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The Legendary Skatalites In Dub

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Album Review

This is the third collection of King Tubby-produced Skatalites tracks to come from England's Motion label. Once again, anyone whose acquaintance with the Skatalites is limited to that group's classic '60s ska material will be surprised by the slow, languid roots rhythms that are on offer here; and once again, the combination of Tubby's dubwise engineering prowess and the Skatalites effortless groovemaking is perfect. On "Middle East Dub" saxophonist Tommy McCook plays the melody from Bob Marley's "Coming in from the Cold" over the "Give Thanks" rhythm before getting slingshotted off into space by Tubby, while the funde and repeater drums chuckle and percolate underneath; Tony Brevett's "Starlight" gets two cuts, one a showcase for the trombone magic of Don Drummond ("Starlight Version") and the other a more mystical version that focuses more on the percussionists ("African Dub"). Nine of these fifteen tracks (including all three of the CD bonus tracks) were recorded at Lee "Scratch" Perry's notorious Black Ark studio before being taken to Tubby's for remixing, and all partake of that inimitable swampy, dark Black Ark vibe. Overall, this is a treasure trove of classic dub that can confidently be recommended to all fans of the genre.


Formed: 1963

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

More than a band, the Skatalites were and are an institution, an aggregation of top-notch musicians who didn't merely define the sound of Jamaica, they were the sound of Jamaica across the '50s and '60s. Although the group existed in its original incarnation for less than 18 months, members brought their signature styles to hundreds upon hundreds of the island's releases. The Skatalites officially lined up as guitarist Jerome "Jah Jerry" Hinds, bassist Lloyd Brevett, teenaged pianist Donat Roy "Jackie"...
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