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.
Review: Regarded by dub lovers as a seminal collection, this three CD epic has been unavailable for a quarter of a century. It draws together three hugely important dub albums and includes seven previously unreleased tracks from the band's heyday from 1950 to 1975. Promoter, producer and DJ Arthur "Duke" Reid was a master of this form and a hero in Jamaica: his sound ruled the local dance halls and much of it was engineered by Errol Brown. You can hear his skills in all of the tracks here - the subtle keys, the sliding hi hats and the rolling drums all exude a perfectly inviting warmth.
Review: Alexander Khaliulin first donned the Flying Cobra alias earlier this year for an album on Space Of Variants that neatly showcased his seemingly innate grasp of atmospheric dub techno soundscapes. "Flowers Decay Quickly" is the producer's surprisingly speedy follow-up. It's another heady and intoxicating affair, with Khaliulin sashaying between the languid, head-in-the-clouds ambient of "Emanation", the gentle but hypnotic dub techno shapes of "Sleepless" and "Way Above", the sun-kissed laziness of "Night Walk" and the fantastically dubbed-out, slow motion soundscapes such as yearning closing cut "Light Of Truth Has Gone Out".
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: 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.
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: Between 2012 and 2017, grad_u released nine EPs of high quality dub techno on the vinyl-only Redscale imprint. With the label now seemingly a thing of the past, the prolific Lithuanian producer has decided to gather together all 19 tracks from those sought-after vinyl EPs on CD for the very first time. Those who have paid close attention to grad_u's career will know what to expect, namely an evocative mixture of deep, hypnotic techno epics, delay-laden dub techno workouts, spacey late night rollers, abstract dancefloor explorations and occasional surprise turns towards a bolder, warehouse-friendly style (see the formidably sweaty and sub-heavy "Holdback").
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.