July 6, 2006

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Dub Syndicate, The Rasta Far I
Collision Cause of Chapter 7 Records, 2006

With the hot months come the big reggae releases, Dub Syndicate checking in with a 2-disc retrospective to bolster their semi-legend in the dub world (for those who take pains to remain unschooled in generally misused terminology, "dub" involves taking existing reggae tunes and pegging the effects sliders or adding tracks, another sinecure abused by the type of DJ who finds creative thought hugely challenging). A master of the technique, Rob Smith has reworked these Adrian Sherwood/Style Scott mixes to achieve a stubborn rootsiness, and in fact some of the retro-'70s-ness of this ebullient stuff is enhanced when the fellas decide one or more layers need to be stripped out so that the effected sounds have more room to roam. "Nothing Comes Easy" opens disc one with a checklist of necessary ingredients that includes a whamma-slamma house intro, the speaker-trashing low end covered by acoustic piano darkly mocking "Puttin on the Ritz." B+

— Eric Saeger


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