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Album Review

In the early days of roots reggae, it would have been difficult to imagine that someday the best bands playing in that style would be made up of Aryans. And yet, sure enough, in the early 2000s the center of gravity for dub and modern roots seems to have shifted decisively to Germany, where the Echo Beach label is located. Not that Germany has a corner on the market, mind you — the mighty Dubblestandart hails from Vienna, former home base of Mozart and Haydn, both of whom had enough of a sense of humor (and of rhythm) that they're almost certainly looking down benevolently from music heaven, smiling and skanking as Dubblestandart rock that graceful, ancient city with echo-drenched guitars and elephantine grooves. On their latest they team up with an impressively long list of first-call collaborators including Sly & Robbie (on "Heavy Heavy Monster Dub" and "Preemptive Dub"), Mikey Dread ("Dub Is the Roots"), Keith LeBlanc (the brilliant "Terrorists and Inhalers"), and Sounds from the Ground ("10 Tons of Dope," "Evil Empire"). Carl Douglas comes out from retirement to help out with a massively funked-up remake of his disco classic "Kung Fu Fighting," and veteran DJ Dillinger makes an appearace as well, as do several lesser-known names. But as always, the star of the show is the Dubblestandart sound itself: a rocking vibration that combines elements of European, British, and Jamaican rhythms to create something true to the reggae tradition but fresh and new at the same time. Very highly recommended.


Formed: Vienna, Austria

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Dubblestandart transplanted dub from Jamacia to Vienna, where it teamed with the Select Cuts label to release plenty of experimental dub recordings. The collective began in 1990, when it released "Front of Enemies." Since then, Dubblestandart continued producing dub, emphasizing the vintage attributes of the style such as sound flexing tools, analog delays, and synthesizers. And, of course, the collective emphasized reggae beats, though it did experiment with many untraditional approaches. Dubblestandart...
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Heavy Heavy Monster Dub, Dubblestandart
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