Let's start with questions: "Who would play that on the radio? Which promoter would dare to present this material live? Where does this music come from?” Legendary presenter John Peel, once an institution in the British radio landscape, is sadly long (2004) dead. He certainly would have “The Grapes of Dub: Combat Dub“ (Giant Pulse Records) offered a forum in its program and presented it to a wider audience. The ON .U sound mastermind Adrian Sherwood also produced a similarly intricate sound in the late 1970s and early 1980s in London's Berry Street Studio and defied all existing rules, laws and borders.
I too can say that I've been dealing with him intensively since the album came out, because from time to time my mind also needs such, somewhat difficult to access, psychedelic listening experiences. This is not necessarily due to the ingestion of any mind-altering substances. I have always found abstract sounds, which are created through the blatant use and abuse of modern technology, very exciting and refreshing. Edgar Varèse, Karlheinz Stockhausen or CAN are just a few examples.
About the Grapes of Dub I found very little on the "net" except that the recordings were made at Puzzle Studio in Barcelona and were released in May of this year. I don't have any further information about the eight tracks... zero, nothing, nada. So the only thing left for me is the acoustic approximation, and that has it all. You can hear a free rhythm that is based on the principles of reggae and yet is influenced by musical avant-garde combined with hard punk ethics. Sonically, “Combat Dub' a largely instrumental affair, with hundreds of effects, distant ringing noise and no discernible vocal samples. Basically, the sound doesn't fit into any particular category. I find the sound experiments with active frequencies, noises that have gotten out of step, rhythms within rhythms and endless tape processing extremely exciting, just like in the old African Head Charge, New Age Steppers and Barmy Army times. Yes, the On .U Sound Addict will be featured on Combat Dub“ easily hear many parallels, nevertheless, the Grapes of Dub more than 40 years after the masterminds from the Berry Street Studio have succeeded in creating a very exciting high-tech rhythm mix of human, animal and machine noises. Unfortunately, you rarely hear such sounds. I think this head music is simply great!