Review: Way back in 1998 when Massive Attack's career-defining "Mezzanine" was first released, legendary dub technician Mad Professor cooked up some radical reworking. They now get their first official release alongside dubs of two tracks that never actually made it onto the album - Metal Banshee: a dub version of "Superpredators" which was a cover of Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Metal Postcard", and "Wire", which was actually recorded for the film "Welcome to Sarajevo". Wild effects, plenty of knob twiddling and oodles of reverb define this freaky late night collection and mark another essential release in the catalogue of the already legendary Mad Professor.
Review: Given Massive Attack's background, it was almost inevitable that they'd release a dub overhaul of one of their albums at one point. That time came in 1995, when British sound system legend Mad Professor - responsible for some of the greatest UK-made dub records of all time - put his distinctive twist on Protection. 21 years on, the set still sounds sublime: a radical translation that frequently bares only a passing resemblance to the Bristol band's original. It's packed with highlights, from the spaced-out, dub-house rework of "Spying Glass" ("I Spy"), to the ricocheting percussion hits and twinkling pianos of "Weather Storm (Cool Monsoon)", and creepy, delay-laden string surges of "Eternal Feedback (Sly)".
Review: The annual Riddim and Dub series from Ariwa serves up another essential volume. This time once more, all tracks were recorded on the Studer A800 2-inch 24 track via a customized SSL 4000. There are bottomless dubs to sink right into next to more upbeat steppers, all with that roomy feel and lived-in analogue aesthetic. "Well Done" is detailed with subtle horns that drift like wispy clouds, while "Motherland Calling" has tumbling toms that ripple forever. "Theme From Maghreb" is a real fat bottomed wobbler while "Running Around" is silkier and funkier thans to the nicely vamping chords.
Review: Back in 1995, Lee "Scratch" Perry swung by Mad Professor's Ariwa Sounds studio in South East London to add his vocals to a fresh batch of raw, sub-heavy jungle riddims by Dougie Digital and Juggler. The results were released, alongside a quartet of more traditional dub versions built by Mad Professor using the same vocals, on an album called "Super Ape Inna Jungle". As this reissue proves, it was a potent set. Mad Professor's dubs are of course as weighty, echo-laden and inspired as ever, but it's the quality of the crunchy, razor-sharp jungle cuts that most impresses. These may not be considered jungle classics, but in our eyes, they should be considered as such.