Not The Original Mix,
This review is from: Living Dub Vol 1 (Audio CD)
Living Dub Volume One was originally a 1979 Dub remix of Burning Spear's 1978 Social Living album.
The version reviewed here is the 1993 CD release of "Living Dub Volume One" (on Heartbeat, CD HB 131), which features a complete remix of the 1979 Living Dub album specifically created for this CD.
The differences between the 1979 and 1993 mixes are quite radical.
The original 1979 album (currently available on CD as Original Living Dub Volume 1, and as a more obscure 1991 Jamaican CD release on Dee Jay Music) was a rather relaxed and spacious Dub affair, nicely coloured with effects, a gently phased guitar at times giving it something of an early 'Black Ark' feel.
In comparison this 1993 remix strips things back to something more basic, monochrome and forceful, the dub effects being quite minimal and subtle. The focus here resides primarily upon the bass and percussion, so it's not a particularly intricate listening experience, and after a while can seem a bit repetative.
That aside, how is the mastering of this Heartbeat edition of the CD? Well, being specifically mixed for this disc it's been taken from top quality tapes. With no apparent modern digital fiddling related to noise reduction or compression it has great quality sonics.
In conclusion; If I'd never heard the original 1979 mix of this album I would probably have been inclined to grade this remix with 3 stars. But if compared to the more aurally involving 1979 mix it has to lose points, so within that context I'd give it a 2.
Each mix has it's merits. It all depends how you prefer your Dub.