The Grapes of Dub: Combat Dub

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!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

5 Responses to “The Grapes of Dub: Combat Dub"

I always discover something extraordinary on This time everything sounds even more experimental than usual. I like combat Dub very much. It sounds a bit like a rediscovered On-U Sound product from the vault. Very Exciting!

At the moment I'm a little annoyed that I just can't make it, all the good new ones DubAppreciate all apparitions. And so I go over almost everything that doesn't make 5 stars here with you. I was able to wave through the Zion Train very quickly, because unfortunately Neil Perch and I very rarely use the Dubfind feelings for each other. Musically, the Spellbreakers were too ordinary for me, although with the DubEffects here and there, however, was very impressed, especially since these - for me - sounded completely new and fresh or still sound. But since the Europeans have once again grabbed almost everything for themselves and almost nothing comes from Jamaica anymore because it is not “supported” anyway and probably hardly gets any attention from the Jamaican population either, albums like “The Grapes Of Dub : Combat Dub“ something like galactic islands in the great cosmos of the DubMusic. And who "invented" it again in this case? The Europeans too !!! (?)
The description of the music in the review was accurate and to the point in my opinion. Precisely because (!) hardly anyone would dare to play it on the radio, apparently it's exactly my thing. You usually listen to the radio on the side and use it as an additional nerve factor at work. Luckily I've had a job for a long time where I don't have to endure radio music anymore. Reggae plays here and Dub and occasionally likes African Dance Music. I also got the link here Dubblog!!! A big thank you to René for that!
As an On .U Sound Addict I was also very intrigued by this album from the first note. I immediately thought of those who, when asked about their taste in music, would reply, "oh, I actually listen to everything". I'm sure that in "Combat Dub“ Better book a ticket for the next govanni zarella show quickly and look far away. Honestly speaking, I don't hold that against anyone, or rather I can even understand it because of my extremely well-developed empathy. This music goes far beyond simple, banal listening to music. You don't listen to something like that between door and hinges. There is no talking either. This is almost an LSD trip and a journey into the inner self. Of course you can also hear that soberly, but for me that would be like booking a vacation in Hawaii without a surfboard. This music can only unfold properly in an expanded consciousness. At least that's what I've learned since the early days of On .U Sound. From "Starship Africa" ​​to "Drastic Season" I hear everything that my DizzyDubbyBrain prefers. I can't do anything with punk (music) but the "PunkAttitude" just fits me perfectly Dub. Adrian Sherwood came from punk (as far as I think I know) and maybe that's what makes the small but fine difference for me.
"This is an aggro Dub release" !!! And I feel it like Jacob ! "VERY EXCITING!"
Why is it so much about On .U Sound here? Well, I find Combat Dubis On .U Sound through and through, just without Adrian Sherwood.

For me the only plausible reason why the album could only get 4 stars ;-) ………………………. lemmi

hi lemmi,

I knew that very well that “The Grapes of Dub“ are the right thing for the ON .U sound connoisseur. Jacob is also correct in his comment when he says "Combat Dub“ as a kind of rediscovered album from the ON .U sound archive - that's how I felt too. I always say that for many ON .U Sound albums you have to develop an ear first, otherwise it all sounds like pure cacophony. But when you get that hearing, you're really rewarded for it. That almost sounds like a kind of "enlightenment" and to be honest, it's a bit like that. This is not music for in between or as background music. This music requires concentration, yes, it challenges you. One could describe this music with the motto: "Disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed". That pretty much says it all, and that's probably too much of a good thing for many. Perhaps the Brain Damage must have progressed a bit further. Who knows?

By the way, Felix Wolter aka DubIn 2013, visionist included "African Head Charge: My Life in A Hole in The Ground" among his five personal topDub-Albums. (
So Lemmi, somehow I feel confirmed again in my somewhat weird taste in music, because albums like “Combat Dub“ or contracted ON .U things are still the salt in the soup for me.

Ja Ras Vorbei !

Your (our) taste in music can also be described as weird, although I actually insist on interpreting it as progressive.
I also think that this is exactly what one could and must understand by “open minded”. Yes, and you're probably right that it also takes a certain amount of brain damage that developed over the course of life - or in my case, an inherited - brain damage to be able to cope with this "Art Of Dub' to fall into raptures.
“Disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed” ……………… isn’t that a quote from On .U Sound? Seems very familiar to me (but probably not familiar enough). Sounds like a certain Andy Fairley might have sung that before.
You've already written that you have to develop an ear for many ON .U Sound albums, otherwise everything sounds like the purest cacophony. I think the emphasis is on the word “MANY” and I just wanted to go one step further and make it clear that On U. Sound and Adrian Sherwood also have a lot Dubs and Art Of Dubs that don't even begin to sound like cacophony, but in principle are something like the key to the gateway to sound - and sound nirvana. Yes, something like that doesn't work for me without a little theatricality ;-) …………….
Just in case people are reading this who still don't know that Adrian Sherwood is the best ;-) …………

So, after this "self-adulation" of my (our) taste in music and a small laudatory speech for On U. Sound, things can now go back to "normal" as far as I'm concerned ;-)

Until ……………………… lemmi

““Disturbing the comfortable and comforting the disturbed” ……………… isn’t that actually a quote from On .U Sound? "
Yes, that's right, "Trouble the easy - comfort the troubled" is On .U Sound's motto. But I know that I have read this quote in connection with literature and fine arts. Whether it's a dictum in English, I can't say for sure.

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