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100 Essential Dub Albums
100 Essential Dub Albums
by David B. Furgess
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.88

1.0 out of 5 stars Just a list - NO useful insight, 10 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Oh dear.

I should have investigated properly but I was enchanted by the prospect of a guide to 100 great dub albums, explaining what makes them great and supplying context or other useful information, such as "if you liked this one, here are a few others that might appeal to you". I eagerly clicked 'buy'.

What I got was a black and white picture of the cover art, the tracklisting and the names of the players on each disc, plus a very brief introduction explaining the book's genesis: Furgess was apparently inspired to create (I won't say "write") the book because a young guy asked him if one existed - one that listed the dub classics.

Maybe I'm being too harsh - the book certainly provides a list! - but I can't help feel that the youth in question would have come away disappointed.

If my description appeals to you then by all means dive in, otherwise beware - it's Sipple Out Deh'...

Spot's Bumper Collection [DVD]
Spot's Bumper Collection [DVD]
Price: 7.13

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never Mind The Horrocks, 28 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well, that was disappointing...

I liked the original series as a child and my daughter enjoys the books now, so this DVD seemed like an easy and obvious move. I avoided one of the other collections because the reviews mentioned that Jane Horrocks was the narrator rather than the original narrator. Unfortunately she's on this one too.

Now I'm sure she's good to her nan and all, but Ms Horrocks ruins this. I'm already (PAINFULLY) aware of her work on 'Fifi and the Flowertots' though I'd liked to have thought her name didn't strike fear into my artistic taste buds as such. Until now. Her work here is incredibly annoying. Some examples:

Spot has an extremely high voice. Weirdly so. Not even like a girl. Like a really tiny girl pretending to be a really, really, really tiny girl. He's several registers below Helen, who IS a girl. (Ok, she's a girl hippo, but still. I found it confusing and I'm 36. And three quarters. I don't think it's simplistic or recherché to expect that three year olds can tell someone's gender from their diction.)

Spot's mum, Sally, is unbelievably posh. Call me Leon Trotsky but I didn't imagine her as a lady who lunches. (Albeit mainly because she's a canine but the point stands.) She's like Hyacinth Bucket on qaaludes.

Spot's dad, Sam, sounds like a truculent Victorian workhouse owner. I keep expecting him to backhand someone and laugh his monocle off and into an open sewer. He sounds like he eats orphans for breakfast.

Steve the alligator is on a whole other level. I'm not even joking. Show your granny some footage of Janet Street Porter on YouTube. Ply her with port and offer her two Rothman's in quick succession while the footage plays. Then get her to do an impression. Tell her she's not trying hard enough. Repeat for six hours. That's Steve. Steve will haunt my dreams, if I ever sleep again. I no longer want to talk about Steve.

And to top it all off, the playful (and more than a little out of tune, but endearingly so) theme song is gone, to be replaced by some wishy washy twaddle. It sounds frivolous but I've just heard it eighteen times, once every five minutes.

In short, GIVE ME MY SPOT BACK. Not the one on my shoulder, the other one.

Regards, etc...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 6, 2014 9:38 AM BST

Synecdoche, New York [DVD] [2008]
Synecdoche, New York [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Philip Seymour Hoffman
Offered by babsbargains *** WORLDWIDE SHIPPING ***
Price: 17.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 2 Nov 2012
It's not easy, or all-out happy, but Synecdoche, New York is a profound and moving film that constantly stayed with me for weeks and still pops into my head regularly.

It's not necessarily depressing, either; rather, it challenges the viewer to evaluate his or her life. Personally I found it touching and it made me appreciate those closest to me all the more.

I can't ask for more than that from a film.

A1CS FUSION5 Tablet PC - 10.1" Screen - Android 4.0 ICS - 1GB RAM - 8GB STORAGE - Capacitive 5-Point Touch Screen - Supports BBC Iplayer.
A1CS FUSION5 Tablet PC - 10.1" Screen - Android 4.0 ICS - 1GB RAM - 8GB STORAGE - Capacitive 5-Point Touch Screen - Supports BBC Iplayer.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does the basics for a good price, but don't overwork it, 20 Aug 2012
Below is my original 2 star review.

I've upgraded it to three stars with a bit of a 'let the buyer beware' angle.

Firstly, yes, A1CS are very good at customer service. They contacted me on the basis of my original review and have been prompt in replying while we discussed the matter. However, you review the product, not the company who provide it.

They first suggested fully charging the tablet from an empty battery, then unplugging the charger and trying it out. That didn't help.

They then suggested using a different Internet browser (I was already using Opera, their recommended option), full system restore (in case a particular app was causing problems; not really an ideal scenario) and installing a free Task Killer app. I cleaned out some apps I wasn't really using having noticed via the task killer that they were running in the background and regularly checked for other apps running in the background, and it's made a decent difference.

So I now have a tablet that doesn't quite run a million apps or do as much as I'd ideally wish, but it just about cuts the mustard at what was admittedly a great price.

The moral of the story? Don't overwork it and don't expect it to do everything. If you can manage that, you'll get on just fine with the Fusion5.


I desperately wanted to like this product. The reviews were uniformly excellent and I thought I was clever in finding such a high-spec product at this price.

I received it in good time but in the same mere padded envelope that other reviewers describe. A little lax but nothing serious and no damage done.

On first glance everything seemed great. I could download many of the apps I'd already purchased on the Android app store through my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone, though I was dismayed to note that some, like Grand Theft Auto 3 (mentioned in some circles as one of the best Android tablet apps) weren't compatible despite functioning perfectly on a one a year old phone.

Films looked fine, though in anything approaching sunlight the images became very hard to make out.

But where it really started to fall down was on the speed at which it works. To give you an example, I recently switched it on and timed how long it took to open Android, check for new mail in the gmail and Hotmail apps, look for new Twitter notifications and check for / install 2 new updates for my apps. I switched my phone on at the same time to compare. The phone (and I stress, it's over a year old and is solid but in no way a market leader these days) took 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The A1CS Fusion5 took, with no word of exxageration, 1 hour and 2 minutes. It completely crashed and rebooted itself twice along the way.

I've tried everything I can think of to remedy the speed issues. I've uninstalled every desktop widget, even though they were, in theory at least, really useful. I've uninstalled apps I don't use in case there were space or memory issues. I've tried to manually manage which apps are running even though the device instructions assure me that Android is designed to negate this requirement. I've switched off automatic app updates.

No use. From power up to opening up a web page in one of the many browsers I've tried, the record shortest time I've managed is 22 minutes. That's just woeful. I shudder to think of the many hours of my life I've already lost to an unresponsive screen and the message that "X has stopped responding. Would you like to close it?"

My other main gripe is the time the battery takes to charge. Around 4 hours from the supplied charger (not via USB) for just over 4 hour's use is a poor return.

So why 2 stars? Well, the fact that it is a portable device that plays films reasonably well, and the display is acceptable, and that it takes a 32gb micro SD card mean that it functions fairly well as something I can use on long journeys to watch a film or two. But when it comes to anything else - games, apps, email, internet - I reach for my old smartphone every time.

I had two conflicting instincts when selecting this product. The first was "hey, you've been really astute here. These specs at this price? Well done you!" The second was "Don't you ALWAYS get what you pay for? This seems too good to be true!" Sadly I listened to the voice that flattered my ego instead of the sensible one.

Oh yeah, and I wrote this review on my tablet. I'm a pretty fast typist but the significant lags at every key stroke, frequent non-response and freakishly inconsistent approach to spell-checking mean that it's taken me 45 minutes so far. I'm genuinely worried that I'll have to type it all again. I'll copy all this text to a note in case that happens - exactly the sort of extra effort that this tablet requires at every step of the way.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2012 9:08 PM BST

Sipple Out Deh: The Black Ark Years
Sipple Out Deh: The Black Ark Years
Price: 8.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Scratch, 14 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This album is fantastic value and features a huge variety of styles encompassing all the many strings to Lee 'Scratch' Perry's bow, from the hazy otherworldly pop of Susan Cadogan to full-on dread roots. At this price no reggae, roots or dub fan should be without it.

I don't have the more expensive 'Arkology' collection but I would advise picking this up for cheaper and then moving onto the many great individual albums that Scratch has created - the Super Apes, War Inna Babylon, Kung Fu Dub, Police and Thieves, Blackboard Jungle Dub, Heart Of The Congos, Right Time, the list goes on! If you don't need that sort of a stepping stone (i.e. if you're already a Scratch fan) then the sound quality here is excellent so it's well worth picking up as a concise encapsulation of Perry's brilliance. It would also be a perfect way to introduce a friend to the maverick genius of Lee 'Scratch' Perry.

Termination Dub (1973-79)
Termination Dub (1973-79)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy heavy sound, 14 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like my dub pretty 'out-there' and this fits the bill 100%. King Tubby wrings every drop of weirdness out of his mixing desk on this fantastic album.

One of the heaviest, freakiest, best dub albums I own.

If you like this I'd also really recommend 'Dub me' by Morwell Unlimited meets King Tubby - the only heavier thing I've heard from this period.

The Quiet Hour / The Drawbar Organ EPs
The Quiet Hour / The Drawbar Organ EPs
Price: 14.20

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immersive, eerie, fascinating, 14 Aug 2012
Shackleton can do no wrong for me but this, his first album(s) proper, is still an amazing achievement.

The two discs encompass the complete album 'Music For The Quiet Hour' and the three collected 'Drawbar Organs' EPs. The former in particular is an immersive journey, simultaneously widescreen and agoraphobic, warm and chilling, focussed and freeform.

It also features endlessly interesting artwork by Zeke Clough who made the Skull Disco artwork.

If you like this I'd also wholeheartedly endorse all his other work. Starting from this point you'd be well advised to work backwards chronologically.

Droppin' Science: The Best Of Cold Chillin'
Droppin' Science: The Best Of Cold Chillin'
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 45.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best hip hop compilation ever, 14 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
People will argue, but for me this is the best hip hop compilation ever. The music arrived at a time when sampling was just kicking off, so it has trails of the raw energy of the pre-Fairlight era (think Schoolly D etc) but also showcases Marley Marl's claim to be the king of funky sampling. The production is just perfect - dirty enough to be hard but groovy enough to work your toes as much as your ears, and the MCing is simply awesome.

If the oldest of the old school is too simplistic for you and the newest of the new grates with anodyne weakness, get about this ASAP.

It's difficult to get just now but is well worth hunting down second hand. I got my copy for 2!

One warning: my copy claims to have 14 tracks on the un-mixed CD but doesn't include the 2 exclusives. They feature on the mix anyway and the rest is the bomb so that's no reason not to buy on sight.

A Ruffer Version: Johnny Clarke At King Tubby's 1974-78
A Ruffer Version: Johnny Clarke At King Tubby's 1974-78
Price: 9.60

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep and enthralling, 14 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I can't begin to go into the level of detail that the previous review shows, but this is a truly excellent album at a bargain price (around 5 at the time of writing). It's a great mix of roots tunes and their dubs, so is especially good for people who prefer one to the other or just like a bit of variety.

The quality is fantastic throughout and Tubby in particular is in sparkling form on the dubs.

I was in a record shop recently browsing the reggae section and someone asked me what he could get because he was bored of Bob Marley. He wanted something heavier and more energetic; I instantly told to get this and some Toots & The Maytals, and, given the remit, I totally stand by that choice.

Great selection that any roots or dub fan needs in their life.

Krups Expert GVX231 Burr Coffee Grinder
Krups Expert GVX231 Burr Coffee Grinder
Offered by U Stores
Price: 39.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful for anything but coarse grind, 13 Jan 2012
I was given this as a gift after I wishlisted a much better burr grinder, but I thought I should at least give it a try.

The results from the grinder are very variable for espresso. Sometimes it's fine enough to use in my Gaggia Classic, but all too often it's not coarse enough and the water shoots through, wasting the coffee and producing an undrinkable under-extracted brew.

That said, it is functional for cafetiere, chemex or other methods that require a coarser grind, mostly because these methods don't require such precise results.

It's very messy, as other reviewers have pointed out. The collection chamber is plastic and therefore gets charged with static electricity, meaning the coffee either sticks to the sides or goes everywhere when tipped out. The chamber is an awkward shape, with a hole on one side to connect to the grinder and a ridge for handling it all along the opposite side, meaning there's no easy way to tip out your coffee.

I would wholeheartedly NOT recommend this grinder.

I'm going to save up and get a grinder that will cost a lot more in the short term but will stop me wasting good coffee and precious time in the long term.

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