Dubblestandart & Firehouse Crew present Reggae Classics

“I've wanted to record songs for a long time that have great meaning in my life and inspire me. It was time to bow to a few handpicked artists, ”is how Paul Zasky describes the idea behind the new album by Dubblestandart. What sounds like a glorified retrospective has actually turned out to be a release full of content in many respects, venturing into roots pearls of the late 70s and 80s. Anyone who suspects the umpteenth Bob Marley cover is behind it will be surprised: This is where heavyweights like Matumbi, the Twinkle Brothers, Steel Pulse or Burning Spear are honored.

Zasky, mastermind and bass player of the Viennese formation Dubblestandart, this time also breaks new ground in terms of production technology - it is not for nothing that the album surprises with the title “Dubblestandart & Firehouse Crew Present Reggae Classics“(Echo Beach). Initiated by producer Devon D., the recordings with the Firehouse Crew took place in 2017 and 2018 in Kingston's legendary Anchor Studio. The result is one for DubA production that is very reserved and focused on the essentials, which is strongly influenced by the game of the Firehouse Crew.

“We didn't reproduce much or not at all in order to get the sounds as original as possible - this resulted in a very transparent sound image. Of course, the unique recording room at Anchor Studios also plays a major role; there you get a drum sound that just has the right roots vibe, ”says Zasky, who was less involved as a bass player than as a singer during the recordings. That too a surprise, set DubUsually blestandart on samples and guest vocals - for example by Marcia Griffiths or Lee “Scratch” Perry. 

Who has been the subject of "Dub“Has missed, be reassured: In the best showcase manner, the corresponding vocal versions follow Dubs, mixed in Robbie Ost's Vienna GoEast studio. Here, too, there is an unusual reluctance: solid Dubs that live primarily from Danny Axeman's grooving basslines. More courage for a sound adventure would have been good, at least for them Dubs on the CD or streaming version of the album. The vinyl version of "Dubblestandart & Firehous Crew Present Reggae Classics ”, on the other hand, waits exclusively with rougher and a little more daring Dubs on. If you own a turntable, you have a clear advantage here (and the CD is free with the vinyl).

In terms of sound, there are a few complaints about the album; so the mids could be a little less concise in favor of bass and treble, but the omnipresent trend towards “hot mastering” can also be felt by reggae and Dub not withdraw. One or the other will notice George Miller's extremely dry sounding kick drum, but Paul Zasky treats himself to a more than extensive reverb bath for his vocals. You can, but you don't have to like that - but it contributes a lot to the characteristic sound of "Dubblestandart & Firehouse Crew Presents Reggae Classics ”.

The question remains whether Paul Zasky's album concept will work - even sung cover versions of heavy songs by 70s / 80s roots reggae icons with the Firehouse Crew as the backing band. A difficult task that only succeeds with some compromises - sometimes better (Twinkle Brother's “I'm No Robot”), sometimes worse (Johnny Clarke's / Culture's “Jah Jah See Dem A Come”), sometimes surprisingly well (Burning Spear's “Fly Me To The Moon "). The crux of the matter is Zasky's uncharismatic voice, which fails because of the overpowering originals and also the classification of the album in the Dubblestandart-Oevre makes it difficult: Is it a solo album recorded by the Firehouse Crew by the band's bassist or at least one of the collective Dubblestandart? Perhaps the better concept would have been to have an album entitled "Dubblestandard presents Reggae Classics in Dub“And thus embark on a great sound spectacle without reservation. In any case, it is mostly those who boom from my speakers Dubs - from the vinyl version of the album.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

10 replies to "Dubblestandart & Firehouse Crew present Reggae Classics "

My patience is being put to the test. Of course I also ordered the vinyl version + CD. My shop won't get them for a month at the earliest. I hope I haven't gambled too much because I've read something of limited editions and such somewhere. The vinyl DubYou shouldn't even be able to stream it. Or did I misunderstand something ? Ok, that doesn't matter at first. I like the disc very much so far. Even if I have to agree with you about Zasky's singing. Also the Dubs are a bit too Jamaican (that is to say, weak herb = little DubExperiments), but have a very good groove. In general, the disc has a very rich and solid sound. The singing is the only weak point for me here but it doesn't annoy me either. Above all, it was good that not only Bob Marley was "mixed up", but also a few other heroes. Against the Jamaican Heroes (David Hinds at least has a migration background) the good Mr. Zasky had no chance from the start.

Cheers …………. lemmi

Paul Zasky's courage in the selection of songs has earned me a lot of respect, these are pearls that are mainly known to enthusiasts (“I'm no robot”, “Hypocrite”). On the other hand, an interpretation of the Rasta hymn "Jah Jah See Dem A Come", which is primarily known from Joseph Hill's Culture, is like running into the open knife with full consciousness. Even Jamaicans with expressive, charismatic voices have spectacularly failed because of interpretations of culture songs - see the “Remembering Joseph Hill” album on the Penthouse label.



no people, unfortunately Paul Zasky's singing doesn't work at all for me. If I want to hear the titles, I'd rather the originals. "Babylon The Bandit" or "Fly Me To The Moon" (actually all titles), for heaven's sake, what did Paule ride. Sorry, but if I can't sing particularly well, then I don't dare to do such “overwork”. In my eyes the songs are so bloodless that you immediately get the feeling that the originals have been disfigured shamelessly and without the due respect! Second hand embarrassment!!!
The only good things about the album are they Dubs that DubIn any case, blestandart has conjured up better. But they are still ok and that's why it should have been DubPlease leave blestandart at that. Pity!

So now this record is at home with me too! It's a really nice package. Vinyl LP with CD included. How I would like that from Richie Phoe too. So I don't say anything against Dubblestandart. I think they play “Tight” as the Seeed singer might say.
Well ... .. but dear Paul Zasky. It's actually a good thing that his singing (at least mostly) doesn't annoy me that much, but especially with Steel Pulse and Culture, pretty much everything contracts with me. Then you first notice what charisma both Joseph Hill and David Hinds had or have. Most of the other originals are probably not so familiar to me, so that I can get along better with Zasky's singing. But if you feel the same with the other cover versions of Zasky as I do with Steel Pulse and Culture, then only a good urologist can help ...... ..

Conclusion: it fits! …………………………… .. lemmi


"I think they play" tight "

The riddims were not from Dubblestandart but recorded exclusively by the legendary Firehouse Crew in the Anchor Studios. The Firehouse Crew was King Tubby's house and court band from the mid 80s. Also on board were Paul “Wrong Move” Crossdale, Georg Miller, Bongo Herman and Danny “Axeman” Thompson, who built the riddim tracks for these six classics.

Merely gedubThe whole thing was bedded with analog equipment from Robbie Ost in the Vienna GoEast Studios. The DubOn their own, s are of good quality.

So, as I said before, I can't do Zasky's "singing" to myself, even the "scraps of singing" in them Dubs are borderline. The originals and the original performers always come to mind and then it just hurts. :-( Although I generally find the selection of songs very successful, but the vocal implementation ... subterranean.


Wasn't that clear to me at all, although it is really big on it. Dubblestandart AND (!) The Firehouse Crew (!).

Of course they also play “tight”. If not, who then!?!

Still, I think Dubblestandart also a really tight band. For example with the “Woman In Dub“And also the vocal template, which is really nice and compact for my taste and to the point. Especially with “Don't worry, what the people think about you” everything fits for me and not to forget the mega hit (only the world has not checked it again) “Holding you close” with Marcia Griffiths (or was it Judy after all Mowett) is very excellent
succeeded. For me this is a world hit! The question is, of course, whether a world hit is also a good tune for reggae fans.

Of course, they can't be as good as the Jamaicans. That would be even better. Where would we be then.

Greetings …………… lemmy

The DubI agree with you 100% that I'm XNUMX% right, maybe that's why I'm so disappointed with the new album because Paul Zasky really messes up everything with his “vocals”. Zasky is undoubtedly a good bass player and not one of the previous ones DubI found blestandart albums neither bad nor boring. They always had a lucky hand in choosing the voices for the vocal contributions. Jazzmin Tutum's voice ("Don't worry, what the people think about you") fits wonderfully - awesome! Marcia Griffiths anyway ...
Let's leave it at that, because “Reggae Classics” doesn't get any better. Vocally, the new album remains a failure for me.

The flying frog (Wilhelm Busch)

"If someone who hardly
climbed a tree
already thinks
that he was a little bird
so he is wrong. ";-)

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