Black Uhuru

Iron Storm Dub

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Ever since its earliest incarnation as a standard male vocal harmony group, Black Uhuru's uncompromising Rasta nationalism has set the band apart from most of its peers. In those days, Black Uhuru was an inspiring force within the reggae subculture. Then two things happened: first, one of the male singers was replaced by the American expatriate Puma Jones, who contributed her unique and eerie female voice to the mix. Second, the band teamed up with the legendary rhythm section of drummer Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, thus creating one of the most popular and influential reggae units in the world. Puma, tragically, died of cancer in the late 1980s; the trio of singers went all-male again and split with Sly & Robbie, and the resulting group has made fine records, but nothing to rival its groundbreaking early work. Iron Storm Dub is the dub version of Iron Storm, an album of relatively straight-ahead (if rather slick-sounding) modern reggae. The dub versions collected here are excellent-echoing drums, disappearing guitars and the occasional otherworldly shards of vocals drifting and bouncing through the mixes, to greatest effect on tracks like "Breakout" and "Dance Hall Vibes." Two versions of the wanky "Tip of the Iceberg," however, is two more than the world really needed. Recommended primarily for fans.

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