African Dub Chapter One
Joe Gibbs & The Professionals
17 North Parade / VP Records
October 26, 2007

Track list
  1. African Dub
  2. Universal Dub
  3. Midnight Movie
  4. Ghetto Skank
  5. Lime Key Rock
  6. Lovers Serenade
  7. Treasure Dub
  8. Schooling The Beat
  9. Campus Rock
  10. Half Ounce
  11. Worrier
  12. Easy Africa
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 4 Sleeve : 4/5
Launched this year by VP Records, the 17 North Parade imprint is set up to pay homage to the historic location of Randy’s Record Mart, the premier recording studio and record shop in Kingston, and the Mecca for Reggae music between the late 60's and 70's.

The history of 17 North Parade begins over 40 years ago, when reggae pioneers Vincent Chin and his wife Patricia moved their record store to 17 North Parade, a former ice cream parlor in downtown Kingston. Above the new store they constructed a recording studio aptly called "Randy’s Studio 17" which became the recording facility of choice for the majority of Reggae's most prominent artists, writers and producers. Bob Marley & The Wailers recorded parts of "Catch A Fire" there, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Bunny Lee, Niney The Observer, as well as foreign artists looking for the authentic reggae sound such as Quincy Jones and Joe Cocker all worked extensively at Randy's.

The African Dub albums by producer Joe Gibbs and engineer Errol Thompson are dub albums that made dub popular, not only in Jamaica but also in the rest of the world. Joe Gibbs was one of Jamaica's most influential producers during the seventies and early eighties. His long lasting relationship with the late sound engineer Errol Thompson, who had left Randy's Studio 17 prior to working with Joe Gibbs, resulted in producing more than well over one hundred #1 hit records. They became famous as 'The Mighty Two'.

Dub versions of popular Jamaican songs started emerging in the late 60's. Eventually, studio engineers and producers such as King Tubby, Derrick Harriot, Clive Chin, Errol Thompson and Harry Mudie mixed and modified the dub tracks, occasionally using the voice as an additional instrument. The evolution of dub finally resulted led to point were the dub tracks stood on their own. Consequently, full length dub albums began to appear, initially in small pressings with high prices. As said before, the "African Dub" series was instrumental in this popularization, making the UK rock charts in 1977.

The first chapter was recorded in 1975 and now gets a cd reissue for the fourth time! It offers dubversions of popular Joe Gibbs productions from the 70's, most of which are updated versions of classic Treasure Isle and Studio One riddims. Both African Dub and East Africa are recuts of 'Love Is Not A Gamble', originally recorded by The Techniques at Treasure Isle. The second track, Universal Dub is a medley of Burning Spear's 'Slavery Days', two Jackie Mittoo tunes: 'Who Done It' and 'Hot Milk' and Ken Boothe's 'My Heart Is Gone'. The second medley here is Midnight Movie and includes 'I Don't Know Why' aka 'Movie Star' by Delroy Wilson, Errol Dunkley's 'Black Cinderella' and 'Drum Song' by the Studio One backing band the Sound Dimension.

Bob Andy's classic Studio One track 'Unchained' is used on Schooling The Beat. The late great Dennis Brown cut his finest tunes for Joe Gibbs. Here you'll find dub versions of 'My Kind' (Ghetto Skank), 'Poorer Side Of Town' (Lime Key Rock), 'Play Girl' (Lovers Serenade), and 'Let Me Live' (Campus Rock). The rocksteady group The Jamaicans scored big with 'Ba Ba Boom' for Duke Reid. Here the riddim gets reworked and renamed as Treasure Dub. Worrier is a recut of Keith Hudson's immortal 'Riot' tune while Half Ounce rides the 'Rockfort Rock' riddim, courtesy of Coxsone Dodd.

Musicians responsible for the music were: Drums : Sly Dunbar, Bass : Robbie Shakespeare & Lloyd Parks, Guitar : Eric Lamont, Rhythm Guitar : Bo Peep, Organ : Errol Nelson & Franklyn Bubbler Waul & Harold Butler, Piano : Franklyn Bubbler Waul, Tenor Saxophone : Bobby Ellis, Alto Saxophone : Herman Marquis, Trombone : Vin Gordon, Percussions : Uziah Sticky Thompson & Ruddy Thomas

Excellent stuff!