Dub Plate Style Volume 2
May 2, 2005

Track list
  1. Thunder Roll Dub
  2. Challenging Version
  3. Maga Man
  4. Maga Dub part 1 & 2
  5. Science Part 2
  6. Zion City feat. Earl 16
  7. Zion Dubbing
  8. Western World Version feat. Ras I
  9. Tear Down
  10. Dub Down
  11. Don Gorgon feat. Danny Red
  12. Dubbing The Gorgon
  13. The Nex Step
  14. Nex Version
  15. Dubs Of Brixton
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
This album -- as well as Volume 1 -- is now seeing re-issue from Hammerbass, so look out for it.

With so many dub influenced CD's being released on the market it is easy at times, to become cynical and jaded about the ongoing relevance of the genre, particularly as it increasingly seems to fall into cliche, formula and stereotype the more vinyl that floods the market -- This album compiling some of Manasseh's deepest moments on plastic should go some considerable way to curing the listener of such scepticism: it's a consistently intense and thought provoking album, avoiding the well beaten track in favour of a dark inventiveness.

"Challenging Version" uses flute patterns merging with snare structures, creating an otherworldly mood and contemplation. Brother Culture on the mic is a man who surely deserves his own album. "Maga Man" is pure avant garde dub jazz, with the strangest of rhythms.

Earl Sixteen who gave us the melancholy thoughtfulness of "Changing World" for Pablo's Rockers label aswell as some outstanding Black Ark tunes such as "Right Now/Freedom", recorded "Zion City" dub for Manasseh, and it is a deep tune: Shuffling digital snares fuse with a wisdom lyric, focusing on the uselesness of material wealth when endeavouring to cross over from this earthly dwelling to the next realm.

Next up is "Western World" one of Manasseh's Impulse jazz style acoustic double bass dubs. It's a hard version of Ras I's great "Paper Soldier". If you missed this on 12" vinyl -- long deleted by now -- then here is your chance. Danny Red is next up with "Don Gorgon", chanting like Tenor Saw, Wayne Smith and Nitty Gritty. "Next Step" is pure higher dub inspiration, at times hinting at Klezmer melody and mood. The album does have its weak moments -- it is surprising they opened the record with the hip hop paced jam of "Thunder Roll" which tends to the lugubrious and dour. "Dubs of Brixton" sounds dated, with predictable drum programming. However, these are minor criticisms when tunes like "Challenging" and "Science" are such indispensable , aggressive stormers -- These tunes are eerie and eccentric -- speaker pounding and pugnaciously dark UK digital inventiveness at its highest peak of expression.

All in all, this is a strong, focussed and intense album from an influential producer. It is head and shoulders above the vast majority of digital dub currently being released.