Dub Strike
Sism X
Sounds Around
July 5, 2005

Track list
  1. Dub Strike
  2. Land For Everyone
  3. Everyone Dub
  4. Step Around
  5. Stepper Dub
  6. Flying 33 Pt. One
  7. Strange Day
  8. Babylon Victims
  9. Pacific
  10. 6mx Strike
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 2
This Sism X apparently takes its inspiration from mid 80's period Sly and Robbie music (think albums like "A Dub Experience" produced by Groucho Smykle) and Aswad albums such as the seminal "New Chapter Of Dub."

"Dub Strike" -- the title track -- is eerie, with minor chords, Twinkle Bros syn- drums and a plaintive melodica.

"Everyone Dub" is a harsh workout, with snares that sound like massively amplified respiration. We are treated to no less than three versions of this hard, hard rhythm, cut and spliced with female vocals blurring in and out of a cold spacious mix. This is music as landscape. The next cut to the tune, "Pacific," turns to a 'Deadley Headley meets Pharaoah Sanders' jazz interpretation.

The final track -- "6mxStrike" -- is a 12 minute dub, reminiscent of "Starship Africa", with cinematic impressions and backward tape loops.

This Sism X album is perhaps too derivative in places and like so many other contemporary roots artists, there is in places, arguably an over obssession with long stale "steppers" rhythms (surely overdone and over exploited by now, by far, far too many on the roots scene?).

But overall, this is no slavish copyist work : It's true to say there are definite reference points, but this album has the wit, inspiration and intelligence to pay homage to its sources but ultimately to go its own way. The sound quality too, is excellent throughout and carefully engineered.

Good dub always engages the body and cognitive processes -- this album achieves that end effortlessly. A gratifying and imaginative work in places, and certainly one to check out.