French Dub Vol. 2
July 5, 2005

Track list
  1. War Still A Run - Zenzile
  2. Effective Dispute Resolution - Brain Damage
  3. Seven Nation Army - Dynamics
  4. The Real Source In Dub - Improvisator
  5. L'ille Aux Chiens - Fedayi Pacha
  6. A Dub Song/Une Chanson Dub - Lab
  7. Free Memental - Dubberman
  8. L'uzure (Exclusiv) - Hybrid Sound System
  9. 154 Dub - Framix
  10. Jean-Philippe - Winston McAnuff/Manutension
  11. Hammond Versus Bass - Pirate Dub
  12. Nadahf (Exclusive) - Dubwiser
  13. Skunky - Kanka
  14. Rockin - GG Project
  15. Kingstoned - Cinematic
  16. Oness & Unity - Radiant Dub System
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : - Backing : 3 Production : 4 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 5
This is another inspired collection from the Hammerbass umbrella of artists -- this compilation covers an array of styles -- There is the orthodox roots selection, as exemplified here by artists like Zenzile, and their tune "War still A Run". The tune is driven by a hollow timbale tuned snare, and a Biblical lyric about warmongers tearing up the earth till the blood runs red -- Considering the wars rending the earth in our present time, it's a moving and pertinent lyric, driven by a Twinkle Brothers/early Aswad style rhythm, and a mic chanter who sounds like Fantan Mojah.

The Kanka tune, "Skunky" has a Junglist bass, but is reminiscent of "Tunes From The Missing Channel" era Dub Syndicate.

GG Project feature with "Rockin," offering up a hard composition which fuses bashment with late 90's monolithic drum and bass frequencies. (Think Aphrodite meets Dillinjah here -- with a little mid 80's Roots Radics style and influence to give it depth.)

Besides orthodox roots music in the Twinkle Bros/early Aswad style, Hammerbass also feature experimental dub tunes -- think late 70's UK reggae meets Can and Eno for an idea of how artists like Brain Damage and Hybrid Sound System compose -- Taking albums like "Tago Mago" and "My Life In A Bush Of Ghosts" as their starting point, then mixing up the vibes with Tubby's sound signals and some cinematic sound samples, these artists make an appealing bass ambience. Winston McAnuff also features here with a tune cut for Manutension.

This album is not without fault -- some of the compositions here do tend towards the stereotypical and clichéd, and there is a tendency towards over use of a hammering digi - steppers beat (surely overdone and over exploited by now, by far too many on the roots scene?).

But a lot of the music showcased here is powerful , aggressive and thoughtful music -- For those of you who love late 70's/early 80's UK roots music such as Dennis Bovell and Dub Judah, as well as fusions of late 90's drum and bass and dub, Hammerbass music is going to prove well worth seeking out.

On a final note, the production and sound quality is always excellent on these Hammerbass cd's too -- Very heavy bass, bright, searing treble frequencies and crisp snares make for satisfying listening.