In the Kingdom of Dub

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Hopeton Brown (aka Scientist) was only 21 when he released this collection of dub treatments of tracks produced by Roy Cousins in the legendary Channel One studio. The original rhythms had been laid down by core members of the Aggrovators and Soul Syndicate bands, and the nascent dubmeister applies all the standard tricks of the trade to them: dropping instruments in and out of the mix, suddenly applying echo and reverb to the exposed drums, sending fading echoes of guitar and keyboard spinning off into outer space. Part of what makes this album such a success is its rhythmic variety: insistent steppers beats on "305 Spanish Town Dub" and the fairly minimalist "11 Guava Road Dub"; the thoughtful rockers rhythm that keeps the groove consistent amid the wild dropouts and echoes of "14 Grass Quit Glade Dub"; the way a bright melody and lots of sonic space are juxtaposed with a wide-open one-drop beat on "Chariot Dub." Scientist is not one of those dub producers whose career describes a long arc of progress; he seems to have emerged almost fully formed as a dub artist from his earliest recordings, and this was one of his strongest.

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