Various Artists

Dubhead Sound Clash Series Session, Vol. 1

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Dub didn't used to be a musical entity unto itself. When it was invented in the early 1970s its practitioners called it "version," and it served the dual purpose of mixing up the dance and saving the record label money; instead of having to pay the musicians for another session, the producer simply remixed the A-side of the single, adding echo and reverb and dropping instrumental and vocal tracks in and out. In the hands of a true master such as King Tubby, Lee Perry, or Augustus Pablo, dub became an art form in itself. Hence the eventual emergence of dub as an organic form, one based on but no longer secondary to standard vocal or instrumental reggae recordings. The popularity of dub has spread far from its Jamaican roots; this collection brings together examples of modern dub by the Dutch band Twilight Circus, Britain's Bush Chemists, and four others. Each of the six artists contributes two tracks: one exclusive to this compilation, the other promoting an upcoming release. Most are of exceptional quality: highlights include the ominous "Rejection" from Iration Steppas, and Twilight Circus' "Shaka Dub Plate." The Bush Chemists' two contributions are a bit pedestrian, but they're far from bad. Overall, this contribution is strongly recommended to all dubheads and to anyone curious about the state of the art in 1999.

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