willie Lindo - just to name a few to name from the ever-changing line-up. The fact that these musicians knew how tight rhythms are brought in is unmistakable: the tracks, superbly remastered, pop out of the speakers, crisp and straightforward. When Dub Ruddy "Jah" Thomas was responsible for the mixer - which suggests that some tracks were recorded in Joe Gibbs' studio. Many of the pieces are so well known that you inevitably begin to sing along to the original in your head. "West Bay" for example is that Dub Version of "King Tubby the Dub Organizer ". Horace Andy's “Every Tongue Shall Tell”, Delroy Wilson's “Have Some Mercy” or George Faith's “To Be A Lover” are other classics in the Dub-Format. Incidentally, at Blackbeard's request, all the tracks on the album were named after the districts of Portmore in the St. Catherine district - as a lesson in acoustic geography. 

As is known, the Basic Channel Crew from Berlin works the Wackies-Archives on. The Bronx-based producer's latest rerelease is "Creation Dub" (Indigo) from 1977. You can hear some very minimalist ones here Dubs and a vocal version by John Clarke. The sound changes seamlessly from super dry mixes to typically soft Wackies Lovers melodies - but everything is embedded as usual in the warm sound of the Wackie studio. The Dubs come from the well-known Wackies productions of the time, including pieces by the Chosen Brothers, Joe Auxumite and KC White. The last tune of the album is also a nice wind instrumental version of Jo Jo Bennett's “Leaving Rome”.

With "Dubz From De Higher Regionz " (Dubhead / Indigo) the Iration steppas back from the north of England. It has been eight years for Mark Iration and Dennis Rootical since their debut album. A long time in which the world of Dub has developed rapidly. Not so the two Dub-Fundamentalists. They pick up where they left off in 1996: powerful steppers beats, rumbling basslines and synth offbeats - classic UKDub so. As dusty as this sound, unfortunately, the 15 tracks on the album are also uninspired. With a few exceptions, the basslines are simply boring, the mixes irrelevant and the arrangements anything but imaginative. Short live recordings of performances are sampled between the tracks. Probably a desperate attempt to add variety to the album. On the other hand, it would have brought real variety to descend from the higher regions and listen to what dubis currently moderately popular in Birmingham, London or Paris ...

Undoubtedly the most beautiful Dub-Album from the last few months comes from Helsinki. - You read that right: from Finland! It has the appropriate title "Spring Time" (Semi Sounds / Import) and comes from an artist named Lightman. What he presents here is incredible: Dub-Instrumentals full of warmth, absolutely relaxed and at the same time extremely groovy. Garnished with wonderful melodies that are played on a melodica in the style of Augustus Pablo. Simply fantastic. Each instrument on the album is played by Lightman himself and arranged into sensitive compositions that are permeated with a melancholy poetry that fits perfectly with Scandinavia. It evokes images of rain-soaked forests in which the sun sparkles through the leaves, or of warm days that are spent on the terrace of a lonely hut ... The incidental title names like "Meanwhile In The City", "Empty Street" or simply "Raining" “Do the rest. Of course, Lightman stands on Augustus Pablo's shoulders, but he's far from being his epigone. Lightman has an original quality that even surpasses Pablo. Absurdly, this album is only available via import - but, as is so often the case, the good thing lies beyond the mainstream.

Already in October last year, the new album by Dubphonic, "Smoke Signals" (Hammerbass / Import) published. The trio, consisting of Stefane Goldman, Alexis Mauri and Sylvain Mosca, is known not least for its collaboration with Richard Dorfmeister (Tosca) and for the "Select Cuts From Blood And Fire 2" sampler, for which they came to during a night train ride from Vienna Hamburg remixed the Linval Thompson classic "Jah Jah Is A Guiding Star". Now is her debut with the renowned Parisian DubLabel appeared. It has become an experimental album that would have fit perfectly into the catalog of the Echo Beach label. Characterized by an open Dub- Understanding, it takes on influences of electronic music without cutting off the roots in reggae. Warm beats and medium tempos determine the pieces, placed in club-compatible arrangements and enriched with electronic gadgets - Dorfmeister was a good teacher. More of it please!

Finally, another album from the Hammerbass label: Manasseh, "Dub Plate Style Vol. 2 " (Hammer bass / import). 15 tracks from Manasseh's oeuvre over the past 13 years are gathered here. Unfortunately, the most exciting pieces are already on "Dub Plate Style Vol. 1 “was used, so that this selection has slight lengths in places. Since Nick Manasseh is always well above the UK averageDub composed and produced, even this somewhat unfortunate selection is well worth listening to. (Maybe his superb productions for the Cool Hipnoise album (Select Cuts) just raised expectations too high). Groovy flowing beats with a distant funk influence determine the overall impression of "Dub Plate Style Vol.2 “- a specialty of Manasseh since time immemorial. The vocal mixes with Earl 16 and Ras I stand out in particular. A piece from 1991 that seems to have been programmed entirely on King Jammy's Sleng-Teng-Casio is also surprising, the beat sounds so synthetic. But Manasseh already documented here that he was ahead of his time: between the primitive computer sounds, the heavy steppers beat of later years can already be clearly recognized.

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