Uprite Dub Orchestra

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Dubrite Review

by Rick Anderson

What's the cheapest and easiest way to record an album? Get your on-stage chops nicely honed, pop a CD-R in the mixing board at several shows, then pick the best performances and voila -- you have an album. If you're a certain type of band, this is also the best way to record an album, and it seems safe to say that the Uprite Dub Orchestra is that type of band, one that clearly feeds off an audience's energy and gives it right back. What they mostly play is instrumental reggae in a jazz style -- which is to say not that they swing the rhythms or play lots of extended chords, but that they state the theme as a band, take turns playing solos, then state the theme again and end, Skatalites style. Dubrite is not actually a dub album, though even on the live tracks there are dubwise touches of echo and delay that give added depth to the band's already impressive sound. "Blonde Dready" actually flirts with straight-up rock & roll, while their rendition of Tommy McCook's pre-reggae classic "Latin Goes Ska" is lighthearted and fun (despite the slightly out of tune guitar). "Pineapple Trainwreck" makes very good use of an old Johnny Clarke bassline, and "H-Bomb" takes things further than normal into dub territory (perhaps because it's one of the album's only two studio tracks). Maybe not essential, but very nice overall.

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