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Dub (Revolution Review

Dub Revolution, January 2005

Dub is defined by the sound and not by a special rhythm pattern like almost all other music styles. Dub is like a free radical - ready at any time to react with other elements and produce new syntheses. The exciting thing is that the outcome of the reaction is never completely predictable. Something new always arises that cannot be calculated or described, but can only be experienced by hearing. It is, so to speak, “musique pure”, the abstract essence of a piece of music - only exists at the moment of listening. To Dub-Letting in music always requires curiosity, open-mindedness and attention. In Germany there is probably no label that combines these three virtues better than Echo Beach (also the home of Select Cuts) from Hamburg. “Open Mindness” is the guiding principle here and that's how Echo Beach has had us over the years Dub-Sounds of the most diverse styles and locations conjured up on the turntable. The latter in particular is likely to be unique internationally, because Echo Beach already has some pretty interesting ones Dub-Showcases from the most diverse corners of the world, z. B. from France, the USA, Brazil, Germany, India and now: South Africa!

In cooperation with the South African label "African Dope", 16 Dub-Pearls from the Cape of Good Hope to Germany, here to the extremely interesting Dub-Album "The Sound Of Dub (South Africa In Dub) " (Echo Beach / Indigo) to be threaded. Anyone expecting township music here is completely wrong. The Dub from South Africa is an absolutely urban sound - bass driven, electronic and of great stylistic openness. Important protagonists of the South African electronics scene are the Kalahari surfers, of whom several songs can be found in the track listing, under their own names or as producers of ghetto muffins. They recorded electronic music as early as the apartheid era, which was regularly banned by the regime. Their sound is a bit reminiscent of Leftfield and mostly doesn't run over a reggae beat. The sound of DJ Dope and Juan Thyme is completely different, with almost the current UKDub to be confused is nice deep and groovy. Felix Laband is also really good with a fat, melodious one Dubwhose heart is a wonderfully distorted bassline. Prankster, Ghettomuffin and the Chronic Clan bring a little dancehall flair, which does exactly what its name suggests - and sounds a little American at the same time. It all adds up to a very interesting excursion into the Dub-Underground of southern Africa, which - and this is a real surprise - doesn't sound particularly African. But that's the way it is in a globalized world. Let's see what the sounds from New Zealand sound like, which the next Echo Beach release will be dedicated to.

The album comes from the same label, Echo Beach "Africa Unite In Dub" (Echo Beach / Indigo) from the Italian of the same name Dub-Combo. Named after a song by Bob Marley, their repertoire consists partly of Marley covers, of which “This Is Love” opens the album. This is followed by thirteen heavy-dutyDubs, nine of them mixed by none other than the popular Mad Professor from the Ariwa-Dub-Asylum. Only at the end there is another Marley song, as it were as a reverential ritual to the holy Bob, followed by a liveDub. Here the professor delivers good, inspired craft and mixes Dubs of very different moods. Sometimes with driving drum & bass drums, sometimes with strong, warm tones and sometimes with dry sounds, as if they had come out of the Tuff Gong studio. Most astonishing, however, is that the DubIt doesn't sound like a Mad Professor in the least. Either the source material was already extremely concise, or the professor had his intern mixed up. In the latter case, the internship should definitely turn into a permanent position!

Let's stick with it a little longer Mad Professor, On "Mishka In Dub" (Sony / Import) it also has a Dub- Mercenaries hired. I don't know who Mishka is, his music doesn't sound particularly exciting. The tiny, im Dub-Mix leftover vocal snippets suggest a terrifying vocal album.

That sounds more interesting on your own Mad Professor resulting new work entitled "Crazy Caribs - Dancehall Dub" (Ariwa / Sanctuary / Rough Trade). Here has the Dub-Master dared to dancehall rhythms, played among others by Mafia & Fluxy and Sly & Robbie. With that he comes somewhat close to the current dancehall sounds, but there is scope for one of them Dub-Mix hardly remains. Also, with the typical interruptus rhythms, there is no real groove - which is also the case with most dancehall B-sides. Obviously, the dancehall backings only work properly with Deejay. So far the professor has created good material for a few hardcore dancehall albums from Ariwa, for one Dub-Album, on the other hand, is, let's say: suboptimal.

Another highlight: "Dub It " (Nature Sounds / Import) by Earl "Chinna" Smith. This is the Dub-Version of Mutabaruka's debut album "Check It" from 1982. Produced by Chinna Smith, it became a classic of the Dub-Poetry. Muta's very present voice and lyrics dominated the album so much that the music never got the attention it deserves. That is why Chinna Smith has now, 22 years later, decided to mix the then mixed by Errol Brown and Stephen Steward and previously only published on a few B-sides DubTo re-release s in album form, "because I don't hear anything else better" says Chinna in the liner notes - and he is not entirely wrong. The craftsmanship of this album is really extraordinary - which the mix takes advantage of by concentrating on very few instruments that can be heard at the same time, revealing the precision of their playing. Recorded in the Tuff Gong studio, it sounds incredibly crisp and dynamic. Augustus Pablo was on the keyboards for most of the songs, Chinna played the lead guitar and Sydney Wolfe contributed fantastic percussions. Drum and bass were played differently, including Carlton Barret and Leroy Wallace. Unfortunately, “Check It” was the only collaboration between Mutabaruka and Chinna Smith. If you listen to the recordings again today, you ask yourself why.

Reggae is mainstream in France. Happy country! And hardly anyone suspects that it is Serge Gainsbourg who had made a significant contribution to this when he went to Jamaica in 1979 to work with the I-Threes, Sly & Robbie in the human body and facts about the Revolutionaries under the title "Aux armes et caetera" (Mercury) to record an authentic roots reggae album in French. Back in France, the album, which was produced in just one week, was a gigantic success for Gainsbourg - not least because his version of the French national anthem caused a serious scandal (the title alone is awesome). Bruno Blum now thought that the old recordings would be a great basis for a few spectacular ones Dub-Mixes would be. So he brought the old tapes to Jamaica and Dub-Veteran Soljie Hamilton brought into the studio to give him ten Dub-To mix versions. That was a good idea because the revolutionaries are playing their hearts out here. You have seldom heard such powerful rockers rhythms. Soljies Dub-Versions you can hear that he was completely in his element here. He mixed beautiful old-schoolDubs as if they were recorded in 1979. A real déjà vu! This one DubThe s, which form the heart of the new edition of “Aus armes et caetera”, were, in addition to the original album, also, as it were, as “bonus tracks”, reinterpretations of the backings by Jamaican artists - of which Big Youth, King Stitt and Lone Ranger are the best known are - added. But these pieces are largely disappointing. Only King Stitt's “The Original Ugly Man” is funny. Probably his first tune in 40 years!

Last but not least, the rerelease of "Ranking Dread In Dub" (Silver Kamel / Import) mentioned, originally in 1982 as DubVersion of "Fattie Boom Boom" came out. The first half of the tracks were recorded by Sly & Robbie and mixed by King Tubby, the second half by the Roots Radics, mixed by Scientist. The tracks are correspondingly of high quality. It is particularly interesting to compare the sound of the Rhythm Twins with that of the Radics and analyze Scientists' style in comparison to Tubby. Overall, a beautiful work from the golden age of Dubthat deserves its re-release.

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