Various Artists

Dub Specialist: 17 Dub Shots From Studio One

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The relationship between Boston's Heartbeat label and Clarence "Coxsone" Dodd's Studio One label has yielded to American audiences a treasure trove of previously hard-to-find roots reggae. The tradition continues, in a slightly different mode, with this interesting collection of dub versions based on tracks from the Studio One vaults. What makes it interesting is that the dubs themselves are not period pieces -- they are modern realizations by an engineer coyly identified only as the Dub Specialist (whom one is tempted to identify as Heartbeat label head Chris Wilson). Whoever it is, he doesn't have quite the same genius as that which animated the best dub artists of the 1970s; where King Tubby or Augustus Pablo would have made artful use of drop-out, delay, and echoing cross-rhythms, whoever was at the board for these mixes satisfied himself mainly with the random imposition of echo. It's not a bad sound, and heaven knows the rhythms are excellent (and their original versions are helpfully identified in the liner notes). But it doesn't amount to anything like essential dub. (For that, check out the two-disc set Dub Over Dub, also on Heartbeat, and featuring the mixing talents of Errol Brown on singles culled from the vaults of Sonia Pottinger.)

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:13
2
2:11
3
2:42
4
3:17
5 3:03
6
3:43
7
2:37
8
2:48
9
3:00
10 3:27
11
3:32
12
3:26
13
2:31
14
3:20
15
3:17
16
3:06
17 2:48
blue highlight denotes track pick