Evolution Of Dub Volume 4 - Natural Selection
4 CD Box Set
September 29, 2009
Disc 1 (Joe Gibbs & The Professionals-State of Emergency)
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : -||Backing : 4||Production : 4/5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 3|
Joe Gibbs was one of Jamaica's most influential producers during the seventies and early eighties. His long lasting relationship with the late sound engineer Errol Thompson, who had left Randy's Studio 17 prior to working with Joe Gibbs, resulted in producing more than well over one hundred #1 hit records. He was one of the first studio engineers to be involved in dub music. He was known for his experimental way of creating dubs, adding weird sound effects and the broad use of bizarre sound effects such as ringing bells, buzzers, phones, whistling birds and shooting sounds. For some dub purists this distracted from the impact of some of the original riddims. Joe and Errol became famous as 'The Mighty Two'. Errol Thompson passed away in 2004 while Joe Gibbs died in 2008.
Dub versions of popular Jamaican songs started emerging in the late 60's. Eventually, studio engineers and producers such as King Tubby, Derrick Harriot, Clive Chin, Errol Thompson and Harrie Mudy mixed and modified the dub tracks, occasionally using the voice as an additional instrument. The evolution of dub finally resulted led to point were the dub tracks stood on their own. Consequently, full length dub albums began to appear, initially in small pressings with high prices. The "African Dub" series was instrumental in this popularization, making the UK rock charts in 1977. On all Mighty Two dub albums you can find dub workouts of popular Joe Gibbs productions from the 70's, most of which are updated versions of classic Treasure Isle and Studio One riddims. Joe Gibbs released a slew of fine dub albums between 1975 and 1980 :
The cd box "Evolution Of Dub Volume 4 - Natural Selection" holds four interesting dub sets, all produced by The Mighty Two.
First there is "State Of Emergency". The album was originally released in 1976. If you are expecting a dub album this is definitely not the record to choose. "State Of Emergency" is a classic set of horn instrumentals featuring saxophone players Herman Marquis and the mighty Tommy McCook, Bobby Ellis on trumpet and Vin "Don D Junior" Gordon on trombone. You can find some of reggae's best riddims on this album including "Melody Life" (I Shot the President), "Heavy Rock" (State of Emergency, also used for Culture's "Jah Jah See Them A Come), "Get In The Groove" (Tribute To Donald Quarrie) and "Heavenless" (High Noon).
The much overlooked 'Majestic Dub' is a ten track dub set offering a selection of familiar riddims. It opens with Ten Commandments a track that starts with a strident synthesizer line lifted from Donna Summer's disco hit 'I Feel Love' that not so subtle segues into a cut of The Heptones 'I Love You'. There is Social Justice, a tune across the Augustus Pablo 'Java' riddim. Furthermore there's the 'To the Foundation' riddim, courtesy of the late great Dennis Brown. More Dennis Brown riddims include Edward The Eight, utilising the 'Stay At Home' riddim, courtesy of the original Paragon, Mr. John Holt and Nation Of Dub, riding the 'How Could I Live' riddim voiced by artists such as The Sharks, John Holt, Dennis Brown to name but a few.
"African Dub Chapter Five" is a bit of an anomaly. It was released in 1984, long after the first four chapters had run their course and dub was no longer the in thing in Jamaica. It offers the well known classic riddims such as 'Full Up' in The Day After and 'Heavenless' in Full Moon Ikky, but also some more 'modern' riddims such as Dennis Brown's 'Revolution' riddim in Long Distance Affair. Most dubs are 'overloaded' with heavy synthesizer riffs, not our cup of tea.
Finally there's the 1982 dub set "Syncopation". It's credited to Sly & Robbie, long time stalwarts of The Professionals, indicating just how popular the Riddim twins had become! Anyway, the album has some odd dub outs, like Free Ticket To Tide, an almost free jazz reworking of the Beatles classic, made famous in Jamaica by Little Roy as 'Ticket To Zion'. Another pop tune gets the (smooth) dub treatment here. It's the pop standard 'More Than Can Say', here called Flirting In Pace
All in all it's a interesting collection of dub albums by the Mighty Two, although we would have preferred the inclusion of the early dub set 'Dub Serial'.