Blackwood Dub
Sly & Robbie
Groove Attack
CD / LP / Digital Download
May 21, 2012

Blackwood Dub - Sly & Robbie Track list
  1. Dirty Flirty
  2. Shabby Attack
  3. Burru Attack
  4. Communication Breakdown
  5. Frenchman Code
  6. Riding East
  7. Ruff House
  8. Smoothie
  9. The Bomber
  10. The Great Escape
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 5 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
Sly & Robbie. The Riddim Twins. The most prolific rhythm and production team to come outta yard! With over 200,000 recordings; their influence sees no boundaries. Everyone from Joe Cocker to Grace Jones and even Britney Spears have benefitted from their magic. More importantly, they have been a Reggae Backbone for almost forty years. With no signs of slowing down, Germany's Groove Attack Label has just released "Blackwood Dub".

Sly Dunbar got his start playing with Skin,Flesh And Bones back in 1974; changing his name from Lowell to Sly, to honor Sly And The Family Stone. Around the same time, Robbie Shakespeare was playing bassman with the Aggrovators. This drum and bass duo formed a fast unification playing with the Revolutionaires. At the end of the decade, they struck out on their own; forming the TAXI label. So it go, their creative output and production skills made their mark, launching the career of the elusive Ini Kamoze and many others. They became in demand all over the world. Sly is credited for launching the "Rockers" sound of the late 1970's and the "Rub A Dub" of the early 80's, the Digital Age and the reincarnation of the vintage sounds that are so popular today. As an example, they reunited the Revolutionaires to record Horace Andy's "Livin It Up" - released to recent critical acclaim. If they are not in the studio, they are touring. At this time, they are rehearsing for a European "Jamaica Legends" tour that will showcase hall of famers Monty Alexander and Ernest Ranglin.

"Blackwood Dub" is a musical workout that incorporates their evolutionary methods. This is heavy duty. Recorded at Harry J's and Mixing Lab with experts like Steven Stanley, Fatta and Colin "Bulby" York and produced by Alberto Blackwood; a rising engineer/producer that helped out on "Sly & Robbie Presents Chezidek"; one of the important releases in recent memory. "Blackwood Dub" boasts the cream of the musical crop. Sly on drums. Robbie on bass. Mikey "Mao" Chung and Daryl Thompson on gits. Ansel Collins and Robbie Lyn on keys. Sticky and Skully on percussion. Sounds like a clone of Taxi Gang and Revolutionaires. This album brings back memories of their past dub albums like "The Summit" or "Reggae Greats.

Dirty Flirty shows off that classic rimshot that only Sly can do. The blazing guitar work by Daryl Thompson (who played on Black Uhuru albums) and percussion makes you wonder if this is a lost Black Uhuru track. Shabby Attack has the same approach that the twins had in the early 80's -- think Viceroys "Heart Made Of Stone dub -- wicked. Burru Attack is a mystical tune with Sly utilizing that percussive drum method that he used on his "Sly Go Ville" masterpiece. Frenchman Code is a beautiful track that presumbly has Mikey Chung licking the guitar; Mao is an unsung hero that played with The Riddim Twins on many Peter Tosh sessions. Riding East is an instant classic! With that trademark delayed "echo snap"; this work sounds like a hybrid of "General Penitentiary'' vs. "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner". "Ruff House" is straight Rub A Dub; shaken and a little stirred. Smoothie has a rougher edge to it; with overdubs and sequences that bring back memories of Ini Kamoze stylee. The Bomber is pure Rockers that fully showcases the drumming style that changed the course of King's Musik. The final track, The Great Escape once again takes the listener back to an early 1980's Black Uhuru experience.

This release is one that will grow on you. It's amazing how these bredrin can still sound so fresh and inventive and put out a mammoth amount of work. Sly "Drumbar" and Robbie "Basspeare" continue to innovate but will never imitate. Their musical methods are touted the world over; from the youthman trying to make it to today's Reggae, Pop and Rock stars. Their works cyaan done!