Declaration Of Dub
This ran in Reggae Report in 1998.
In the mid ’70s, the Abyssinians released one of Reggae’s all-time great
recordings, “Forward Unto Zion.” In 1993, Heartbeat Records added four songs,
changed the name to “Satta Massagana” and offered this bona-fide classic on CD for
the first time.
Now, five years later, Heartbeat is at it again, recently releasing the
companion dub CD, “Declaration Of Dub.”
On first listen (except for the opening title track, which is now a new
modernized version) it sounds like these tunes have been locked in a vault for years,
as each resonates with authenticity. But in reality, the majority of these dubs were
recently re-mixed by Karl Pitterson (best known for his work with Steel Pulse). It’s
truly difficult to tell which dubs were originally done years ago, a telling testament
to Pitterson’s exceptional mixing job.
The disc starts off with the aforementioned title track, but from there is
where things truly shine, as the remaining thirteen tunes are dubs of almost every
original song found on “Satta Massagana, and in exact order. Tracks 2, 3 and 4
are simple dubs which showcase the incredible talents of this classic vocal trio,
but it’s track 5 where the disc just explodes. “Dub Abendigo” has a rough and wild
King Tubby feel, and the remaining mixes are powerful and compelling.
The only difference between the two CDs is the omission of a dub for
“Black Man’s Strain.” Instead, track 7 is a dub of “Meditation,” which originally
appeared on the “Arise” album.
These are timeless dub tracks from one of the island’s greatest and most
spiritual groups. If you’re a lover of Roots Reggae, make sure “Declaration Of Dub”
(as well as “Satta Massagana”) are in your collection. They’re both killers.
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