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Super Natural Sound: Dub Tape Volume 1

Sometimes they just appear like that - without notice, without warning. albums by unknown acts with cover artwork that is rather unusual for the reggae genre; the reviewer is unfortunately inclined to let such parts pass unheard in the streaming universe. Of course, you should never do that, as I did on Super Natural Sound's "Dub Tape Volume 1(Super Natural Sound) can demonstrate.

First thought: woah… Lee Perry's Black Ark studio? Already the first track makes it clear what's going on: Honest, handmade music, provided with instruments like in the olden days. That it goes so far that tapes, appropriate recording machines and various sound gadgets such as self-made sirens are used, I only find out later in the exchange with Aaron Sprague, the man behind Super Natural Sound. 

“ Lee Scratch Perry was a big influence on my approach to working in the traditional style on tape with analogue equipment. My first release was actually a track I wrote and produced with Lee Perry in 2020. As the bass player for the New York roots reggae band Mosaic Foundation, I played a show with Perry and was lucky enough to record the song "Garvey Say" with him. I've been so influenced by Lee's style, the Black Ark sound and his spiritual approach that I'm trying to capture this analog one Dub- to keep the tradition alive.”

Aaron's present debut "Dub Tapes Volume 1” under the moniker Super Natural Sound is a collection of Dubs created in the past year. Contrary to the original intention of making timeless music, the instrumental recordings are sparsely sown Dub-Effects rooted entirely in the sound of the 70s. Joining forces here are Ranking Joe with the only vocal track and a wonderful melodica and bongo duo from Japan: Aki Mittoo and Goja Bongos. Mittoo's euphonious melodica is very different from the melody and playing style of an Addis Pablo or an Art-X; The instrument is wonderfully embedded in the mix and never intrusive. 

There are also two drummers from Los Angeles and Israel, with the latter providing an extra portion of punch and slightly lifting the recordings towards the 1980s. Sprague does the rest of the instrumentation himself, completing a blend of many cultures and styles brought together, as he puts it, "by a love of reggae."

"Dub Tapes Volume 1” is intended to be just the first of many more albums from Super Natural Sound; ready-recorded vocal tracks, which will be presented by various female singers, are already waiting for the release. "Working with the different musicians drives me and always allows me to create something new," says Aaron Sprague. “I make sure that Super Natural Sound's music is positive, full of love and good vibes. The analog recording technology is helpful here and helps to preserve these vibes in the best possible way. After all, music is medicine, and I also support the healing effect with sounds for which I build my own instruments. All my equipment, which is older than me - from the 60s, 70s and 80s - plays a big role in this. I love the sound of that time and I want to spread it with my work; But above all I want to make music that I want to hear myself. The "Dub Tapes Volume 1" is just the beginning - the Super Natural Sound studio still has a lot up its sleeve."

There is nothing to add; the man knows what he is doing and what he wants to achieve with it. Respect for the handmade music based on an old recipe and also for the fact that he doesn't just go through the whole thing as an ego trip - quite the opposite: New York meets Japan meets California meets Israel, and it still sounds like a piece. LSP lives on - in all the musicians he inspired. "Dub Tapes Volume 1” bears witness to this.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

16 Responses to “Super Natural Sound: Dub Tape Volume 1"

Thank you for bringing up this (and not only this) album, which I most certainly would not have discovered without you guys. The first run is promising.

I am so sorry !

Honest hand-played music. Memories of Lee Perry are awakened and the analogue ones Dubtradition is praised. But I find it limp. The riddims seem tired and powerless to me. Although I'm not quite sure if I'm just describing my own condition. But it can't be quite that, because for my standards I'm quite in the juice right now. Spring feelings and the anticipation of summer are spreading through me and otherwise things are actually going quite well. It can always be better but no, I'm completely at peace with my own little world right now. So I see the weaknesses more in the riddims. I'm sorry but the bassist (I know that's exactly who this is about)
I can't give stars. And also the rhythm guitar and the riddim keyboard don't really dare to pluck the strings or really hit the keys. That seems way too tacky to me. These riddims make me weak, not strong. Of course, “Peaceful Meditation” also says something about the intention of the producer. Maybe he has too much power himself and would like to ground himself a bit more personally with these riddims or something like that. For me, “Peaceful Meditation” stands out a bit again. It's probably because it reminds me a lot of “Precinct Of Sound” ( by who do you think !?! ). I immediately had the association with this one Dub from DUB SYNDICATE ! The riddim and bass melody are only similar, but it almost seems to me that the bass line is almost identical, only played in slow motion by Aaron Sprague here. Basically, any comparison with that Dub Syndicate is almost like comparing apples to oranges. ( No, it doesn't work for me. I don't like apples or pears and who should be apple and who should be pear ? ) Well, you know, On .U Sound is for me the very best thing in things Dub has happened worldwide so far and that Dub Syndicate is the culmination of this creation. From my point of view, a comparison is therefore not possible at all. Nevertheless, "Peaceful Meditation" reminded me of the "Highlanders of the Dub“ recalls what in itself is a grandiose
"Performance" is. I'll put it in here. If you want, you can try to follow my synapses or think your own way about me or my views. You can also open my eyes again and completely refute me. It may well be that my senses are raving about that Dub Syndicate have been glorified once again. Precinct Of The Sound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNwqfbTMOn4 ……………………… Oh, wonderful ;-) That’s the only way the meadow will turn green ….
I don't even know if I should call it a "problem". But for me the best time for Dub and music in general. I can't help but compare everything "new" with the "old". For me almost everything has been there before and the newer "things" are automatically compared with it. Let's take Lee Perry for example. I think it's great that he has so many fans and has inspired just as many. But how and why should it be possible, this man, this sound and these musicians
to copy. From my point of view, there is not the slightest need for this, because there is the original. Ok, I'm being unfair. Aaron Sprague never tried
Copy Lee "Scratch" Perry. But the Upsetters can't just be replaced by Israeli or Japanese or "backstabbing" musicians either.

Jamaica is my Big Bang of Music! ( New York is just "a knife a fork a bottle and a cork" ) …………………… lemmi

I got to the Super Natural Sound Dub Tapes a lot of musical associations, but that Dub Syndicate isn't one of them. I've tried, but I don't see anything similar between Peaceful Meditation and Precinct Of Sound.

I tend to think of the Niney the Observer productions, the Wackie's label releases and of course the Black Ark era. I also think it's not about copying someone, it's about re-creating the specifics of a certain sound. Each studio had its own characteristics, its own atmosphere and soundscapes, and that's what artists want to work with today. The studio sound as an instrument, so to speak. In this case, I think it worked very well.

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"I've tried, but I don't see anything similar between Peaceful Meditation and Precinct Of Sound."

"You only have to hear it once with my ears"..... ;-)

Yes, it is a through ball for anyone who doubts or even despairs of my ears. I also think that my "comparison", actually it was just a memory, was brought out from quite far away, from the most hidden corners of my emotional cellar. I totally understand if you don't understand gtk.
The sound is really very good and "Garvey Say" with Lee Perry doesn't allow for any grumbling either.
I really want to write a lot more than that. It would once again be about the quality, not even the quality of the musicians at all, but about the quality of the riddims that the Jamaicans and their migrants scattered all over the world gave out. They simply had the best feeling for reggae, which isn't really surprising.......it could go further, but I don't want to strain it any further.

I'd rather go back into the goal first ………………………… lemmi

Hello gtk, help me out. I can't hear a single note from the Black Ark era either. What I hear is almost none DubEffects and no typical Black Ark sound at all.

Sorry Steffen.

I'm not gtk and I can't help you out but the lack of "snazzy" and clever ones DubEffects also add to the difficulty for me. Because Aaron Sprague is reading along here, I would like to add that I don't think his music is bad, but unfortunately it's not enough to cause a storm of enthusiasm.
It's always the diversity and I assume that more value was placed on a "laid back feeling".
Dub is for me primarily a kind of playing around with music and sound.
Play is fun and should not be taken too seriously. That's why I always like to have a few new "DubJokes" in the form of strange sounds - and especially riddim effects. Of course, that's always a certain risk, because I don't automatically like everything just because it's funny, strange or particularly experimental. I love it if Dub how a rook jumper jumps from a 10 with a triple somersault and quadruple twist. If there isn't enough going on, I feel like a simple jump with my nose closed ...... It's better than going down on foot, but it's not exciting at all. Except for the jumper himself.

Yes, sorry again, I'm a little close to the lab head again today.

EEK A MOUSE no sing "la la" and no "ye ye" EEK A MOUSE sings
"Ban Ban Diddle Di Deh" (or something like that).....

"Zungguzungguguzungguzeng" ……………….. lemmi

I mean, for example, track 1 (Peaceful Meditation) can serve as a prime example of the Black Ark overtones. For example the sound of the keyboard syncopation hook or the mix of the hi-hat. Amazing how the man managed that; on the other hand, it should not be an impossible task with correspondingly old equipment.

Yes, as noted in the review, they are Dub-Effects few and far between. It's the way it is, I can't change anything about it :-) It was undoubtedly about the studio sound. That was also very clever, because with LSP's very special Dub-Working on technology seems to me to be an impossibility... as a musician I wouldn't even want to try it.

With all due respect gtk, a bit of analogue equipment doesn't make a typical Black Ark sound. To my regret, I can't even hear Peaceful Meditation as a prime example of Black Ark reminiscences. Nobody gets the classic Lee Perry Black Ark sound and that's a good thing. Ok, you were mainly concerned with the studio sound, I can understand that. I can only speak for myself, for my part I hear Aaron Sprague's typical studio sound but I don't hear a Black Ark sound anywhere. Putting aside the Black Ark comparison, I like it Dub Tapes Volume 1 is still quite good.

Completely agree, Steffen: It's all about the sound and not about Lee Scratch Perry and his style Dub to produce, weave in sound gimmicks and put on reverberant echoes and lots of acoustic magic. It's not even about the playing style of the Upsetter & Co., but about a specific sound. When I said "woah... Compass Point Studios?" I didn't mean Sly & Robbie, but the sound of the studios... and maybe Simmons as well. That's all there is to it.

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Ok gtk, I don't hear a typical Black Ark sound even if you think you can hear it. Let's leave it, I have the feeling we're talking past each other.

No, Steffen - I think we're just talking about two different worlds... that's all there is to it.

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What went through my head when I read the review repeatedly and when we commented, was the attitude (I always feel a bit strange when using foreign words, but I couldn't think of anything more appropriate here), with which Aaron Spragues approached the music approaches. hand-played ! Analog gear and analog Dubmixing !
Exactly what I always dream of! No sterile and lifeless drum programs, no keyboard basses and a lot of natural feeling. Including reverb and echo, which are nothing more than fascinating natural phenomena. Unfortunately, the riddims and instrumentals don't flash me enough, so I forgot to thank Aaron Spragues for the very commendable approach and at least to let him live up to it. So again completely without irony:

Big Up Mr Sprague! Your concept is perfect! ("But at first you need a good riddim to make a good Dub“ ) ………………………… Lemmy

PS : what is a good riddim ?

"A fascinating, recurring sequence of noises (if possible, but not necessarily produced by musical instruments)"

"The most important criterion: the lemmi has to really like it" …………

Ok, ok I already have the goalkeeper gloves on again ………………. lemmi

Some people in this world create and try to spread love, some people try to destroy and spread hate. "Love and hate cannot be friends". Of course we don't have the same taste! I'm glad. I hope everyone can know love and peace one day. "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Lee Scratch Perry

Yeah man!

Your words sounds like a very good Dub to me

I am very afraid that mankind is living in the last days of Democracy. There are only some islands of free speech and free minds in this world. the DubBlog is one of these islands and that makes me happy. But I think, for example, Pablo Moses knew that a long time before, when he was singing :

"IN THE FUTURE IT'S A GO TERRIBLE!"

I knew this song a very long time but it doesn't help me, because I am not ready to die !

Ok, Reggae is not only "good vibes" and "vegatable breakfast". It's reality!

…… and there is “a thin line between love and hate”

I hope my english was able to be understand ;-) and when I read the word "english" my mind is coming to "hinglan". "Hinglan Is a Bitch" (LKJ). They are ready to send Julian Assange into the hell of American "justice". Democracy and Freedom is in the highest danger, like it never did before.

But who am I, that I told you all these bad things. I am sure that you are not sleeping on the tries and its nothing new for anyone here, but I like the feeling that I can talk about it.

"Dub against fashism” / “READY AIM FIRE !!!”…………………………… lemmi

( "Come Back Jesus" )

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