April 24, 2008

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Dub Syndicate, Overdubbed
Groove Attack Records, April 1
With the weather starting to turn in the other crummy direction toward the usual sweltering, soul-baking hell, it’s time to summer-ize your car’s available cubbyholes with CDs apropos for the season. One economical choice is Overdubbed, which is simply the first disc of Dub Syndicate’s Rasta Far I two-disc set, a tour-de-force of all that’s good and modern in dub reggae. This is old Syndicate territory remixed by former drum n bass guy/Massive Attack producer Rob Smith, who’s possessed of a disciplined but itchy trigger finger for blowing up the sounds of busted-cymbal-rattles, trance-inducing samples and spoken-word stoner-rants with mega-cheesed reverb and the like. Wouldn’t have mattered much if he’d gone completely mental at the mixing board (and it’s close), as even the most casual reggae afficionado will be left a melted pool of ice cream behind the wheel on the way to the beach before the halfway point of the record. Highlights include Yasus Afari’s ghetto-kiddie rhyme flow in “Jamaican Proverb” and U Brown’s righteous bellowing in the straight-ahead stomper “Lion King.” AEric W. Saeger