Noise shaper they are here again! And exactly where we want them. After their last album, "Rough Out There", which was very much oriented towards reggae mainstream, they take care of the new one "Real To Reel" (Echo Beach / Indigo) again with sophisticated “housey downbeats with a fat reggae flavor”. Despite the numerous vocal tunes included, the focus is again on the sound. The voices are added attributively, like another instrument, instead of dominating the whole track. Besides, there are just as many Dubs represent vocals, which make Real to Reel an album that is as varied as it is interesting. Some of the pieces gathered here like “Rise”, “You Take Control”, “Jah Dub"," Moving Together "," All A Dem A Do "," Dunk "and of course" The Only Redeemer "are already from older Noiseshaper albums (z. B. the great “Prelaunch Sequence” published on Different Drummer) and are now rerecorded and remixed here. In doing so, they even gained in drive and dynamism and increased in complexity - perhaps because the great Adrian Sherwood is responsible for the mix. But the album also offers brand new tunes such as the great "The Creator", a bombastic, ultra-separate roots stepper, garnished with the occasional lyrics by Juggla. Completely different tones sound on "Wake Up". This tune flows warm and infinitely relaxed, accompanied by Jahcoustix's singing, from the speakers. Most typical, however, is the Grace Jones tribute "Love To The Rhythm". The early influence of Rockers HiFi can be clearly felt here, under whose wing Noiseshaper released the first two albums. In general, the two boys from Vienna, Axel Hirn and Florian Fleischmann, have already had a remarkable musical journey into the epicentres of Dub-Music that currently took her to London. The highlight of their career was undoubtedly the use of their song "The Only Redeemer" in the US television series CSI: Miami, which earned them a mainstream single release on Palm Pictures and catapulted their music onto the dance floors around the world. "The Only Redeemer" can also be heard on "Real To Reel" in a newly recorded version, the mix of which is a lot dubis bigger and at the same time clearer and more present. This shows, in direct comparison, the championship of Adrian Sherwood. How good that he and Noiseshaper found each other! Their work together has produced the best fruit in recent months on the Dub-Market to buy goods.
Alpha & Omega have new ones Dubs recorded - although that can't really be said, because the sound of the British couple is so constant that every tune is a single - but very welcome - deja vu. Heavy beats and endless sluggish beats that drag themselves from measure to measure, garnished with bizarre jungle sounds as well as the massive use of reverb and echo are their trademark. As with Lee Perry's Black Ark sound, every clear sound is blurred in a great primordial soup of eruptive beats. Hence her new album "City Of Dub"(Alpha & Omega / Import) do not measure according to conventional quality standards such as production quality or songwriting. What counts here is atmosphere and uncompromising attitude. The City of Dub which was built on 13 tracks, with - with three exceptions - each track appears twice: as a vocal and as a Dub-Version. When it comes to production economics, Alpha & Omega have never given up on issues. The round of vocalists consists of the usual suspects: Jonah Dan, Nishka, Jah Zebbi, Coz Tafari and others. It should be noted on a positive note that they occasionally contribute very beautiful, concise melodies, such as z. B. Coz Tafari on the track “Marching Warriors”, or - really great - the Portuguese singing Valnei Aine on “Massacre In The Ghetto”. And this shows that Alpha & Omega productions can also benefit from good vocals - which was recently clearly heard on the albums by Ryan Moore (Twilight Circus). With “City Of Dub“Maybe the best A&O album of the last few years is available - which, however, does not apply to the cover. Here the old Ethiopian illustrations were much better. It's hard to understand why A&O abandoned their “corporate design”.
Let's stay a little longer in England and turn to the new one Dub- Mad Professor's album too: "Mad Professor Meets Mafia & Fluxy - A New Galaxy Of dub Sci Fi 2 " (Ariwa / Rough Trade). The professor undoubtedly deserves credit for his indefatigable Dub-Albums released. For over 20 years he has been the great constant in the British Dub - yes that Dub at all. Apart from him there is hardly anyone who has stuck to this genre so steadfastly and consistently. While Mad Professor used to have his house band, the Robotics, record all the tracks, in recent years he has brought various guest musicians into the house to bring in new material. Mafia & Fluxy have often connected their computers in the Ariwa Studio and relentlessly copied new rhythms onto the professor's tapes. Maybe a little too often, because the new galaxy of the Dubs does not hold any new discoveries or surprises. The rhythms are unwound here too routinely and although Neil Frazer intensively turns the controls, you can clearly hear that he has simply run out of ideas. But maybe the rhythms were too uninspired for him, too. Mad Prof. last showed that he still has it with his great Sly & Robby album - the second part of which he announced a long time ago. Hopefully it will come soon, because an exciting new one Dub-Album from the house of Ariwa is necessary!
The Mad Prof. album is surpassed in terms of boredom by the new work of Tassili Players, “Ages Of The Earth In Dub"(Wibbly Wobbly / Download) which - probably due to the poor quality - has not brought it to a regular CD release and is only available as a download (iTunes Store). The tunes sound like very early Zion Train recordings and belong to the 90s. If Neil Perch doesn't want to sell us old material here, then the question remains, why does he enjoy still producing this outmoded sound.
The new album by sounds much more interesting Love Grocer "Across The Valley" (Wibbly Wobbly / Import), also from Zion Train. It owes its quality above all to the use of the horn section - typical for Love Grocer. The wind melodies float wonderfully lightly over the gentle and relaxed backings, lose themselves in the tightly woven sound atmosphere, only to be in the foreground again with full presence. So it's understandable that many of the tracks have more of an instrumental character than Dubs have - if it weren't for the typical Wibbly Wobbly sound, which inevitably has the stamp "Dub“Impresses. Although the tunes are extremely melodious thanks to the brass section, singers such as Earl 16, MC Spee and Jonah Dan were invited occasionally, of which the former in particular delivers a very strong tune. So all in all a nice, if not earth-shattering album.
Comes from France miniman, aka Roland Rougé, who let us know on his last album that he is now trading under the name Seven Seals. To make the confusion complete, his new album was released "Opus In Dub Minor "(www.hammerbass.fr/Import) again under the name Miniman. So let's stick with it - although I liked him a little better as Seven Seals. His album Stars wasn't exciting, but the quality was good enough to import into my iTunes library. The opus in Dub-Moll this luck will not happen. It's just too boring. Similar to the Tassilli Players, it sounds like it has Dub made no progress since the 1990s. The synth sounds used here are definitely used up. Occasional, somewhat embarrassing samples of classical music and a thoroughly ambitious mix don't help either. If the body, i.e. the rhythm and the sound, are not good, then there is no point in screwing on ornaments. On the contrary, it makes matters even worse since the work cannot deliver what it first appears to be promising.
Burning Babylon should be familiar to the readers of this column. Behind this is Slade Anderson, whose last two albums "Knives To The Treble" and "Stereo Mash Up" were extensively praised at this point. Especially the latter, with its rough, hand-played sound, could convince in full length. Now Anderson lays "Garden Of Dub"(Mars Records / Import) in front. In a sense, it is episode 1 of the trilogy, because the recordings were made in 2001 in Anderson's living room studio and document his first steps in the realm of Dub. Recorded with the most primitive instruments and mastered on compact cassette, the sound does not come close to the quality of the two later albums. Musically it can't quite keep up either, although there are a lot of really good ideas, beautiful melodies and a dark atmosphere in the album. Andersons Dub-Talent sparkles here from every note, even if it was not polished to a high gloss.
Now we come to the revival selection. Take part in the beginning "Roots Radics Meets Scientist And King Tubby In A Dub Explosion "(roots / import?) a brilliant one Dub-Album from the famous Channel One studio, recorded by its house band with Style Scott on drums and Flabba Holt on bass. A typically minimalist work by the Roots Radics. Sparingly orchestrated with seemingly endless pauses between two notes - only the sluggish bass and the rhythmic hitting of hi hats can be heard over and over again - the reggae rhythm has never been more puristic and slower. Scientist and Tubby also took their time and moved the controls rather sparingly, which gives the tracks an extremely hypnotizing effect. If you listen to it quickly, the album may seem boring and unimaginative, but once you have let yourself into the flow of slowness, you can make new discoveries in every corner of the Echo Chamber. As an added bonus, the basslines are often nice classics like “Rougher Yet”, “Mama Used To Say” or “Things A Come Up To Bump”.
The latter is also on the album, by the way "Version Dead" (Studio One / Heartbeat) to hear - in the original, because this is where the men and women of the popular Studio One reissue label “Heartbeat” have put together the “most coveted” B-sides of classic Studio One singles. All (not) mixed from Dub specialist, as Coxsone called himself, because apart from occasionally turning on the vocal track, this can be from Dub out of the question. But who cares with rhythms like “Mr. Fire Coal Man ”,“ Real Rock ”(as a real one, by the way Dub!), “Pick Up The Pieces”, “Declaration Of Rights” and of course “Things A Come Up To Bump”. As usual from Heartbeat, the tunes sound in a beautifully restored version, so that the bass of the Soul Vendors, Soul Dimension and Soul Defenders thunders powerfully from the speakers and can unfold all the charm of these so often copied mini melodies. Here you can hear it, the soul of reggae, pure and direct.
Now for an album that has a very strange story. We're talking about "King Tubby Meets Jacob Miller In A Tenement Yard" (Motionrecords /?). You can hear the rhythms of the famous Jacob Miller album "Tenement Yard" played by Inner Circle. But with rather idiosyncratic synth overdubs and the occasional bell-like sound of a xylophone. While the band's keyboardist, Bernhard “Touter” Harvey, is responsible for the former, the xylophone was in all probability played by Augustus Pablo. They owe their creation Dub-Tracks the Fatman Riddim Section's wish for usable B-sides for the hit tunes of the Tenement album. Although the tracks were never intended for an album, they were brought to Tubby - who mixed them routinely - and then, in 1976, published in tiny numbers and with the wrong label as a long player. No wonder that hardly anyone knew about the album and that Motionrecords now consider it the “rarest Dub Album ever released in Jamaica ”. The album undoubtedly possesses its qualities through the technical mastery of the Inner Circle band and the rhythms undoubtedly belong in the ranks of the best mid-70ties roots productions. Whether the overdubBut s now represent an enrichment is questionable. Quirkiness is not necessarily a quality feature - not even in the Dub.