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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

OK: You got me.

Another not-so-well-kept secret of mine is that I truly enjoy dub. Keep in mind it has to be top-shelf; spare me the jam dudes with delay pedals, please. Well, today I was surprised by something I initially put on as a joke.

But first, a little backhistory:

Remember that Pink Floyd tribute album Dub Side of the Moon by the Easy Star All-Stars? I seem to recall their cover of "Money" had gurgling bongs in place of cash registers. Suffice it to say, I detested it in both concept and execution.

Now the band has returned with a tribute to Radiohead, called... wait for it... Radiodread. The source material is OK Computer. It's gotta be atrocious, right?

That's what I assumed, anyway. But I had to know how bad it really was, so I gave it a spin. Hmmm... a few tracks in, no feeling of nausea. Blood pressure seems normal — what gives?

Here's what I came up with: The music is fairly authentic as far as dub goes, and creative to boot. Easy Star seems to understand the experimental side of Radiohead, something that countless non-reggae acts (umm, Starsailor, anyone?) miss.

Let's face it — the bassline to "Airbag" is almost dub as it is. And lord knows there's plenty of tape echo on the original album. It also helps that the guest vocalists (including Horace Andy, Toots, and Israel Vibration) sound more enthused here than on their own recent work.

Not a five-star release by any means; more like three-and-a-quarter, if we're using Star Search grading (and why wouldn't we?) But I didn't want to gouge my eardrums with a spork, and that's saying something.

See? I can be swayed from time to time. That's not an invitation to try.

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Comments

Neil

Wow. This doesn't totally suck. I know those Radiohead guys name-check a bunch of dub stuff in interviews, so they must be psyched.

ps. Why is dub so awesome?

In other oddball dub news, Andy Cotton (ex-Burlingtonian New Yorker, frequent visitor) just finished his dub project, Dutch (which sounds like a country-jazz Fela, somehow magically without sounding as sucky as that description) and posted it online for free: http://www.gro-beak.com/dutch

You can both stream it and download tracks.

tanner

I too enjoy quality Dub, and thought radiodread was pretty nice - on my way out of PP i picked up a couple class dub albums after i got a hot tip on the "Pressure Sounds" label. One of them was Prince Far I w/ the Arabs, i wish i could remember the name, but all my vinyl has been moved to my new apartment - either way, it's amazing. I recommend it. As well as anything on Pressure Sounds, so far everything i've heard has been great.

And just so you know, i would have written about them on my blog, but somehow i'm locked out of it right now... still waiting to hear back from Google.

casey

I like Pressure Sounds, too.

Man, I was wondering why you hadn't updated in a while. Good thing I didn't leave that harrassing comment about your lazy, non blogging ways!

greg

i love me a good dub too.
ive been really diggin some of the Scientist records.
as far as traditional dubbers go, he gets the most wacked out there....

casey

Tanner, was the Prince Far-I you were talking about called Cry Tuff Dub Encounter, Chapter 1?

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