Dub music… the Jamaican avant-garde prototype for what we know as the remix… is now a worldwide phenomenon. One of the traditional strongholds for dub outside Jamaica has been the United Kingdom, where two of its leading exponents have joined forces for a project that reaches out across generations.
South West England’s Dubheart have teamed up with legendary UK dub mixer Mad Professor and his sons Joe and Kamal for a new album, From The Vaults of Ariwa. The sessions combine the group’s organic, live instrument approach to dub and the electronics-based soundscapes of Prof’s enduring Ariwa label. Collecting Dubheart originals and reworkings of classic Ariwa instrumentals, From The Vaults… puts the band’s taut musicianship through the refracted prism of Professor and sons’ mind-bending use of studio-as-instrument.
Hypnotic basslines, crashing snare drums and clattering percussion create a twilight world of reflection and propulsive movement. Of particular emotional significance is Gautry Road SE15, named after the Peckham address of Ariwa’s second studio site. It reimagines the rhythm to one of Ariwa’s most revered releases, 1983’s Judgement Day by Sergeant Pepper (the brother of Lovers Rock hitmaker Sandra Cross). Likewise, Farnley Road Dub, a Dubheart composition named after – and created at – the current Ariwa studio location, with melodica played by drummer Gavin Sant.
It’s a record that sounds simultaneously like it could have come from the early 80s when Mad Professor first started to make waves in South London – while sounding at home in a contemporary dub and electronic bass music setting.
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