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Trojan Records' "Dub" collection is first volume in expected dub-related releases

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Listening to the Trojan Records' "Dub Vol. 1" LP at the offices of Red Dirt Report.
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ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Trojan Records : Dub Vol. 1 (Trojan Records) 2015

After picking up a Clash bootleg called This is Dub Clash a few years ago, I was reminded of the amazing forays the English punk band had made into dub, calypso, gospel and other musical styles by the time they had recorded and released the politically-charged Sandinista! in late 1980.

Really, This is Dub Clash shows the band at the height of their creativity and the dub material – basically a subgenre (and precursor to what would become known as “electronic music”) that came out of Jamaica’s reggae scene some two decades before – and so naturally I wanted to get the source music, and one needs to look no further than Trojan Records and their voluminous stock of recordings covering ska, rocksteady, reggae, dancehall, soul and, of course, dub, as The Clash had done with Jamaican singer/producer Mikey Dread and tracks like “One More Dub,” a dub version of Sandinista’s “One More Time,” where Paul Simonon’s bass guitar gets to have a little extra fun.

So, accompanying volumes one of Trojan Records’ Reggae, Rock Steady, Roots and Ska albums, all released through Sanctuary Records, the label that absorbed Trojan, we decided to give the Dub LP a try. And what a 10-track treasure of classic dub it is.

Johnny Clare & The Aggrovators kick things off with “A Ruffer Version,” which has a fairly standard, dub feel, followed by The Upsetters’ “Sipple Dub” a track from a group that recorded all throughout the 1970’s and with Lee “Scratch” Perry and Aston and Carlton Barrett, who would later join the Wailers.

"Jamaican Colley" by Linval Thompson & The Revolutionaries has more melody and pop than many of the tracks represented.

"Mission Impossible" by the Roots Radic Band and "Jammin' for Survival" by Prince Jammy - songs featured on side two - have a deep groove, while The Techniques All Stars' "Stalag 17" is from 1984, one of their last original recordings for a band that had been active in Jamaican music since 1969.

The dub sound can be repetitious, but that is not always a bad thing. This music was meant for clubs or for late at night. It has a hypnotic quality that even with less-than-stellar sound quality on these recordings (seek out the originals if you can) can still grab your attention and take you to that ... place.

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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