The "Various" aka "Various Artists" in the title of the review is quite an overstatement, especially since only the riddims/Dub Versions of the dominions Sly & Robbie, the Roots Radics and Peter Chemist are involved. The latter in turn uses the first two as instrumentalists in his role as producer. A circle closes, so to speak, even before you have heard the first note.
The recently released album "Dub Masters' (Reggae Library Records), comes across as cheap in terms of cover artwork, and in a sense it is: here's a few Dubs of different acoustic qualities thrown together for no apparent reason; Mastering obviously (obviously if the word existed) didn't take place. Quasi a product for final use at the digital rummage table, brand K-Tel. All in all a grace star, thanks for the interview.
A different approach to the review emerges when looking at the tracklist: there is a small but impressive collection of excellent ones Dubs or tracks by Black Uhuru, Earl Cunningham, Barrington Levy, Jimmy Riley and Sly Dunbar himself; plus a few classic ones Dub-Outings of no less classic riddims: Cuss Cuss, Level Vibes or Breaking Up (here erroneously called Real Rock Dub listed). So the album is a little "powerhouse" and the blemish of the lack of mastering suddenly adds to the authenticity of the tracks - even if fiddling with the volume knob is quite annoying.
And so deliversDub Masters” takes a look back at the 'good old days' – I would say plus/minus the year 1980 – and reminds you of what Dub Jamaican character at that time: The absolute supremacy of drum & bass and the clever fading in and out of the (already sparse) other soundtracks. This concentration on the essentials works acoustically excellently and shows that one can definitely do without the sometimes limitless echo & hall orgies today: A few accents here and there do the trick. If the blank – that is, the riddim – is of quality, it doesn't take much to produce ear gold. Well done, Dubmasters – and by that I mean the real stars of the album: the sound engineers and mix masters who celebrate the art of omission. I guess someone at Reggae Library Records forgot to mention her by name.