Essential Dub

Dub is a variant of reggae in which the mixing board becomes an instrument in itself. The person at the board re-creates a song by subtracting and de- or re-emphasizing sections while adding echo and other effects. NYC's ROIR label has been releasing reggae and dub (and punk rock, too) for more than 25 years; Essential Dub presents an excellent overview of assorted practitioners from its catalogue of roots-oriented stalwarts and upstart innovators, the Jamaicans, Brits, and Americans. Dub Trio are three white Brooklyn lads who perform dub live; their "Drive-By Dub" brings some touches of techno to their earthy, rootsy rhythm approach (dig that melodica). Incubated in DC's hardcore scene, Bad Brains intermingle punk rock and reggae on the stealthy, righteous "Leaving Babylon." Contributions from Dr. Israel, Niney the Observer, and 10 Ft. Ganja Plant lean toward old-school sounds (à la Black Uhuru, Lee "Scratch" Perry, etc.), while the more-forward-looking Phase Sound Selector has a digital (though certainly not slick) sheen and Badawi (aka Raz Mesinai) interweaves aspects of traditional Middle Eastern and North African music and Philip Glass/Brian Eno minimalism. Essential Dub will usher beginners and devotees to cloud 9.5.


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