St. Catherine in Dub 1972-1984

Ring Craft Posse

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St. Catherine in Dub 1972-1984 Review

by Jason Birchmeier

St. Catherine in Dub 1972-1984 beautifully captures a snapshot of a special place and time musically, as well as a particular musical equation involving dub producer Rodguel "Blackbeard" Sinclair and his backing band, the Ring Craft Posse. The where, when, and who of St. Catherine in Dub 1972-1984 result in a delightful collection of 14 previously unreleased, newly remastered dub recordings named after various sections of St. Catherine, Jamaica. These dubs may or may not already be familiar to you in their original incarnations; for instance, the opening dub, "West Bay," is a version of Burning Spear's "Joe Frazier." Then again, unless you're a real wiz about '70s reggae like the folks at Moll-Selekta, the reissue label responsible for putting together this package and many others like it, chances are you probably won't know many, if any, of these recordings in any version. That's perfectly fine because these dubs stand tall on their own, each clocking around four minutes, and are wonderfully variable. You never really know where Blackbeard is going to take you with the given song, and there's always a warm, hazy instrument fading in or out of the mix, along with the occasional echo of a ghostly singing voice. The Ring Craft Posse are a real joy to listen to, dubbed or not, yet they're especially a delight here, as Blackbeard's production, Jah Thomas' mixing, and Moritz Von Oswald's remixing are sensitive to the band's original intent -- these studio hands are here to accentuate the band, not reshape it. The same can be said for Moll-Selekta, who show much reverence for the Ring Craft Posse's legacy. The packaging of St. Catherine in Dub 1972-1984 is handsome and well-crafted, including some liner notes by Hans Peter, some nice vintage photos of Jamaica by Julian Thomann, and an archaic map of the island that highlights St. Catherine.

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