Knives To The Treble
Burning Babylon
I Tones/Mars Recordings
December 3, 2004

Track list
  1. Roots Fi Cool
  2. Malawi Voodoo
  3. King Dubby
  4. Babylon Overdrive
  5. Mash Up
  6. Echoes
  7. Mek We Jump
  8. Satta Stylee
  9. Diabolique
  10. Selector A Go Dub It
  11. Gallon Macca Boom
  12. Double Axe
  13. Dance Mi Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 4 Production : 4 Sound quality : 4/5 Sleeve : 4
Burning Babylon, actually Slade Anderson's one man Dub Reggae project from Boston, Massachusetts USA, are trodding on the same path as for instance Ryan Moore's Twilight Circus. Slade Anderson came to dub relatively late in his musical career. For 15 years he played guitar in various punk/metal bands in the Boston area. To him, heavyweight music meant snarling guitars and screaming stacks of Marshall amps. It took years for him to discover that music with both of those elements removed could still be heavy and powerful. Not surprisingly, the music he played mirrored what he listened to - loud and fast were the rules of his turntable. What reggae Slade did hear came via The Clash and, of course, Bob Marley. The word "dub" had yet to enter his vocabulary. Although when he was still a teenager it had begun slowly creeping in around the edges, reggae stayed on the periphery of his listening experience for years to follow.

During the mid 1990s Slade began playing bass seriously for the first time. During this same period he also decided to investigate reggae more deeply. Since he was now primarily a bass player, focusing on music that was bass-oriented made sense. Enter reggae. Slade knew he wanted music that was more earthy and less slick than Marley or Tosh, but he had no idea what to buy. So he searched for albums that looked as though they might offer what he wanted. The first one Slade bought was Glen Brown and King Tubby: Termination Dub. To him, the cover looked as if the music was going to be pretty classic, grungy and authentic and he liked the title as well. Luckily he'd hit on exactly what he was in search of. It didn't take long for Slade to readjust the way he listened to music (with little or no vocals) to fully appreciate what he was hearing... drums drenched in reverb, horns and guitars echoing into oblivion, and heavyweight bass. It wasn't long before dub was stuck in his brain. Soon Slade was buying every album he could find to immerse himself in the music.

Being a musician, he wanted to learn how to play this music that had so captured his attention. After a few weeks of wrestling with the riddims, he finally got it and recorded his first dub track. Burning Babylon was born. "Knives To The Treble" shows strong influences of Jamaican dubmasters such as Scientist, Lee "Scratch" Perry and, of course, the late King Tubby. The heavyweight riddims of Burning Babylon's sound are firmly anchored in the 1970's Jamaican roots tradition, but with an ear for the neo dub stylings of the present day. Slade Anderson definitely has his own unique take on dub, which comes to full expression on the 13 tracks of this entertaining dub excursion. A couple of tracks feature snippets of vocals and deejay calls, mixed in and out of the dub, while the rest are pure dubbed up original riddims. Particular worth of hearing are the wicked album opener "Roots Fi Cool", "King Dubby", "Mash Up The DJ", "Satta Stylee" and "Selector A Go Dub It".

"Knives To The Treble" shouldn't be missed by anyone who likes to hear solid dub style music!!