Dub Syndicate

Live at the Town & Country Club, April 1991

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AllMusic Review by

As the Revolutionaries were to the Hookim brothers and their Channel One studio, and as the Upsetters were to Lee "Scratch" Perry and his Black Ark, so has the mighty Dub Syndicate been to Adrian Sherwood and his On-U Sound studio, a house band with whom he has developed a deep rapport and whose unique musical flavor has become an intrinsic part of the On-U sound. So comfortable is their relationship, in fact, that Sherwood and the Dub Syndicate have made it a regular practice to actually perform live dub together. The band gets up onstage and plays, and Sherwood sits at the mixing board and does what reggae producers have done since the glory days of King Tubby: tweaking levels, dropping instruments in and out of the mix, panning tracks wantonly, and imposing varying levels of echo on snatches of vocal and instrumental parts. This live album, recorded and originally released in 1991 (and here reissued as part of Sherwood's long-overdue Master Recordings series), finds the band delivering established favorites ("Ravi Shankar," "No Alternative," "Cuss Cuss," etc.) in spontaneously dubbed-up live versions. On "Cuss Cuss" and "Too Hot to Handle," the band is joined by the wispy-voiced On-U mainstay Bim Sherman, and the female vocal group Akabu contributes on several tracks as well. Highly recommended.

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