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'Roots of Dub Funk 5' - Press reviews

Big Chill Review - UK

Firstly, hats off to Tanty Records boss Kelvin R for getting to number 5 in this series. He is (I suspect) a committed individual that keeps doing what he's doing motivated by the love of the music, in what is today a hard world for the small specialist labels.

Once again Kelvin has scoured the world for dub in all its flavours. The names may not be familiar (to me at least!) with the exception of Mad Professor, but, as Kelvin has hand picked them from hundreds of potential tracks, it is guaranteed these are some of choicest cuts around. All styles are represented here: jazzy, African, old school, high steppers, low super stoners and (unsurprisingly) funky.

Always drawn, as I am, to the slower end of the bpm scale, the opener, "Secret Selector Dub" by Maka Ron feat Jarex from Canada, caught me by surprise with its 120 bpm and had me jigging around the kitchen. This continued with the UK's Vibronics and their "Right Phase Dub". However, normal service was resumed by the Bamjimba Vs Mad Professor on the 72 bpm acid squelch infused Wake Up Dub.

There are plenty of stand out tracks amongst the pleasing diversity including: the languorous Praising Dub, complete with delicious hammond organ echoing the Wailers classic sound; a track from 4 Series (UK) called Fire In the Skies; Sweden's Social Living Sounds with Guide I Dub; I n I Rise from France's Reggae Remedy Riddim Section features some slinky brass and reminds me a perfect outdoor community festival - sunshine, smiles and a distinctive buddy aroma carried on a gentle breeze; Abassi All Stars with their Danger Dub wouldn't have sounded out of place in a Don Letts set at the Roxy in the mid 70s; finally, and most off kilter, is Tchinb' in Dub by French outfit Fatya Dub is a track that could have been written as a TV sleuth theme from the late sixties albeit set in Kingston! Stay with me on this one! - jazzy flutes, vibes, a back bone of trombone and cheeky Mr Benn-like melody would have made this one a surefire contender for top TV themes 1971 on the mfp label.

The only hiccups in quality comes in the form of Brazils Digitaldubs Soundsystem that should really ditch the cheesy cheap casio keyboard snare roll setting, and the way a few of tracks end suddenly. However criticisms are slight and for dub aficionados, well for anyone for that matter, Roots of Dub Funk 5 doesn't disappoint and is proably the best in the series.

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Dub Flash - Germany

Curtain up for the next chapter of the "Roots Of Dub Funk" series on Tanty Records. Once again, Kelvin R., the label mastermind, brings us a mid price CD album to introduce the world to some funky dub tunes and to artists which you don't hear from so easily.
I want to quote something from the booklet: "To create music which pricks the social conscious but which can be dance floor friendly and then to get that music out to the very [few?] people who crave to hear these creative efforts from this 'niche' musical genre is not easy, it is a real fight."

That has to be read twice or three times. It is 100% right and I couldn't have said it better. Respect.

But back to the album: 14 tracks are presented. This time there are quite some "famous" artists featured like Vibronics, Dubcreator (both with extra heavy steppers), Alpha & Omega (providing a too often heard riddim), Groundation (pure extra nice roots dub), Mad Professor (with a very weird remix with hardly any visible riddim) and Abassi All Stars as well as a few - to me - total new names like Faya Dub, Eastern Dub Tactik or Reggae Remedy Riddim Section.

Outstanding tunes for me are the opener "Secret Selector Dub" from Makaron feat. Jarex who are not from Canada as stated on the CD. At least Makaron is from Poland. And I like the unique Polish dub style a lot. It's more experimental. This tune here comes with some funky beats, rocking nicely. The best tune of them all is (apart from Groundation's "Praising Dub") "Guide I Dub" from Social Living Sounds. They just rule. No wonder that they have a release on Dub Flash as well. Pure dope sound.

Another track to mention is "D'Oxum Dub" from Digitaldubs Soundsystem who come from - Brazil! The first official released dub tune I hear from South America. And a cool tune as well.

All in all, "Roots Of Dub Funk 5" is a serious dub compilation and Tanty Records does once again a good job in pushing the dub vibes. We can only hope that it helps to bring more people to this best music in the world: DUB!

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OUTLINE – UK

Roots of Dub Funk 5 – Power of the Dub (Tanty Records)

Compiled by the Dub Funk Association’s ‘Kelvin R’ this is the latest instalment in the Roots of Dub Funk series. This, No. 5 in the series, centres on the power of the Dub. The interesting ting about this collection is that all the tracks are made up from acts that emerge from all corners of the globe. Dub plates come from Brazil, USA, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Sweden and France. Each track offers a little flavour from its country of origin but all keep the sound and ethos of dub communities globally. The thing which really surprised me about this collection is the varying tempo’s between tracks. There’s the expected weed vibe beats which keep you nodding at a constant but you’ll also find some dance floor fillers which would keep you skanking till dawn. I’ve always liked dub, but this has opened up my mind to the vastness and the varieties available within the genre. Jazzy, African and Funky all emerge and shine through on this album. Every producer on this compilation has been involved with the exploration and development of dub for many years, so respect is most definitely due.

7/10 B Funk

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