Searching ~ The Dubs
Jan Delay
Echo Beach - Indigo
CD / Limited Edition LP
January 19, 2007

Track list
  1. Ragga Styler Dub
  2. Vergiftet Dub
  3. Söhne Stammheims Dub
  4. Lieder Dub
  5. Flashgott Dub
  6. Konsolien Dub
  7. Roter Knopf Dub
  8. Party Zuende Dub
    Bonus Video
  9. Ich Möchte Nicht, Dass Ihr Meine Lieder Singt
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Lead Instruments : 5 Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Five years have gone, since the first German language reggae album "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" was released by Jan Delay, who was born as Jan Eißfeldt and who started out as a member of German hiphop crew Absolute Beginner (now just Beginner), but with fellow members of Absolute Beginner and other artists around his (now defunct) Eimsbush label and Mathias Arfmann of Turtle Bay Country Club he started a reggae band: Sam Ragga Band and in 2001 they released "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" as the Jan Delay solo album, with a title and a cover inspired on the famous Dexy's Midnight Runners album.

Musically however, inspired by the overwhelming success of the 1999 Jan Delay cover of Nena's "Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann" for Herbert Grönemeyer's "Pop 2000" sampler, it was a pure reggae album, even with so many of the guests coming from the German hiphop-scene, the beats were 'Germaican' all along. In the meanwhile he released using the Eizi Eiz alias again in 2003 "Blast Action Heroes" together with fellow Beginner members Denyo77 and DJ Mad. And after returning in 2006 with his "Mercedes Dance" (pronounced rhyming with Mercedes Benz) album, going a completely new musical direction and style once more, leaving rap and reggae behind for the moment with his great new backing band Disko No. 1, with 100% hot blooded funk, 2007 brings us the wonderful dub companion to "Searching For The Jan Soul Rebels" entitled "Searching ~ The Dubs".

With Mathias Arfmann - whose 2002 Turtle Bay Country Club album "Dub Decade" already contained Jan Delay's "Vergiftet Dub" - who has received acclaim for his co-invention of the Kastrierte Philosophen and productions of Patrice, Onejiru and Beginners as well as countless other artists and whose Turtle Bay Country Club is sometimes referred to as 'Hamburg's Black Ark' dubbing the mix and taking production credits alongside Jan Delay, even though the year 2007 is only 3 weeks old, I believe this is going to be my dub album of the year.

Opening this dub album "Searching ~ The Dubs" is the dub version of the vocal album's opener, boasting the Sam Ragga Band's (contributions to the) scene of Loktown and Eimsbush over a dubby riddim, featuring like most tunes on this album the real horns of The Johnny Blazers "Sam Ragga Styler" now dubbed into "Ragga Styler Dub", followed by Jan Delay's great anti-haters song "Vergiftet" (the standout track of the vocal album getting the great dub treatment as the brilliant "Vergiftet Dub". "Söhne Stammheims" is the dub of the very cynical song over another Jan Delay self built funky dub riddim about the 'terrorists who have finally left' with the electro-funk dub vibe left intact followed by "Lieder Dub", if which the video of the vocal tune ""Ich Möchte Nicht, Daß Ihr Meine Lieder Singt" the great song about all those square people of whom Jan Delay finds they shouldn't be allowed to sing along with his songs, another Sam Ragga Band riddim with an irresistable slow-motion-horn-riff and of which the vocal version is featured on this CD as a bonus video track.

On most dubs the angelic female backing vocals appear more often in the mix than Jan Delay's own sparsely featured nasal voice, with a very nice effect on the overall vibe of the dubs. "Flashgott Dub" is the magnificent melodica dub workout of the collaboration with Eimsbush labelmate Dennis Dubplate and now turned superstar German soulsinger Xavier Naidoo. "Konsolien Dub" is another Sam Ragga Band backed song, featuring in its vocal version toasts by Sam Semilia, great horns, and lyrics about those typen aus der Nachbarschaft den jeder für 'n Loser hält, doch daheim in seiner Computerwelt ist er Superheld, yet the tune remains as impressive without the lyrics in its dubbed up version, with only snatches of the vocal contributions of the three and some of the - it must be emphasized one more time - angelic backing vocals and its beautiful pizzicato-guitar-accents.

On "Roter Knopf Dub" the Sam Ragga Band and the Johnny Blazers provide the backing for a song that had lyrics about the inability to use the red button to turn off your TV, in its instrumental incarnation sounding like a great early-career-UB 40-dub. Just like the opener, for the song closing the CD the same tune as on the vocal has been chosen appropriately, as (unfortunately already after 34 minutes) the party ends with the slow jam "Party Zu Ende Dub" to leave you in full admiration for the Jan Delay & Sam Ragga Band riddims and the dub mixes and production of Jan Delay & Mathias Arfmann of these riddims. Not buying this album is missing out on a brilliant dub album, surely one of the finest to appear in 2007 and probably my favourite for this year that just started. And when you've bought it, don't forget to watch the funny "Ich Möchte Nicht, Dass Ihr Meine Lieder Singt" video...