on 23 May 2011
Basically the 1979 "Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Part II" LP with 7 additional bonus tracks tacked onto the start; Prince Far I's "Dubwise" CD features some of the Jamaican deejay/producer's deepest and "dreadest" reggae recordings.
Of the bonus stuff, there are three Far I vocal tracks here amongst the otherwise entirely-instrumental dub sounds; and they rank as some of the best of his later work - dramatic proclamations of peace and Rastafarian preaching delivered in that inimitable booming, gravelly, half-spoken deejay style of his. The musical "riddims" are performed in fine early-dancehall style by the mighty Roots Radics band, who create earth-shakingly monumental grooves centered around metronomic, thudding beats and densely hypnotic, lyrical bass lines. The tracks have a melodic, "bright and breezy" vibe that is tastefully blended with sinewy rock guitar leads and hand-drum percussion.
The "Cry Tuff Dub Encounter II" album starts on this release at track 8, "NO MORE WAR DUB", which was in fact the closing song on the original LP. The track ordering of the original album has been re-arranged here; and, in the case of "BORNO DUB", replaced by a different alternate version of the same song. As near as you're going to get to experiencing the original 1979 release is if you program the CD tracks thusly: 16, 14, 15, 13, 9, 10, 11, 12, 8.
The "Cry Tuff" material is performed by a band that producer Far I christened The Arabs, comprised of legendary studio veterans like Sly & Robbie and guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith. The sonic mood of these tracks differs from the Roots Radics' ones; there is a darker, more brooding and mystical atmosphere, and the rhythms use subtler dynamics than the all-out pummeling groove of the earlier songs. Musically, this is favourably comparable to Augustus Pablo's mid-70's productions; especially in the ethereal, minor-key melodies blown on the melodica instrument, and the loud, nearly-distorted drum rolls.
The dub mixing courtesy of Prince Jammy is consummately brilliant as he applies a cavalcade of of mind-bending aural effects to the instrumentation: splashing, swirling, staggering echo; spectral fragments of reverb-soaked melody floating in and out of the mix; and the wonderful fizzy, throbbing effect of the sounds being passed through a high-pass filter device at the start of "BENDEL DUB".
Even when the rhythms are stripped right down to their core drum-n'bass essence, absolute interest is retained with added layers of grinding and scraping wood percussion; peals of bells and whistles; bubbling Jean-Michel Jarre synthesizer lines (on "SURU-LERE DUB") and, most remarkably, sheep and goat bleats on "OGUN DUB" (makes sense if you know that it is the dub version of the Prince Far I track "Farmyard").
The "Dubwise" CD is a superb collection that masterfully showcases three brilliant aspects of reggae music: dub remixing, the Roots Radics' pioneering dancehall sound, and Prince Far I's unique 'fire and brimstone' deejaying style. Jah bless.
on 17 February 2012
Michael Williams aka Prince Fari left an indelible mark on roots and dub reggae,his series of Tuff Dub Encounter albums a great legacy in the history of Jamaican music.This is worth getting alone for Ogun Dub taken from Tuff Dub Encounter 2-in my humble subjective opinion,the greatest dub track of all time,just listen for yourself-the recording techniques are mysterious and the atmosphere and sound quite unique.Essential!