Return From Planet Dub
Dubblestandart, Lee 'Scratch' Perry & Ari Up
Collision Records - Echo Beach
June 5, 2009
from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)|
|Vocals : 5||Backing : 5||Production : 5||Sound quality : 5||Sleeve : 4|
"Return From Planet Dub" is already Dubblestandart's 11th album. To readers of this website they might be known only for their contribution to the first volume of "Dancehallfieber Vol. 1" "Das Ventil", a
take on Bob Andy's (Marcia's) "Fire Burning". This Austrian dub collective, founded in 1988 by Paul
Zasky, Robbie Ost, Martin Marek and Gerhard Warnung, first started with the production of experimental
dub tapes and hard-core dub reggae live-shows with Christoph Kaiaba aka Rootscontroller on the microphone.
Each of the members having grown up in a middle-class environment, the Dubblestandart musicians came together between the ages of 17 and 19 and soon embodied a kind of rebellious image within the conservative Austrian pop scene. The
dub scene in Austria was nonexistent at the time, so it was Dubblestandart doing their thing, basing
everything they did on reggae and dub: inspired by people like the Upsetters' Black Ark sound, I-Roy,
On-U-Sound, Jah Shaka and the rest of the reggae & dubadelics, Dubblestandart developed a different kind
of reggae - one influenced by post-new wave and psychedelic pop.|
This double-album "Return From Planet Dub", with its promo-copy marked: for promotional use only: do not eat or sell! - courtesy of Münster, Germany based reggae-shop Irie Records, my favourite address for reggae, providing an extremely reliable mail order service (from mainstream to rare ska, reggae and dancehall) and a great knowledgeable owner making it worthwile to visit the shop if you can AND offering this double album for the limited period of time till its releasedate on June 5th for only EUR 18,99 - makes clear Dubblestandart was heavily influenced over the years by the on the album featured reggae legend Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Adrian Sherwood's On-U-Sound and later on of course their own Vienna environment, that in the almost 20 years they are operating now, has become a center of the Austrian/German/UK 'nu-dub'/lounge/downtempo scene.
A scene covered on these pages in the reviews of Rodney Hunter's "Hunter Files", Tosca's "J.A.C." and "Souvenirs" by Tosca - featuring one half of Austria's G-Stone masters Kruder & Dorfmeister, Richard Dorfmeister alongside Rupert Huber, and that of the other half of Kruder & Dorfmeister, Peter Kruder, taking the spotlight alongside Christian Prommer and Roland Appel from München, who are not only Fauna Flash but also 2/3 of Rainer Trüby's Trüby Trio, and the three of them together as VoomVoom having released their debut album "Peng Peng", as well as Richard Dorfmeister again, alongside Madrid de los Austrias for their "Grand Slam" album. And of course the excellent article Dub Revolution by Gregory Stephens, and several reviews featured on these pages of music coming from the closely to the Austrian scene linked Berlin camp around Basic Channel and especially Basic Channel's 'partner in crime' Paul St. Hilaire.
And now, on the heels of the Japan-only released superb Lee 'Scratch' Perry & Adrian Sherwood collaboration "Dubsetter" - also available at Irie Records - once more, aided by the superb backings provided by Dubblestandart with strong own compositions but masterfully relicking some of Lee 'Scratch' Perry's most famous riddims as well, Lee Perry shines as a (mad) vocalist, alongside house chanteuse Gudrun from Vienna and former punk-icon Ari Up of On-U-Sound's New Age Steppers and The Slits. The album opens with a smashing take on Max Romeo's classic Lee Perry produced "Chase The Devil" followed by the excellent "Let 'em Take It Dub" and a wonderful vocal take on Perry's own classic "Blackboard Jungle" riddim. Then Lee Perry goes all the way in getting triple-X-rated in "Fungus Rock" commenting on oral bedroom practices more explicit than the most hardcore dancehall deejay.
Fareast melodies bring back the days when Lee Perry was completed obsessed by China and Kung Fu as he explains how the "I Foo China" alongside Gudrun, over a riddim and with a chorus heavily inspired by his 'Lee Scratch Perry On The Wire' riddim and then he revisits his 1970s works for "Give Thanks & Praises (Megaton 3)" getting back to his "Megaton" dub series. The weirdest musical thing happening on this album is however not any of Perry's lyrics or one of his older riddims, it's the use of Jean-Michel Jarre's "Oxygen" for the brilliant "Deadly Funny ~ Oxygen Pt. 4", followed by the very nice "I Do Voodoo Dub" featuring Gudrun again alongside Scratch in a nu-dub setting, "Surrender Dub", "Idiots Dub" and "Kingston Dancehall Dub" all having Ari Up's vocals floating in and out of the mix in a dubstep-style. The last tune on the first disc is a great political statement incorporating fareastern scales in a dub reworking of the tune "Greetings From Evil Empire" from 2004's "Heavy Heavy Monster Dub Album" for Myanmar, the excellent "Evil Burma Dub".
Although the last 4 tunes on the first disc are also tunes, it is safe to say that this second is the extremely well done dub and remix disc. The first tune is again based on Jean-Michel Jarre's synthesizer anthem, this time with samples from an interview with movie and TV-series director David Lynch reworked as "Chrome Optimism ~ Oxygen Pt. 4 Dub" and 5 more tunes from the first disc get the very fine Dub(blestandart)(-step) treatment as well as - coupled with Lee Perry's "Defending Rights & Justice" - Ari Up's "Island Girl Dub" (a vocal from Dubblestandart's "Are You Experienced" that was also remixed for the wonderful 2007 album "Immigration Dub"). Birmingham's G-Corp electro-dub-house pioneers contribute the mindblowing dubstep "Chase The Devil (G-Corp RMX)" followed by Rob Smith (of Smith & Mighty) also venturing into dubstep territory for the "I Do Voodoo (Rob Smith RMX)".
Then it's back to "Immigration Dub" for Tom Watson's dubstep remix of Truman Chewstick vocals, accompanied by the original rockstone deejay vocals of the late and great Prince Far I sampled in the cover of Dub Syndicate's "Wadada (Means Love)". NYC's Subatomic Sound System drop another lethal dubstep with their "Blackboard Jungle Dub (Subatomic Sound RMX)" before another tune from "Immigration Dub" is presented in the "We All Have To Get High (Tom Watson RMX)" featuring Devon D. (Dubblestandart's Jamaican partner Devon Denton) and then this superb double album is brought to a close with the "Love Machine (Dubblestandart RMX)" by Supermax featuring Trueman Chewstick closing two hours of great dub downtempo and dubstep inspired by Lee Perry's own Black Ark productions and Adrian Sherwood's On-U-Sound and combining the best of all of these influences into one aural trip that needs to be heard.