Dub Syndicate: Fear of a Green Planet (2023)

In 1998 Style Scott founded his own label in collaboration with the Berlin distributor EFA Lion And Roots. The first two releases were two Dub Syndicate albums: “Mellow and Colly” and “Fear of a Green Planet”. Conceived as a “sound clash” between London and New York, they were based on the same eight riddims that Scott had recorded as usual with bassists Flabba Holt and Bagga Walker in Kingston. “Mellow and Colly” was mixed in New York by Scientist. “Green Planet”, with two additional riddims and two slightly longer versions, was a 360° On-U-Sound production, but also contained a souvenir from New York: Bill Laswell added an over theredub a bassline. To this day I'm not sure which one. In the USA, the album was released with an alternative cover that rather bluntly referenced Public Enemy's “Fear of a Black Planet”. And that's a bit misleading, because at first glance DS continued the cozy course on “Green Planet” that they had established in 1996 with Ital Breakfast, their last album on On-U Sound for the time being. The Japanese punk kids from Audio Active were now up to mischief there, and Style Scott had just previously recorded an adorable atomic-apocalyptic album with Bill Laswell on Word Sound, which had almost no harmonics or melodies. On the other hand, “Green Planet” was a bit like a hippie camp. Tablas, violins, languid melodies and sayings from the Rasta poetry album, the riddims with the exception of one (“Wake Up”) all closer to lovers rock than to the dancehall present, all seemed a bit underwhelming to me at this stage of my life. Nevertheless, I always returned to this Soundclash double album, played the versions individually or as an album back to back and enjoyed the different mixing approaches. While “Mellow & Colly” was sparsely and leanly equipped, I also came to appreciate more and more the calmness and sovereignty that characterize the production of “Green Planet”. The remastered re-release of “Fear of a Green Planet(Echo Beach) on the 25th anniversary makes these strengths, if anything, stand out even more clearly. The production is, as the English would say, “lush”, that is, in the landscape sense, in full juice. Everything flows, drips, blossoms and pollinates each other in this pastoral idyll where there seems to be no struggle for survival, only harmony. Garden of Eden instead of jungle. The sounds don't clash, they respectfully surround each other in an oceanic offbeat current, without ever washing away the boundaries of kitsch. Although everyone may draw their own boundaries. The spiritual highlight is the actually wordless “Not a Word” with its goosebumps violin, after which the tempo increases with a stepper (“Dubbing Is a Must”) and a dancehall riddim (“Wake Up”) slightly increased. From here it only gets deeper and more minimalist: “Hey Geoff” is reminiscent of his colleagues Tackhead and Little Ax with its vocal samples, and of “Stoned Immaculate” in its extreme airiness. The versions of “Higher and Higher” and especially “Emmanuel” impress with their technical reduction. This fantastic final track is supplemented on the re-issue by three extended loop mixes that broaden the enjoyment a bit. Here, passages from the master were apparently looped and reworked more or less creativelydubbt, so not much new is happening, just a little more. The fourth and most meaningful supplement is a remix of “Dubvionist” Felix Wolter. Based on “Greater David”, it is a bit out of the sound picture with a lot of tape saturation, but it forms a worthy conclusion. But these four new versions do not change the impulse to put on “Mellow and Colly” immediately afterwards. Because of the slim Scientist mixes, which have less overdubs and gave more space to the vocals (including Junior Reid and Big Youth) in the discomix process, the entire Soundclash experience becomes really three-dimensional. They also know this at Echo Beach. The re-issue should come in the new year.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

19 replies to "Dub Syndicate: Fear of a Green Planet (2023)”

How does the remaster sound in contrast to the original release? Unfortunately I can't do the comparison... due to the lack of a 1998 stream.

I hope it's not like the new remaster of Sizzla's "Praise Yeh Jah"... the 25th anniversary remaster completely killed the album... horrible.

Well, I like my original cover with the blue lettering DUB SYNDICATE much better.
Everything flickers so beautifully colorfully.
Overall, I can be quite satisfied with the review. Although words like “cuddle course” and “kitsch” don’t immediately excite me. But after I have “reflected” on the words a bit, I can say. Yes, why not?! It's especially the gentle but very deep riddims from DubSyndicate, which so often inspires me and also they just show the virtuosity and also the diversity that that Dub Syndicate has to offer. It's not just "unsk unsk unsk" in Steppa style, but that's what happens - like for example - with that Dubanthem "DUBBING IS A MUST” and a whole lot more. But I will only mention here the brilliant and beyond any doubt laughter at “DubWise” by Big Youth!!!
And I have no problems with kitsch either. If these shoes for children - you know, the ones with the flashing sole - were available in my size, I would have a pair of them long ago. I have to admit, though, that I haven't really looked yet. Maybe they'll be under the Christmas tree this year after all. But to get to the point, I have to say that with the best will in the world I am not in a position to be in reggae or in... Dub to find something like kitsch. But well, I'm not a reviewer, just a commentator and maybe I don't have the necessary training to really have a say. Which of course doesn't stop me from doing it again and again.
Next keyword! With the very special emphasis on “Stitch”! “Lovers Rock” …………….. mmmmnh, occasionally I also hear a Maxi Priest or at ASWAD there is a lot of “stuff to make you fall in love with” but here I only listen to Roots Riddims, which in my experience also serve as the basis for a “Lovers Rock” can be based. In fact, I often find Lovers Rock to be too “kitsch”. Especially when a singer like Beres already has kitsch in his voice. (Mind you, my feeling).
But there are also such passages in the review that once again get to me like the finest Ooooooooolio de Olivio:
“The production is, as the English would say, “lush”, that is, in the landscape sense, in full juice. Everything flows, drips, blooms and pollinates each other in this pastoral idyll where there seems to be no struggle for survival, only harmony." Yeah man! “Harmony as the goal of time” or something like that is what I heard from Dubble standard still in mind. And everything else in that sentence “pollinates” my enthusiasm for it Dub syndicate.
Decisive for the quality of the Dub Syndicate is not only the mix by Adrian Sherwood but of course also the musicians - especially Style Scott, Flabba Holt, Earl Bagga Walker, and occasionally Lloyd Parks and also the bass player from Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers - especially Live and Direct – can often experience. These are not just any reggae newcomers but the original sources of this music. I always like to say that they don't just do reggae, they are reggae!
Now a few words about Mellow and Collie. I also think the music on the record is fantastic, but unfortunately it's another example of the possible hearing damage that Scientist may have. I have to turn the treble control to zero to make it somewhat bearable. I would actually have to remove the mechanical lock so that I could turn the treble down quite a bit. In my opinion, a “high-end fetishist” will have a very difficult time.
Oh and otherwise I would have liked to have done without the few “loopings” that were included here as a bonus. For me it would be much more interesting if this “adorable, atomic-apocalyptic album” by Style Scott with Bill Laswell were made available again as a vinyl pressing or at least as a CD.
I still find it “undignified” to only be able to stream this album. It's not directly from Dub Syndicate but at the end of the day, Style Scott is nothing more than the Don “Corleone” of this syndicate.

“In Sicily women are more dangerous than shooting irons”……. lemmi

Hello, I listened to the individual tracks in more detail. Am I wrong? Two of the three extended loop mixes have already been released on “Dub Syndicate – The Rasta Far I (Bonus Versions)” was released. So if you own both the original album and “The Rasta Far I (Bonus Versions)”, the 25 Anniversary Extended Edition album is pretty irrelevant.

I'm a little surprised you don't know the original album. How can something like that happen? Especially reviewers like you, gtk, should know and have the original album.

In fact, I still have the CD - but I haven't had one of these CD players for a long time. (I have a little treasure chest with rare/out-of-print CDs that I'm going to sell on eBay).

Unfortunately, the album with the original mix (for comparison) is no longer available as a stream - which is a shame, because I only review albums that can be listened to as a stream for free.

With this in mind: If you still own the original album and a CD player, please do an acoustic comparison, thank you!

Thanks for the YouTube URL! However, comparable qualities would be needed – ideally lossless vs. lossless
-stream or CD 1998 vs. CD 2023.

Unfortunately I can't help because I'm not a streamer but just a dreamer.
I can only say that the CD quality from (approx. 1998) is perfect for my taste. It is the better choice, especially against the stream for “lukewarm”.
In general, I always find the mp3 stream a little noisy. I notice this especially at home when I don't make it quite as loud. Here at work the volume level is much higher and the system isn't that good either, so I don't even notice it. There are no questions at all when it comes to the bass, because the bass level of my little “ArbeitsSoundSystem” actually answers that DubWeekender in the shade! Rumms Booms Double Booms! …………. ;-) is really just a very small exaggeration ;-)
Why extra via e-bay gtk? …… Yes well, who knows how high the bids will go?
But I would be very happy if you gave me the fantastic one from your treasure chest DubAlbum “Fire House Dub Volume 1, Sip A Cup meets Negus Roots”. I know the album from your playlist “Deep In Dub“ and for me it is one of the best DubAlbums of all time! (no exaggeration on my part).
So, even if the question is of course not meant entirely seriously, I would be very happy if we could do business there ;-)
I always feel like a beaten dog when I can only stream them...
Otherwise I would say, hey EchoBeach can you hear me?! Bring It Out and Name your Price …………….. lemmi

I just found this.
Published on the 2012 Dub Syndicate Special King Size Dub from Echo Beach are the two extended loop mixes from DubBing is a must and Hey Geoff can also be found. That's why my résumé is quite sobering: If you look at the last track from DubIf visionist is ignored, the 25th Anniversary Extended Edition turns out to be just an unspectacular use of leftovers.

Well, there are probably a lot of people who don't own (or don't know) the original album and now (finally) have the opportunity to hear or buy the thing - albeit as a remaster. In this respect: Well done, Echo Beach.

lemmi, the fine “Firehouse DubUnfortunately I don't have it on CD - but a quick search tells me that you can also stream the album without loss (Apple) and buy it (Bandcamp). LP & CD also seem to be available via Sip-A-Cup Records.

In my “treasure box” (=shoebox) there are only a few Blood & Fire albums, rare Michael Rose releases Dub Syndicate, LSP's Arkology, etc. In other words, the few pieces that I didn't have the heart to give away.

By the way: I'm revising “deep in dub“ just radical - the new version will probably go online at the end of December: radically shortened (quality in, quantity out), 100% stepper-free and: Anything that has no echo must go... go... go... go

Thanks gtk!

I wouldn't have expected that this disc would still be available
Sip-A-Cup Records can buy. I hope that they can get along with my payment conditions (“cash payment by message in a bottle”).
Ok, then I'll be visiting your "Deep In" more often soon Dub Listen to PlayList”. I'd like it if Dub nice “radical” ;-) ………..
I have already saved many instrumentals from your playlist, with “no” or only a little reverb and echoes, into a special playlist called “Reggae Instrumentals”. Reggae is often just too good to forget forever, even without vocals and without reverb and echo. But it's a lot, right?!

All right, until then……………. lemmi

I also had the idea of ​​creating a freely accessible “instrumental” playlist. There's some really nice stuff apart from Dean Fraser...

Hehe, Dean “Martin” Fraser is offside too often. He didn't really get on my nerves that much before, but his saxophone really just sounds like "Wuwuseeler" or something like that to me.
It almost sounds like an Indian snake charmer, which isn't so bad for the snakes because they're deaf, if I'm not mistaken.

Greetings ……………… lemmy

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