Review: For the latest release on his quietly impressive Greyscale label, Lithuanian producer Grad_U has turned to fast-rising Hungarian artist Zol. The two join forces on collaborative opening cut "Intro", an impeccably spacey and intergalactic voyage into pulsing electronic ambient, before Zol serves up a string of atmospheric dub techno workouts, star-gazing tech-house rubs, bass-heavy minimalist rhythm tracks and clanking, early morning club jams. It makes for enjoyable listening, with the ultra-deep "Fin", hypnotic "Szurke", impressively wonky "Nov1" and intensely blissful "Constellation" - a future dub techno classic in our eyes - standing out.
Walls Of Jerusalem (CD1: Yabby You Meets King Tubby)
Chant Down Babylon
Fire Round Two
Plague On The Land
Go To School Jah Jha Children
Dub Of Jerusalem
Shool Days Dub
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "The Man Who Does The Work" (CD2: Studio outtakes & More versions)
Smith & The Prophets - "Valley Of Joesaphat"
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "Go To School Jah Jha Children"
Vivian Jackson & The Prophets - "Love Of Jah"
The Prophets - "Sand In My Shoe"
The Prophets - "Jah Vengeance"
King Tubby - "Greetings"
The Prophets - "Fire Fire Dub"
The Prophets - "Stand Up & Fight Dub"
Tommy McCook - "Sand In My Shoe Dub"
The Prophets - "Prophets Dub" (bonus track)
The Prophets - "Repatriation Rock" (bonus track)
Review: Pressure Sounds' latest release takes us back to 1976 and "Wall Of Jerusalem", a soulful reggae album by The Prophets that included production from both Yabby You (the band's lynchpin and lead vocalist) and dub mixer King Tubby. The album is something of a roots classic, with Yabby You's seductive, soul-fired vocal numbers being joined by delay-laden heavy dub revisions by King Tubby. You'll find the original set on disc one, with disc two being dedicated to alternate versions, previously unreleased tracks recorded in the same period, and alternate dubs that have lain dormant in Yabby You's archives for the best part of 40 years.
Review: The Studio One catalogue is the gift that keeps on giving, and Soul Jazz continually play Santa. This latest comprehensive collection is a great compilation of some of the best DJs and MCs to have been involved in reggae. Vital Jamaican stars like Dillinger, Prince Jazzbo and Lone Ranger all feature next to more hardcore names and some choice rare cuts. Spanning the 70s and into the mid-1980s, this 18-track offering gives a glimpse into the evolution of reggae to more digital and dancehall styles that come later, all with specially commissioned sleeve notes by Fashion Records head honcho Chris Lane.
Hemisphere Dub - "Memorie De Racines" (feat Eder-B)
Ondarituale - "I Segreti Di Una Generazione Di Mezzo"
Rer Repeter - "Dehydration Sequence"
Rainforest - "Light Cascade"
Mystica Tribe - "The Bells"
Review: ROHS! Records' first Dub Affairs compilation won the hearts and minds of many dub techno devotees when it appeared back in 2015. This second volume follows a similar blueprint - think scratchy dub techno, drone-encrusted ambient dub and spacey, intergalactic compositions - and is every bit as essential as its predecessor. Highlights include the fluttering melody lines, ultra-deep sub bass and broken rhythms of Gulls' "Inside Way (Version)", the dreamy, slow and low shuffle of "Caligari's Dub" by Bademah, and the exotic, up-tempo dub-tronica of Ondarituale's vocal number "I Segreti Di Una Generazione Di Mezzo". Best of all, though, is arguably Mystica Tribe's "The Bells", a positively loved-up trip into global dub fusion.
Streak Of Luck (feat HR (Bad Brains) & Daniel Son)
Love Me In My Heart (instrumental)
Come Back Alone (instrumental)
Working For God (instrumental)
Streak Of Luck (instrumental)
Electric Energy (instrumental)
Sleepy Time (instrumental)
Hot Fire (instrumental)
Review: Jamaican legend Lee Scratch Perry is, to say the least, eccentric, yet despite his love of the herb and advancing years, he is still turning out plenty of essential material. This is a brand new collaboration with New Jersey producer Mr. Green that delivers on each of the 18 tracks. Perry can be heard muttering on many of the tracks - making drum sounds, talking about love - and what goes on around him ranges from authentic dub to more electronic, rock tinged and contemporary styles. It's a fascinating juxtaposition that keeps the legendary Perry right at the forefront of dub.
Review: If it's dub-wise flavours you're after, Mungo's Hi-Fi has always been a reliable source of dancefloor heat. On their latest album, the Scottish collective has joined forces with sometime Dub Mafia front woman Eva Lazarus, whose sweet singing, spoken word raps and patois-laden toaster chat are put to work over a range of sub-heavy riddims (think dancehall, dub, ragga, roots etc). The result is a set that flits between sweet, sultry head-nodders, surprisingly soulful skankers and more robust and aggressive club workouts. Highlights include a slick cover of Beats International classic "Dub Be Good To Me", the summer breeze of Kiko Bun hook-up "Light As A Feather" and the 21st century dancefloor madness of Max Romeo collaboration "Babylon Raid".
Review: On this fine compilation, Sergey Barkalov has decided to showcase the dub techno side of his Mr Cloudy output. Bar a couple of previously unheard versions, all of the tracks were previously featured on limited edition, hard-to-find 12" singles. Although there are a couple of scratchy, experimental workouts, for the most part the tracks featured on Planets are far more melodious and ear catching than you'd perhaps expect. Barkalov's interpretation of the dub techno blueprint is a little looser than some of his contemporaries, with numerous ear pleasing electronic elements complimenting the heavy basslines and hazy sonic textures. It's these subtle tweaks, not to mention his impeccable production skills, that makes Planets such an enjoyable listen.
Review: Somewhat surprisingly, this collaborative album had its roots in a 2013 request from Michael Mantra for dub techno and ambient dub stalwart Mr. Cloudy to remix tracks from his Silent Season-released 2013 LP "Light In My Head". Six years later, and after sending parts and versions back and forth, the pair has conjured this set of lengthy, deep and mind-altering excursions. Mr. Cloudy provides versions of the collaborative "White Dub": an ultra-deep, spaced-out "Remix" that smothers a gentle, slowly shifting ambient dub rhythm in heavily processed snatches of field recordings and atmospheric aural textures around and a sparser, more spaced-out "Edit" that's closer in tone to Mantra's otherworldly, dub-influenced soundscapes. Sandwiched in between you'll find a hypnotic version by Mantra that was partly created using music concrete techniques.