Various Artists

The Sound of Dub: Rare and Soundful Pearls from South Africa in Dub

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If you needed proof that there's more to African reggae than Lucky Dube and Alpha Blondy, here it is: 16 tracks from such criminally overlooked South African talents as Kalahari Surfers, Moodphase 5, DJ Dope, and Juan Thyme. For American listeners, many of whom have little hope of finding the artists' CDs in local shops and may or not even be able to purchase them online, this disc will be a bittersweet listening experience. Moodphase 5's "Rhymedrop" is as cool, dark, and refreshing as a rest in a spring-fed cave on a hot desert day, while their "Paradise (Farmer Brian & DJ Dope's Jungle Dub)" offers a quirkily minimalist jungle groove that is guaranteed to make you squirm in your seat. DJ Dope and Juan Thyme team up to deliver a sweetly melancholy piece of instrumental dub aptly titled "Sad Smile Dub"; Kalahari Surfers turn "Dig It" into something that sounds, quite wonderfully, like a tribute to African Head Charge. There are a few more pedestrian moments here as well (notably the ho-hum funk of "African Fever" by Zoro), but the great majority of these tracks will have you scouring the Web looking for the bands' websites. Very highly recommended to all adventurous reggae fans.