Top positive review
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Give Thanks & Praise for the Dub Shepherd!!!
on 24 June 2003
I only give 5 stars to utter classics like Perry's Blackboard Jungle Dub or Pablo & Tubby's 'Meets Rockers Uptown' and this compilation contains some comparable and seminal work from the Black Ark era.
Diverse influences and musical innovation mean that Jamaican music, Ska, Roots, Dub, etc has in turn had an influence upon the likes of soul, rap, techno and other diverse genres that is hard to overstate. Perry was at the forefront of the 'Dub' era in the 70s using drum machines before anyone else and creating sounds (upon a two-track tape deck) the likes of which had never been heard before. His distinctive sound, e.g. his 'flying hi-hat' set him apart from other producers in a fiercely competitive market and he worked with all of the best Jamaican artists e.g Bob Marley, Max Romeo, The Meditations, The Mighty Diamonds, Junior Murvin, the list goes on.
Never mind that there are some 'fillers' here (though perhaps not as far as hardcore fans are concerned), the genius of the man is well in evidence and there are enough classics to make it well worth the price for any Reggae newbies: Life Is Not Easy - The Meditations, War Ina Babylon - Max Romeo, Chase the Devil - Max Romeo (sampled by the Prodigy!), Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin.
In addition there are plenty of tracks that will make you bounce or just stop and listen: One Step Forward - Max Romeo, Dub Revolution, Pt. 1, Why Must I [Version] - The Heptones, Vibrate On - Augustus Pablo.
As one reviewer points out this concentrates on the late 70s Black Ark work and doesn't overlap with other compilations. It's a well-thumbed and well-loved part of my collection and I can't recommend it highly enough.