Roots Of Dub Funk Vol. 5
Tanty Records
March 25, 2006

Track list
  1. Secret Selector Dub - Maka Ron Feat Jarex
  2. Right Phase Dub - Vibronics
  3. Freeman Dub - Dub Creator
  4. Bush Ganja Dub - Alpha And Omega
  5. Wake Up Dub - Bamjimba & Mad Professor
  6. Rebel Style - Eastern Dub Tactik
  7. Techvexmaster - The Technician
  8. Praising Dub - Groundation feat. Apple Gabriel
  9. Fire In The Skies - 4 Series
  10. Guide I Dub - Social Living Sounds
  11. D' Oxum Dub - Digitaldubs Soundsystem
  12. I n I Rise - Reggae Remedy Riddim feat. Peter Broggs
  13. Danger Dub - Abassi All Stars/Perch
  14. Tchinb' In Dub - Faya Dub
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3 Backing : 3 Production : 3 Sound quality : 3 Sleeve : 1
"I'm a camera man by profession, and the sort of thing I'm doing now I was doing years back at (college). At school I was involved with the animation of films, "visual dubs" which was in effect a visual interpretation of reggae dub music. The way I see music is completely different to what is going on now so I couldn't copy it even if I wanted to. By its very nature it's going to be different." (Kelvin Richard, Dub Funk Association)

This album is a compilation of current (mostly unknown) artists, put together by Kelvin Richard of the Dub Funk Association -- Kelvin R himself has been experimenting with fusions of harsh funk, dub and junglist since the early 90's. Over the last few years, he seems to have stopped concentrating on his own music and instead compiles the experiments of others.

Some of the results are excellent -- whilst others of the artists here sound as if they are certainly recycling decades old formulas one too many times, and one has to question the point of some of the tracks. Previous compilations on Kelvin's label were far more diverse than this one in their range -- If you are a follower of Alice Coltrane, Fela Kuti, Eno and Pharaoh Sanders as well as current digi roots, you'd have tuned in to what Kelvin was aiming for on the earlier albums.

Perhaps the most innovative release from his label so far has been the extraordinary Kelvin R composition "Babylon Kingdom" -- This was markedly reminiscent of the ghostly dub funk cut up landscape of Brian Eno's classic "My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts", the highly influential album which has been name checked by Hank Shocklee of Public Enemy's Bomb Squad as being a primary influence behind their production techniques in albums such as "Fear Of A Black Planet."

This new album however, is a far more conservative -- and perhaps overtly orthodox affair -- and one can't help but wish Kelvin had put more of his own innovative and impressive compositions on the album rather than some of these decidedly lukewarm compositions.

Having said that, the album undoubtedly has its impressive moments. It features the consistently strong (though understated) work of Jim Fox in collaboration with the equally excellent Apple Gabriel from Israel Vibration. Their contribution, "Praising Dub" is a tranquil, sedate affair.

Another particularly praiseworthy moment on the record is the quite excellent and indispensable jazz dub fusion of "I n I Rise" by Peter Broggs, whose mournful, reflective vocal is complemented beautifully by a jazz sax/horns/flute arrangement and a taut timbale tuned snare. The results are meditative and cerebral -- One straight to the heads of the Blue Note and Impulse label lovers.

Also distinctive is the avant garde dub fusion from Mad Professor on "Wake Up Dub."

These three compositions are certainly worth the "price of admission", and push at cliché and convention admirably.

It has to be said however, some of the other compositions seem pointless, meandering and decidedly unoriginal affairs, intent apparently, on ceaselessly reworking long gone formulas with scant aspiration or regard for originality.

The stand out tracks however, are undeniably impressive -- and no doubt, will whet your appetite for more -- it will be particularly interesting to hear more from the Fox/Apple teamup, and more urgently, more of the Reggae Remedy Rhythm Section's work with Peter Broggs.

Perch of Zion Train fame also adds a characteristically inspired and fiery dub with the Abbasi All Stars here, which should go down well.