Dennis Brown - "Blessed Are The Men (The Pill)" (6:33)
Junior Delgado - "Cry, Cry" (6:32)
Review: The influence of The Crown Prince of Reggae, as Bob Marley used to call him, still looms large over the genre 20 years after he passed. The latest reminder of his considerable talent comes from this gem Dennis made with Jux produced by Niney in 1977. "Blessed Are The Men (The Pill)" is unusually long for a dub track at over six minutes, but it sinks you into it throughout via the cuddly groove, sliding snares, hanging guitar twangs and buttery vocals. Flip over for Junior Delgado's "Cry, Cry", an impassioned anthem with plenty of blazing potential.
Review: Fat Frog's second EP of 2019 on his own Purple Fade finds him link with Donovan Kingjay and Addis Pablo. It's "Never Giving Up" first off with a spacious dub and tight studio work making it a clean and crisp affair that complements the heartfelt deliveries of Kingjay nicely. Things get more spaced out and cosmic on "Version" and "Melodica Cut" before finishing off with a stripped back, slower and more subliminal version.
Review: Fans of digital roots take note: "Gun Fever" is a brilliantly dark and direct offering from Frankie Jones. Mixing up the sound of 80s Jamaica and the sort of dub that was loved in the UK by dancehall crowds, it first landed on Third World in 1986 and now gets a crisp new remaster for the first time in its history. The low swinging bottom end is warm and rich, the claps chart and the rimshots are laden with effects, especially on the flipside "Version", that really sink you deep into the riddim.
Review: London's Jah Fingers present former Heptones singer Naggo Morris and producer Niney The Observer on this latest one. The A side houses the gentle roots and lovers rock combo of "Jah Guide": a steamy, earthy, humid cut that pairs great rim shots with the aloof vocal work of Morris. Flip over for a busier cut by The Observer. "Give Her My Love" features a lead line that rings out with naive charm, taut drum hits and prickly percussion that will keep your limbs moving. A two sided gem.
Review: It was in churches in the late sixties that Pablo Moses first started performing and a decade later he was putting out his own releases and making an immediate impact on the dub world. "Pave The Way" was his third full length album and was produced, recorded then mixed by the hands of the revered Geoffrey Chung of Jamaican Dynamic Sounds. Our picks of the bunch include album highlight "Africa Is For Me", the shuffling "A Step Before Hell" and superbly hazy "I See It Everyday".
Rapha Pico & The Signal One Band - "Lead The Way" (4:58)
The Signal One Band - "Lead The Dub" (4:55)
Review: The Signal One Band formed in 2017 after a bunch of local regular session musicians linked up after meeting at Earth Works Studio in Amsterdam. Between them the gang has worked with big names from the worlds of ska, reggae and dubstep, and all this goes into a crucial melting pot that brews up the old and new, finished off with a warm vintage aesthetic. Their new label is minted with a rumbling, roots tune that has lush trumpets and billowing chords cushioning your daily grind. The dub on the flip is even fatter and perfectly easy to get lost in.
Review: Nick Raphael and Steve Gilder were Sound Iration and in 1990 they turned out this essential bit of early roots. It was initially super limited with just 350 copies with the b-side left totally blank. Long out of print and hard to find, it now gets a crisp reissue on Old Hard Bread and still gets you where it matters: The title track has a snaking lead harmonica line that wanders to and fro and takes you with it while tumbling drums and percolating synths ripple out into infinity. B side "Etched" is a more echoey and spaced out, fatter and deeper cut.