Mute Beat in Dub was originally a cassette-only release, which originally came out in June of 1986. Ten years later, ROIR has finally released this forgotten reggae classic on CD, and its resemblance to today's acid jazz, ambient, and trip-hop styles is uncanny. Did this little-known Japanese band really develop all three styles by themselves? Although the music has its roots deep in authentic reggae, with Takayoshi Matsunaga's fat walking basslines and Gota Yashiki's tight drumming, Miles Davis-like jazz often bubbles to the surface, thanks to a duo of horn players (trumpeter Kazufumi Kodama and trombonist Akihito Masui). The band works extremely well together and varies their dub-heavy sound, from the expected dancehall sounds ("Still Echo") to the relaxed and groovy ("Mixed Up," one of the few tracks with vocals) and the vibrant ("Downtown"). An incredibly underrated, influential album, which is thankfully getting the attention it deserved years ago.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato