California seems to be an incubator for talent who mix reggae with all sorts of influences - rock, pop, soul, hip-hop. There would be Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, Iya Terra, Slightly Stupid, Long Beach All Stars, John Brown's Body etc. etc. This is noticeable in the music itself, in the arrangements, in the mix and in the lyrics. There is more or less party going on, a little social criticism is also allowed. As always, exceptions prove the rule - including Groundation, but also the Reggae Angels. The latter act has been in place since 1992; it consists more or less of singer Peter Wardle with changing backing bands - which wouldn't be interesting or worth mentioning if… yes if not Sly & Robbie's Taxi Gang in the studio for a few years and sometimes too live spread the musical carpet for the reggae angels.
The Riddim Twins have been at Wardle's side for three albums now; always mixed by Jim Fox, who then added an extra track Dub-Treatment undergoes. Together they produce the full vocal /Dub-Package, which comes along as a double album. It works in a similar way with the new album “Remember Our Creator”, whereby the Dubs this time offered as a separate album: "Remember Our Creator - Fox Dubs“(Kings Music International). The list of those involved in the recordings alone shows that Peter Wardle is extremely well networked with the Jamaican reggae scene and was able to gather the corresponding capacities in Kingston's Anchor and One Pop studios. Not to mix the whole thing in YES, but to put it in Jim Fox's hands, seems downright ingenious.
Now you can think what you want of Wardle's singing - he reminds me of roots warriors like Cedric Myton or Lascelle Bulgin; the backing vox (including his daughter), however, to the Melody Makers minus the fire of Cedella Marley. With his thoroughly positive, God-centered lyrics, he also shapes the musical events, i.e. the arrangements. It's nice that Sly Dunbar mainly plays One Drops here and thus offers a solid roots basis for the sophisticated arrangements, which are excellently implemented. Of course, I could have done without the track with the drum machine; But it demonstrates the difference between man and machine very well - especially when it comes to feeling and a certain gentleness:
Whereby we actually ended up with Jim Fox, who with “Remember Our Creator” or “Remember Our Creator - Fox Dubs “is responsible for the sound. He is undoubtedly a master of his craft and is in a league with Steven Stanley and Godwin Logie; accordingly balanced and multifaceted its typical calm sound. Wonderful the lowered, full, soft and at the same time precise bass drum, which delivers great dynamics and makes the heart of the reviewer beat faster. Fox even manages to put a damper on aggro sax player Dean Fraser or to integrate the sound deep into the action instead of screeching on top of it - a feat in itself. Dunbar's hi-hat is not quite as successful as it is too dry and loud and offers a little too much insight into the drummer's currently not-so-exact cymbal work. The - if you want to see it so dramatically - the catastrophe of the album is a kitschy-intrusive keyboard brand Korg & Co. You last heard something like this in the 1980s, when musicians from outside the genre were indulging in reggae. I blame Peter Wardle himself, who plays keyboards and is here with a couple of oversdubs brought in. Jim Fox also guilty; he could have buried those keys in the mix.
What should you do - he's a good guy, Jim. That's why we want it to sound brilliant, but still quite unspectacular Dub-Mix check. It's his trademark as Dub-Mixer: The original is not changed significantly, but mainly supplemented by subtle delays. Those who like that call this process “ennobling”; But I claim: The noble thing about “Remember Our Creator - Fox Dubs “is the wonderfully balanced sound that was created while mixing the vocal album. Minus the kitsch keyboard, mind you.