Reggae Angels with Sly & Robbie: Remember Our Creator - Fox Dubs

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.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

3 replies to “Reggae Angels with Sly & Robbie: Remember Our Creator - Fox Dubs “

“Refining” is said nicely and otherwise I totally agree with you. Analyzed very well. The sound is really brilliant. But the album bores me nonetheless. The Dub- “Refinement” actually has the task of making a track rougher, giving it rough edges and making the music behind the vocals shine. But that's exactly what I miss here. "Remember" is also to me as Dub-Version, unfortunately, much too smooth.

How does René always say so beautifully? From Sly and Robbie Dubs he is not full or they often (or almost always?) leave him a little hungry. Unfortunately, I feel the same way over and over again, and with this “Reggae Angels record” it's very acute again. Sure, Sly and Robbie always groove with me, regardless of whether it is reggae, rumba or “Zumba”, the “boys” are and will remain the RiddimTwins !!! And so I find very nice moments here that cast a spell over me. Yes, the sound feels very balanced to me too. I would almost say “sovereign”. If, yes, if the word if not were. I didn't pay attention to every tune, but both Sly Dunbar and Jim Fox probably like that "strange" sound on the snare drum. I mainly know from the "Exterminator" label (if it is a label) and has always annoyed me. I just don't like that sound. And where "we" are already with the sound, of course I have to talk about my "main problem". Various diseases are often more, sometimes less acute, and they often develop and sometimes even worsen. And you certainly don't joke about it. But I don't know how to say it, in any case my slowly creeping aversion to saxophone sound and melodies has meanwhile increased into a "saxophonic hyperacusis" and so it was almost impossible for Dean Frazer not to annoy me with his sound. Oh yes, he didn't play the keyboard, but that really could have been mixed out. Yes, by now I know that reggae musicians and producers are not infallible either. To be honest, I find the album a little bit like "old gentlemen reggae" which has to be quite legitimate for the "boys". However, it goes a little further or a floor lower. Sly Dunbar once said something about gentlemen like, "Him are right, but his music sounds to ordenary for me". I felt the same way and still see it that way, but now I have to accept the “compliment” - at least partially
Return Sly Dunbar. Perhaps the Reggae Angels wanted to have such riddims so that they can also be played in the Catholic Church. I do not have a clue either.
I also like something like stick figure, but my favorite is still reggae with the knife between my teeth, which is incessantly on the hunt to overthrow Babylon.
Lee Perry explained it even better, of course.
"The dog that keeps pulling on one end of the leash - which you put in its mouth - and wiggles its head wildly, twitches and tears until you can no longer hold the leash ... THAT'S REGGAE! !!

I LOVE IT!!! …………………………. lemmi

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