African Dub Chapter Four
Joe Gibbs & The Professionals
17 North Parade / VP Records
December 11, 2007

Track list
  1. Crucial Attempt
  2. Behind Iron Bars
  3. Ghetto Slum
  4. Yard Music
  5. Iron Gate
  6. Power Pack
  7. Free The Children
  8. Fashion One
  9. Rhythm Tackle
  10. Sniper
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 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 Randyís Record Mart, the premier recording studio and record shop in Kingston, and the Mecca for Reggae music between the late 60's and 70ís.

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 Harrie Mudy 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.

Chapter Four arrived at the shops in 1979. Being the follow up to Chapter Three, the album that proved to be the most successful of the series. The included pure samples such as ringing bells, buzzers, phones, flushing toilets and other experimental synthesized sounds didn't please the incrowd as it detracted from the impact of some of the original riddims.

By the time the Chapter Four (and Three) were made, the studio technology had advanced to include a 16-track tape recorder, something Channel One didn't acquire until 1979 according to several accounts.

The usual choice of riddims here, updates of Treasure Isle and Studio One riddims. Crucial Attempt is a fine rendition of 'Swing easy' by the Soul Vendors. More Soul Vendors stuff on Ghetto Slum which reworks their 'Frozen Soul' riddim. That riddim was also used by The Heptones for their song 'Love Won't Come Easy'. That vocal group scored big with 'Fatty Fatty', here recorded and retitled as Iron Gate Behind Iron Bars has Dawn Penn's classic Studio hit 'No No No' as its basis. The slow paced 'Drum Song' can be heard on Power Pack, while Fashion One relicks Alton Ellis' 'Girl I've Got A Date'. Finally there's Sniper, which is a version of Little Roy's 'Tribal war', in this case a dub of the George Nooks version recorded by Joe Gibbs.

Enjoy it!