Dub Disaster
Doctor Echo Vs. Steady Ups
Doctor Echo
April 27, 2005

Track list
  1. Dub Disaster
  2. Better Days Version
  3. Shake Down Dub
  4. Fist of Dub
  5. Step Live
  6. Long Dub
  7. Your Heart in Dub
  8. Dub the Nation
  9. Oppressor Version
  10. Steady Bumpin'
  11. Last Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 5
From downtown Sacramento, California, Justin DeHart, a.k.a. Doctor Echo has long been involved in mixing various acoustic sounds with electronic effects. Originally a drummer, Doctor Echo began mixing dub music in 1992, while playing drums in Sacramento's live dub band, The Defendants. The Defendants also included Tyler Pope (Outhud, !!!, LCD Sound System) on guitar, Justin Vandervogen (Outhud, !!!) on live mixing/guitar/misc., Jason Dudley on bass, and many other random guests at various times. Initially, he recorded on a Tascam cassette 4-track that he received from a friend. Being infatuated with the transcendental effects of recording and mixing dub music, he immediately began acquiring more gear to build an 8-track studio to open to the public.

Soundlab Studio was born in 1996 when frequent noise complaints from neighbors forced him to relocate from 1406 F Street downtown to a commercial building across town at 1821 17th Street. Then band mates Steady Ups, as well as roommate and artist Craig Oliveira (Lab Assistant), collaborated in building the new studio. The space was outfitted with rehearsal rooms as well as full recording facilities. Steady Ups were becoming immensely popular around town for their traditional rocksteady grooves as well as occasional dub tendencies during shows. Many of their songs were recorded during these years along with numerous dub versions that have yet to be released. Doctor Echo's first release in 1999 on Jumpstart Records, "Dr. Echo Presents: Cure for the Dubless", featured dubs from the bands that he was playing drums and recording with at that time, including Who Knows, as well as some of the doctor's original tracks.

The next few years found the doctor busy recording with and producing many reggae and electronic projects, such as Tha Storytellahs, Blackalicious, Filibuster, Frank Jordan, and The Original Heads. With the advent of an ADAT multi-track recorder, Doctor Echo began playing live shows mixing previously recorded dub rhythms. His presence on the controls is immediately felt as the sonic bombs of echo and reverb shake the very foundation of consciousness within those who are at an earshot. Besides mixing for live bands, he would also add live artists to his multi-track setup such as trumpet player Tim Conroy, vocalist Nkosazana Divine, and electronic sound artist Lab Assistant. Always hungry for new influences, and passionate for drums and percussion, Doctor Echo traveled to South India in the year 2000 to spend nine months studying the traditional drumming there as well as collaborate with various artists.

In the year 2004, the doctor self-released his long awaited sophomore album 'Doctor Echo'. Including minor elements of jazz and downtempo, the work is still mostly representative of his early reggae influences. The entire album was recorded on a 1/2” 8-track machine, between the years of 1997-2002. All rhythm tracks were laid down without sampling/sequencing, and only a few were tracked with a metronome. Featured musicians on the album include international recording artists Nkosazana Divine on vocals, Pope on guitars, and Harley White Jr. on bass. Despite the fact that some final mixes have been edited in the digital realm, the album largely remains a truthful representation of the doctor’s live mixing aesthetics.

Presently, the doctor resides in Los Angeles, CA, collaborating with various artists’ recording projects, as well as mixing live dub shows. His latest effort is called 'Doctor Echo Vs. Steady Ups - Dub Disaster'. Also on a 1/2” 8-track machine, these tracks were recorded between the years of 1995-2000. This collection represents the original lineup of the Steady Ups crew including Pope on guitar, DeHart on drums, and Susan Foley on keys. Many of the original versions of the dubs on the album have not been released elsewhere, and serve to give listeners a fresh experience of some of the band’s most exciting early recorded repertoire. Described as "the hottest moments of the confrontation between the doctor and the band" the 11 track album is a pleasant journey across Doctor Echo's memory lane of dub. The collection brings some true gems. We keep on spinning Your Heart In Dub, which is a small masterpiece, an instrumental which could have been drawn from early Bob Marley sessions for Lee Perry. More niceness comes from the wonderful tune called Step Live, with its mellow organ leading the way for a subtle dub excursion, it's a kinda Jackie Mittoo revisited thing. Bunny 'Striker' Lee meets Augustus Pablo on Long Dub while the skanking sounds of the uptempo tune Oppressor Version makes you wanna jump and dance.
Trust us..you will love this album.
Buy album and check out samples at : www.doctorecho.com .