Dub Wars
Young Tree Records-Munich
March 28, 2006

Track list
  1. Ruling Dub
  2. Don's Intro
  3. Elder's Dub
  4. The Dragon
  5. Elements
  6. Dub Rise
  7. Dub Them All
  8. The Mountain
  9. Feel Jah's Dub
  10. The Seventh Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4/5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Groundation, one of America's premier roots reggae acts from the Bay area, have unleashed their fifth full length album since their 2001 debut, the much anticipated "Dub Wars", featuring tracks taken from both "Hebron Gate" and "We Free Again". Mixed by Jim Fox and remixed by keyboardist Marcus Urani in a primordial dub style, the ten dub revisions of the original songs carry Groundation's relaxed and mellow, Jazz influenced sound throughout. Thus you won't find very adventurous and mind-blowing dub outings nor is there any innovative effort to be heard. All tracks included here are dubbed up songs overlaid with subtle and effective dub effects. With most of the tracks well over 5 minutes long, and the already mentioned Jazz influence that runs through the music, you sometimes get the feeling that you're listening to recordings of a (very well played) jam session.

"Dub Wars" starts out slow with the solid "Ruling Dub" featuring Harrison Stafford's very distinctive vocal, female backing vocals and a wicked horn solo. "Don's Intro" has a midtempo beat and an interplay of vocals from reggae vets Don Carlos and Cedric Myton. Next drops the slower and stripped-down "Elders Dub", which is followed by "The Dragon" with awesome keyboards and again the vocal of Harrison Stafford with female chorus in distance. "Elements" has a downtempo beat and is a nice, but not that interesting track. For that you'll have to check the stand out track, "Dub Rise", a wicked hypnotizing dub version of "Dem Rise" from "We Free Again" with its dubbed up Nyabinghi drumming and jazzy horns. "Dub Them Well", a downtempo piece featuring the (dubbed) vocal of Don Carlos, is worth of hearing. Next are "The Mountain" and "Feel Jah's Dub", both with Apple Gabriel's vocal dubbbed in and out the mix, which are fine examples of hypnotic and mysterious dubs one can create with Groundation's sound. "The Seventh Dub", with its slow nyabinghi drumming, keyboard chords and weird noises, rounds off in fine style.

A real treat for Groundation fans and also for those dub heads who like to listen to lush, meditative dub music!