Five Star Review

Joe Yorke: Noise and Emptiness

Of course, falsetto isn't for everyone. That's why there isn't a single Cedric Myton track in my playlists, let alone one of his albums. The situation is different with falsetto backing vocals in the style of the early Aswad, Steel Pulse or Tamlins recordings - it just fits there, harmonic and tonally reliable head voice singing was delivered. See "Baltimore" - what would the track be without those harmonies?

Also Joe Yorke's debut "Noise and Emptiness' (Rhythm Steady) delivers flawless, accurate falsetto at times - both on lead and wonderfully accomplished backing vocals. But now that's us and voices interest us only peripherally; therefore it should be pointed out that the album with dubis interspersed with big instrumentals. It's all in the mix; it frees the release prophylactically from the dreaded falsetto overdose. Undoubtedly, Yorke's diverse responsibilities as singer, producer and composer contribute to the production's success; one or the other collaboration with mid-range vocalists will also play their part.

So there is a fresh wind blowing from England towards the international reggae community, which is particularly evident in the excellent production - everything is clean and, above all, not excessively arranged. This gives the sometimes almost sparse instrumentation room to breathe - similar to what we saw in the bone-dry Rub-a-Dub of the early 1980s. And yes, you can hear some fat bass here too:

Of course, “Noise and Emptiness” is an offer that values Dub-Connoisseur has to let in first - it wasn't love at first sight for me either. But: The tunes have enormous potential for growth and have clung to the reviewer's ear canal. And so it is that the album is one of my personal favorites of the year and deserves a big recommendation.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

12 Responses to “Joe Yorke: Noise and Emptiness”

Like Jimmy Somerville to be exact, who himself recorded a few reggae tunes. Guess every falsetto outside classical music will be compared to Somerville.


Mmmmmmmh, maybe not the best day to comment on a "Dub“Leave disc. Normally I don't get a headache when I drink beer, but today my head is pounding a bit in connection with football.
Joe Yorke's album is (was) even available on vinyl from my trusted dealer. It's now sold out and seems to be really popular with "many" people.
I'm not quite sure. Sometimes I think my enthusiasm for reggae and Dub slowly fading away. I think the disc is quite good, but it just doesn't stand up to comparison with the veterans. Quite apart from the fact that I also had to throw away discs by ASWAD and Steel Pulse, they all brought me to a very strong and fun to play, as well as energetic reggae and thus shaped me forever and ever.
I also think this record by Joe Yorke has an excellent sound. The disc sounds crystal clear and really fat !!! The riddims are mostly to my liking as well. So with "Lane Walking" I'm immediately reminded of my "imprint" and feel almost exactly as if I'm having one again Dub hear from the Roots Radics. Even if Scientist is a bit (a lot) missing here. All in all, I got the feeling that the music was rippling along and my muscles in the brain weren't really tense. In other words, the power and expressiveness of Steel Pulse, ASWAD, Tamlins, Capital Letters, Black Roots, LKJ and the Dennis Bovell Dubband and all others from that time, was not reached. So old reggae and Dub Connoisseurs like me can't help but compare every new tune and every new disc with the time it was coined. I'll just say it like that, without really knowing whether it's the same for you and many others (at my age). I would have bought the disc too, because I really like the sound and riddim-technically, despite everything I've said here. Basically, I have nothing against chilling out on a beautiful spring or summer day in a green meadow (without flies or other vermin) and a crystal-clear mountain stream rippling by next to me. To be honest, for me the sound of a clear mountain stream is the most beautiful sound that nature has ever produced. Despite all the BassLines from Jamaica. Well, of course, that only applies if you're really thirsty. Ok, the connection between water and Dub can, or could probably really only DubConnoisseurs and Lee "Scratch" Perry explain themselves. As I said, I was very close to buying the disc, but falsetto and the frequent beeping noises are two stylistic devices that don't make me buy a disc at the "Nice" VinylPrice. Then there must be more. Or the vocals have to come out almost completely.
Otherwise, I see it all very differently, maybe next spring, but today I feel a bit weak for a given reason ;-) . I need a particularly strong Upliftment boost today and I know that the Africans can make a huge contribution there, both in terms of football and music.

Germany is coming home, its coming home, its coming home (oh no, they've been back for a long time) ………………….. lemmi

Understand you completely, lemmi. I'm also tempted to compare new releases to the bangers from my favorite era (late 70's to early 80's… from Black Uhuru's Showcase to Black Uhuru's Anthem, so to speak). But the time is over now, the people from back then are either dead or still dismantling their careers. In this respect, we would do well to appreciate the memories, but otherwise be completely open to new things in the here and now (a/k/a their art at any time).
The glory days of Blackwell are not coming back... "and that's a good thing".


Good disc, which I play again and again... but for me it's actually a vocal album... it's always there Dub-FXs sprinkled in, quite successful, but the vocals go through or are definitely too present for Dub how i like him
And while the riddims are good, especially the basslines, I like older Joe Yorke stuff a lot better. Eg a song like "Tonight" released together with the co-operators is missing for me... or a "Rough Sleeper" or "Gentrification"... somehow the sound and the sound of the drums on this LP is a bit too "digital" for me, simple such a gut feeling, can't exactly explain it...
Still, I agree with gtk when he writes that a lot sticks and the songs develop... a real one Dub-Counterpart to this work would den Dub-Connoisseur happy... and yes, the beeping is more like beeping at me, you could safely omit it... I'm like lemmi!

I've been thinking about the drums for a while... I'm (almost) certain that they're e-drums recorded live.
I have 7 of the 11 album tracks in "deep in dub“ recorded – because it's either perfect instrumentals/Dubs or because the sung part is shorter than the instrumental part. Such as with "Downtown", see YouTube clip above. That's what I would normally call Discomix... but the piece is only 3'13" long.
Anyone noticed the ingenious horn sections? Should only be trombones, but I'd have to listen more carefully.


right gtk !

The brass sections are really good. Unfortunately I forgot to mention. But I noticed it straight away. I found the brass sections to be like a refrain or – to put it even better – like a hook line that gives each tune its own distinctiveness. It's the same as I know it from the old days of ASWAD, who always had a very special knack for it. Instrumentals that only "apparently" are instrumentals because a saxophone or a trumpet or some other wind instrument "sings" almost continuously will probably always have a hard time with me, with a few exceptions.
And of course there were many, many more that had wind sections with the finest hook lines to offer. Both from Jamaica and England.
(And I will probably never understand this “Beep Beeps” either ……)
(You can spoil the very best tunes with this. It's even worse than pouring some filth on a "Rembrandt").

As long as ………………. lemmi

I asked the label and got the answer today that the LP will be re-pressed and will be available again from around April (depending on whether everything goes well in the pressing plant). Just to those who didn't get any from the first slide.

I haven't listened to the record for a while as I consider it to be one of Joe Yorke's weaker works. I recently discovered the original of the song "Rise Up (feat. Martin Melody)" and for me this original is so much better than the rework by Joe Yorke that I don't understand why he "degrades" a song like that. .
Well, Martin Fishley has the song and one Dubversion recorded on the Swedish label Bow & Arrow Records as "Enough Is Enough" ( According to information, a song that was created during the Covid restrictions and denounces these extreme rules. Serious message, good thing! I'm even assuming that Martin Melody is a pseudonym of Martin Fishley and he sort of had a hand in the Joe Yorke version. Anyway, if you want to hear the song deep and without electronic frills, use the Bow & Arrows original!

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