Producer Linval Thompson made his name as a dancehall producer in the early '80s, but before that he did some work in a more rootswise context, recording a number of solid rhythms with the legendary Roots Radics at Randy's studio in Kingston. This album compiles two previously released sets of dub version taken from those sessions; historical information is scarce, but it seems that the original albums (long deleted) were titled Ina Reggae Style and Dis a Yard Dub. Both collections were mixed and dubbed up by King Tubby, the godfather of dub, and the combination of Thompson's production skills, Tubby's mixing genius, and the unshakable solidity of the Roots Radics makes this a deeply satisfying collection of classic dub. If it sounds a bit like a tamer version of the sonic onslaught that would come to typify On-U Sound's offerings, that's in part because the core members of Roots Radics were also core members of Dub Syndicate, and because Adrian Sherwood's manic approach to dub mixing was based in large part on techniques pioneered by King Tubby. For particularly affecting examples of those techniques, pick up this album and check out "When You Need a Laugh," "Fall to Pieces," and the very spacey and wonderful "Strange" (which, itself, seems to anticipate African Head Charge by several years). Highly recommended.
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